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To ask you for help to decide if I am neglecting my dc?

(63 Posts)
misspontypine Thu 17-Oct-13 19:21:30

I had an unusual childhood, I would like to describe it as vibrant and haphazard but there are aspects of it that now I have my own dc I see possibly neglect.

For example we didn't own pyjamas, we just slept in our clothes. We were given lots of freedom, I was allowed to do as I wanted, me and my dm were looking through childhood keepsakes and we found a note I had written, it said "at mars bog an brover wif mi luf misspontypine" it should have said "we are at Mary's, my brother and the dog are with me. Love from misspontypine" I would have been 5 or 6 when I wrote the note, my brother would have been 3 or 4, the dog was a huge alsation mix, Mary's house was over a mile away and we rode there by bike (alond a cannal.) Another example is when I was a small baby we lived on a commune which was on a farm. My mum would leave me with the goats and then go off and do her jobs on the farm. We were left in the kids field at glastonbury for hours at the age of 4/5/6.

We were never emotionally neglected, we had lots of love given to us and our interests were supported, it was very much the practical side of things which were less than ideal.

My problem is that I find it hard to judge if the things I do with my son are ok, I would love your honest opinion as to if these things would be seen as negligent.

Licking shoes. We have a shoes off house so we lots of shoes by the door, ds likes to play and sometimes lick/chew the shoes (especially wellies) he has lots of lovely toys but they are not as interesting as the old shoes.

Playing with the pushchair wheels. Same issue as playing with shoes I guess.

Eating things from the floor. We hoover daily but we are doing some baby led weaning so there are often small bits of old food we have missed. Ds finds these bits of food and eats them. I try to get them out but his 3 teeth are very sharp and his jaw is very stron!

Drinking bath water. Ds loves to suck his flannel, we offer him water all the time and try to take his flannel away and give him a sucky cup with water but he only wants the flannel.

Ds co-sleeps, we have his cot attached to our bed with one side taken off and at the same height as our bed, We put him to bed asleep and make a wall of pillows. Ds has a sleepingbag. He could theoretically crawl/climb out of the bed but so far when he has woken he just shouts for us to come in. I think we would hear if he tried to climb out of the bed (we have a monitor --my mother advised us we didn't need one, baby do cry you know, you don't need to hear them--)

All advice appreciated. Sorry if they sound like stupid/obvious questions. It isn't the sort of thing I feel like I can talk to my friends about.

UniS Thu 17-Oct-13 19:26:51

your house sounds normal, yor DS sounds normal. normal life is a bit messy a bit grubby and children do want to play with what ever you don;t want them to. Just keep the dog shit out side and he'll be fine.

AnyoneforTurps Thu 17-Oct-13 19:26:53

How old is your DS? Because, once they reach the crawling stage, I don't think there is much point worrying about what they lick or touch (within reason) but I'd try to stop a small baby licking shoes or similar.

Don't worry too much though. Almost all the infections that humans get are caught from other humans, not from dirt/floors/being licked by the dog etc.

littlewhitebag Thu 17-Oct-13 19:27:41

It sounds like you have a very relaxed attitude to parenting which I find quite refreshing. Lots of children find everyday objects much more interesting than toys. I am sure he will be fine. You sound lovely.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Thu 17-Oct-13 19:27:59

The fact that you're concerned about these things tells me you're not neglecting him.

Those all sound like very normal baby things, someone at work was telling me only yesterday that her dd likes to drink bath water off the edge of the bath and from her flannel.

As long as your son is healthy , don't worry too much about him eating or licking some gross things every so often. Just make sure there's nothing harmful where he can get to it. (Eh check shoes for dog poo) and provide alternative toys and activities as well as those which you said you do. he will be just fine!

EricNorthmanIsMyMaker Thu 17-Oct-13 19:28:03

All sounds fine to me. Ds2 (14 months) chews shoes, plays with the pram wheels & sucks his flannel. We only partly co sleep so he's only in the bed when I'm in it.
He also likes to lie in the dogs bed!

misspontypine Thu 17-Oct-13 19:28:19

Sorry, forgot to saw how old he is! he is 10 months.

Anomaly Thu 17-Oct-13 19:29:26

The only thing you do that would worry me is the wall of pillows, in case your baby pulled one on top of him. I wouldnt worry too much about him falling off your bed - he'll be fine. But I have three kids and my standards have definitely slipped.

tinierclanger Thu 17-Oct-13 19:30:20

Ok this could be interesting response wise!

You certainly don't sound neglectful to me. smile Shoes and pushchair wheels are very appealing to babies/toddlers. If it was me I would try and keep them away/distract as I am a bit paranoid about toxoplasmosis etc but I know some people would be less bothered.

Food off floor- we've all been there. Just try and get it away if you see it, but really, not a big deal.

Flannel I think is fine, I remember doing this! I'm sure some will disagree.

Bed arrangement I'm not sure about, I guess it depends how safe your room is?

Mumsyblouse Thu 17-Oct-13 19:30:20

The one of these I would have an issue with is sucking shoes, as they may have doggy do do on so I would remove them- having said that, toddlers do put all kinds of dirty and not very nice things in their mouths and it's very hard to get in there first. If you are hoovering a lot no issue, and I don't really get the bed dilemma, all sounds fine.

Obviously you have already realised that your own childhood has made you doubt what is typical parenting, but with that awareness, I can't see where there is a big issue (and some parents don't seem to mind their children chewing/sucking on dirty old bits of cloth etc and so I know I'm at the more germ-aware end of the spectrum).

Northernlurker Thu 17-Oct-13 19:31:50

'We were never emotionally neglected, we had lots of love given to us and our interests were supported' - sounds like you were very well parented to me. The whole canal, very young dc thing isn't smething I woud do or encourage you to do but your parents got away with it. Not worth stressing over now.

Everything you do sounds well within 'norms' to me.

Mumsyblouse Thu 17-Oct-13 19:32:44

Ok, with the pillows etc- he will be crawling soon, possibly even inside the sleeping bag or escaping from it, so I would anticipate that from now on- I don't think you would hear anything.

hettienne Thu 17-Oct-13 19:32:59

I would discourage licking shoes/wheels/eating crap of the floor but it isn't neglectful. Don't see the harm in sucking a flannel though I do tell DS to stop now he's 3. Bed set up sounds fine.

mrsjay Thu 17-Oct-13 19:34:01

if he is crawling he will get into everything as long as he isn't chewing on dog poo of the wellies he is fine I would make take him away if you are worried but babies put everything in their mouths you sound a lovely mum and not neglecting him, sounds like your parents were a bit out there, oh and the bath flannel thing mine did that too with sponges sigh

mrsjay Thu 17-Oct-13 19:34:24


josephinebruce Thu 17-Oct-13 19:37:37

Your DS sounds lovely, you sound lovely and your DM super cool!!! (I am the child of 2 civil servants!!!)

misspontypine Thu 17-Oct-13 19:39:42

the room is pretty safe and ds knows to get down from the sofa feet 1st so I would imagine if the time came for him to try to get down from the bed he would go feet 1st. i will try to see if I can start his sleep in a travel cot and hope he sleeps there for the evening.

A friend has a handy shoe storage cupbord type thing from IKEA, that culd solve the shoe issue smile

IsisOhIsis Thu 17-Oct-13 19:44:45

Sounds like my house smile

tracypenisbeaker Thu 17-Oct-13 19:45:02

haha when i was little and in the bath, i used to fill up a jug with foamy bathwater, drink it and pretend it was a heady pint and i was in the pub.

Your OP sounds fine, IMO. You sound like a good mum

dogindisguise Thu 17-Oct-13 19:47:07

It all sounds familiar! DD is 9mo and licks shoes, sucks flannels in the bath which we don't wash very often, occasionally grabs pushchair wheels and loves playing with shoes. Sometimes grabs crumbs off the floor too.

KatieScarlett2833 Thu 17-Oct-13 19:47:21

Oi! My DC are the offspring of 2 Civil Servants grin
(Fair enough, actuallygringringrin)

Milkjug Thu 17-Oct-13 19:49:50

I do all the things you do, bar the wall of pillows. Our 18 month old also sleeps in a cot attached to our bed, in a sleeping bag, but though he's perfectly capable of crawling in the bag, he has never rolled or climbed off the bed.

He drank from a puddle yesterday, come to think of it, despite being offered water in a pristine cup...

teenagetantrums Thu 17-Oct-13 19:50:43

my two always sucked the flannel no idea why, i would have thought it would taste yuck, and they ate things of the floor, they are both big healthy teenagers now, sounds like you are doing a good job, you are thinking about things. As to the bed, my DD climbed out of her cot at the age of 13 months so we put her in a bed, she never fell out just shouted for us to come, or got out and came to find us.

YouTheCat Thu 17-Oct-13 19:51:20

You sound like a lovely mum. Tbh it doesn't sound like your unconventional upbringing has had a negative effect.

I was out roaming around an airfield everyday (sometimes with my younger brothers) at 5. Riding my bike all over and getting up to mischief.

ILetHimKeep20Quid Thu 17-Oct-13 19:56:13

My son, 18m, sucks wet clothes out the washing machine.

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