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When someone is looking after a young baby, what things ring alarm bells?

(21 Posts)
whyisthishappening Wed 26-Mar-14 17:27:18

I am concerned about how my friend and her family care for a young baby.

Social services were involved before with other children, but they seemed to have got by without any change. The baby has been to hospital a few times so shouldn't that raise alerts?

The things that make me concerned are lack of care when making up the bottles - they aren't cleaned, sterilized or measured correctly, not changing dirty, smelly nappies for ages when the baby has bad nappy rash and being rough with the baby. They don't support the baby's head much and the baby has nearly fallen off the mother's lap several times when I've visited. It's constant shoving a dummy in the mouth to shut the baby up when it cries and the baby is left to cry to sleep.

When they rock the baby, it seems really fast and too vigorous. The mother seems to palm the baby off on people all the time, so whilst you want a cuddle, you end up babysitting for over an hour when you've popped in for 5 minutes.

Money isn't budgeted so generally there will be new clothes for the baby yet no powdered milk and no nappies. It is hard to refuse to lend/give money if it means the baby goes without.

I've been told to stay out of it and not get involved by my family.

TheXxed Wed 26-Mar-14 17:34:10

Your concerns are valid and I too would be worried about a baby in this situation.

The NSPCC operate a free 24 advice line 0808 800 5000 they also have some great info on their site

Jan616 Wed 26-Mar-14 17:37:33

This is a very difficult situation and I feel for you sad. What was the baby taken into hospital for?

PumpkinPie2013 Wed 26-Mar-14 17:38:20

It sounds like they are struggling?

Can you offer an hour or so of help to make bottles/change baby/play with older children?

Do they have a health visitor? Can you contact the local health visiting team and ask them to get in touch?

Or ss anonymously?

brettgirl2 Wed 26-Mar-14 17:47:09

you need to ring social services, sorry.

TheGonnagle Wed 26-Mar-14 17:51:32

Ring social services. I know you don't want to, but imagine how you'd feel if you didn't and something really bad happened. This sounds like neglect anyway, which is classed as child abuse.

whyisthishappening Wed 26-Mar-14 18:01:26

It's vomiting and diarrhea, stomach upsets all the time, constant problems with feeding which my friend says is due to the bottles and allergies/food intolerance.

There seems to be a real enjoyment in going over why the baby keeps needing to be hospitalized. If the bottles aren't made up properly, I don't understand why my friend doesn't deal with it. She keeps saying she may contact SS.

The other children were constantly sick too and Munchhausen's? where the mother is deliberately harming the children has been suspected by local gossips. It is my friend who was suspected of this but nothing ever happened.

They tell me what the health visitor has said and how they are ignoring it as it's all fads and ever changing. The HV does seem to have quite a bit of contact.

I am not the only person with concerns, others are more involved and more knowledgeable about what's going on. Lots of people are giving support but I think something more is needed.

I will look at the nspcc site.

meditrina Wed 26-Mar-14 18:07:51

Do they still have a social worker?

Because if so, talking to the person already involved with the family might be the best way ahead.

whyisthishappening Wed 26-Mar-14 18:08:22

There was something about the hip being displaced as well. That was one of the hospital visits.

Ra88 Wed 26-Mar-14 18:18:22

You need to act , now !

ResponsibleAdult Wed 26-Mar-14 18:33:24

Definite neglect, possible Munchausens by proxy, ie she inflicts the injury as mother gets attention from healthcare professional via the baby.

Call SS or contact LA and ask to speak to the family social worker ASAP.

whyisthishappening Wed 26-Mar-14 18:38:49

SS are apparently involved already according to another mutual friend. I spoke to her just now and I believe she has phoned them herself.

Apparently they've been involved since the birth. I don't feel much comfort in knowing this.

ResponsibleAdult Wed 26-Mar-14 19:05:19

Your instincts are correct, you are right to be concerned. Perhaps phone NSPCC and ask how you can increase the support for the family or if some intervention may be necessary. Good luck.

deepinthedoodoo Wed 26-Mar-14 19:05:32

Ffs I'm not namechanging! Report this now - this baby is clearly being neglected & abused!!! Disgusting that these people are allowed to procreate...

PirateJones Wed 26-Mar-14 19:11:31

I'd say it's neglectful. You will need to get Social services to listen and take you seriously, write down a list it will help you when you contect them.

whyisthishappening Wed 26-Mar-14 19:32:55

I will make the call tomorrow. I'm glad everyone agrees with my opinion.
I just felt guilty about doing this.
I wasn't sure if it was as bad as I think it is.
So many people are aware of what's going on that I assume it must be acceptable.

Doodle1983 Wed 26-Mar-14 19:36:30

Oh I feel so sad! Please ring tomorrow.
So glad that someone is concerned

PirateJones Thu 27-Mar-14 03:18:24

*So many people are aware of what's going on that I assume it must be acceptable."
Social services take forever to actually do anything, they don’t separate kids from families unless they absolutely have to.

NomDeClavier Thu 27-Mar-14 07:58:12

They will try supporting the family first but you should definitely register your concerns. Every but of info strengthens the case.

Lagoonablue Thu 27-Mar-14 08:03:44

Yes just because they already know doesn't mean you shouldn't tell them your concerns. All the little bits of info will add up to a bigger picture and assist with their decision making.

The badly made up bottles, dirty nappies, rough handling......all neglect and very damaging to such a young baby and that is only what you see. What else is happening when you are not there?

Safeguarding children is everyone's concern. Don't listen to those who say stay out of it. Poor little mite, he/ she deserves better.

whyisthishappening Thu 27-Mar-14 22:08:55

I don't really want to say too much.

I've spoken to SS. I made a list of what I'd actually seen not what I'd been told.

My friend has told me lots of things that make me concerned but, after talking to our mutual friend this morning, I now believe she is exaggerating/has lied over a few things.

My friend has been trying for another child for over 10 years and is now unlikely to have any more. She is giving the mum and dad quite a hard time and being very critical of their parenting; they are young and inexperienced but my friend isn't helping. The family are moving out soon and SS will be supporting them.

My friend is finding it difficult to let the baby go. She has been a bit irrational over a few things lately. I'm hoping she will improve after they've moved out.

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