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Showering with 6 month old DGS

(23 Posts)
Unshowerlybehaviour Tue 20-Nov-12 23:17:37

NC here. It's just easier.

My DS is 6 months old. DH, DS, and my parents went on holiday recently.

At one point, after a meal, DS was covered in food and needed a wash. My DF was about to shower and offered to take DS in with him (so his DGS).

I said fine. My DM stood outside cubicle with towel, while my DF and DS showered. Both enjoyed it.

Afterwards we were putting on a clean nappy and DS discovers his penis for the first time. This completely freaked out my DH who has now decided he's really uncomfy with DS showering with my dad, and has started to notice things when my dad looks after DS. For example, when changing his nappy, my DF waved the wipe around in a 'feather duster' type way, around DS's nappy area. I took this as my DF just having fun with his grandchild; but it unnerved DH.

Of course, if something makes DH uncomfy we won't do it. We try our best to show a united front, especially in parenting. Solidarity and all that. So no big deal, we've said it's no longer appropriate at this stage of development.

But what do you think? Is DH overreacting, or would it freak you out?

(FWIW I think part of this has to do with my backstory. In brief this is as follows: my DSis has eating disorder, which DH has commented often occurs following sexual abuse. We were raised in a strictly religious yet hippy-esque fashion which meant we were smacked/grounded etc, but DM and DF also walked around naked/took baths with us until we were pubescent. VERY different from DH's upbringing. I was NEVER sexually abused though.)

EuroShopperEnergyDrink Tue 20-Nov-12 23:24:35

Your DH is seriously overthinking this.
I'd be wondering what made him come to such a sad judgement. sad

JudeFawley Tue 20-Nov-12 23:25:11

I would not have a problem with this, but that's from my perspective.

My dad would often have baths with my kids when they were tiny - but we've always been a free and easy family.

OverlyWordyHurdyGurdy Tue 20-Nov-12 23:26:04


My ILs come from a culture where it is totally normal for GPs to share a bath with grandchildren. FIL is looking forward to a bath with DS on our next visit and I think it's lovely. DH would be dismayed and horrified if I suggested anything untoward might be going on. Aren't you? Sounds like this behaviour is totally normal for your parents.

And inferring that someone who suffers from an eating disorder has likely been abused is a logical fallacy. Certainly wasn't the cause of my eating disorder!

Last thing - your DS found his willy. This is a total non-event. Mine found his at the same age. They all do. And then they never let them go hmm.

hellymelly Tue 20-Nov-12 23:31:13

Your DS is a tiny baby! I think your DH is very ott. And eating disorders don't always follow abuse. Has your DH any issues around abuse? he sounds very panicked by the whole thing. Does he not like your Dad?

MikeOxard Tue 20-Nov-12 23:39:58

Overreacting. sad

lurcherlover Tue 20-Nov-12 23:41:13

Your DH is way overreacting. It is completely normal for a young baby to discover his penis. It's exactly the same as him discovering his toes, or any other body part. There is nothing sexual about it. Does your DH actually think your father showering with your son has somehow "corrupted" him and that he wouldn't have found his penis if this hadn't happened?
DH and I both shower with our two-year-old DS regularly. It wouldn't bother me at all if my Dad or either of our Mums did this (DFIL is dead). Nudity around young children is normal and healthy and how they learn about what normal body parts look like. Obsessing about possible abuse, on the other hand, is not normal. I would be having a serious conversation with my DH if he ever reacted like this.

Unshowerlybehaviour Tue 20-Nov-12 23:43:23

Thanks, everyone. That's pretty much what I think.

DH's parents were pretty old, and he says he never went in their room. Very supportive and loving; but very physically private. It's just completely alien to him.

Does he get on with my DF? He knows he means well, but finds him difficult. My DF can be a little bit sarcastic, and defensive. And never wrong! My DM calls him a fixer: he always wants to find a solution to a problem, even if it's not his job to fix. And of course, I was always his little they're both very protective over me. DH saw me battle depression, and he likes to understand why things happen. So seeing flaws in DF makes things easier to explain. He doesn't think DF ever did anything deliberately bad -but questions the way he raised us, and doesn't want to repeat those mistakes.

And the eating disorder: My DSis is a very intelligent perfectionist who went to a girls' school. I think that has more to do with it. But what do I know?

Unshowerlybehaviour Tue 20-Nov-12 23:49:53

Also, he does agree nudity around DS is normal, and using proper terms so as not to cause embarrassment. But he just thinks it should be him & I nude: not other relatives. And only until DS is a few years old.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Wed 21-Nov-12 00:04:10

That's sad that your DH feels like this. I think it would be better for you to try to make him see that the way he feels isn't good, rather than to go along with things he feels necessary, when they aren't.

I have fond memories of showering with my Nana (poor woman couldn't even shower in peace when I was around grin) and going in the bath with my Aunty. My parents would walk from the bedroom to the bathroom naked, we were always allowed in when they were getting ready etc no big deal at all.

My friends kids always come in the bathroom when I'm in there, as do my nieces & nephews - I consider it payback! grin

A child seeing adults naked in normal situations is fine, healthy. It's a good way for children to understand that bodies come in all shapes and sizes - and that is OK.

All children find their bits very entertaining - boys and girls. It continues for a very long time!! The things you find yourself saying to them are hilarious - your DH is really going to struggle with it all if he isn't made to realise it's normal.

The wipe/feather duster thing, makes them laugh. I usually waft a nappy about to dry the skin before putting botty cream on (to avoid trapping the moisture in) and it makes most babies laugh - so what?!

TheBuskersDog Wed 21-Nov-12 00:04:57

I can't believe that you are so accepting of your husband suggesting that your father may sexually abuse children, I think your husband is the one with a problem. How dare he suggest that your sister's eating disorder may be as a result of your father abusing her. Personally if I were you and had never had any reason to not trust your dad I would be highly offended at his comments.

lisad123 Wed 21-Nov-12 00:10:10

Way over thinking! And very sad sad

ErikNorseman Wed 21-Nov-12 07:21:24

This is really terrible, and shows a very high level of anxiety in your DH's mind that sounds completely misplaced.

RooneyMara Wed 21-Nov-12 07:37:14

I'd feel weird about my parents being naked around my children, but then again, I often am, because we share a house (and a room, often!) - they would find it odd seeing their grandparents naked. But they are much older, 5 and 9.
I think as he is a baby it's not an issue or doesnt have to be.

I had a serious ED and was not sexually abused. Your DH is wrong about this necessarily being linked. I think he's got over-worried and needs reassurance.

In the meantime try to reach some kind of compromise if you can.

HairyGrotter Wed 21-Nov-12 07:42:17

Your DH is overreacting, and is also making a ridiculous assumption that eating disorders are related to abuse...I'd be having serious words with him to find out why his thoughts are so disordered and warped.

What a sad state of affairs, this would concern me greatly and would have me questioning my DH

BelaLugosisShed Wed 21-Nov-12 08:13:02

I'm sorry but if this was a woman feeling uncomfortable with her FIL showering with her baby, she would be told to go with her instincts and not let it happen.
Her DH doesn't feel right about it, therefore it stops.
I wouldnt have wanted anyone but me and DH showering/bathing with DD, I was perfectly happy with DD being in bed with GPs however, it's down to personal feelings.

Unshowerlybehaviour Wed 21-Nov-12 08:59:47

As I said , it's not that DH thinks my DF did anything deliberately bad, but he questions his parenting at times. And I think he read something in the Lancet about sexual abuse and ED, and just latched onto it. I've told him what I feel: In my experience ED are about trying to get control back and there are many reasons why people feel they don't have that control.

Bela is right. If DH is uncomfortable with it it stops. That's the way our relationship works; we are a team. And I also wondered about people's responses if it was the other way round. DH has to go with his instincts. It's sad, though.

I was thinking about this a lot overnight - and I really really don't want to dripfeed but this didn't initially occur to me. DH's parents were older and have both now sadly died. In their final years, DH was their carer and responsible for lots of intimate care for both his parents, but particularly his DM. I've mentioned how physically private they were & I know he found it difficult as he knew his DM would be feeling a lack of dignity as he changed/washed her etc. I'm not sure if he ever dealt with this properly, as he is fairly introverted but I'm wondering if this has anything to do with it. It certainly affected our sex life at the time (understandably).

AgathaF Wed 21-Nov-12 09:30:08

I think he is over-reacting. I think it is fair enough for you to decide to say no more showers with grandparents, but I think banning your dad from playing with babywipes in that way is bordering on the neurotic, tbh.

Reasonable enough to have open discussions and back each other up. Just be careful that you are not the one doing all of the compromises. Your ds is very young still, there will be lots of issues and lots of compromises to be made by both of you over the coming years. I'm sure that your DH is not going out of his way to make his parents change their way of life (be more healthily open) is he?

AgathaF Wed 21-Nov-12 09:31:04

Oh, I'm so sorry. I didn't read the last paragraph of your last post before I posted sad

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Wed 21-Nov-12 09:41:23

Reading your last paragraph, some counselling alone for your DH would be good, just to speak and unburden himself.

My DS is one and he plays with himself as soon as nappy is off. Apparently very good as it helps the foreskin detach, etc. There will be lots more odd scenes with DS and his genitals for your DH to witness.

amyboo Wed 21-Nov-12 09:52:58

My DH often gets in the bath with our DS (2.5). We've found it a great way to teach DS how to properly wash his willy. And he seriously didn't need anyone to show him ow to play withit either! As soon as we started potty training him (age 2) he discovered he could get his hand to his willy very easily and now likes to have a good play every time he goes for a wee!

I think your DH needs to chill out and stop worrying. Boys play with their willys. It's what they do. I think it's far more important to teach kids that this kind of thing is OK (obviously not all the time!) otherwise they'll grow up with a serious complex...

ChippingInLovesAutumn Wed 21-Nov-12 10:02:02

If DH is uncomfortable with it it stops. That's the way our relationship works; we are a team

Hmm. Being 'A Team' does not always mean agreeing with the other person no matter what. DH being uncomfortable with something means you need to talk about it, it doesn't mean you have to do things his way. What if your DH was uncomfortable with you changing DS's nappy or with you taking him out of the house.

I agree that your DH could do with some counselling and probably you too.

Unshowerlybehaviour Wed 21-Nov-12 13:20:41

amyboo "Boys play with their willys. It's what they do.

Agreed - and DH doesn't think otherwise! He knows it happens and is fine with it. He just was unnerved that the first time it happened was right after he had a shower with my DF.

ChippingInLovesAutumn "Being 'A Team' does not always mean agreeing with the other person no matter what. DH being uncomfortable with something means you need to talk about it, it doesn't mean you have to do things his way. What if your DH was uncomfortable with you changing DS's nappy or with you taking him out of the house."

We don't agree no matter what: we talk things through, reach a decision and present a united front. And it's definitely a reciprocal relationship. I really believe that in marriage two become one, and slating your OH to nearest and dearest, or undermining their opinions is unhelpful. Of course if he was uncomfortable with me changing DS's nappy/taking him out of the house that wouldn't be ok. It also wouldn't happen.

Don't worry, AgathaF we both compromise. In this case it's me compromising. Another day it will be him. I should clarify, though, that he hasn't banned DF from the baby wipe thing, he just didn't like it. And my parents still enjoy bathing DS; just no showers.

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