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To tell my filthy neighbour not to touch my baby or her toys...

(30 Posts)
MummyMogwai Thu 30-Jun-11 11:51:41

Across the road lives an odd woman, definitely some kind of development issue there but she's pretty smart. She's friendly and eager to help, especially if its to do with bins or any other council services.

She loves my 5 month old and I think it's nice for her to see the baby. As much as i've asked her not to, she's always picking up little presents for baby, tops books toys, mostly second hand but some of it's great.

Problem is she is ABSOLUTELY FILTHY. At first I thought i should ignore my sensitivities to it and not be too precious with my little one, but that was before I went into her house. It's the stuff cable tv is made of. She's basically made her home into a landfill site... stacks of rubbish 4 feet high, flies, rotting smell, strange black matter on the windows... she and her decrepit dog sleep on a blanket in the middle of all this rubbish. I've seen her having a few visits by officers and though maybe they were rspca but now i think it's more likely environmental health are trying to work with her.

I don't think she'd be at all bothered if i talked to her about the mess but i'm not sure how to tackle the baby issue. I genuinely don't want to alienate her but don't want to put my little one at risk. When i see her i'm instantly anxious she'll touch baby's hands or pick up one of her toys. I don't think i'm being over sensitive - a full grown adult could be made ill by this level of filth. any advice?

DooinMeCleanin Thu 30-Jun-11 11:54:31

confused is she taking your baby into her house? I don't understand what your problem is?

The poor woman clearly has mental health issues, please don't ostracise her. It's the last thing she needs.

Nixea Thu 30-Jun-11 11:55:08

Is it her that is filthy or just her house?

tazmin Thu 30-Jun-11 11:57:10

wow, and she is still alive? amazing

Callisto Thu 30-Jun-11 11:57:37

Your baby will grow up with a fantastic immune system plus you are being kind and friendly to a person who probably doesn't get much of either in her life. It's win win all round. smile

electra Thu 30-Jun-11 12:01:20

Your thread title sounds pretty unkind.

Is this your first baby by any chance?

Nixea Thu 30-Jun-11 12:04:38

Oh, and just in case it slipped your mind....babies are washable. Just a thought.

Ormirian Thu 30-Jun-11 12:05:00

When she tries to kidnap your baby and confine in one of her filthy rooms and feed her filthy food you can be worried hmm Until then touching her and giving her things she has bought won't be a problem.

TheCountessOlenska Thu 30-Jun-11 12:06:20

Agree with Callisto.

She's not sticking her fingers in your baby's mouth or anything.

You can always anti-bac everything when she's gone!

MummyMogwai Thu 30-Jun-11 12:07:12

no she's is filthy. Until I saw her house i thought she was just really fond of her old clothes and tried to ignore the funny smell she has, now i know why she's so grimey. so no, would never take baby into her house.

Aslong as it can't make baby ill i spose i can cope - but then i why have i been sterilsing things all this time?

DooinMeCleanin Thu 30-Jun-11 12:07:30

Why would you need to anti bac everything? This is why so many children are growing up with allergies. A bit of dirt is good for them.

lesley33 Thu 30-Jun-11 12:07:39

I understand your concerns. But actually babies and young children need to be exposed to dirt to help make their developing immune systems function properly. Although I would feel yucky about it too, her touching your baby or babies toys won't harm your baby.

Nixea Thu 30-Jun-11 12:10:13

I would only have sterilised bottles at that age. I never, ever sterilised plates of cutlery because lets face it, by the time they're eating solids they're also eating worms, dirt, fluff and anything else they can reach!

Unless your baby is likely to be sucking on this woman then I wouldn't worry at all. Or you could dunk her in milton ofc.

Pootles2010 Thu 30-Jun-11 12:11:48

You don't really need to sterilise everything as much as some people make out. Just do the bottles, that'll be fine.

TheCountessOlenska Thu 30-Jun-11 12:12:27

No I know, I agree dooinmecleanin! Apparently you don't need to sterilize bottles either!

electra Thu 30-Jun-11 12:12:31

In the US and Canada people don't actually sterilise. It doesn't make any sense at all really, especially when they will always somehow get a toy in their mouth anyway no matter how many precautions you take with feeding.

I have three and dd3 frequently touches things I would prefer she didn't - the other day she ran upstairs and swished her hand in an unflushed toilet. Not great but.........she's still here today!

ragged Thu 30-Jun-11 12:12:42

Just surface wash carefully the items she brings over.
You should read We are all Made of Glue.

newnamenickname Thu 30-Jun-11 12:14:16

To be fair, I'd hate it too. I'd just give everything a quick wipe when she's out of sight.

electra Thu 30-Jun-11 12:14:54

My aunty had great trouble conceiving and when her dd finally came she was so scared of losing her that she sterilised everything, even her toys in Milton and her dd ended up getting loads of tummy bugs because she hadn't had a chance to build up immunity to anything.

OneHundredPercentFucked Thu 30-Jun-11 12:15:04

Why don't you offer to help sort it out if it is that much of a problem for you.

JoySzasz Thu 30-Jun-11 12:15:30

I don't think you need to worry,but I can totally understand that you would.

I would too,two children back...

I have realized though,that most of the time things that look clean are not anyway.

Not going to say anymore, as there are too many people suffering and worrying about germs and I don't want to give any more food for thought.

Make an excuse not to give the toy to your daughter (while she is there) and then give it a good scrub when she has left.

I had a similar-ish thing from some neighbors round here,we really like them but they all chain smoke (not the issue) all the baby clothes they gave me stank of stale /fresh smoke and they wanted me to try them on my DD straightaway!

Not a newborn,I just couldn't...

Good luck smile

JoySzasz Thu 30-Jun-11 12:16:41

on a newborn obviously.

Georgimama Thu 30-Jun-11 12:18:50

She clearly has mental health issues, poor woman. Do you remember that chap on Life of Grime - Mr Trebus? He seemed a total sweetie but could not be helped with the hoarding of rubbish problem.

Just wash anything she gives you for your daughter and smile sweetly. Please don't spray things with anti-bac, your child's immune system will thank you.

KatieMiddleton Thu 30-Jun-11 12:19:34

I was already to say yabu but actually I think you're right to find this level of grime repulsive. If it's not normal dirt but actual call environmental health I wouldn't want her shaking my hand nevermind touching my baby. I'm not a clean freak and I'm generally very relaxed about DS (he accidentally ate a stone he was licking not that long ago blush).

That said you don't need to make her feel any worse than she probably already does so I would avoid her where possible and give any gifts a good clean if they're not new and in packaging. I would also make up a lie about why baby can't be picked up/touched such as "she's just dropping off to sleep" "she has heat rash so please don't touch her - she'll cry" rather than make her feel bad. Not very brave but better than the upset and I expect she values your interactions hugely so that would be my preferred option.

eosmum Thu 30-Jun-11 12:22:51

Getting ready for the flaming, but it must be just me but aren't we always being warned about things like ecoli etc being spread by unwashed hands etc. All I can think of is if things are as bad as that in the house and her hands are obviously grimey she may not be washing after the loo, and then touching your babs hands and babs hands then in her mouth. I'd be pretty wary tbh.

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