"I don't trust the grandparents to look after my son."

My son is just four months old and his grandparents are practically breaking into our home to babysit him.

They’ve been begging since he was born. First, it was the polite offer to give me a break. Then it turned into questions about when did hubby and I need a date night. It’s now become an issue.

At first, I said he was too little to be away from Mum (me). Kind of a lie – I have no issue leaving him. In fact, I’ve had friends come babysit him for a couple of hours while hubby and I have gone on a date night.

Then, I used the excuse that breastfeeding made it hard. Total lie.

I have used every reason I can think of to say why they can’t babysit him just yet. But here’s the truth.

I don’t trust them.

"I don't trust them to look after my precious little boy safely." Image via iStock.

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I don't trust them to look after my precious little boy safely.

In my opinion, there is a big generational difference in looking after babies.

Back in my parent's baby days, they would sleep babies on their stomachs or sides. They would prop their little heads on pillows and wrap them with loose blankets that went over their heads to keep them warm.

They would pop their dummy in a little brandy to get them to sleep through the night and stop crying.

They would give them water thinking the baby was thirsty.

They would chug beer to increase their breast milk supply.

We now know all of the above isn't good for babies. We know pillows and loose blankets increase the risk of SIDS. So does sleeping on their tummy and side. We know that filling a baby's tummy with water instead of milk only leads to calorie loss for them and can impact their weight gain.

I don't expect my parents to know the latest in newborn research. That's my job. The problem is, they refuse to believe that their way is no longer the right way.


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I have tried to gently speak to them about it. I understand that when they were first-time parents, that was the information they were given. I know they were just doing what the information around them said (just like I'm doing now).

But when I let them know that babies shouldn't be put to sleep on their tummies, they tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about. After all, they raised four kids, they know far more about parenting than me.

"They tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about. After all, they raised four kids, they know far more about parenting than me." Image via iStock.

They have also said they know more about parenting than any "parenting expert" (usually when I try to explain to them what medical experts have found).

So, I'm at a loss on what to do.

Like I said, I don't mind leaving my son with others. The couple of times that my friends have looked after my little boy, they've followed my instructions (and those instructions are basic: this is how to warm up the expressed breast milk, this is how to wrap him, this is how to put him in his cot).

But I fear that my parents will just do whatever they think is best (even if I ask them to do things the way I do it). I fear they will put him to sleep on his stomach and something terrible will happen. I worry that they will dip the dummy in some alcohol if he is unsettled and crying while they look after him. I'm worried they will use it as an opportunity to prove to me they know what's best for my son.

I would love to give my parents the opportunity to babysit my boy. I know they would love it and it would mean the world to them. But I also don't want to put my son at risk.

What would you do if you were in this situation? Do you have any advice to offer?

The author has requested to remain anonymous.