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How do I go about this?
1

birthofawoman · 13/07/2018 18:56

DS is 8 weeks old, and one thing about parenthood that I wasn't prepared for is the sense of entitlement that certain family members have when it comes to interacting/spending time with DS. I didn't realise that extended family would feel that it's their right to see/hold him. DH and I had a child, and suddenly it feels as though the child we made belongs to the whole community. A huge part of me feels that I'm not ready to have him closely interacting with anyone beyond his parents, grandparents and uncles and aunties, as these are people who know me well and who I can be honest with if ever there was a problem. Also, we're (DH and I) still in our little bubble with DS, where we appreciate the time to ourselves to just love and absorb him. I think this is a precious time for a new family, and that they should be allowed this time without interruption.

Anyway, in the midst of all this I'm really struggling with all the touching of DS - especially of his hands! Why do people always touch babies' hands - the one part of their body they're always putting in their mouth? I, myself, would do this before I had my own child! :O I'm especially funny about it when the person in question has just spent the day being out and about (say, in a market), or when it comes to children (their young immune systems means they're so often catching/recovering from colds and bugs etc). Part of me isn't assertive enough to ask these family members to wash their hands before interacting with DS, as I don't want to come across as rude or uptight (pretty sure my grandma thinks I'm being unnecessary and has written me off as 'stringy' or 'rude towards the family' in her mind). On the few occasions that I have asked, I've noticed that some (grandma included) think it's ok to merely pass water over their hands (without using soap), failing to kill any such germs!

In addition to all this (outright what's got me feeling this way in the first place), DH and I were told (following a blood test) that DS has a low white blood cell count, which makes him not only more susceptible to illness but it also means that his body would have a harder time fighting illness. The doctor who gave us this news urged us to bring him into hospital at the first sign of him being unwell, so that he can be put on antibiotics as a preventative measure at least - so the low white blood cell count thing is quite serious, it seems.

How can I communicate all this to family members without offending them?

Am I just being neurotic/unreasonable?


Thanks!

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Hideandgo · 15/07/2018 08:58

I think you are well within your rights to say clearly that people must wash their hands before touching him and to ask people not to touch his hands and kiss him. He’s immunocompromised for goodness sake! Could you put mittens on him when there’s lots of people around you think won’t respect the rules?

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