Author Topic: How old is too old to watch a newborn?  (Read 2048 times)

wageslave23

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How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« on: January 18, 2022, 10:50:58 AM »
My MIL is 68 and generally in good health. But she's kind of skinny and frail looking. She's fallen while walking her dog in the winter once or twice in the past few years. She also hasn't babysat a baby since my wife was a baby 33 years ago. So far she has asked how much water do we give her, and started wiping in all directions when changing our daughter's diaper. My wife had to tell her only front to back so she doesn't get a uti.  I'm sure she'd probably be fine watching her, but I dont see the benefit of taking the risk. My wife is pressuring me to be ok with it sooner rather than later. 

DadJokes

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2022, 10:58:19 AM »
It's up to the individual. My MIL is 62 and watches my son all of the time. She's also very physically active.

You might spend time with her with the child and make sure she knows how to do everything before leaving her alone with your daughter. On top of that, leave her with a detailed schedule & guide whenever you do let her babysit.

v8rx7guy

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2022, 11:10:24 AM »
My MIL is 68 and generally in good health. But she's kind of skinny and frail looking. She's fallen while walking her dog in the winter once or twice in the past few years. She also hasn't babysat a baby since my wife was a baby 33 years ago. So far she has asked how much water do we give her, and started wiping in all directions when changing our daughter's diaper. My wife had to tell her only front to back so she doesn't get a uti.  I'm sure she'd probably be fine watching her, but I dont see the benefit of taking the risk. My wife is pressuring me to be ok with it sooner rather than later.

Wouldn't the benefit be cheap/free childcare?

In my opinion 68 is not too old, in fact I'd probably be a little offended if I was your MIL and found out my son in law thought I was too old/not informed enough to care for a newborn.

wageslave23

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2022, 11:40:22 AM »
My MIL is 68 and generally in good health. But she's kind of skinny and frail looking. She's fallen while walking her dog in the winter once or twice in the past few years. She also hasn't babysat a baby since my wife was a baby 33 years ago. So far she has asked how much water do we give her, and started wiping in all directions when changing our daughter's diaper. My wife had to tell her only front to back so she doesn't get a uti.  I'm sure she'd probably be fine watching her, but I dont see the benefit of taking the risk. My wife is pressuring me to be ok with it sooner rather than later.

Wouldn't the benefit be cheap/free childcare?

In my opinion 68 is not too old, in fact I'd probably be a little offended if I was your MIL and found out my son in law thought I was too old/not informed enough to care for a newborn.

We haven't really been going anywhere. And my mom is 61 and basically raised my nieces and nephews who are 5, 3, and 2.  So if we need someone to watch our daughter for a one off event, I'd feel much more comfortable with my mom watching her.  Has nothing to do with her being my mom, I just want the most physically and mentally capable person watching my daughter.  At least until she's mobile. Or even has total head control

Captain FIRE

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2022, 11:44:12 AM »
Depends on the person.  I wouldn't have hesitated letting my MIL watch at 75, when our daughter was born, for example.

Some guidance has changed over the years and you can teach (e.g. "back is best") or may be simple ignorance (e.g. way to wipe).  People did use to give babies water after all.  If you are worried about mental or physical health, that's pretty specific to the individual.  I suggested spending time together, teaching her, and then assessing.

trollwithamustache

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2022, 12:23:00 PM »
True babysitting for like 2 hours or watching for like a workday? Grandma is probably behind the times, but thats easy to fix.

The big thing is Grandma's get tired. Be realistic about capacity, however long that is. Maybe she can watch all day, but not multiple days in a row. It is also tough for grandma's to admit when they are tired.

Pre 70, my guess is there is plenty of grandmotherly fire in her belly

mm1970

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2022, 01:34:40 PM »
True babysitting for like 2 hours or watching for like a workday? Grandma is probably behind the times, but thats easy to fix.

The big thing is Grandma's get tired. Be realistic about capacity, however long that is. Maybe she can watch all day, but not multiple days in a row. It is also tough for grandma's to admit when they are tired.

Pre 70, my guess is there is plenty of grandmotherly fire in her belly
My mom and MIL are (were) about the same age. 

I had my first kid late (36), and my mom came to visit.  She babysat for a few hours one night for my company holiday party.

She was 62, and she didn't change his diaper because "I didn't smell anything".  Sure.  So, for my mom, 62 was probably not a good idea, as she got tired out and was less mobile.  Also, a beginning alcoholic (but that's hindsight speaking).  (Died about a month shy of 68.)

My MIL was a lot more active and "with it".  She could definitely handle it far later than my mom.  She's 78 now, and I wouldn't ask her to watch after a baby or toddler, but elementary age, easy.

My older son's daycare was a mother-daughter team, and by the time he was there, the daughter was running it with the mom's help. Mom was the "baby-whisperer".  Fed the babies, held them on her lap, and started her day by sweeping the driveway.  She was 91/92 when he was there.  Lived to be over 100 I think.

Sibley

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2022, 02:38:23 PM »
The benefit is not pissing of your wife for no reason. At least, in her mind.

I'd say give it a trial. Short time period, see what happens. But also have the conversation with your wife what good babysitting looks like. Not specifically in relation to her mom, but in general. You need to be on the same page and right now you're not.

Its entirely possible that MIL is going to be exhausted and will stop asking to babysit in future.

wageslave23

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2022, 03:56:16 PM »
Thank you all for the responses. After reading them and reflecting, I guess my main concern is the baby being dropped on accident.  And I don't really know how you test this. Once it happens it's obviously too late.  I have this fear to a small extent with anyone holding her, but the older and more frail one is, the more my fear increases.  Any suggestions? Am I being way too "first time parent paranoid"?  Not putting her to sleep, or not feeding her on time, changing diaper incorrectly,  those are all minor compared to dropping a baby. I'm picturing long term disability mentally and or physically, or even death.

Dicey

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2022, 05:26:11 PM »
Most important: has MIL even offered to babysit for you or are you just assuming she will?

My dad was lifting my brother over his head, then laughing face to face with him. My brother squirmed and slipped out of dad's hands. He was (and still is) baby #5, so dad was far from inexperienced. Stuff happens, babies are resilient. The water and wiping questions simply reflect that times have changed. Newborns used to go home from the hospital, safe in their mother's arms. And which side do babies sleep on now?

IF she actually wants to babysit by herself, it makes sense that she spends time with you and baby to get up to speed on the changes that have occurred in the intervening years. It's important to do it gracefully, lest you come off as "first time parent paranoid."

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2022, 05:48:32 PM »
My parents are 70 & 72, respectively. My dad did a 70 mile mountain bike ride for his 70th birthday this summer, so...he's in outstanding physical condition for his age, as is my mom.

They would still be fine taking care of a newborn, but wouldn't enjoy it much. They are awesome with our teens, and take them on vacation, keep them for weeks in the summer, etc. At this point, the teens help them with their chores as well (e.g. cutting firewood, etc.)

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2022, 06:06:44 PM »
My mother is 89 years older than her granddaughter she’s quite capable of looking after her, even though my mother is frail and elderly and has a walker. The main problem she has is that the child loves pushing the walker all over the house, and not returning it.

If it’s thirty years since you’ve done something, you’re going to need a bit of a refresher, but you’ve probably got more of an idea about how to do things than someone who’s never had any experience.

Sibley

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2022, 07:57:18 PM »
Thank you all for the responses. After reading them and reflecting, I guess my main concern is the baby being dropped on accident.  And I don't really know how you test this. Once it happens it's obviously too late.  I have this fear to a small extent with anyone holding her, but the older and more frail one is, the more my fear increases.  Any suggestions? Am I being way too "first time parent paranoid"?  Not putting her to sleep, or not feeding her on time, changing diaper incorrectly,  those are all minor compared to dropping a baby. I'm picturing long term disability mentally and or physically, or even death.

My mom tells the story of the time that she put baby me down for a nap in the middle of the queen size bed, then went downstairs and was talking with her mom (my grandmother). There was a thud and a cry, and my grandmother commented that I had learned to roll over as mom ran upstairs to get me.

Take a deep breath. It's going to be ok.

PDXTabs

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2022, 08:02:59 PM »
Totally depends on the person. My 70 year old mom still climbs ladders to do her own roof maintenance bad-ass MMM style and goes on multi-night backpacking trips. I'd trust her with an infant in a heart beat. But I know a 65 year old stroke survivor that I would have second thoughts about.

Dee18

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2022, 08:06:20 PM »
I think the benefit (if MIL wants to babysit) is the beginning of a relationship between the baby and the grandmother, and also continuing a good relationship between your wife and her mom.  I don't think falling in winter when walking a dog is indicative of not being able to babysit.  And the wiping front to back thing is one of the many ways that  baby care has advanced.  Sounds like your wife, or you, and her mom caring for the baby together a few times is what's needed. It's fine for you or your wife to say, "this is how we've been advised to....do a diaper change, feed her, etc."  MIL's asking you how much water to give her seems to me a sign that she wants to do what is best for your daughter and cares what you want. You could also leave your favorite parenting book out available.  My mom was 73 when I had my daughter.  She babysat for her when I traveled to conferences for multiple days.  Over the years my mom and daughter's relationship has meant a lot to both of them.  (My mother is now in her 90s now and lives 400 miles away.  My daughter set up an iPad for her and posts a 2 minute video to it most days so my mom can share a bit of my daughter's life.)

LadyMaWhiskers

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2022, 08:41:10 PM »
I had my mom, aged 69, babysit my infant son, and also had three grandma-aged nannies in the first year and a half. The con is that it's hard to tell older people what to do. The pro is everything else, I'd say.

When you want MIL to do something, couch it in deference to the pediatrician. If necessary, betray your astonishment that such findings have materialized. So like, you kind of side with MIL against the pediatrician, but take his/her advice OF COURSE, and so here you all are, wiping front to back. That's my take on grandma-aged infant care: what they lack in trainability they are up for in knee-jerk deference to physicians. Of course if that's not your MIL, then it's not, so not helpful.

But in general, grandma-aged women are a really solid infant care choice. I know what you mean about the slip-and-fall. I actually had to let one caregiver go because she'd had fainting problems, and I just thought if it would happen with the stroller at a crosswalk, I'd regret it. So you have to look seriously at any health challenges grandma has. But it'll probably be great. The dedication shown by a grandmother is absolutely heartwarming. Very reassuring to a mom too, to have your own mom take care of your kid. That extreme level of investment they have, vs. a daycare worker off the street is really palpable.

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2022, 03:13:44 AM »
I think one of the most persistent lessons of parenthood is learning to let go. It starts when you let others hold her, or change her diaper, then watch her for a couple of hours, then a full day, then you're letting her go to school, then letting her drive herself around, move out of the house, maybe get married, etc. She's going to learn new things and gain new skills and each skill gained means one less thing that she'll rely on you for. It's not an easy lesson to learn, but it's a sign of growth for you and for your child.

I'm a dad, but it seems to me that the shared bond of motherhood is a really big deal for my wife and MIL. I wouldn't want to do anything to hinder that connection between them, and I wouldn't want to do anything to prevent my MIL and kid to have a relationship either. It takes a village to raise a child.

BZB

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2022, 05:39:49 AM »
Rather than hurt her feelings, could you propose that the whole family needs a "refresher" on newborn care because the guidance changes over the years? A lot of hospitals have newborn care classes through the labor and delivery departments.  I have seen these classes specifically geared to grandparents, and also for siblings. They will teach swaddling, feeding, proper sleep positioning, etc. Having a third party teaching this would make the dynamics better, and I'll bet they are offered online these days because of the pandemic. If you all haven't done a CPR class I'd recommend that too. I took one with the Red Cross that covered baby CPR.

BeanCounter

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2022, 05:43:35 AM »
We had a "granny nanny". I think she was 69 when she took care of my first born (and she had a 89 year old husband home with her). She cared for him everyday while I worked until he was 3 and then she said he needed to go to preschool. Then she took care of my second child from 8 weeks to 3yo. She had been doing childcare for 30+ years and was wonderful. She told us from the beginning that it was sort of "my way or the highway" and we trusted that she was the expert and we listened. My children were both day potty trained by 2 years old, didn't use a pacifier beyond 1, drank from a cup at 9 months, took naps, used baby sign language to communicate before they could talk and used "manner words'. They didn't watch tv. They got exercise every day and read books. She was just wonderful.

My mother on the other hand, as much as I loved her, was the same age and could barely carry my babies and couldn't keep up with all of that. She loved them and was a wonderful person, but I think if she was watching them they would have watched a lot of TV because she just didn't have enough energy.

TLDR- depends on the person.

I now have a teenager and the poster who said the most persistent lessons of parenthood is learning to let go is spot on.
Also, I dropped my second when he was a baby. No lie. He bounced and was fine. Didn't even cry. It can happen to anybody.

wageslave23

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2022, 07:21:43 AM »
Also, I dropped my second when he was a baby. No lie. He bounced and was fine. Didn't even cry. It can happen to anybody.

I think this is what I'm most worried about. Anybody could drop her. But I think the likelihood only goes up with age and other factors. My wife and I are young and athletic, we might have a 1% chance of dropping her.  My mom is older, but decently athletic and coordinated for her age, she might have a 3% chance of dropping her.  My MIL is older still and doesn't seem as coordinated or athletic and might have a 10% chance of dropping her. So while anyone could drop her, and nobody probably will, it doesn't seem worth it to take the risk unless necessary.  Just like my MIL falling in winter could happen to anyone, I think its less likely for me.  I haven't fallen outside in 20 yrs and that was playing hockey as a kid.  And if I did fall, I have more confidence in myself that I could contort my body to protect her.

BeanCounter

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2022, 07:40:51 AM »
Also, I dropped my second when he was a baby. No lie. He bounced and was fine. Didn't even cry. It can happen to anybody.

I think this is what I'm most worried about. Anybody could drop her. But I think the likelihood only goes up with age and other factors. My wife and I are young and athletic, we might have a 1% chance of dropping her.  My mom is older, but decently athletic and coordinated for her age, she might have a 3% chance of dropping her.  My MIL is older still and doesn't seem as coordinated or athletic and might have a 10% chance of dropping her. So while anyone could drop her, and nobody probably will, it doesn't seem worth it to take the risk unless necessary.  Just like my MIL falling in winter could happen to anyone, I think its less likely for me.  I haven't fallen outside in 20 yrs and that was playing hockey as a kid.  And if I did fall, I have more confidence in myself that I could contort my body to protect her.

You're overly worried about this. In a few months she will naturally lean into you and hold on. They are only "floppy" for a short period of time, they are also fairly light then. Once they can hold their own head up and you can saddle them on your hip, carrying them becomes much easier.
(I dropped mine trying to transfer him from nursing in bed to his co-sleeper so being athletic or not had nothing to do with it)
Also, if you hire someone else you can't guarantee that they won't drop them. You can't guarantee anything unless you are willing and able to be the sole caregiver 24/7/365.
Trust me when I tell you that over the life of your child you have far, far bigger things to worry about. But if you spend lots of time doing so you'll go crazy.

Sibley

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2022, 07:54:00 AM »
Also, I dropped my second when he was a baby. No lie. He bounced and was fine. Didn't even cry. It can happen to anybody.

I think this is what I'm most worried about. Anybody could drop her. But I think the likelihood only goes up with age and other factors. My wife and I are young and athletic, we might have a 1% chance of dropping her.  My mom is older, but decently athletic and coordinated for her age, she might have a 3% chance of dropping her.  My MIL is older still and doesn't seem as coordinated or athletic and might have a 10% chance of dropping her. So while anyone could drop her, and nobody probably will, it doesn't seem worth it to take the risk unless necessary.  Just like my MIL falling in winter could happen to anyone, I think its less likely for me.  I haven't fallen outside in 20 yrs and that was playing hockey as a kid.  And if I did fall, I have more confidence in myself that I could contort my body to protect her.

You're overly worried about this. In a few months she will naturally lean into you and hold on. They are only "floppy" for a short period of time, they are also fairly light then. Once they can hold their own head up and you can saddle them on your hip, carrying them becomes much easier.
(I dropped mine trying to transfer him from nursing in bed to his co-sleeper so being athletic or not had nothing to do with it)
Also, if you hire someone else you can't guarantee that they won't drop them. You can't guarantee anything unless you are willing and able to be the sole caregiver 24/7/365.
Trust me when I tell you that over the life of your child you have far, far bigger things to worry about. But if you spend lots of time doing so you'll go crazy.

Also, by the time they lean into you, it's not far off that they're leaning AWAY from you. And launching off from you.

RetiredAt63

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2022, 02:13:35 PM »
Also, I dropped my second when he was a baby. No lie. He bounced and was fine. Didn't even cry. It can happen to anybody.

I think this is what I'm most worried about. Anybody could drop her. But I think the likelihood only goes up with age and other factors. My wife and I are young and athletic, we might have a 1% chance of dropping her.  My mom is older, but decently athletic and coordinated for her age, she might have a 3% chance of dropping her.  My MIL is older still and doesn't seem as coordinated or athletic and might have a 10% chance of dropping her. So while anyone could drop her, and nobody probably will, it doesn't seem worth it to take the risk unless necessary.  Just like my MIL falling in winter could happen to anyone, I think its less likely for me.  I haven't fallen outside in 20 yrs and that was playing hockey as a kid.  And if I did fall, I have more confidence in myself that I could contort my body to protect her.

You're overly worried about this. In a few months she will naturally lean into you and hold on. They are only "floppy" for a short period of time, they are also fairly light then. Once they can hold their own head up and you can saddle them on your hip, carrying them becomes much easier.
(I dropped mine trying to transfer him from nursing in bed to his co-sleeper so being athletic or not had nothing to do with it)
Also, if you hire someone else you can't guarantee that they won't drop them. You can't guarantee anything unless you are willing and able to be the sole caregiver 24/7/365.
Trust me when I tell you that over the life of your child you have far, far bigger things to worry about. But if you spend lots of time doing so you'll go crazy.

Also, by the time they lean into you, it's not far off that they're leaning AWAY from you. And launching off from you.

And then the years of bruises start, as they consistently develop new physical skills.  I'm amazed DD never broke anything (except her thumb, and that was not her fault).

SimpleCycle

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2022, 02:54:46 PM »
My mother watches our kids and did when they were babies as well.  She's 73 and has my 2 year old niece 2-3 days a week.  So I don't think it's an age thing.  But my MIL is very anxious and a little frail and she does not take care of the children because she claims she was unable to lift them as babies (even though she lifts her 27 lb dog but that's a story for another day) and honestly was too anxious to watch them.  They don't need to be lifted at all now and she still doesn't watch them, and we're all pretty much okay with that.

I think it's pretty important that you figure out how to let your MIL take care of the baby.  It's important to your wife, it's important to your MIL, and it gets you some time away from the baby together which is good for all of you.  I would probably spend time all together, watch her with the baby and teach her how to do stuff until you are comfortable, and then keep outings relatively short at first.  My mother was way behind the times at first and now is fully sufficient in taking care of any of the kids, so it definitely can be learned.

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2022, 04:03:59 PM »
Quote
I guess my main concern is the baby being dropped on accident.  And I don't really know how you test this.

Get your MIL to help you unload the car one day. Hand her a 5kg bag of potatoes, and see if they get to to kitchen counter without incident.

If you want to spice it up, call her on her phone while she's halfway there.

wageslave23

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2022, 06:52:10 AM »
Quote
I guess my main concern is the baby being dropped on accident.  And I don't really know how you test this.

Get your MIL to help you unload the car one day. Hand her a 5kg bag of potatoes, and see if they get to to kitchen counter without incident.

If you want to spice it up, call her on her phone while she's halfway there.

Lol.  I'm picturing throwing marbles on the floor unexpectedly when she's walking to the bathroom. Or maybe have her carry around a 10lb watermelon everywhere she goes for a day.

wageslave23

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2022, 07:02:42 AM »
My mother watches our kids and did when they were babies as well.  She's 73 and has my 2 year old niece 2-3 days a week.  So I don't think it's an age thing.  But my MIL is very anxious and a little frail and she does not take care of the children because she claims she was unable to lift them as babies (even though she lifts her 27 lb dog but that's a story for another day) and honestly was too anxious to watch them.  They don't need to be lifted at all now and she still doesn't watch them, and we're all pretty much okay with that.

I think it's pretty important that you figure out how to let your MIL take care of the baby.  It's important to your wife, it's important to your MIL, and it gets you some time away from the baby together which is good for all of you.  I would probably spend time all together, watch her with the baby and teach her how to do stuff until you are comfortable, and then keep outings relatively short at first.  My mother was way behind the times at first and now is fully sufficient in taking care of any of the kids, so it definitely can be learned.

We aren't really going anywhere because of covid and how young she is right now anyway.  My wife still has another 6 weeks of maternity leave and then goes back to work two days a week and I work from home so babysitting isn't really necessary.  We've been out of the house twice without our daughter and even those two outings weren't necessary and we debated going.  My mom watched her.  So I think thats my biggest disagreement with my wife, to me there is no need to push it, her mom can come visit and spend just as much time with our dauther as my mom.  Maybe for women, watching a child is better than spending time with them?  To me its all the same from a quality time perspective. 

I think we have reached a compromise.  My mom will watch our daughter for the very few times we need someone to watch her over the next couple months.  Then once our daughter is a little less fragile, her mom can watch her anytime she wants.  We'll probably start doing more things out of the house by then too, so it should work out naturally.

Captain FIRE

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2022, 07:42:08 AM »
We aren't really going anywhere because of covid and how young she is right now anyway.  My wife still has another 6 weeks of maternity leave and then goes back to work two days a week and I work from home so babysitting isn't really necessary.  We've been out of the house twice without our daughter and even those two outings weren't necessary and we debated going.  My mom watched her.  So I think thats my biggest disagreement with my wife, to me there is no need to push it, her mom can come visit and spend just as much time with our dauther as my mom.  Maybe for women, watching a child is better than spending time with them?  To me its all the same from a quality time perspective. 

I think we have reached a compromise.  My mom will watch our daughter for the very few times we need someone to watch her over the next couple months.  Then once our daughter is a little less fragile, her mom can watch her anytime she wants.  We'll probably start doing more things out of the house by then too, so it should work out naturally.

There is a difference between watching a child alone (without a hovering parent anxious to catch you out doing something wrong...) and being a part of group around the child.  I don't think it needs to be chalked up to a gender difference though.

Just realized there may be another issue here.  If one grandparent has different access than another, that can cause Feelings (turmoil, frustration, sadness, jealousy, feeling untrusted, etc.).

wageslave23

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2022, 01:02:25 PM »
We aren't really going anywhere because of covid and how young she is right now anyway.  My wife still has another 6 weeks of maternity leave and then goes back to work two days a week and I work from home so babysitting isn't really necessary.  We've been out of the house twice without our daughter and even those two outings weren't necessary and we debated going.  My mom watched her.  So I think thats my biggest disagreement with my wife, to me there is no need to push it, her mom can come visit and spend just as much time with our dauther as my mom.  Maybe for women, watching a child is better than spending time with them?  To me its all the same from a quality time perspective. 

I think we have reached a compromise.  My mom will watch our daughter for the very few times we need someone to watch her over the next couple months.  Then once our daughter is a little less fragile, her mom can watch her anytime she wants.  We'll probably start doing more things out of the house by then too, so it should work out naturally.

There is a difference between watching a child alone (without a hovering parent anxious to catch you out doing something wrong...) and being a part of group around the child.  I don't think it needs to be chalked up to a gender difference though.

Just realized there may be another issue here.  If one grandparent has different access than another, that can cause Feelings (turmoil, frustration, sadness, jealousy, feeling untrusted, etc.).

Her mom doesn't know that my mom watched our daughter.  And if I thought it was risky or my wife thought it was risky to let my mom watch our daughter, then I would not let my mom watch her either. I'm not too worried about people's feelings when safety is the issue.

But you are right, it might not be a gender thing. I should say that I personally don't see the difference between babysitting and spending time with a baby with their parents around. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2022, 01:54:01 PM »
The difference is the level of responsibility.

Paper Chaser

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Re: How old is too old to watch a newborn?
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2022, 02:51:05 PM »
Letting a person watch your kid shows a lot more trust in them than a simple visit. It also lets the person watching actually feel like they're helping instead of imposing on your time/space with kiddo. It's the difference between being a valued part of your team vs a spectator.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2022, 05:35:33 PM by Paper Chaser »