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Please help anger towards SD for nearly dropping baby-twice(42 Posts)
So my SD is 10, DD 11. I've also got an 8 month old DS. A while back my SD insisted on holding her baby brother when in kids swimming pool. I let her, she let go of him but as I was close I caught him and told her not to worry and it's ok. She laughed about it which at the time i brushed off as maybe she was worried so as a worried laugh. That was last time she stayed with us for a long period of time for hols-a couple of months ago.
This time my DH let her hold him when she was sat down as she really wanted to. He dribbled a bit on her as he's teething and she let go of him completely forcing him to go head forwards on the floor. Me and DH luckily caught him otherwise it would have probably been a trip to hospital for him! DH then told her not to worry about it and told me she's not used to babies. Well she is as her mums side of family have babies too. If it was my DD who did that I would have told her off to be honest as it was serious but my DH did nothing and I don't see it as my place to do as it's not.
Ok so my brother never woke up from coma from a head injury after a fall a few months ago. So I think I'm sensitive when it comes to falls because of that. But I feel such anger towards SD for being so careless. It wasn't accidental as she purposely let go not wanting to get dribble on her. Right so, I always enjoy having her with us and I need some wise words from MNs so that I can forget about this and snap back to enjoying having her with us and snap out of this protective mood. I don't want to be seen as evil SM! Just some words of advice would be much appreciated. I told DH she is not to hold our DS again and he agreed. Not for now anyway. I feel bad about that but I can't risk it. Never had this problem with DD and her friends as they all understand dropping a baby head first on the floor is not a good thing to do ￼
I can’t make you feel better as I’d be very pissed off and I have a DSD who’s 10 and a small baby and she’d never ever do that. She adores her sister and couldn’t be more careful with her, while playing as active a role with her as she chooses, which is a big one. No one enjoys being dribbled on and before DD arrived my DSD was super grossed out by spit and sick and big on washing her hands a lot. Since having the baby she’s a completely different child and if it’s her sister doing it she doesn’t mind at all, just grabs a muslin and wipes the baby’s face and has a chuckle. She used to dribble and puke loads so DH just says “oh look, you did that too, she’s so like her big sister” and it’s a nice moment.
If your DSD isn’t allowed to hold your baby I don’t know how things will improve but I can see why that’s what you’ve decided for now. How do you want/hope things will change?
I think the problem is her instinct isn't mature/developed enough. Her gut instinct was uugh dribble. Prob a split second reaction. A more developed response would be to keep the baby safe even if projectile vomits in your face. I don't think its deliberate I think it is likely a maturity thing. Babies are very squirmy. Say she cant hold him unless on her knee in the floor. Yanbu at all on this but I domt think she is doing it on purpose just not mature enough.
Instead of being angry why don't you show her how to hold/support baby properly? She is 10 and the clear hate you have for her is probably making her anxious.
I just don't trust her to hold him anymore as I absolutely believe that she'd do it again and god forbid if he was sick on her, I honestly think he'd go flying from her arms. My DD was the same as your SD-totally grossed out by dribble, vomit etc but if it's her baby brother doing It she doesn't mind and would never let go because of it-i trust her on that. I don't know how it's going to go forwards and I'm a bit worried about that. Especially as my DD holds him a lot so I expect SD ask to hold him again at some point soon and i would feel bad explaining no because she can't let go. I was kind of hoping posters would say I'm being unreasonable and that would help me get over it so to say but perhaps IANBU.
We did show her how to hold the baby and told her she can't let go no matter what. She was doing it nicely before suddenly letting go because she noticed dribble. She knows he dribbles because it's constant, he is teething quite badly. Yes I was being nice towards her afterwards but if I'm honest I tried to avoid her a bit (which included avoiding DD as they're always together) as I didn't want her sensing any negativity off me. And today I've woken up still angry and unsure and I'm not happy with my feelings so that's why I posted.
I agree it's immaturity rather than deliberate. She didn't think of consequences
I would expect a 10/11 year old to shout for help if baby dribbled and know that she had to hold him until help came.
Does she hold him with a Muslin nearby or does he wear a bib to soak up dribble?
He always wears a bib so the dribble could have been wiped away easily. He could have also been handed back to us easily..
Ive decided for now she can hold him when she's sat on the floor only, if she asks to
I would not be letting her hold the baby again and certainly would leave them unsupervised at all. Dropping him near water is awful and then for similar to happen is even worse. She is old enough to know what he will fall. It seems that she likes the idea of holding him more than the reality. I just wouldn't risk it.
That's a tough situation. I don't think it sounds like you hate your SD. It sounds like you're trying really hard to overcome the natural disappointment and anger anyone would feel towards someone who twice dropped and endangered their baby.
I agree, she shouldn't be allowed to hold him again and she is old enough to be told why.
I’m very sorry about your brother. No wonder you’re anxious about your ds being dropped. Your ds is old enough to know about this: ‘If you’re holding baby x, you have to keep hold of him, even if he dribbles. What might happen if you let go? He could fall and hit his head, and really hurt himself.’ And remind her what happened to your brother.
To be honest I’d be incredibly angry; that behaviour I’d expect from my 2 year old not an older child. I would have been sharply telling her off if DH didn’t and absolutely forbidding her to hold him again.
Has this only just happened? I think your anger about it will fade over time And it’s ok to be angry about it.
Of course you don’t hate her, just ignore the stupid posters
Holding her while sitting on the floor and closely supervised seems the best solution for now.
I also don’t agree that you can’t tell her off. If her dad isn’t present when she does something stupid or dangerous you’re the adult in charge she should deal with it and he should back you up. When it comes to keeping your child safe, even if he is there and doesn’t deal with it then you need to. I had a friend come to visit who has very “boisterous” children one of whom was trying to stroke my then tiny newborn which looked more like trying to smack her on the head. She didn’t do anything to stop him so I took DD back and said we have to be gentle with small babies so they don’t get hurt. I don’t care if she thought I was being precious and she didn’t seem to mind but it’s my job to keep my baby safe and no one gets to endanger her so someone, no matter what age they are, gets to “have a go with the baby”. Fuck that. Behave safely and appropriately, remember a baby is a small vulnerable person not a doll and if you can’t then you don’t get to play with it.
You’re an experienced parent, you’re an established blended family, your own older child can treat the baby with care, don’t be afraid to make sure everyone around him does the same. Sibling relationships are very important and it’s heartwarming to see the bond between my step children and their sister. But at the end of the day I’m her mum and no one gets to endanger her by being bloody stupid.
Yanbu. I wouldn’t be taking a risk with my baby’s safety to protect anybody’s feelings. It’s not for long - baby will soon be up and about and DSD will be able to play with him as he toddles around, rather than just hold him.
Ignore the idiots saying you hate her. You clearly don’t. Some people are just nasty.
Anyway - no benefit in telling her off really. You say it wasn’t deliberate so just be matter of fact but firm - it’s dangerous to drop babies, you’ve done it twice now, we can’t risk a third time so you only hold him if you’re sitting on the floor. End of chat.
I think the reason why I didn't say anything was because it happened so quickly and to be honest it was a total shock. My heart was going 100 miles an hr. I expected DH to say something but he didn't other than not to worry and I think I was too shocked about it all. I'll speak to her if she asks to hold him again.
Just because she’s a girl and the same age as your DD doesn’t mean she’s automatically capable of holding babies or controlling her gut instinct (and it is gut instinct!) when the baby poos / dribbles / vomits all over her. I bet your dd would drop the baby too if he had a poonami all over her. The trick here is to SHOW her how to hold him and clean him up and to tell her that if there’s a problem then you should always keep hold of the baby as being dropped could hurt him. You should also get her involved in the grotty side of childcare too if you want her to ever have a good relationship with her brother - nappy changes, cleaning up sick etc even if it’s just her sitting next to you and handing you things.
Or indeed their dad could have her sitting next to him and handing him things.
I think what you need to do is only let her “hold” him as you would a much younger child - with your or your DH’s hands right there so that you have control.
I bet your dd would drop the baby too if he had a poonami all over her.
I bet she wouldn’t. And since that isn’t at all what happened it’s not a useful comparison to make. Should the DSD be held to a lower standard because she’s the OP’s step child? “Oh look, you’ve dropped the baby, don’t worry, it’s not your fault because your parents don’t live together?”
Having had a bunch of younger siblings, being a step child and having a step child the same age as OP’s you’re being daft.
She sounds quite immature, and that's ok. She needs to be supported forming a bond with her brother.
Use a deep duvet on the floor and all of you have some floor time play. If she's holding him she can't do damage letting him go on a padded floor!
It will give her the opportunity to practise holding him in a safe environment, if he does something suddenly and she releases him, he's safe, you can talk it through with her and carry on.
Follow your instincts though and do not let her hold him whilst standing or sitting where there is a drop.
Just don't let her hold him. I definitely wouldn't let my 7 year old hold a baby, I know a couple of 10 year olds and I would only let them hold a baby under constant close supervision. Babies can kick really hard and squirm, and i can easily see how a child would drop one. Quite apart from the dribble thing.
I would only let a 10 year old hold my baby whilst sat on a sofa and with one of us next to them.
I’m surprised at your level of anger though
I feel your pain, my SS is 6 but the things we are absolutely strictest about are things that would put the baby in danger. He has to know about safety things like handing her small things she could choke on or obviously dropping her (he doesn't hold her unsupervised but we tell him he needs to be very careful all the same). Everyone makes mistakes but you do not put others in danger. Tbh we took the same approach before she was born when he would do silly things to the cat. I think your OH was very wrong to just brush it off, one sharp telling off to my SS and he is much more careful going forward, 11 is well past the age of learning that lesson. I wouldn't let her hold the baby again and every time she asks I would remind her why until it sinks in. I would have a word with your OH about being too soft on this issue, too, it really is the most important thing to be strict on.
I wouldn't be letting her carry him any more. Not until she understands that dropping him could be fatal. Maybe a few more years.