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No touching newborn for 1st 3 months?

(146 Posts)
RedRag Sat 29-Nov-14 03:56:44

Hello - this is our first posting to Mumsnet.

Our daughter is having her first child due this January. Our son-in-law announced yesterday that we would not be allowed to hold or touch the baby for the first 3 months unless we used hand sanitising gel each time.

This led to a heated discussion. He insisted that he was just following the advice in the NICE guidelines for new parents. We said that we believed that a baby kept in a sterile environment for 3 months would have a weaker immune system rather than a stronger one as he believed.

What we'd like to know as grandparents is whether his view on interactions with the baby is the current accepted wisdom or is he being a bit over the top with his interpretation of the NICE recommendations?

SavoyCabbage Sat 29-Nov-14 04:00:48

Have you looked up the guidelines yourself?

He's not saying you can't touch the baby at all. He's saying you have to use the hand gel.

It's not something I have come across personally but I would start it looking it up myself:

MokunMokun Sat 29-Nov-14 04:08:20

It's just hand gel. It won't make a difference either way so I'd just indulge them. Yes, it's kind of ridiculous but really not worth falling out over.

SavoyCabbage Sat 29-Nov-14 04:18:57

You do go a bit over the top when you have your first baby, especially if you haven't been around babies before and you feel a bit out of your depth. That's why there is a market for bath thermometers and the like.

I was just telling my oldest child this morning that she didn't get any of her own 1st birthday cake as she wasn't getting cake and biscuits then.

My mum used to say things like 'it's all changed from when I had you' which was nice as she wasn't saying 'I brought you home from the hospital in my arms in the back seat in a car with no seatbelts and it never did you any harm'

icklekid Sat 29-Nov-14 04:20:27

It's not guidelines but agree just squirt a bit of gel on and smile - I doubt they will keep it up 3 months- a nct friend starting by only holding /cuddling baby on pillow so they didn't get used to being held- it didn't last long!

LittleRedDinosaur Sat 29-Nov-14 04:22:23

All he has asked is that you clean your hands before holding the baby. OTT but is it really worth fighting with them about? Hope you sort this out before it causes real problems with your relationship

ColdCottage Sat 29-Nov-14 04:23:57

I wouldn't worry. After a few weeks they will chill out and forget about that. Gel would only be in place of if people couldn't actually wash their hands with soap.

He is just reading up and trying to be the best parent he can. Sweet really if a little ott. I bet you 20p he won't be putting that into practice at 1 month old.

magpiegin Sat 29-Nov-14 04:26:09

Yes it is OTT but for the sake of some hand gel just go with it. Sure they'll relax more when the baby is here. I have a small baby and my mum thinks I am over the top as she is 12 weeks and still in our room and does not sleep with a cuddly toy and it is hugely frustrating and feels like I'm constantly being judged for doing it my way with my baby.

Tunna Sat 29-Nov-14 04:31:41

Welcome to the board smile

I must admit that I had a similar reaction to my mum on meeting my PFB (precious first born). The difference being that we were about to enter the special baby unit, where he had just spent the first 12 hours of his life. (Her defence - I washed my hands before I got in the car!)

Just smile and nod. As a parent yourself, you'll know that they'll soon realise that you can't keep a child in a sterile bubble because shitty nappies, licking carpets / cat / puke on their bib gets in the way!

i always remember a bit of sage advice - for the first born a friend had a separate flannel, towel, toothbrush etc. when it came to the second something's intermingled. When it came to the third it was a case whatever was reasonably clean and dry!

CoolStoryBro Sat 29-Nov-14 04:31:59

Sanatize your hands and hold the baby! It's no big deal!

PedlarsSpanner Sat 29-Nov-14 07:10:48

I think it perfectly reasonable to ask you to use the handgel

If you refuse to or keep harping on about OTT then you risk alienating your DD and her husband. Their baby, their family.

I don't know why you couldn't have said yes I see thank you for explaining instead of creating a "heated" exchange. And asking here for ammo to use against the parents is pretty poor

Roonerspism Sat 29-Nov-14 07:14:43

I have no idea about NICE guidelines.

But for the first few weeks I do ask people to wash their hands before holding my newborns. Just soap and water. There are a few nasty bugs you don't want them to get when so little and I think that is just common sense practised by loads of folk I know.

Perhaps the gel for 3 months is just a rather long version of that?

FWIW I hate anti-bac gel - what's wrong with soap and water?!

tumbletumble Sat 29-Nov-14 07:19:07

It's better for your son to tell you up front that these are their rules. I agree with others, it is slightly OTT but no big deal really.

PedlarsSpanner Sat 29-Nov-14 07:20:22

Rooners ime some people cavil and resist actually going to wash their hands whereas being proferred a squirt from a gel bottle right then works. As I say, ime.

Mehitabel6 Sat 29-Nov-14 07:21:53

It is a small thing- just indulge them.

Roonerspism Sat 29-Nov-14 07:22:34

Mmm fair enough pedlars

Do these antibac gels work? I'm a bit weird and think unless you are putting them all over your hands they are just weird chemicals that smell odd smile

gamerchick Sat 29-Nov-14 07:30:36

Hose handgels are useless anyway.. just indulge them. They won't keep it up for long anyway so no more discussion needed with them about it.

SomeSunnySunday Sat 29-Nov-14 07:31:01

Just use the gel / wash your hands then. Honestly, as a mother of 2 children one of whom had a major neonatal infection, and the other who developed meningitis at 2 months old I think that this seems a sensible precaution to take. It might initially sound OTT, but I really wish I'd been a bit more careful about handing mine round (both made full recoveries, but only after worrying times and long hospital stays). I will be insisting that anyone who wants to hold soon to be born DC3 washes their hands (and will strongly discourage people from kissing the baby).

Babies have very immature immune systems.

FishWithABicycle Sat 29-Nov-14 07:32:40

We have a name for this behaviour on MN, "PFB" = "precious firstborn" - it's completely normal to be a bit weirdly ott at this stage.
BUT. Please don't argue. Smile, nod, go along with it. Their baby - their rules. They will calm down, but they will know by your behaviour now whether or not they can trust you to respect their judgement.

That thread title suggests you aren't being particularly sane about this. No-one has said "no touching" it's just "only touch with clean hands". It's also perfectly normal, and non-insane for smoker grandparents to be told they have to keep a set of clothes that they never smoke in, and must change into it before cuddling their grandchild, because toxic chemicals cling to clothes and can damage very young lungs. Just to give you another example.

Whatever happens, just keep respectful and keep repeating to yourselves "their baby, their rules"

gamerchick Sat 29-Nov-14 07:32:42

Soap and water would be better and most people I know liked people to wash their hands when the baby was brand new.

GritStrength Sat 29-Nov-14 07:45:35

If you want to see your grandchild then you need to start.l behaving better. Having a row because a minor understandable ( even if you think ott) request is made of you is going to destroy your relationship. I would be in no hurry to see my in laws if I felt they were undermining my efforts to keep my child safe. Just do as you're asked here.

Mehitabel6 Sat 29-Nov-14 07:46:13

Expect to smile and nod a lot in the first couple of years. It will wear off when the child becomes a person with ideas of their own.

Booboostoo Sat 29-Nov-14 07:50:24

Asking people to wash their hands before holding the baby is a perfectly reasonable precaution, I suspect hand sanitiser is an alternative.

Either way YABVU to make a big deal out of this. Even if it was completely unnecessary it would hardly inconvenience e you to do it just to set their minds at ease. If you take this combative attitude towards their parenting decisions you may end up seeing your grandchild very little and the parents won't listen to you even when you have something sensible to say.

RubbishRobotFromTheDawnOfTime Sat 29-Nov-14 07:55:20

I would be pissed off at the 'heated discussion' if I were your DD. It's not up to you. Be careful or they'll start limiting contact with you as they won't want to hear your opinion about every minor or major parenting decision they make.

Newborns are vulnerable to infection. Your title is totally inaccurate and suggests you're going to be a difficult granny I'm afraid.

Bowchickawowow Sat 29-Nov-14 07:55:58

I can't stand hand sanitiser. My understanding is that it is no good for norovirus either.
My mum actually wanted me to do this when I had DS1. There is no way I would have asked my grandad, who died before DS was 1, to antibac before holding his first great grandchild.
If your baby has health issues, etc, it is perfectly reasonable however.

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