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“I Won’t Let My Mother Babysit Because She Insists on Putting My Baby to Sleep on His Stomach”

One mum has taken to the internet for advice after her mother refused to put her first baby down to sleep on his back. Ignoring her daughter’s protests and up-to-date sleep safety guidelines she continued to put her grandbaby to sleep swaddled on his stomach. As a result the new mum had stopped asking her mum to babysit as she did not feel her baby was safe around his grandmother. However, now she is being made to feel like she’s an overprotective and overly anxious parent by her mother and father.

For those of you who have not parenting in a while, all doctors strongly recommend putting babies to sleep on their back, without pillows or blankets. This significantly lowers the chances of accidental suffocation / SIDS. In fact, the hospital made my husband and I sign a form stating that they had informed us of this fact.

When my older child was a baby, my mom would wrap him in blankets and put him face down EVERY time she watched him. I was in tears, begging her to be safe with him. She just said “all my kids lived” and told me that if I don’t trust her to watch the baby then don’t have her watch him. I eventually stopped having her watch him until he was much older.

Now I just had my second child and my mother offered to take the kids overnight to give us a break. I told her I would not be able to sleep knowing the baby is not safe, so I will just keep them at home. My mom is offended and angry. She is saying that I am ridiculous and being very mean to her when she is just trying to help. I told her she was very clear that my choices are either Iet her be unsafe with the baby or not have her watch them. I just can’t relax knowing my baby is not in a safe space, so what other choice do I have? My dad is on my moms side and is rolling his eyes and calling me overprotective, my husband is on my side and says there is no reason she can’t change her behavior to keep our children safe.

So, am I the asshole for not letting my mom watch the baby when I think she is being unsafe?

Commenters agreed with the woman’s decision to stop allowing her mother to babysit as the outdated practice of putting a baby to sleep on it’s stomach is dangerous.

NTA. You really can’t trust your children with people you can’t trust. Period. It is a pity, but there you have it. (FragrantEconomist386)


NTA- it’s not a difficult request to fulfill. I mean think about it. If you can’t breathe as an adult sleeping face down, you can readjust. But if you swaddle a baby, which is already way weaker than an adult, in that position, they’re stuck with less than ideal oxygen flow for the entire night.

She’s being stubborn to the point that she’s refusing to follow medical advice that makes a lot of logical sense. (lyrical_llama)

NTA. “All my kids lived!” Yes, but millions didn’t. Is she also going to avoid using a car seat? Is she against vaccinations, since kids used to live without them? (OkeyDokey654)

People pointed out that the woman’s mother was being stubborn and pig-headed and would rather be right than modify her behaviour.

NTA. Your mom is more concerned with the pride of doing it her way than with accepting your judgment as the parent of your own child. (RealTalkFastWalk)


Yeah, this. Mom is focused on being “respected” and “right” but willing to potentially sacrifice OP’s kid to prove it. It seems like it would actually be easier to just plop the kid down in their sleeper, on their back, with nothing else in the crib than it is to wrap them up and put them face down, covered by blankets. And it would be easier to give in to the parent than choose this hill to die on but since Mom has shown that she will show OP is wrong and mom knows best, even if she says she won’t do it, you just can’t be sure. (PokeyWeirdo12)

Other people shared similar stories of grandparents adopting unsafe practices around their children because its how they had brought up their own children.


NTA. I will not let my MiL watch my son unsupervised for the exact same reason. She was putting my 3-month old on the couch with cushions piled around him to sleep! When I told her that was not safe and he NEEDED to be in the bassinet, she made it a point to put him to sleep everywhere BUT the bassinet out of spite (car seat, bouncer seat propped on a pillow to make it flat…). (Reevadare1990)

Everyone agreed that the grandmother should respect her daughter’s parenting choices, and if she refused she should not be left alone with her grandchildren.

NTA. I have watched my grandson and when my DIL asks me to do something different than I normally would, I do it. It’s her child and I want her to trust me. Your kids are yours and if your mom can’t respect that you want her to do some things a certain way for safety, then you’re not going to let her watch them. That’s on her. (Odd_Yogurtclosest2891)

Have you ever had disagreements with the older generation about child safely or out-dated practices?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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