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What should I do if my in laws smoke excessively and will not change their clothes or wash their hands before holding my baby.

My in-laws smoke very heavily and my husband and I have asked them to change their clothes before holding our baby. We have heard about the recent discovery of 3rd hand smoke and how it is just as bad as them smoking around him. When my husband asked them to simply not smoke in the clothes they were wearing to see him in they simply told him not to worry about it. They also cuss every other word and speak very openly about sex. my baby is only two months old but what should i do when he gets older. I am so worried because I do not want my baby to be harmed by the smoke and possibly be a victim of SIDS. I am also worried about them not abiding by our rules for the baby health wise. I need help and advice!!!

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Asked by monroehalf09 at 11:45 AM on Mar. 17, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 2 (5 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • FIL is a chain smoker. I made very very very clear to him that if I even suspect he's been smoking then no baby holding. Period. MIL wants to hold the baby so she knows she can't let him smoke in the car on the way over. It's not up for discussion or negotiation.

    My kid, my rules. Your kid, your rules. If they don't like it then they don't come over. Adults know that when it comes to the baby, baby is first in line, and grown ups are WAY at the back of the line.

    Answer by ecodani at 11:49 AM on Mar. 17, 2010

  • Do you live with them, or what?

    I mean, the answer is so obvious to me - don't let them see or hold the child unless/until they comply.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:50 AM on Mar. 17, 2010

  • I wouldn't let them within a mile of my child. They seems to be disrespectful shit of the earth people as most cigarette smokers are. You'll have to tell them i'm sorry but since you can't be mature and respect my request you will no longer be allowed in my child's life. When you quit smoking or get a brain (which I think is one in the same) you can ask to be let back into our lives but until then I'm sorry you're no longer welcomed.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:54 AM on Mar. 17, 2010

  • It does seem obvious. As much as they may love your baby and you dont want to offend them, if they dont respect your wishes to keep your child healthy then they dont need need to hold him/her. No doubt their argument is that they did it with their kids and its been done by many others for many many years. But we have more knowledge now and know the consequences of smoking a bit better than we did back then. You're the mother, its up to YOU to protect your child.

    Answer by Aqua_Jen at 11:56 AM on Mar. 17, 2010

  • No we do not live with them. My husband is pretty close with his parents and they only see us every couple of weeks. It is hard to have my husband tell them that they cant hold the baby because i can see the hurt in his eyes. It makes me want to give in and let the whole subject go because it is causing arguments between my husband and I. Then again I know my baby comes first and I have to do what is right for him.

    Answer by monroehalf09 at 11:57 AM on Mar. 17, 2010

  • Hey OP! i just wanted to say thanks for your question! When I 1st read the topic, I immediately thought, "3rd-hand smoke??? What is it and how is that even possible?" Then I did a little research and discovered that there are in fact risks to children and infants who are exposed to 3rd-hand smoke (residue left on carpets, upholstry, furniture, clothing, and hair). Wow, I didn't know that. So thanks for nudging me to learn something new today! And to answer the question, I agree with the posters who said to hold firm to your expectations.

    Answer by kenzie07 at 12:02 PM on Mar. 17, 2010

  • Don't let them hold the baby. Sometimes you have to be hard on adults the same as kids; if they see that you're serious about what you see (i.e., if they don't change clothes and wash hands, the consequence will be that they don't get to hold the baby), then they might change their habits. But they're not going to see the sense in changing if you don't follow through; you're basically spoiling them. I know it's hard because it's family, but as you said, your baby comes first. The first thing you need to do is talk to your husband and get him on board, because the problems between the two of you are just going to escalate if that's not taken care of, and you're not going to get anywhere with his parents if he's still wishy-washy.

    Answer by DragonRiderMD at 12:05 PM on Mar. 17, 2010

  • I can undersand that you really want to make your husband happy.... Really if they only see him every couple weeks the I would just make sure I had a change of shirt at the house and just say... If you would like to hold the baby please change into this... or make sure when they are holding the baby to have a heavy blanket between them... I am not a smoker and I don't freak out that bad about 3rd hand smoking.. I mean ppl have done this for YEARS and the babies are fine.. use the blanket to at least smother the smell while they are holding him! gl

    Answer by randilinn at 12:23 PM on Mar. 17, 2010

  • 3rd hand smoke is not a new discovery. They've known about it for a long time now. It's common sense. And my opinion is chill out! You're too worried. I smoked during BOTH of my pregnancies, and both my kids were born weighing 7lbs 4oz and 8lbs 7.3oz and they were perfectly healthy, not a thing wrong with them. We do not smoke in our home...but we smoke in our car with the kids in it...and we don't change our clothes after we smoke to hold our children and they are now 2.5yrs and 9months and perfectly healthy and happy and fine. Our smoking hasn't affected them in the least. That's my look on the subject. But obviously you have your mind set. So tell them that if they are gunna smoke, and not change their clothes and wash their hands like you've asked, then they will not be allowed to be around/hold your baby. Flat out. That's all there is to it...if you believe in this strongly, then put your foot down. End of story.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:28 PM on Mar. 17, 2010

  • You tell them that if they cannot respect your wishes regarding YOUR child, and have no concern for his health, then they cannot touch or hold him until they change their minds.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 12:43 PM on Mar. 17, 2010

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