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“My SIL Told Me to Let My 6-Week-Old Breastfed Baby Go Hungry Until She Accepts the Bottle!”

No matter how you choose to feed your baby, someone will think you are doing it wrong or that they know better! As any new mother will tell you, being the recipient of unsolicited advice can be annoying at best and knock your confidence and cause you to second guess yourself at worst. One new mum has taken to a popular Reddit forum for advice after her brother’s wife took it upon herself to tell her that she was feeding her six-week-old baby all wrong. Whether the sister-in-law’s odd advice was well-intentioned or not, the interaction quickly devolved into a slanging match as the two women traded insults, with the SIL asserting that as she was older and had kids, she knew better. But did she?

I (f19) had a baby girl six weeks ago. My fiancé and I decided to take some time off by ourselves to bond with our baby by ourselves and also so I could heal a little. Neither of our families have met our baby yet, so we decided to let them meet her this week.

Our parents and my two older brothers came. One of them is married, his wife (f32) and him have two kids (5 and 2)

So I admit that especially the first week was super hard, I found it particularly hard to find a comfortable position to nurse, my baby wouldn’t latch correctly, it hurt… You name it. But now I got better at it, my fiancé and I are trying to teach our baby to take the bottle (just in case) but so far she hasn’t shown any interest in it, she starts crying and refuses to nurse with a bottle, so I’m exclusively breastfeeding her

Well, all of this to say that when our families visited us, my sister in law started being very annoying about it. she kept telling me that the way I was holding my baby was wrong, the way I was laying her was wrong, that she shouldn’t latch like that. All kinds of stuff which started adding up and I was very annoyed at her during the visit. She asked me about pumping and if I’ve tried, I said that I have to pump sometimes, but that usually either we drink the milk (which btw she said it was nasty) or that I would throw it to the sink since my baby doesn’t want to feed if it’s not from my breast.

She told me that is because I’m doing it wrong, she said I have to pump and force my baby to drink it by not giving in. Basically let her be hungry until she uses the bottle. She said that she did that for her kids and that a bottle was best because my breasts will look bad afterwards if I let my baby breastfeed all the time.


I told her that I won’t do that since I won’t let my baby go hungry. She said that she’s helping since I know “nothing” and I very clearly need the help because I’m a child with a child. Well, she had been annoying me all day and I snapped at her, I told her who does she think she is? And that she’s not a better mom just because she’s older than me, that in fact I think she’s worse since she admitted to letting the kids go hungry.

We got into an argument because she was very offended by what I said. Everyone was trying to calm us down, but then she said that my brother was right and that I was a spoiled brat who thinks I know better than anyone else. I was kind of shocked because that means that my brother is talking behind my back. So I got even more upset and I told her that both of them are bitter sad people, my fiancé then kicked them out.

I’ve got some time to calm down now, so I’m wondering if I went too far. Maybe I should’ve said thanks to her “advice” and let it go, perhaps my hormones and the lack of proper sleep is getting to me and what I did was wrong, so I’m doing this post to hear some opinions, I’d rather talk about this with not biased people.

Commenters were rightly horrified at the SIL’s suggestion that the new mum let her baby go hungry until she has no choice other than to accept the bottle.

I just weaned my almost 3 year old. Your SIL is an idiot. I fed on demand because that’s what she needed. Cluster feeding sucks so so much. It’s probably one of the most soul sucking times…because you feel like there’s absolutely no break whatsoever. My oldest is almost 16, and I have NEVER heard of making a newborn wait until they’re hungry enough for a bottle. That is the most dangerous and stupid thing I have ever heard.

You’re doing great, don’t ever let what she said get to you. You know your baby best, and you’re doing everything right. Good luck! (blueeyedmama26)


45 year old father of two. My wife exclusively breast fed our children (she could shoot milk across the room from her boobs, I was very impressed).

Your SIL is wrong, disrespectful and rude. Every family raises their children in their own way. She has no right to dictate to you how you raise your child. And at 19, you are a fully grown adult.

Well done to your partner for booting them out. They deserved it. (Peramelidae)


NTA. Actually, you are doing nothing wrong and what you told her is right. She was actually wrong with everything she told you. You don’t force your baby by letting them go hungry. Your breasts will be fine! I have to think she is probably jealous. I would reach out to your brother if it’s bothering you, and talk to him. Also tell him if they visit, NO ADVICE! You sound like you’re on top of things and doing a great job. Don’t ever let anyone talk to you like that again, that wasn’t advice, that was insults veiled as advice. Congratulations on your baby!!! (Less_Ordinary_8516)

Some people were disgusted that the SIL cared more about her own appearance than her own child.

NTA, and don’t take advice from a “mother” that cares more about the looks of her breasts than the well-being of the child. (9and3of4)

However, not everyone believed that the new mum was faultless in the exchange, and that the SIL was merely passing on what she had been taught herself.

It sounds like your SIL was condescending and pretending to be a parenting expert stating her experience as objective truth. You’re a young mum, and I can imagine this wasn’t the first time you’ve been patronised.

I will say that I don’t think she’s a child abuser. There are many, many people, including health professionals, who still advocate for feeding babies on a schedule and to ignore hunger cues and cries. Who think that breastfeeding on demand is “spoiling” the baby. So your SIL’s attitude is likely due to misinformation and bad advice she was given herself.

I agree with your sentiment and it’s not something I’d ever do myself…. but letting a baby go hungry for a bit is not going to be the end of the world and I’m sure she didn’t actually starve her children, did she? You called her a child abuser. How well did you think that would go down? And with what you know about her, do you actually think she’s abusive to her kids?

You know how protective you feel of your baby? She does of her kids as well. So accusing her of abusing them… went down as well as expected. I’m not excusing what she said, but she reacted emotionally, just as you did when you realised your brother had said unkind things about you behind your back and you called them sad and bitter.

I don’t blame you, she sounds overbearing and patronising and you’re still recovering from birth and having hormones all over the place, sleep deprivation etc. But I can also tell you that you’ll need to develop a thicker skin. Absolutely EVERYONE will be giving you advice and so many people will think you do things wrong. Welcome to motherhood! (EffortAutomatic8804)


What do you think? Did you ever receive any unsolicited advice about feeding your child? How did you deal with it?

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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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