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On a scale of one to ten how bad is this? One being "do it" and ten being "don't even think about it"

My husband's family lives nearby us so we visit them several times a week. They are not big on cleanliness and hardly ever wash their hands. Most times when we go to visit there is no soap even in the bathroom and the same bottle of dish soap has been sitting on the counter for nearly 6 months now and only a very small amount has been used. When we had our baby 2 months ago my husband and I made it clear that anyone who wanted to hold the baby needed to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer first. Well this greatly offended my in laws. They took it as me saying I think they are dirty and didn't want them holding my baby. They only saw him twice in the first six weeks of his life because of how offended they were!! Now he is nine weeks old and the drama has died down. We have seen them several times recently. *continued


Asked by Anonymous at 10:53 PM on Feb. 15, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

This question is closed.
Answers (28)
  • Don't get me wrong, I agree with the "it's your baby, your rules". In a perfect world your in laws would be respectful and germ conscious. But it seems like they too selfish and ignorant to be respectful of your rules as a mom. They live close by and only saw him twice in a month and a half!! That is so sad that they let their own selfishness get between them and their grandson/nephew. Sometimes as moms we have to do things we wouldn't normally do to protect our children. If lying to your in laws is the only way you can protect your son, then that may be what you have to do. Although, you should probably not lie to your husband. Bring him to the dr appointment and have the dr explain how seriously (even fatally) ill your baby can become from being exposed to some germs. Your husband should decide whether or not his family needs to be lied to to get them to be a little more clean.

    Answer by AnnaMac at 11:23 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • *continued Last week my SIL and 2 of her kids were sick with a cold (which I did not know before we went to visit). Of course, my baby is sick now. They still refused to wash their hands before holding him last week. I feel so mad at them for getting my DS sick. My first reaction is if they won't wash their hands then they aren't allowed near the baby. This would cause huge drama, resentment, anger, and a grudge (against me and the baby) and just be all around bad. I really don't want to start a big fight between me and my in laws.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:54 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • *continued My husband has given up and said we just shouldn't worry so much, that all kids get sick and are exposed to germs. I am still holding firm that people should wash their hands regularly when they are around an infant. SO DS's two month check up is this week and I am thinking of telling my husband and his family that the doctor told me the baby has a weak immune system and we need to keep him away from germs as much as possible. I am hoping that my in laws will be more conscious of washing their hands knowing that the baby's health is at stake. I know that lying is not a good way to get things done, but it seems like the only thing I can do to not start another fight. My question is how bad do you think this is? And whether or not I should do this? I know being straightforward and telling them they have to wash their hands, and explaining why will get me nowhere and will just cause more problems.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:54 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • PS- SIL had four kids who all survived having dirty hands holding them, but they have spent a lot of their lives sick. So they use the "it was good enough for these kids" arguement.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:58 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • I agree 100% with you! For me it was the same way, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer or don't touch my baby! I even carried sanitizer with me, if they were offended because I did not want my newborn getting sick then so be it. I really wasn't concerned about hurting peoples feelings.

    Answer by Soniam301 at 11:00 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • Your child your choice! If they can't wash their hands they don't need to be around the babe! They'll prolly come around!

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:00 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • I don't think its bad that you want to lie, but I wouldn't do it. He is your son, and should be your first priority... If it starts a big fight then, they obviously don't care about your son's health, and I would tell them that!!! My dd is never held by anyone who doesn't sanitize their hands, my husband and self included!!! Stand your ground momma!!! Don't give in, they should respect you enough to wash their hands if they want to see their grandchild, and as far as the dirty house-Make them come to your house instead...Don't subject your baby to filth!!!

    Answer by wishwish at 11:00 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • It gets me mad too but sometimes I just try not to worry so much. Even if they wash their hands, your baby could have still gotten sick from breathing the same air, or touching something that they touched and then putting his hand in his mouth. I try to get others to wash their hands but I know that when I leave they problably dont. I just don't over worry now because I have seen what its like in daycare and school. You can do other things at your home to try your best to keep him healthy and his immune system up.

    Answer by momofpurebliss at 11:03 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • Your child, your rules. Let the chips fall where they may.

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:05 PM on Feb. 15, 2009

  • I lied to MIL, because she was overfeeding dd when she is there. I told her I called the doctor and he said that she shouldn't be eating that much. I'd be a little weary about lying about his health though. I don't know, but the bottom line is he's your son, you're his advocate so stand your ground. So what if they're mad, they'll get over it. These situations drive me crazy and the ones where people want to smoke if you're in their house with a baby. My friend one day was like "Come outside with the baby and get some fresh air" I said "Well, you're smoking, that's not fresh air!"

    Answer by BridgetC140 at 11:09 PM on Feb. 15, 2009