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To speak to DM about smoking and then holding DS?

(20 Posts)
ethelfleda Sun 05-Nov-17 03:46:34

DH and I are both ex smokers - I quit about a month before I got pregnant and DH about 4 weeks ago. We never smoked jn the house. DM is the only one in the family who smokes now. She smokes in her kitchen.
DS is only 6 days old so haven't had chance to talk to her about this yet but AIBU to not take him to her house?? I know she won't smoke in the house while he is in there but the house smells of smoke all the time and I don't really want him around it. Also, I read online that holding a small baby up to an hour after you've last put out a cigarette can be harmful to their health also. Is this true or am I being way too overprotective??

Do I speak to her about this or am I being a bit precious?
Be gentle - PFB and all that so protective instincts have kicked in big time!

WonderLime Sun 05-Nov-17 03:59:37

My DM and her partner smoke in their house. I used to visit often (inc. pregnancy) and they would smoke outside during my visit but it made very little difference - the house was still smokey and my clothes would stink by time I got home again.

Because of this, I have not taken my DS round to their house and I did politely have the ‘smoking talk’ with them (please can you wash hands/wear clean top when visiting).

The downside is that my DM has only seen my DS 1 in three months - she lives 5 miles away. But I realised it’s because I’d always made the effort to visit her and by making it clear that I won’t do that with a baby, I’ve completely lost my relationship with my DM.

Talk to your mum, but bear in mind that some smokers can be quite irrational over their habit and will think you are being overly precious (you must definitely aren’t).

ethelfleda Sun 05-Nov-17 07:05:19

Thanks for the reply. Since ds was born (and since) she pretty much counters any advice I've been given on anything from the NHS as she must know better. I may have to remind her that she last had a baby 33 years ago and things change!

Pengggwn Sun 05-Nov-17 07:16:06

Such an awkward one. My DM is a really heavy smoker and she smokes in the house but not if you take the kids round. Nevertheless she smells of smoke and the house is obviously a smoking environment. But we live really far away so I don't worry too much about taking the baby there - just throw the windows open if we're there for a couple of hours. I honestly don't think she's going to be harmed by breathing in old smoke occasionally. Call me an awful mum but I don't, and I value her relationship with mum, so I am not going to refuse to ever take my child there.

But if we did live more locally and I had a 6 day old, I would ask her to come to me rather than going there. I'd ask her to smoke outside and wash her hands. And I still wouldn't like it.

RedBlackberries Sun 05-Nov-17 07:17:54

I have this problem with dh and I don't think it's unreasonable to make some rules and say something. I was quite naive when I had my first dd and didn't want to be 'precious' so I didn't make any rules which meant dd was sleeping in our bed from newborn with my heavy smoking dh shock. He'd hold her after smoking and never change his top. She now has suspected asthma and has been in hospital with it before. I feel guilty that I was too worried about upsetting dh to enforce rules and this time round I'll be much more strict. Good luck.

picklemepopcorn Sun 05-Nov-17 07:18:44

There are toxins soaked into the clothing of smokers. The birth father of my foster baby was not allowed to hold him for an hour after he'd had a cigarette.

LemonShark Sun 05-Nov-17 07:20:59

Feel no shame over asking her to come to you with a clean top on or meet outside (park/coffee shop) instead.

I went through a period of smoking with stress and when I showed up at my friends house she very matter of factly asked me to wash my hands and borrow one of her jumpers to wear before holding her baby. Didn't mind at all, I'd been smoking in the car so stank of it and so did my hands. She was just protecting her child like any good parent and I was more than happy to.

If she has a problem with your request that's her problem not yours. Even if you were being a bit precious it costs nothing to make a few changes to help a new worried mum feel better.

RedBlackberries Sun 05-Nov-17 07:34:29

Sorry to hijack for a sec! Do you think it's reasonable to let a heavy smoker hold a baby immediately if they wash there hands and change their top?

Pengggwn Sun 05-Nov-17 07:42:11

RedBlackberries

I do. I think the harm to children comes from longer term passive smoking. Holding a baby for a few minutes isn't going to do any harm. Some HCPs are baby smokers - we don't ask them to give up before we let them hold our newborns, do we?

RedBlackberries Sun 05-Nov-17 07:45:05

Thanks. That's good to know. I just want to do better this time but I don't want to stop dh holding his own baby!!

Pengggwn Sun 05-Nov-17 07:46:37

RedBlackberries

Is he unable to give up? Well, that is probably a daft question as I know how addictive it is. I think having a heavy smoker in the house is always going to be potentially risky for children. It isn't really up to you to 'do better', it's up to him!

RedBlackberries Sun 05-Nov-17 07:57:13

No chance unfortunately. He's been smoking since he was about 15. It's always been ' when I reach 30, when I have kids etc' and those milestones past.

Pengggwn Sun 05-Nov-17 08:00:39

Then I would be having serious words, actually. It's not fair on you for you to feel like this is your responsibility. He needs to put his child first.

ethelfleda Sun 05-Nov-17 08:19:07

Thanks all. I will mention this to her then in that case!

wowthisisnoteasy Sun 05-Nov-17 08:46:53

I went thru something similar with DH when preg with DS1.
I asserted that no one (even him) will be holding the baby within 10 mins of smoking and that they would need to change clothes and wash hands.
He was a bit irrational at first about it ‘my baby too’, ‘building up an immune system’, ‘being too precious’ etc.
I showed him a website and article that illustrated the effect of passive smoke from furniture and clothes on small babies lungs. As they take much smaller breaths for smaller lungs and will have their faces much closer to your chest/clothes when you hold them the air is much more concentrated with passive smoke than others will take in. Peoples breath post cigarette is still expelling smoke albeit in smaller quantities afterp the cigarette has been extinguished and hence bringing their face close pollutes their breathing air more.

The closing strapline which really helped was ‘if you can smell it, it’s still there and the baby will be breathing it in’

Following this the rules were:
1. 10 mins gap between cigs and baby cuddles and ask me first.
2. Change top
3. Wash hands
4. Brush teeth (he added this one)

He stuck to this and enforced it with any guests. We met little resistance.

I tried to find the article but this was over 5y ago so not managed.

ethelfleda Sun 05-Nov-17 08:55:43

Thank you wow that is really helpful!

I just hope I'm not met with 'this wasn't the advice when I was having you' from my mom!

afrikat Sun 05-Nov-17 09:03:22

My FIL smokes. Our rule was that he has to change his top and wash his hands before handling a newborn. I wouldnt have gone to his house if he'd smoked in it

ethelfleda Sun 05-Nov-17 17:38:31

Mentioned this to her today and she agreed to not smoke in the house before we pop over... but I can still smell smoke on her when I see her confused it's all in her hair etc! It can't be good for him!

Aquamarine1029 Sun 05-Nov-17 17:43:21

I never would have let a smoker hold my babies right after they smoked, and I never would have brought them around to a smoker's home. It's disgusting.

ethelfleda Sun 05-Nov-17 18:25:35

Problem is, she isn't just a random smoker. She is my mother! I'd like her to stop smoking completely but can't see it happening!

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