My wife and I have a 5 month old son, after a rocky start he's settled into an ok routine, especially for bed time (Baby massage, bath and bottle by 7/7:30). We have a problem when visiting my sister though. She has two girls, one 'hyperactive' 5 year old and a very clingy 16 month old.
When we visit with our son we find that he tends to.. break. He won't settle himself to sleep, he's horribly distracted at feed times and we have to fight to find time and space for him to have any kind of downtime - for naps, feeding or solo play etc. The last time we all met up we drove 3 hrs to meet up at a family fun day at a steam railway and didn't stop moving or being surrounded by noise for a good 8 hours.
The biggest problem comes at bed time. Our bedtime routine is all about calm and relaxation, with as many 'sleep-time' cues as possible. Bedtime at my sisters is chaos, starting with splashy play in the bath and generaly ending with their youngest crying herself to sleep for between 30-45 mins (it doesn't help that when the whole family visit, they have to put their two girls in together at night and they keep each other from sleeping in the evening).
We have a close knit 3 generations of family who love to get everyone together but it can take several days for him to bounce back from these trips.
My question is this - should I expect my sister/other family to take into account my son's young age and need for routine when planning these visits? We can't do anything about the sleeping arrangements for sure but everything else is aimed squarely at the 5 year old with little obvious regard to the affect on my son. Being told to 'not worry about it' listening to my son crying/screaming in his crib because he cant get to sleep, having to feed him on the move because 'that's what I used to do with the girls and they could do it'
I tend to feel that as my sister has 'been there and done that' with two girls and I'm a new first time father, I can't object too much about the way things are planned but I really worry that me and my wife's hard work getting our boy into a routine is threatened everytime we see family.