Worried About Family Around Your Baby This Holiday? Uses These Phrases to Respond to Tough Situations!

The holidays are a time of both joy and stress – particularly when it comes to visiting with extended family when you have a new baby. While most parents appreciate the love and affection extended family members may show to your baby, they also often stress about how to communicate what they need to happen for their baby in a way that keeps the peace and doesn't offend anyone.

While it’s not always possible to be clear about expectations without hurting other people's feelings (which is okay, because you’re not responsible for other people's feelings!), being clear, direct, and positive often yields the best results and avoids misunderstanding and uncomfortable situations down the line. If you’re looking for ways to respond to tough comments or to help your family understand you and your baby's needs, check out these phrases. They may help you say what you need to say!

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When relatives want to hold your baby but you know she’ll be uncomfortable, try saying:

“Like most babies, Aubrie prefers to be with the people she knows best, especially in new situations. I want to make sure she feels comfortable so I’m going to hold onto her right now. She loves silly faces, songs, and books though. Do you want to read to her?”

When relatives make negative comments about breastfeeding, try saying:

“This is what works for me and Giana. I’d prefer it if we dropped the topic of how my baby is fed.”

When relatives make negative comments about using formula, try saying:

“This is what works for me and Charlie. I’d prefer it if we dropped the topic of how my baby is fed.”

When relatives are using language you don’t approve of around your baby, try saying:

“I know Kiana is young, but it’s important to us that she be surrounded with positive words and emotions. Let’s focus on family-friendly topics until she naps.”

When relatives want to feed your baby something you don’t want them to have, try saying:

“It’s so exciting to give a baby new food, but we’re not giving Liam new foods over the holidays. Do you want to (give him his bottle/read him a story/feed him an approved food/show him his new toy)?”

When relatives compare your baby’s development to another baby, try saying:

“Isn't it wild how babies the same age can be at different places with different milestones and skills? It’s so true that all babies develop at their own pace.”

When relatives make negative comments about a parenting choice, try saying:

“We’ve put a lot of thought into the way we’re raising Camila, just like all parents, and we’ve decided this is what works for our family. Tell me more about (work/school/your family/your hobbies).”

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When relatives comment that they did something you’re not doing as a parent and their kids turned out fine, try saying:

“They sure did! Advice changes and all kids are different. We’re confident Amiya will turn out fine, too.”

What do you think?

Worried About Family Around Your Baby This Holiday? Uses These Phrases to Respond to Tough Situations!

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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