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The Internet Debates How Often Grandparents Need to See Baby to Bond

Dive into the complex dance of love and boundaries in grandparent relationships and hear what people from across the world had to say.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published January 5, 2024
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Image: Monkey Business Images | Shutterstock

Having grandparents nearby can be a blessing for new parents, providing a built-in support system. However, what happens when the closeness becomes a little too close for comfort?

A recent Reddit post in the now-deleted r/Mommit subreddit brought this dilemma to the forefront, sparking a conversation about how often grandparents should see a new baby and the importance of setting boundaries.

The original poster (OP), a mother of a 2.5-month-old baby, voiced her concerns, asking the community, “Is once a week enough for MIL to see a 2.5-month-old baby?” She elaborated on her situation, expressing discomfort with her mother-in-law’s desire to pop in whenever she pleased.

The OP detailed her mother-in-law’s perspective, sharing, “She says things like the baby ‘isn’t going to know her nana’ and she’s ‘missing important things’ like when the baby babbles because she doesn’t see the baby enough.” This difference in expectations led to a clash of boundaries, with the mother-in-law insisting on unrestricted access while the new mom sought some breathing room.

Redditors rallied behind the OP, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a balance between family involvement and personal space. One top commenter warned against giving free rein to grandparents, cautioning, “Once a week is plenty. Do not give her free rein to come over whenever she wants. You will be miserable.”

Another commenter echoed this sentiment, stating, “Agreed! Honestly, once a week seems very generous to me, given the circumstances.” The consensus was clear – the majority believed that weekly visits were more than sufficient, if not already quite generous.

The post shed light on the common struggle faced by new parents in managing grandparent expectations. Many weighed in, sharing their experiences and offering advice. “You don’t have to ‘allow’ her any time,” one user advised. “She has no say over your child. If she wants to see her grandkid, she can be nicer to you.”

While Reddit discussions provide valuable perspectives, experts emphasize the importance of respectful communication when establishing boundaries. Empathy towards grandparents is crucial, but new parents have the right to set limits that align with their comfort levels.

As the conversation continues, it’s evident that finding the right balance between involving grandparents and maintaining personal space is essential for the well-being of everyone involved. Setting clear and respectful boundaries is key to fostering a healthy dynamic between new parents and grandparents.

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