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Worried about DH's attitude to child safety

(61 Posts)
Popacatakettle Sun 03-May-20 07:13:29

Hello, first time post here from a longtime lurker. Worried and really not sure what to do next or if anyone else has experience of this type of situation.

DH and I have a nearly 7 month old DD. Safety has been a sticking point between DH and me since she was born (e.g. DH thought baby’s room should be higher than SIDS guidance - I’ve made sure it isn’t), but especially now as DD becomes more mobile.

Yesterday, DH again put DD sitting propped up in her now-outgrown Moses basket (the open type, with no hood) on its rocking stand a few feet away from him, while he did some washing up. The other day I found DD in the same situation while DH had left the room, apparently “for a minute”. Apparently he’s put her in the Moses like this a few times lately while I’ve been in the bathroom or resting due to (temporary) illness.

Because of her age and the fact that she can roll, I feel it really isn’t safe to put DD in the Moses when it’s on its stand (the rocking type), whether sitting or not. Even if he’s just a few feet away, I feel an accident could happen quickly, especially if DH is doing another task. I have told DH this and that we should put the stand in the garage.

DH thinks I’m totally overreacting and that what he was doing is fine. He also wants to keep the stand in the house as he doesn’t want the basket to touch the floor at any time, or for DD to be near the floor, because floors are dirty - DH says this is cultural (he’s originally from a country in Eastern Europe, whereas I’m British). DH also doesn’t want to store the Moses on a small table as “all our tables are full” (!) apparently. It must be stored on the stand. This worries me as I fear DH might do the same thing against, though he says he won’t.

DH says that regardless of safety guidance, DD wouldn’t be able to fall out of the basket while it’s on the stand because the “laws of physics” means this isn’t possible (DH is neither a physicist nor an engineer). He just doesn’t think it’s physically possible.

DH says he’s happy to accept that it’s not safe to put DD in certain situations (e.g. sitting up in the Moses basket) but that I have to “prove” to him that’s it’s not safe. Apparently he will accept the opinion of childcare experts but is reluctant to do so from countries such as U.K., US, Germany etc as he feels they are of a certain cultural ‘type’ that goes too far with H&S. Somewhere like Italy he might accept, apparently - not that either of us speaks the language - as he feels they are less ‘extreme’ about H&S there.

We recently bought a lovely, age-appropriate swaying chair with a harness that DD usually enjoys, but DH says it’s too heavy to move from the living room to the adjacent kitchen - even though I manage to do it fine and I’m literally half DH’s weight.

Yes, I’m sure we can find a safe practical solution (buy a playpen?) that we can both accept. But my concern is that DH is putting DD in unsafe situations and isn’t supervising her the way that he should be. There have been similar issues in the past e.g. putting DD on the sofa in her bouncy chair while he plays games on his phone - not even holding onto DD or the chair. Also carrying DD up and down the stairs in her bouncy chair. He just doesn’t accept that these situations are unsafe and is very resistant to my concerns. He says he just can’t think about safety the way that I do because he hasn’t grown up with it.

I just don’t know what to do. I’m worried about the situations that could arise not only now but in the future. DH works evenings so is often at home with us during the afternoons.

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blackcat86 Sun 03-May-20 07:20:49

I would be more concerned about why he completely ignores you and wants you to prove sensible safety measures. I think you need to be having an emergency phone call with your HV to 'check' and if he wont accept it then you have bigger issues. Stop letting him dictate what happens, you have nothing to prove, just get rid of the stand. A 7 month old doesn't need a moses basket anyway so just ditch the whole thing. Cots, play mats and play pens are fine. We had foam tiles and big rugs under play mats in case she rolled off as we have laminate flooring.

Popacatakettle Sun 03-May-20 07:27:43

Hi Blackcat86, thanks so much for your reply. I think you are getting 'warm', as there are some control issues in our relationship. I know that DH will be upset/angry if we get rid of the Moses basket or stand and right now I have no means of doing so as have nowhere to take it - I would have to destroy them. I started to dismantle one of the stands yesterday but he told me to stop as he would put it in the garage. Then he talked me back into keeping it in the house (see what he did there?) So it's still in the house.

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Lazydaisydaydream Sun 03-May-20 07:29:01

after I had my son I became very anxious. I wanted to wrap him in cotton wool and make sure he was never at any risk ever. Sometimes that meant I wanted to do things that were maybe over the top but they made me feel better and felt like we were reducing the risk. My DH definitely thought I was a bit over the top about all of it....but he still did it all. Every time. Whether I was there or not. Because he knew it was important to me to feel that our baby was as safe as possible.

I don't think what you want is over the top at all, just sounds like normal safety considerations. But my point is that your husband should be willing to listen to you and do things which make you feel more comfortable even if he doesn't 100% agree, and without needing "evidence" from a specific country.

I'd have a think about how he dismisses your concerns. Is this something he does in other areas of your life as well? I'd also put my foot down about the Moses basket etc.

Popacatakettle Sun 03-May-20 07:29:30

DH is often very resistant to seek/accept the professional advice of doctors, HVs, child safety experts, product manufacturers etc, favouring instead his own way or the advice of (non-expert) friends and family, because he trusts them more.

For example, DH became quite angry recently when I mentioned I would make contact with the HV re DD’s weight, as it had jumped up a couple of centile bands since her last weighing, and we’d previously been asked to flag this if it happened. He really didn’t want me to contact the HV. (Though in a clearcut instance of illness or injury, DH does ensure DD sees a doctor ASAP and seems to accept their advice.) I therefore texted the HV so that DH wouldn’t hear the phone call, but informed him of the response once the reply came through.

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Popacatakettle Sun 03-May-20 07:34:04

Whenever I have safety concerns it is always a big battle with DH and escalates into an argument (which I hate, because it's not good for DD and she became upset yesterday, which I feel terrible about). DH says it's my fault though as I make him angry and that I'm not logical. He can't discuss things like this or the HV without becoming angry and says this is cultural temperament. He is never violent or threatening and I never feel scared. But I feel controlled by his angry reactions and unable to express what I feel are valid concerns.

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Lazydaisydaydream Sun 03-May-20 07:34:38

You say he'll favour the advice of friends or family over experts..... But not your advice?

Sorry I think this points at a massive issue in your relationship.

Popacatakettle Sun 03-May-20 07:35:33

If I dismantle or get rid of the stand now, there will be more arguments, brooding or sulking by DH - not good for DS.

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Lazydaisydaydream Sun 03-May-20 07:36:25

Sorry just read your next post. You say you're not scared of him, but you are too worried to have normal conversations with him because of his reactions. Has this only come up since having the baby or is he like this about other issues as well?

Blaming it on cultural temperament is ridiculous. He's letting that be the excuse for his abusive behaviour.

Popacatakettle Sun 03-May-20 07:37:18

Lazy daisy daydream, yes because he says I take all my judgments from experts whereas he thinks for himself and uses his logic and experience, or the opinion of people who knows and trusts (friends and family) who have experience.

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Popacatakettle Sun 03-May-20 07:37:51

DD not DS

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Lazydaisydaydream Sun 03-May-20 07:39:20

But where will you draw the line? You can see that what he does with the Moses basket is dangerous. But you're more worried about him getting upset with you than your baby being hurt.

What if it was an argument about a car seat, and your DH wanted to travel without one/in an unsafe one? What if he left your son alone in the bath? What's the point at which your sons safety becomes more important than upsetting your husband?

I really hope that you can see that giving in to him because you don't want to deal with his reaction is a dangerous precedent to set and isn't really acceptable.

Wifeofbikerviking Sun 03-May-20 07:40:12

He sounds like hes getting defensive do its definitly his issue. I haven't known anyone using a moses basket past a few months old. Its not designed for this age.

I'd just get rid of it and maybe a simple option would be a travel cot in one room and playpen in the other? Save moving things around.

If she falls out she could have a serious head or spinal injury, worst case scenario. So he really does need to listen. And hes definitly not supposed to put her on a table in the moses basket.

PippaPegg Sun 03-May-20 07:40:41

So he's blaming his temper on you?

And his culture?

You have got way bigger problems than him putting baby in a basket on a stand. Which is idiotic by the way as baby could fling backwards and fall out.

You need to look at what constitutes abusive and controlling behaviour and identify your support network..

Popacatakettle Sun 03-May-20 07:41:03

Lazydaisydaydream, things like this have happened before e.g. he gets angry that antibiotics are controlled in UK (I've explained why - superbugs etc) and have learned to avoid the topic.

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Popacatakettle Sun 03-May-20 07:43:31

Lazydaisydaydream, I'm not putting his feelings before baby. I've been sensing the situation is abusive for both me and DD and thinking I can't see a way that we can stay. Lockdown makes the situation very difficult though. I just hoped others might have some advice.

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Popacatakettle Sun 03-May-20 07:46:35

Lazydaisydaydream, DH has suggested more than once travelling in the car without DD's carseat. He said his cousin (not in UK) did it with their now-13 year old DS when he was a baby. (Apparently that means it's ok then??) It's certainly illegal in both countries now.

DD is EBF so never travels alone with DH.

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picklemewalnuts Sun 03-May-20 07:47:11

Popa, I think the pps have identified a real problem.

While you think about it, try doing things differently. Don't ask or discuss things with him, just confidently do what is right. Ignore the Moses basket for the moment, as it's become a point of argument.

When she outgrows a piece of equipment, put it away (attic? Garage? Bottom of wardrobe?).
Make sure you have a suitable solution for different situations- in the kitchen she should be in a high chair if you have or can get one, in the lounge, her rocker or on an activity mat.

Don't challenge him when he's doing unsafe things- he's made it clear that won't work. Just move her. Put her on the mat, in the high chair or rocker. As you do it, talk to her about how much she likes sitting in the high chair where she can see what's going on etc.

Popacatakettle Sun 03-May-20 07:47:18

Needless to say, I would never let DD travel not in car seat.

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Popacatakettle Sun 03-May-20 07:56:37

I'm just fed up with the smallest things being a battleground. DH sulked the other day because I transferred the salad that he made onto my plate from its little bowl. Apparently this made me very ungrateful and is not OK in his culture (really?? even in a restaurant??) So little things can become huge, even getting a toy box instead of using the Moses, as this is (ostensibly) why we keep it in the living room.

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Popacatakettle Sun 03-May-20 07:57:11

The safety issue isn't small though.

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Mesmeri Sun 03-May-20 07:58:07

I think you need to be very, very firm in areas of safety while your child is small, when you know you're right. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself and make him listen to you (as your daughter grows older this is important for her to see) even if it makes him angry. Don't be afraid to reconsider whether you would be better off without him, if he continues to be angry or dismissive whenever you express your opinions.

I understand your situation a bit as my own partner is from a similar background and has a tendency to behave in a similar way at times. I nearly left him when our first child was a baby. But now that the children have got older and I have got more confident things are much better.

Spied Sun 03-May-20 07:59:28

I'd make him aware that if DD comes to any harm and ends up in A&E there will be questions to be answered. And you won't lie.

Popacatakettle Sun 03-May-20 08:02:22

Wifeofbikerviking, PippaPegg, Picklewalnuts and Mesmeri, thanks for your replies.

Mesmeri, helpful to hear from your perspective too.

We are working on the high chair (bought one but the size/shape doesn't seem suitable) and will buy a playpen shortly.

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Popacatakettle Sun 03-May-20 08:04:15

Spied, I have already said that to him. Still good advice though - thanks.

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