Posted in Child's Health, Family Life, In-Laws

Seriously, what is it with grandparents who force babies to eat crap and skip sleep?


We’re staying with my 16 month old’s grandparents for the holidays, three and a half weeks. I already wanted to take my kid and leave by Day 5. For weeks I’ve told the grandparents what is safe or healthy to feed my son at his age. I’ve told them what he needs, how much sleep, why he needs this, etc. I find myself repeating this daily. I’ve also demonstrated the right things to do over and over again. I’ve told them what my son’s doctor ordered. They said they understand to all of this, but turn right around and do the opposite. Since we’ve gotten here, my son has eaten veggies once. They’ve fed him cheesecake, cookies, deep fried foods, candies, chocolate. Every. Waking. Moment. Compare this to home where he eats healthy, well rounded meals with no added sugar or salt, three times a day and two snacks a day. With the grandparents they basically force feed him any time he’s awake, and I wish I were exaggerating. If he’s awake, they assume, he must be hungry. If he’s fussing, he must be hungry. If he’s crying, he must be hungry. They use food as the solution to everything, and then they make him eat crap until he either quits fighting it or he melts down. Their excuse for feeding him junk food is “just this once” yet they say it at every instance. They say “its just so sad” that he’s not eating these things. Just now I had enough and took him away from the table because, quite literally, they brought home pizza and “it’s just so sad” that a 16 month old with just 6 baby teeth in his head is not chowing down on doughy, gooey, over salted Domino’s pizza and bread sticks with the grown ups. If I didn’t take my son from the table for the pizza, it’s for sleep deprivation. He was due for a nap and is already spacing out. They say to keep him playing with us. My son already has problems going to sleep even when tired. They still want him awake whenever they are. My son - repeating again that he’s 16 months old - has been kept up past 2am, 11:50pm, and so on, and he’s lucky if he gets one nap per day since we’ve arrived. Usually cheerful and easy, he is getting chronically cranky, and the grandparents have the nerve to complain and ask why he’s so grumpy. I get that it’s the holidays, and grandparents love to spoil their grandchildren, but if they really loved him, wouldn’t they give him what he needs instead of this? Even as an adult I don’t see how the junk food and sleep deprivation would be in anyone’s best interest.

  • Anonymous
    Dec 26, 2019

    Since you're staying with your in-laws, has your partner said anything or tried to intervene?

  • C
    Dec 26, 2019

    He’s not much help. One time, during one of these feeding sessions, he said, “You sure you’re not overfeeding him?” Beyond questioning, nothing else.

  • anonymous mom
    Jan 09

    I would have my husband talk to them but would ultimately let everything slide with the exception being anything that would compromise my child’s safety. I find that my in laws annoy the crap out of me and things they do make me way angrier than when my own family does it. For this reason alone I just try to keep my nit picking to a minimum. It’s only 3.5 weeks of the rest of your child’s life. If they miss a nap and crash out early or if they eat pie every day for breakfast, then so be the end they’re being loved and taken care of. The only time I put my foot down is when someone does something blatantly stupid. Like when my mil once handed my 12 month old a whole grilled hot dog and told her to eat it. Um, no. Cut it up into quarters!! Or when my SMIL tried to stick a jolly rancher into my 3 month olds mouth. How dumb can you be!?! But when the same relatives give her cake before dinner...meh. I only see them a couple times a year, it’s okay. I’ll let it go. But that’s just me. :)