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To wonder what to do with smokers and holding baby?

(19 Posts)
hibbledibble Fri 12-Jun-15 11:28:52

Neither me or dh smoke, or ever have.

Dd2 is 3 months old, and of course friends and family love cuddling her. As she is my second I'm not at all precious about this, and everyone is welcome to cuddle her as long as she is happy.

However I just wonder what to do when people who have just been out to smoke want to give her a cuddle. So far I haven't said anything and let them hold her, but I don't know if I should be insisting on hand washing/saying they can't hold dd?

Some people on mumsnet even talk about changing clothes, which isn't practical if you are out in a restaurant for example.

What would you do?

DamsonInDistress Fri 12-Jun-15 11:32:25

I'd suck it up in public and bitch about it inside my head probably!

BertieBotts Fri 12-Jun-15 11:35:12

You could ask them to wash hands and official advice is to wait 30 minutes after smoking - that's how long it takes to stop breathing out toxins.

However, I think that if you and your DH are non smokers, this is really a non issue, and the potential harm caused is going to be so miniscule, really not comparable to the benefit of her knowing and being loved by those family members.

Be prepared for some to get totally over the top and hysterical on this thread. I would not insist on hand washing or waiting, personally. I think that the relationship (between you and them, and between them and DD) is more important. Remember that 30 years ago people used to smoke constantly in houses with children running around.

BertieBotts Fri 12-Jun-15 11:36:39

If you or DH were a smoker yourself, BTW, then I'd say the advice is good - because it's a repeated exposure. But when it's visitors - don't worry about it. It always amuses me that people worry terribly about second hand smoke but then bundle their precious DC into a low-down buggy and push them along next to a street right at exhaust pipe height confused

goodnessgraciousgouda Fri 12-Jun-15 11:40:24

I think people's attitudes towards it/you will depend on how you approach it. If they ask to take the baby when they have just been outside smoking, you could always say, without any sort of prissyness - "would you mind waiting 20 minutes or so before I pass her to you? It's just to let the smoke come off your clothes a bit"

I think for many smokers it just doesn't occur to them that even though they aren't actively smoking, they will still smell strongly of smoke.

Basically as long as you are calm and non hysterical about it, most people won't bat an eyelid.

HellKitty Fri 12-Jun-15 11:42:43

I'm a smoker and I would wash my hands without asking, I also wouldn't be offended in the slightest if you asked me.

imwithspud Fri 12-Jun-15 12:23:04

I've been having this same dilemma, just had DC2 two weeks ago. I do agree that smokers really don't realize how much they stink after having a cigarette. I used to smoke and I didn't realize that the smell lingered on me so much until I gave up. My mum smokes and if she does go outside for a cigarette whilst visiting I just ask her to wash her hands and I don't let her hold DC2 for at least 30 minutes, she's never complained. Most smokers these days should be pretty understanding, after all the dangers of second/third hand smoke are pretty well documented at this point.

MeltchettsLovelyMoustache Fri 12-Jun-15 12:46:40

Facing similar issues with my chainsmoking mum and sister coming to stay. I used to smoke so feel like I can't be firm about it.

hagred Fri 12-Jun-15 15:26:56

My DH smokes and we came up with the following rules together for when DS was young...
Change top
Wash hands
Brush teeth
20 min wait for the first 6 months.

I discussed DHs rules with friends/family/guests and found that they generally followed suit without being asked. As baby's lungs are so much smaller and they spend more time closer to your face/body, I found it easy to ask people to wait a while if they'd been smoking and everyone understood.

hibbledibble Fri 12-Jun-15 17:02:18

So would most smokers be happy to follow hagred 's rules? Or what part of them?

HellKitty Fri 12-Jun-15 17:05:33

I would follow them BUT if I was visiting someone with a new baby I wouldn't be nipping out for a smoke anyway. I came to see the baby not have a fag.

Jenda Fri 12-Jun-15 17:17:37

I'm a smoker and would always try to leave 30 mins before holding a baby. I would also wear a coat to smoke and take that off and wash my hands. However as PP said, if I was there to visit a baby I wouldn't be popping out to smoke!

BertieBotts Fri 12-Jun-15 17:28:09

I don't think you can ask visitors to change top or brush teeth - but washing hands and waiting is reasonable to ask. You could also ask they wear a jacket to smoke in and remove it, but I think that might be a bit OTT especially if you hadn't noticed in time.

SewingBox Fri 12-Jun-15 17:32:22

I think if it was your DM or someone you see very regularly having several cuddles a day then there would be cause for concern and if you're close enough to be seeing them that regularly then you could ask, but assuming these are friends you see every once in a while, I'd probably let it go (whilst doing a Damson suggests!)

hibbledibble Fri 12-Jun-15 19:15:15

Thank you all.

Thankfully only one of dd's grandparents smokes.

I'm just wondering how much I can ask for without seeming too precious.

imwithspud Fri 12-Jun-15 20:33:31

I would follow them BUT if I was visiting someone with a new baby I wouldn't be nipping out for a smoke anyway. I came to see the baby not have a fag.

Yeah I kind of wish my DM would abstain from going out for a smoke when she visits. She generally only comes round for an hour or two at a time which imo isn't a ridiculous amount of time to go without but I'd feel like I was being overly precious If I were to suddenly tell her she couldn't smoke here.

ThatBloodyWoman Fri 12-Jun-15 20:41:23

I let smokers hold my babies without making them go through hoops.
Given all the toxins in the average house from carpets,cleaning stuff,paints etc etc I can't see why people don't worry about their plug in air fresheners but do worry about the fag grandad had out in the garden.

goodasitgets Fri 12-Jun-15 20:45:26

I'm a smoker. Took my outer top off, washed hands, anti b hand gel before holding colleagues baby. She didn't ask me to

imwithspud Fri 12-Jun-15 22:17:46

I don't think asking a smoker to wash hands and wait is getting them to jump through hoops tbh. Toxins aside, I think it's perfectly reasonable to not want my tiny baby to smell like an ashtray after having a cuddle with a family member or friend.

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