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Picking up a baby by the arm. It's really wrong, isn't it?

(38 Posts)
wowzers Tue 31-Mar-09 02:53:21

My husband picked up our 12mo baby by the upper arm today and lifted him a few feet. DS had repeatedly climbed up on a low table and DH was angry by this time and this is how DH removed him. DS cried out but was fine as soon as he was set down.

I was really shocked and reacted quite strongly (said it could have hurt him, dislocated something). I asked him how he'd have felt if he'd seen nursery staff doing that. I said I'd have reported nursery staff for abuse.

We're at an impasse. I'm not accusing him of abuse, but I am worried that he did this in anger. He's saying I'm being ridiculous and is ready to pack his bags.

There's obviously more to our relationship than this one incident but I really want to know if this is beyond the pale.

Pawslikepaddington Tue 31-Mar-09 03:08:30

I play with dd sometimes by holding her wrists and swinging her around on the grass (she is a lot older though). As long as it is a one off he should be ok, but not as an everyday occurrance!

wowzers Tue 31-Mar-09 03:12:49

Thanks, Paddington. I do the same with our older DD, too. But I don't know about a younger baby. And the issue is that I think it could hurt a 12 mo, and that it wasn't done in a spirit of fun; rather of anger.

spicemonster Tue 31-Mar-09 03:26:14

Hmm that would alarm me too. Have you asked him if he did it because he was angry (ie to punish your DS)? What is he saying other than that you're being ridiculous?

Pawslikepaddington Tue 31-Mar-09 03:33:09

I would agree with spice in that the anger would worry me too, and it does need talking about. However ds should be ok as it was a one off (and may stop his clambering happening again!). He sounds like he is having a tantrum of his own TBH!

wowzers Tue 31-Mar-09 03:43:53

Spice, initially he said that was how he chastised him and I shouldn't question him in front of the DCs (1yo and 2.5yo). He was really angry at me. A couple of hours later after the DCs in bed he said he should have picked him up a different way but that DS wasn't hurt, he didn't cry out (he did). By this time the discussion is all about my behaviour (overreacting, mentioning the word abuse)

HarlotOTara Tue 31-Mar-09 10:35:00

My dd dislocated her elbow being swung around by her arms. Until they are 8 or 9 children's elbows are quite vulnerable to this. There is a name for it (which I have forgotten) and the dr in casualty told me about it.

whoisasking Tue 31-Mar-09 12:38:35

I have a friend who was doing the "swing" (One, two, three..SWIIING) with her daughter and her shoulder dislocated! shock

She said it was just so so awful, and when she took her daughter to A & E, the doctor told her that it happens quite often.

I do NOT think you're being unreasonable to be angry/upset.

BalloonSlayer Tue 31-Mar-09 12:50:21

I have seen a woman who I consider to be one of the best Mums I know lift her child this way.

I have also seen it on old film footage. I got the impression it's something you might learn to do when you have a lot of children, are BF a baby and need to lift your toddler out of harm's way with only one arm of your own spare for the task.

I think if you know how to do it safely it's ok. I don't, however.

messymissy Tue 31-Mar-09 12:54:19

I think you were right to object to your 12mo being picked up like this - in anger by the sounds of it. I would object too. your dh could have picked him up carefully rather than like a piece of baggage. He would not like someone bigger than him to do this to him would he?

And your DH is diverting attention away from his action by saying you are overreacting. - don't let him divert the attention. The focus of the discussion was on the inappropriate way he picked up a BABY!!! complaining about your response is a defensive smoke screen!

Draw a line under it for now, say you have explained how you felt that it is not appropriate to pick a BABY up like that and you trust he wont do it again.

good luck.

4andnotout Tue 31-Mar-09 12:54:29

I agree with Balloon Slayer especially with the bfing a baby scenario, sometimes i have to lift my 18 m.o dd3 up onto the sofa one handed and have to do it like this, although the back of her dungaree's are very handy today!

CherryChoc Tue 31-Mar-09 13:24:53

I have lifted my DS (6m) up by one leg when I was playing - have heard the thing about the elbows though so try not to do so with arms. Although I do sometimes hold him up by both arms, which he loves, maybe I should stop blush

Nabster Tue 31-Mar-09 13:26:10

My DH picked up our DD by her arm but did it quicker than he meant too. Three hospital trips and a week in a cast was the result. I wince when I see people swining children by their hands.

Nabster Tue 31-Mar-09 13:26:39

BTW she was about 3 or 4.

messymissy Tue 31-Mar-09 13:27:52

I think its the motivation for lifting them, if you are playing with them and they are having fun and its safe - fine and dandy.

However I still would never do it, their bones and joints are tender fragile things and you have to be so careful to support their heads and necks, so why risk it?

its when they are lifted in temper that it can be hurtful and frightening to a child.

macdoodle Tue 31-Mar-09 13:36:22

hmm strictly by your OP I think you are over reacting TBH - are we not all guilty of doing something in frustration and anger - talking of abuse is way OTT IMO - is there more to this then???

wowzers Tue 31-Mar-09 14:35:43

DH has got an awful temper, and was once physically abusive to me. That was over a year ago and hasn't happened again since. (He's stopped drinking since then which has helped a lot) But his temper is still there and he throws/breaks things when he's angry.

I guess I'm just on the look-out for any of this affecting the DC and this set alarm bells ringing. Yesterday he'd been in a bad mood all day and very shouty to the DCs and this was the culmination.

His first reaction was to shout at me for question him in front of the DCs as this was 'how he chastises them'. I'd have dropped it if he'd just said sorry he didn't mean to hurt DS.

wowzers Tue 31-Mar-09 16:00:53

But I wasn't consciously saying he was abusing our DS. By giving the nursery staff analogy I was just trying to make him think how he would feel if he saw someone else do it.

screamingabdab Tue 31-Mar-09 18:14:45

If it were my DH (who only rarely loses his temper, and has never been threatening, but HAS once or twice been rough with the kids in anger - as have I), I'd let it lie.

But you have reason to be worried about the anger. He is, understandably, perhaps, not wanting to confront the fact that what he did was wrong. But it was wrong, and the fact that he doesn't seem to realise it is worrying.

Having said that, I don't really know what to advise you.
I think you would be wise to keep a very close eye out. Looking after toddlers is very stressful, and if someone does have problems with their tempers it's a potentially explosive combination.

samsonthecat Tue 31-Mar-09 18:22:03

My DH picked DD1 up by her arms when she was 2 and dislocated her elbow. They were only playing but he felt really bad for ages about it and at 4 she still remembers it.

marie1979 Tue 31-Mar-09 22:14:07

i personally do not pick my children up by arms or legs and i remember my mate doing it and throwing her daughter to her bf backwards and forwards like a rag doll awfull to watch and i let them no i did not approve and they did it more rolling about with laughter( sick) anyway i know what your saying about the nursery if u see anyone doing that it looks awful i would keep a close eye on your bf for anymore signs of you bf being angry towards the children. as you say he started saying about your reaction thats the sign of a guilty man trying to devert the attention to you to make himslef feel better.

iwontbite Tue 31-Mar-09 22:18:19

it isn't a great idea. my uncle dislocated my cousins shoulder by lifting her up by one arm when getting her out of the car.

MsHighwater Tue 31-Mar-09 22:19:57

I think your dh might have a point if you berated him in front of the dcs. I don't think parents, whatever their circumstances, should argue in front of their children. I don't know whether you were overreacting by being upset about what he did but perhaps you should have talked about it in private.

marie1979 Tue 31-Mar-09 22:27:59

i would of done exactly the saw thing i would of been fuming i do not call it overrecting at all many people igore things dont get me wrong im not sayin your bf is an abusing i just think its a good thing to pull him up when hes done it so he knows that its not ok to do that to a baby

marie1979 Tue 31-Mar-09 22:28:35

i meant same thing

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