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Hygiene with a new baby(10 Posts)
Hi, I could really use some advice. I have a 4 week old baby girl and have separated from her father, my ex partner, however he comes over to see her every night. One of the things that is a constant source of tension between us is the matter of hygiene. I take hygiene very seriously now that I have a baby, whereas he doesn't. He has always had a pretty sloppy attitude towards hygiene to be honest and we've had many rows about it in the past. An example of his poor hygiene, is that he will wear the same underpants for several days in a row which used to drive me insane.
Anyway, I have told him that I want him to be careful around our baby when it comes to hygiene - to wash his hands before feeding, after nappy changing, after touching the dog etc. He has to be constantly reminded however. The other day, he changed her nappy and didn't wash his hands until I reminded him. I'm convinced that if it was up to him he'd only ever wash his hands after going to the toilet and no other times.
As a result, I get anxious with him feeding or changing our baby and prefer to do it myself, but he gets upset over this saying I'm not sharing the responsibility, and it always leads to a row. So I reluctantly let him do it.
Tonight, he lay on the floor with my dog and played with her and had her lying on his tummy. He later asked if he could change the baby's nappy, to which I agreed, and after changing her nappy he brought her back down with her wearing only her nappy, as he wanted to show me her tummy. He then put on her sleep suit whilst she lay on his lap. I said to him that I didn't think he should be dressing her on his lap after he'd been lying on the floor playing with the dog and it lead to a row with him storming out.
I'm so tired and fed up with it all. It feels like I have two kids to look after and I have to be constantly on my guard and checking up on him. I'd love to be able to trust him with things like nappy changing and feeding, but I can't.
Anyway, I'd like to ask if people think I'm being unreasonable or not over this. Also,how can I get my ex to see the importance of hygiene with a small baby?
Thank you Sarah
I think you were slightly overreacting over the dog and changing thing tbh.
I get the importance of hygiene etc but you come across as overly anxious about it in your post, I may be completely reading into this wrong but have you been assessed for PND?
Thank you for your honesty. I am very anxious when it comes to my child as I struggled with infertility for a couple of years and had to have IVF in the end and I think this has only added to my anxiety. I haven't been assessed for PND, but I'm seeing my GP in a couple of days so I can discuss it with him.
It's your dog that lives with you, yes? Then unless you vacuum several times a day there are going to be dog hairs etc all over everything. I can't see how him playing with the dog is a problem.
Hand washing after changing a nappy is more of an issue, but for him not for the baby really. I would insist on clean hands before doing any bottle feeding related things as that is definitely important to have good hygiene for.
Would he agree to using hygiene hand gel instead? With both of my two no one has been allowed to touch them without using hand gel first whilst they were babies. (i have GBS so its a must)
Sorry I hope my post didn't come across too harsh, I just read it back and it wasn't very warm.
Hand gel is a good idea. If it's by the nappy change area then it's so easy to use.
Definitely speak to your doctor though op, I think every postpartum lady should be assessed.
I think you are overreacting, and you will have to learn to let go a little, this is part of co-parenting. Your ex will not always have the same values as you and you will have to let him find his own way and make his own mistakes when he is with her. And really, she will be fine.
It is important to have good hygiene when preparing formula feeds, that is advised by doctors AND on the tubs, but aside from that, I think it's just common sense and personal preference, yep, even if his idea of adequate hygiene is lower than most people's.
He should not be storming out, BTW, that's not very mature or balanced of him, but I do think that you are overreacting. There is really nothing you've described which makes me worry for your baby's safety, nothing even that I wouldn't do myself. There was a recent thread about nappy changing and lots of people said they don't wash their hands unless they get poo on them. In fact I remember threads where people didn't wash their hands after using the toilet themselves! I think that is a bit far, but just to illustrate that if he's doing that, he can't be that bad, he probably just doesn't see a need.
Glad you are seeing GP about potential anxiety, I hope they can help.
You do sound anxious. I was exactly the same with my first. It seems overwhelming at times doesn't it?
You will have all the hormones etc whereas your ex won't.
I agree with you that he should wash hands after nappy change & before a feed. To be honest I'd always wash my hands before picking up a newborn for a cuddle but not everyone would.
I wouldn't have worried overly about a sleep suit being put on or germs on his lap. But your ex could be kinder & try and empathise with you really.
I'd ask him to just wash his hands more often or use gel while you're feeling so anxious- it's hardly an arduous task!
He shouldn't be rowing with you over this or storming out. Is he usually this volatile?
Congratulations on your new baby, you sound like a caring mum.
Post natal anxiety is a very common post natal problem - as common as, but less dangerous than pnd (so not as well known). If you are this anxious it may be worth chatting to your GP or hv.
If unchecked it can ruin your precious maternity time and may lead to pnd. Or - someone I know - lead to anxiety and stress for 18+ years as the fear just changes with age.
I find mine very manageable with hypnotherapy and yoga, but there are also medicines and cbt/therapy available.
Parenting is huge challenge when you do it with someone you are in a relationship with, it must an even more massive strain when you are trying to make joint decisions with someone you have just broken up with.
I think you are right about the hand washing after a nappy change but he risks more himself than the baby. Formula making hygiene is quite important.
You are being excessive about the dog and where the baby is changed. Dogs faeces, especially from dogs who have not been wormed, and ticks could be problems with a dog but other than that there isn't much the dog could pass to the baby. If your dog is wormed, has tick/flea treatment and has no obvious skin conditions I would not give it a second thought. In fact there is a lot of research showing that 2 or more dogs in the household with babies prevent asthma.
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