Hey, Bees! I'm so curious what everyone's experience is on this. Did your parents or in-laws make their own complete nursery with crib, changing table, etc. etc. in their own home?
I ask because:
My MIL said we don't have to worry about bringing our pack-and-play come the holidays (we will visit for a weekend) because she's converting her daughter's room into a full nursery for our baby. Her daughter lives in town and stays over regularly; this is her childhood bedroom. Apparently SIL wasn't thrilled to hear she was losing her room; I don't blame her! We'd assumed we would put our pack-and-play in our room with us (DH's childhood room). We live 8 hours away and only stay at their house twice a year for weekend lengths. DH's grandparents didn't have a room for him at their house and my grandparents didn't either when we were kids, so we were surprised by this.
If I'm being honest, I felt a little weirded out, but I'm not sure if this is because it's so different from my own childhood or maybe I'm being a first-time mama and hormonal! My first thought was that SIL is not having kids (the room will solely belong to our kid) and MIL isn't going to be babysitting for us every day because we live far away, so this felt excessive. (Buying a crib to be used so briefly?!) Oddly, I had the thought, "It's like she thinks it's *her* baby."
I'm so curious what you Bees have experienced!
nectarine / 2641 posts
My parents did, but they live in town and my are regular childcare and take my kids overnight about once a month for date nights. And even then, it definitely wasn't a full nursery--just a pack and play and now bunk beds, with a few supplies (diapers, wipes, etc.) In your situation, it would totally weird me out, too!
pear / 1565 posts
It seems a little excessive to me too, to make a complete nursery when you only visit once in a while. Plus baby's needs will change so fast, so they will keep changing their gear to match??
We are at my parent's house frequently and only have toys we left there. We've never stayed over and my kids have had to take naps but just slept on their beds (same with in-laws). I feel like with my relationship with my in-laws, I'd strongly advise them NOT to. They probably feel bad they live so far away and want to do something nice for you; can you suggest gear you would like them to have for convenience instead? Like PnP, stroller, toys, highchair, etc?
grapefruit / 4043 posts
I know a few grandparents who have full nursery's at their houses - full cribs/beds with wooden cutouts with names hanging over them. My initial reaction is that I am so very jealous. I wish I had someone in my family willing to watch my kids so much that they set up a room for them. Our families watch my two girls, but its always a bit of a hassle, one way or another. So I wish someone would take them over night. What a dream! At the same time, I wish it was my own mom who would do that. I would be less thrilled if it was my MIL. But, despite the status of my relationship with my MIL, I would still be happy to have the help. I would retain control over how much I sent my kids over to my MILs house. So just because she set up the room, its not like my kids will be living over there. It would be like one night a month for a date night. And I'd be over prompt in the morning (after I slept in... what a dream) to get them. My own mom, I'd be happy for her to have my kids for an entire weekend! One can dream..
pomegranate / 3438 posts
My mom has a room set up for my boys, complete with bunk beds and a toy box. But they spend a week there every few months so it made sense.
Maybe you could suggest they invest in a pack n play and some other items that would be helpful while you are there instead?
nectarine / 2010 posts
My mom and stepdad didn't do a full nursery but they did buy a fair amount. We would visit at least 10 times a year for 4-12 days at a time. They started with a pack n' play but then found a very simple crib at a consignment store and switched to that with an inexpensive mattress. It was just tucked into a corner of their guest room. They also had a keekaroo changing pad (so they could put it away when we weren't there), a collapsible jumperoo, a highchair, cups/utensils/plates/bowls, and a variety of toys. It was so wonderful to have so many things there when we would visit BUT we knew we would be going a lot and my mom talked with me about each purchase.
If my in laws had purchased as much it probably would have weirded me out though. It's just not the type of relationship we have with them.
apricot / 444 posts
Seems excessive . But it’s probably just her way of getting excited to be a grand parent. I wouldn’t read too much into it. Let her be excited. If she was forcing you to use it when baby was still young and you wanted to room-in, then say something. Otherwise just let it go. Think about how fun it is for your to prepare for the baby. She probably just wants to “relive” those baby days a bit. If it’s not hurting anyone (except maybe your SIL ) then I wouldn’t think much of it.
persimmon / 1427 posts
My parents made a mini nursery in the corner of a spare room at their house when I was pregnant with LO1 (proper crib, a bit of storage, nursery themed art, etc). They have our kids sleep over every month or so and keep our kids overnight for a few days every year or so. It makes sense for us (and makes it so much easier to go to their house).
My parents also have a ton of books and toys from my childhood and the crib is now a toddler bed for my niece.
However, I don’t understand why your in-laws are creating a full nursery for you when you live so far away and won’t be visiting regularly.
wonderful cherry / 21504 posts
Yeah that seems excessive but I guess like @annem1990: she’s probably just super excited. Can you try to steer her towards things that will be useful long term- like don’t buy a fancy big crib, but a good pack and play that can room in with you as a tiny baby and go in a separate room later? And having a high chair there would be super convenient when you visit, but she could get one that converts to a booster too. That kind of stuff. But it doesn’t make sense for your SIL to have noplace to sleep so your baby can sleep there once or twice a year for two years then need a bed anyway.
When my sister lived in NYC when my nephew was a baby, she had to bring everything on the train when she visited- like she lugged her convertible car seat on the train. It would have been nice if they bought some more stuff, but not a full blown nursery.
persimmon / 1365 posts
I voted "other." They don't have an actual room converted to a nursery, but they are fully stocked. They have a pack n play, exersaucer, playmat, swing, changing area, diapers, wipes, a variety of baby and toddler/prek toys, sippy cups, etc.
We spend a fair amount of time at my in laws though (they live about 30 minutes away) and we see them sometimes multiple times a week. They also watch our kids overnight and my SIL comes into town about every other month and has a one year old. My other SIL doesn't have kids yet but it planning on multiple. Also, most of their stuff is hand me downs or consignment or I send toy overflow to their house. It's really nice for us because I can basically go there for the day and don't really have to haul anything BUT our kids. Your situation sounds different and seems a bit excessive to me. Do you think your MIL is hoping you'll be visiting more often? She might just be excited though, especially if this is her first grandchild. I understand why your SIL would be mad though!
grapefruit / 4361 posts
Both sets of grandparents went overboard in buying baby stuff for their house, which felt off-putting to me, but really they were just excited and it felt productive to them. My MIL turned one room into a child-friendly room but I wouldn't call it a nursery - it had toys and books and a bed. My mom lives across the country and her guest rooms are just the standard guest rooms, but when we come to visit yearly, she sets up all the baby stuff (including a pack-n-play, but then again, we fly).
apricot / 444 posts
@Foodnerd81: Agreed. If MIL asks for suggestions, give helpful ones that you think would really be used. But it’s also her house. If she wants to buy an expensive crib or something you don’t think will ever get used, oh well! It’s not your job to tell her what to put in her own home. If she’s not open to your input, you just have to let it go.
apricot / 444 posts
Also, people spend tons of $$ on rooms that may rarely be used (formal living rooms, dining rooms, multiple guest rooms, etc). Sometimes it just about the fun of decorating and making your home feel the way you want.
persimmon / 1129 posts
My MIL made a nursery at her house for us, complete with a crib, changing pad, and a comfortable chair. We aren’t there a ton, but it is nice to have everything available. We also bought her a small high chair, and it’s nice to not have to worry about bringing the basics with us. Edited to add that she got the crib for free from a friend of hers, and she already owned the chair, so she didn’t go crazy spending money.
My parents have a pack and play permanently set up in their guest room, and they own a high chair as well. Mine also have car seats and strollers, but we live close enough to them that I’ll sometimes just go over for the day. Both sets of parents also have kids cups, plates, silverware, bath towels, toys, etc. I have to say that it’s SO nice!
It does seem excessive to set up an entire nursery when you aren’t there much at all, but my guess is she is just super excited.
wonderful pea / 17279 posts
Your MIL sounds like she is thrilled to have a grandbaby. Her enthusiasm is showing even if it’s a little weird since the nursery won’t be used much. My mom had a grandma shower. I had to put my foot down when she kept referring to LO as her baby though!
nectarine / 2180 posts
My parents have used the same crib and high chair for all 4 of their grandkids and just keep them stored when not in use. They have not set up an actual nursery. My MIL borrowed a few things from her niece who had a baby a few years ago but not a pack n play/crib so we do still travel with that and we see her once a month or so.
pomelo / 5563 posts
I voted other, because my parents did buy a secondhand crib that we’ve used with both kids - they’re about four hours away and we visit probably four or five times a year for a few nights at a time. I definitely appreciate it, because it feels like a more comfortable bed and it means we don’t have to pack as much. They’ve also bought some toys and stuff at garage sales. It’s nice for the kids to have some things they’re not used to when they visit.
Oh, and my mom has her own high chair from when she was a baby, which her father actually made, and she insisted it was safe and I spent every meal petrified that it was going to collapse in a pile of kindling. I was pretty happy when the boys got too big for it.
persimmon / 1111 posts
My m bought a pack n play, car seat, high chair, learning tower,play house, and a toy chest full of toys. I judge,but it's a good compromise because her first choice would be to buy everything for our house.
My MIL bought a new crib for her first grandchild. The only one to have ever used it was #11 about 16 years later for a nap. She also has a fair number of toys she's saved and a high chair. And car seats in her van.
Honestly, I'd say to skip the crib and ask for her to get a car seat, especially if you fly.
honeydew / 7463 posts
My MIL did. I thought it was super bizarre. But she used all hand-me-down stuff from a family friend (who we know). So it was sort of like she was offered the stuff, she figured why not, so she did it.
They live 1.5 hours away. I think she also thought our kid(s) would be staying there way more than they do. Meanwhile our first son didn’t stay there overnight until he was like 3! And not in a crib anymore.
She ended up having a 2nd grandson (my BILs) and she does watch him regularly in her home so it ended up getting a lot of use. And now I figure that if we’re there for a holiday our 2nd baby can nap there. But he’s 13 months and that has yet to happen.
So. I agree it’s weird. And especially weird that you’re 8 hours away. I would have DH tell her it’s totally unnecessary because of how infrequently you visit. And her daughter still uses it. And youre more than happy to roomshare when you do visit (and in fact prefer it, say it like that).
pineapple / 12566 posts
My MIL did, but she watched one of my nephews (same age as my DS) at least twice a week when he was a baby, and then his little brother, so it wasn’t weird. We actually moved in with them for 9 months when my DS was just over a year old, so it was nice that she already had everything. Maybe it’s a little strange since you don’t see her often, but I wouldn’t overthink it too much, she’s probably just excited to have a grand baby.
persimmon / 1005 posts
I think it is a little weird since you live far away and won't be there often. It would be less odd if they were going to be babysitting a lot or something.
persimmon / 1467 posts
In-laws are close by (one hour away) and they got a packnplay, high chair, plastic dishes, toys, etc which changed as the kids have aged.
What I don't get is they live in a 4 bedroom house, none of the kids live at home anymore but we all visit and DS has stayed over for the weekend several times, and every time he just stays in their room... Not one of the 3 other rooms! I kind of wish they had turned one of the other rooms into a "kid" room but maybe someday.
I think a full nursery is overboard, but probably will turn into a full kids room which is awesome.
nectarine / 2433 posts
MILs plans are a little much but as I like to say, it's kind of a "positive problem" babies bring such joy to families, something i didn't understand til I had babies myself.
nectarine / 2964 posts
In a strange way I feel sorry for your MIL... She probably is expecting her world will change completely and she will see the baby a lot... and she is going to be so sad when the crib will be used once (or twice). Babies grow up so quickly, they won't be sleeping in a crib that long. But yes, I am with you, I'd feel weird too.
In a way it'd make more sense if she creates a kid's room... that would last at least 10 years.... a nursery lasts ... hmm... 1 year.
I do have to say, while my mom or my ILs didn't get a full nursery, they did buy things that makes absolutely no sense when you think logically. My FIL bought a tricycle when we visited years ago. DS was too young for it. ILs are in a different country and 4 hours of plane ride from us, we are not in a good relationship (he can not make it more obvious that I am not a part of the family amongst other things), so we visit them very very rarely. Ended up I don't even think DS ever used the tricycle. It is just their very intense love for your child shown physically - they don't know how else to express their love. I just have to remind myself that when DS have a family and have a baby I can't be doing that myself.
pomelo / 5257 posts
My parents set up my old drop side crib and what I think was my dad's playpen/death trap (with metal springs for entertainment). They've had the crib in my old room for 7 years now and it's probably been slept in a dozen nights between the four grandkids. My parents seem to love having it set up but new stuff doesn't sound so bad to me.
kiwi / 662 posts
Love reading all these responses, all! So interesting to hear all the different ways things work for people.
@Pollywog: DH was surprised that she hadn't opted for a car seat instead when I told him about this convo. They come to see us about four times a year (retired, way easier to travel all that way than it is for us with our jobs), so it makes a lot more sense for a car seat than a nursery.
@Foodnerd81: Yep, DH is concerned about the optics of kicking his sister out of her room when she is over there alllll the time vs us.
@SweetiePie: Hand-me-downs would make sense! One good result of this was me mentioning the convo to DH, who expressed how strongly he wants to room-in, something I didn't know before.
@irene: I feel this way too. Her enthusiasm is uber sweet and is better than the alternative! But it's been so over the top that I worry her expectations will never be met. It's a lot to put on a kid who hasn't even been born yet.
apricot / 430 posts
My ILs got a bunch of hand-me-down stuff (travel crib, pnp, high chair, toys) from a friend who had it for her grandkids, but she stopped short of setting up a nursery because she knew that the baby was sleeping in our room at home for the first 6-12 months.
FWIW, I think this is your MIL's excitement, and I think your SIL is getting the worst of it, haha! I might dissuade her from buying a crib and push for a convertible car seat so you don't have to lug that with you. Maybe a pnp because that's something you can take from room to room as needed. Emphasize that a crib takes up a lot of room but maybe suggest age appropriate toys or books. We have a library at our ILs and my parents' house so that DS has lots to read that seems new and exciting because he only sees those books twice a year - same with some of the toys.
ETA: We live a 3hr flight from both sets of grandparents. Bath toys are great and "grow with them", as is a non-slip bath mat for kiddos. The high chair got used a lot, especially since they have nicer furniture that I didn't want to scratch up with a booster or travel chair. The pnp got used until he was 18 mo, but DS is big, you might use it longer. The car seat is the biggest convenience, I love not having to fly with a car seat, even though I have to reinstall it for them every. single. time. I picked out this one, and it's light enough for them to lug around and fits well in their cars
pear / 1767 posts
I think it's sweet. Neither my parents nor my in-laws have an official room set up as a nursery but both sets have a high chair, crib, baby toys, baby feeding supplies, etc. It's so great not to have to lug stuff back and forth. I think it is sweet that she is already planning to take an active role as a grandparent. The crib my mom bought has already been used on at least 9 babies (my own, my sibling's, my cousin's, lent out to others, etc.).
nectarine / 2690 posts
I voted yes, but I really mean "sort of". My mom watched LO full time for us for the first year and a half and now 3 days a week, so she got a crib (hand me down from her coworker) and pack n play, but she just set it up beside the bed in the spare room, not in place of. She never got a changing table, she just changed her on the bed (with a towel beneath baby). I think doing a full nursery may be overkill, but I bet she's just excited for a grandbaby.
clementine / 918 posts
My MIL had a room for our nephews when they were little and she did the same thing in their new house for my boys. She started with a crib and changing table then added a toddler bed and 2 booster seats at the dining table. Honestly she keeps them a good bit and it makes it very nice when we go to visit that I don't have to bring as much with me.
My parents live farther away and we only go there 1-2 times a year but both have a booster seat/high chair, pack n plays and toys. My Dad even bought an extra car seat because he likes to drive my older LO around.
persimmon / 1483 posts
I have to say that at first I thought, whoa that's excessive and would throw me off a little, too. My parents live nearby, babysit overnight once a month or so, and never set up a full nursery. They did get a pack and play and, I think, a booster seat, but that was it in terms of big supplies. They have tons of toys, of course.
But then I thought about my MIL and how, even though we go and stay with her a few times a year (a 6 hour drive away), she made no effort to get anything for our son when he was little. We had to schlep the pack and play, high chair, toys, etc, in the car and it was such a pain. Plus it just really felt unwelcoming. So I would just try to be appreciative of your MIL's excitement, even if it seems unnecessary.
grapefruit / 4584 posts
I can understand why you feel overwhelmed by this - I think whether or not it's creepy depends on your MIL's personality. Mostly I think it's super sweet and well intended - it shows her excitement. And she's probably planning it as a "grandkids room" for all future grandkids. She may cool it when she realizes how expensive a project it is to fully outfit a nursery!
pomegranate / 3601 posts
Well my MIL didn't totally outfit the nursery but she bought a crib, changing pad, bathing tub and some other utensils. We didn't visit too much either. But it was fun for her and it was nice for us to not having to bring all that stuff when visiting.
Also I think it is just a way of showing how excited she is to start the next chapter of her life, which is being a grandparent.
Also it might be a great chance/reason to her to start a do-over of her house
cantaloupe / 6085 posts
I totally get your weird feelings about this even though I also think it’s well meaning. It’s funny your line about “like it’s her baby” because my MIL always does this thing when she holds a baby where she tucks them inward and walks out of the room and it always bugs me, like she is abducting my baby - 7+ years into parenting and still makes me feel weird! My MIL did not buy a ton for her own house because they have too much clutter to add anything, but she went crazy buying clothes and toys and such for a long time. It was her love language. It is definitely not mine, but it’s a good exercise in letting things go - my mom actually has way more gear but it doesn’t bother me because even though we only visit there 3 times a year, it all gets good use then (and most is picked up used).
pomelo / 5129 posts
I voted no. But MIL probably would have if I hadn't said "No thanks!" to her offer of two cribs from a coworker with twins who was moving. One for our house, one for hers!
I freaked out a bit about it. She lives like 30 minutes from us. I couldn't fathom why she thought our kid needed a bed at her house. Even if we were asking her to watch him for a night, I feel like little kids do so much better in their own house and when it's so close, why wouldn't she come to us?
He's over a year old now and I think DH has taken him to her house once. Otherwise, she's come to ours. And never overnight...so...
Hopefully your MIL is excited and reality will soon set in!
cantaloupe / 6171 posts
Neither my parents nor in-laws did this, but mil bought a pack and play, and my mom would always borrow one and borrow car seats from my brother in advance of our visit so we wouldn't need to bring it, and she bought an inflatable toddler bed...but not a whole room! also my parents and in-laws have downsized since we've had kids, so having a full kid-room in an apt when it's only used a couple times per year is an excessive use of space!
GOLD / eggplant / 11517 posts
My in-laws kept a lot of baby gear at their place, but it was usually some kind of hand me down thing from another family member. And they also kept LO for long stretches of time, 3 hours away, so it was needed.
I think a full, decorated nursery would be a little weird, especially considering the frequency of your visits.
nectarine / 2951 posts
No, but both sets of grandparents bought a crib so we wouldn’t have to lug ours every time.
persimmon / 1064 posts
@bhbee: omg my MIL does this too! Drives me insane. She even does it with our toddlers/preschooler and finally DH had to tell her to knock it off because she was taking them out of sight in busy public places 🙄 I think she does it because she doesn’t like to share any attention? She also doesn’t know how to play with kids besides showing them videos on her phone so she isolates herself with them.
Sorry. Sore subject
cantaloupe / 6085 posts
@bees_knees: haha been there ... my MIL is still bitter I think that she has to “share” DH with me ... I always think in my head she wants to get rid of me and take my place