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Smoking, SID and Grandma

(31 Posts)
BoyMeetsWorld Tue 18-Sep-12 20:25:14

So we are TTC DC2.

The only way we are feasibly considering this is because my mother has very kindly agreed to provide full time childcare whilst LO is 6mnths-1 and then wrap around care for nursery / school for both DC's.

Fine & good but Grandma (my mum) is an extremely heavy smoker - around 40 per day. The once white walls in her house are yellow with it & we all feel quite ill with the stink of smoke clinging to us every time we go there.

She would be doing childcare strictly at our house, where she only smokes out in the garden (there'd be hell to pay if she ever smoked in our lovely clean home). But asking her to cut down / raising the issue with her is a dead loss. She lies & says she only has 10 a day. She claims she doesn't smoke inside her house or in her car even though both are untrue.

I'm really worried that though I don't smoke, being around her will increase DC2s chances of SID. & of the ongoing health implications for both children :s neither DH or myself smoke & it is banned inside our house.

What do you think / should I do?

Fizzylemonade Fri 05-Oct-12 20:36:57

My own Mum smoked all her life from the age of about 12, smoked through all of her pregnancies, never gave up.

She provided childcare for my sister, and smoked outside but still had 20-30 cigarettes a day.

She was perfectly well, had a bit of a dicky hip which was put down to rheumatoid arthritis, very fit and active despite the smoking. Eventually cut it right down when she was 61.

She went for a routine mammogram, they found breast cancer, scanned her body and it was absolutely everywhere, as you can guess the primary was lung cancer.

From the date she was diagnosed to the day she died was a mere 10 weeks. She was 62.

So before you rely on a relative for childcare, you may wish to consider the fact that they may not be around forever either physically or mentally. My husband's uncle has just been diagnosed with alzheimers at the grand old age of 53, he has 2 children under 12 years old sad

SchrodingersMew Fri 05-Oct-12 20:27:36

NotAnAxe The OPs kids wont be in the GM's house.

notanaxemurderer Fri 05-Oct-12 20:21:50

I would absolutely not use her for childcare. The thought of my tiny 6 month old dd in the house you've described - with yellow walls etc - is just awful. As for the argument that loads of people grew up with smokers etc, yes they did and they still do, but people are generally way more informed now about the risks of secondhand smoke on babies, which is one of the reasons why SIDS levels have dropped.

Shallishanti Fri 05-Oct-12 20:09:41

maybe you could start by being concerned about your mother's health- she's the one who right now is at risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke etc etc

atacareercrossroads Fri 05-Oct-12 20:05:36

Well OP your choice is pretty simple then - dont have another DC until you can afford childcare, or deal with the fact that your mum may have sneaky puffs while minding DCs.

FWIW My mum smokes and I rely on her for childcare. She smokes outside, washes her hands afterwards and as long as she isnt going halves on with the kids then it doesnt register on my concern-o-meter. They are exposed to more fumes on the walk home from nursery to her house.

AvonCallingBarksdale Fri 05-Oct-12 19:59:07

THis is so simple, OP. Either you suck it up and accept the offer of free childcare from your DM or you decide that the smoking is too much of an issue and you pay for childcare/stop working, which, tbf, is a road that most of us have to take if we are not lucky enough to have someone offering free childcare to us! You can't moan about the smoking if you've not even conceived yet!! It's not as though she's offered, you've had the baby and then she's taken up a 40 a day fag habit, is it!

calypso2008 Fri 05-Oct-12 19:51:47

If you can't afford childcare and you are already criticising your mother then I think TTC is a bit ridiculous.

missymoomoomee Fri 05-Oct-12 19:51:42

The risk decreases after the baby can start rolling over by itself, it decreases again after a year. Most babies who die from SIDS are usually under 4 months.

I absolutely second Schrod in saying that there is no proven cause, there are statistics and you can reduce risks by going by them, but SIDS is absolutely random. After losing my son I had monitors with my other children and it saved my daughters life when she stopped breathing.

SchrodingersMew Fri 05-Oct-12 19:42:16

And the risk drops at 6 months then again at 12 months.

Btw there are lots of other risk factors with SIDS and nothing is actually a proven cause, other theories on risks are anything from unsafe co-sleeping to car fumes and even babies dreaming of being in the womb so forgetting to breathe!

If you are really worried and still take her up on her offer you could always by monitor that detects breathing.

SchrodingersMew Fri 05-Oct-12 19:39:41

No, I think you've got a cheek to be accepting her huge favour of full time (pretty much) childcare to then come on here moaning about her smoking! Especially as she wont be smoking in the house.

That is a major ask of anyone and you shouldn't have agreed if you knew her smoking was going to be an issue.

BoyMeetsWorld Fri 05-Oct-12 19:34:10

Thanks for comments all.

I know DM would be doing us a huge favour: that's precisely why I can't push her to give up and, as I said, it would be pointless anyway as she's v much in denial about it.

For all those saying 'just pay for childcare'. That is not an option, we simply can't afford to and are unlikely to be better off than we are now. DC1 would start school as DC2 was born: precisely why we've waited until now. Dont really want to go into details about our situation but putting it off much longer isn't really an option.

What age is SIDS a big risk until? Shed have little contact with DC2 until 6 months anyway as I'd be on maternity. After 6 months we could afford to put DC2 into nursery so DM would just be doing wrap around for the two of them (approx 3 hours per day, at our house). But it's whether nursery at 6mnths is worse, whether even that 3 hrs per day without being in her house is ok..,

It may not be ideal but so many children do grow up perfectly fine like this - many of us included when our own parents , not just childminders / relatives, smoked & we're still here?

For the poster who said we've got a cheek to be questioning this when not even conceived yet...surely it's better to be thinking about this before rather than after??

missymoomoomee Fri 05-Oct-12 19:16:48

Some factual articles based on non biased research

missymoomoomee Fri 05-Oct-12 19:04:09

I can't find exactly what I want but

here are some findings about how much smoke is being taken in the house despite smoking outside

second and third hand smoke

a shortened version of the findings I wanted

I must say though SIDS can strike anywhere at anytime, you can do everything 'right' and it can still happen in your family, all you can do is reduce the risks.

QuintessentialShadows Fri 05-Oct-12 18:52:45

I would pay for childcare.

I would not risk my childrens health to cut costs.
If you cant afford childcare for two, then dont ttc nr2 right now.

aufaniae Fri 05-Oct-12 18:49:52

missymoo I'm so sorry for your loss.

I would be very interested to see any links you have, I find DP is hard to convince about the dangers of second hand smoke. He's in denial about just how dangerous smoke is I think.

He used to smoke in the car with DS! I was shocked when I found out. He's an intelligent man but thought that with the window open it'd be fine. He stopped as once I showed him stuff online about it. I make him wash before putting DS to bed if he's just had a cig, but I suspect he thinks it's not really necessary and I'm being over-the-top about it.

missymoomoomee Fri 05-Oct-12 18:36:33

The information I have is about time frames that children are exposed to smoke rather than amounts of smoke.

I shall try and find some links.

My son died from SIDS, I have spent 14 years working with charities and researching this, so I think I can speak with some authority on the subject.

aufaniae Fri 05-Oct-12 18:32:25

A tangent, but possibly a helpful one ...

Do you have a mortgage?
Did you know that many mortgage providers will offer a no questions asked mortgage holiday for 6 months for maternity?

Ours did and it meant that I could take the whole year off.

If you could do that, perhaps no need for your mum to do childcare much if at all?

Inneedofbrandy Fri 05-Oct-12 18:30:17

Factual links based on non biased research please.

Busybusybust Fri 05-Oct-12 18:28:36

Missymoomoome - can you provide links which prove this please? You don't actually say how much smoke children are exposed to before they have an increased risk of SID - so your assèrtions are meaningless.

calypso2008 Fri 05-Oct-12 18:17:12

I'm with you SchrodingersMew

SchrodingersMew Fri 05-Oct-12 18:15:10

She's doing you a huge favour so I think it's pretty damn cheeky wanting her to give up/cut down smoking.

You haven't even concieved yet, I could understand if you were pregnant unexpectedly and had worries but you knew she smoked this amount when you said yes.


Isabeller Fri 05-Oct-12 18:15:01

How about buying her an ecig kit and asking her to give it a try as an alternative to some of her regular cigs?

Friends who tried this to cut down not stop found they really liked it especially flavours like coffee and chocolate, there are several different nicotine strengths too. Because it's water vapour it's completely safe and non polluting indoors, maybe a good time of year to give it a try so she doesn't have to smoke in your garden in awful weather... wink

missymoomoomee Fri 05-Oct-12 18:09:43

The risk of SIDS doubles if the child is exposed to smoke and for every minute it is continued to be exposed the risk is increased, the risk even increases with smoke on clothes and hair.

I think you should look into some alternative childcare, and maybe print some info out for Granny to look at to explain why.

TheCountessOlenska Fri 05-Oct-12 18:03:57

If you want free childcare from Grandparents you have to suck it up unfortunately.

calypso2008 Fri 05-Oct-12 17:59:24

ummm... pay for childcare you feel suitable.

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