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To want to 'protect' a newborn from smokers?

(177 Posts)
jonsnowssocks Mon 23-May-16 12:31:39

This is all theoretical atm, but am 8 months pregnant so will probably turn into an issue soon.

Lots of smokers amongst friends and family and I'm not sure how to handle them when it comes to visiting and holding the baby. Ideally, I'd ask anyone who has recently smoked to wash their hands, brush their teeth and change any smoky clothes before touching the little one, but would that make me just totally over-the-top precious about it? What would be a good compromise?

WorraLiberty Mon 23-May-16 12:35:15

I think it would make you totally over the top precious, yes, but others will be along to disagree.

A quick look at the advanced search function will throw up 100s of threads on this topic, perhaps you might find some advice from there.

Congratulations btw thanks

jonsnowssocks Mon 23-May-16 12:38:48

Thanks, WorraLiberty smile

Seems I've once again committed the cardinal newbie sin (this is my second post, and the first was about dogs, which I've since learned is simply not on) so if people would like to ignore this post and quietly let it slip away, that's fine. I'll go back and check the old threads.

GinaBambino Mon 23-May-16 12:38:56

Congratulations I'm 8 months pregnant too and have the same issue; however I would just ask any smokers to wash hands and wait a little while before holding baby. I'm pretty sure it should be an hour between having a cigarette and holding a baby but I don't know if I made that up! You unfortunately cannot dictate to people that they carry toothbrush/toothpaste and spare clothes when visiting in case they dash outside for a quick cig but if you do get away with it please let me know so I can try it!

backtowork2015 Mon 23-May-16 12:39:33

Your midwife is going to advise you to do just that so when you ask them just blame her and say it's what you've been told to do

NeedACleverNN Mon 23-May-16 12:39:54

Washing their hands yes, changing the clothes and brushing teeth is a bit OTT.

Samcro Mon 23-May-16 12:40:26

tbh i would just say don't let them hold.
i am a smoker. so don't hold babies....and really holding babies is not all its cracked up to be.

SpeakNoWords Mon 23-May-16 12:44:38

I don't know any smokers so this was never an issue for me, but I think YANBU. Surely most smokers would be aware of the problem, and be prepared to do the recommended things anyway? (Change clothes, wash hands and wait an hour, I think).

mallorcanmummy Mon 23-May-16 12:44:55

My DF has just been out visiting us for a week, 3 weeks after the birth of my first DS. I made him have a special T-shirt that he wore only to hold DS. he kept forgetting, or then smoking after holding DS and before changing T shirt. I felt like a right nag. But better that than getting my DS stinking of smoke. He did wait a good half hour at least after smoking before holding him.
Having said that, it was my DF, and we have a good relationship where I can say pretty much everything, including you stink and you're going to make my son stink, change your T-shirt. I wouldn't do this with friends/less close family. I would just hope that they had the decency to wait after smoking and to wash their hands before taking DS.

nousernames Mon 23-May-16 12:45:30

Dh smokes and doesn't pick up the kids after he's smoked which has suddenly made smoking even more attractive to him

lavenderdoilly Mon 23-May-16 12:45:39

My mum, a smoker since aged 13, gave up for my newborn dd at 79. Mum was a chain smoker and smoked with us as kids. I never really bothered about it until dd was born. It's not a "personal choice". It smells (small issue) and it kills (main issue ). My mum has lung cancer and it will probably kill her if her damaged heart and COPD doesn't get her first. I'm so proud that she gave up and I'm sure she could do with a fag now and then. She has time with my now 9 year old dd that she wouldn’t have had if she had kept up with the fags. You're not being precious to be firm about it.

HeteronormativeHaybales Mon 23-May-16 12:45:56


It has only been in the very rarest of exceptional situations that a smoker has held my baby, and then only when she was over 6 months. I certainly wouldn't be letting a smoker hold my newborn.

Toddzoid Mon 23-May-16 12:47:12

My DM smokes. She always washed her hands and put some perfume over her clothes before holding my DC. I didn't have to ask, she just knew to do that.

Just say "do you mind washing your hands first? Just the cigarette smoke..." If they're offended they're weird.

HollysStupidHair Mon 23-May-16 12:51:08

Depends if you're also not going to ever push them in a buggy near a road, have a BBQ, light a fire in your house etc etc

Washing hands is a normal request. Changing clothes, brushing teeth is over the top

WorraLiberty Mon 23-May-16 12:55:39

My DM smokes. She always washed her hands and put some perfume over her clothes before holding my DC. I didn't have to ask, she just knew to do that.

But then the poor baby has to breathe in perfume, as well as the cigarette smell that's underneath confused

DonkeyOaty Mon 23-May-16 13:00:56

Wash hands, yes

Change clothes/clean teeth, nah

Agree about perfume plus fags is a "wait, WHAT?" scenario

Oysterbabe Mon 23-May-16 13:02:23

Wash hands and take off their outerwear and wait maybe an hour before holding for the fumes to disburse from the rest of their clothes. If that makes me PFB I could not give less of a shit.

Bambambini Mon 23-May-16 13:02:34

Luckily i didn't have that problem though mil smoked but was considerate. It depends, do they stink the way many smokers do? I remember that smell waking up in the morning after a night out. The stink from ny hair and clothes was disgusting - i wouldn't put my baby through that. Many smokers can be fairly considerate and readonable about it though.

Oysterbabe Mon 23-May-16 13:03:44

And confused to baby having to breathe perfume chemicals as well as fag smoke.

blueberryporridge Mon 23-May-16 13:09:31

It smells (small issue) and it kills (main issue ).

Precisely. Don't let smokers hold your baby, and don't let them anywhere near if they have been smoking recently ie within the past 2.5 hours min. Smoking is associated with cot death and various respiratory problems in babies so it is not just a question of not offending people.

Bolograph Mon 23-May-16 13:09:31

Lots of smokers amongst friends and family

There's no law which says you have to see them.

LittleNelle Mon 23-May-16 13:11:54

DH smokes and always changed his clothes (had a smoking coat he kept in the shed actually) brushed teeth and washed hands.

If smokers won't do that I just wouldn't let them hold a newborn tbh.

dragonsarebest Mon 23-May-16 13:13:25

One of my friends was absolutely outraged when (as a smoker) her SIL wouldn't allow her to hold newborn immediately after putting out a fag. It was hilarious seeing how friend reacted (as an ex-smoker) to smokers being around her own newborn. Do what you need to do for your own peace of mind, I reckon. Not everyone will get it but that's not really the point, is it.

SpeakNoWords Mon 23-May-16 13:13:33

Tbh, I wouldn't have put my newborn/small baby where BBQ smoke would affect them, nor would I have lit a fire in my house. Cigarette smoke is worse than both of these any way, I think.

Traffic fumes are clearly difficult to avoid if you live in a city/town. Cigarette smoke can easily be avoided, so why not? I can't see how any smoker could be upset or offended at being asked to refrain from smoking for an hour before meeting the baby, and to change clothes.

googietheegg Mon 23-May-16 13:15:32

I'd check the NHS advice so it's not coming from you (which seems to annoy people) and is from a 'responsible source'. This is the tack I have to take with my mil (not about smoking, but stuff like putting suncream on babies or washing fruit for pregnant women) as she likes to think that she knows best and I am just a pointless, worry-wart shit parent. As you can imagine, I try to limit seeing her.

So print out the relevant NHS page and give it to them. If they make a face (mil loves to roll her eyes at me a do a little laugh) then just say 'that's the current NHS advice, it's up to you if you follow it but I am going to'.

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