‘I refuse to let mum-in-law hold our baby after smoking – husband says I’m being OTT’

By Staff

A new mum says she will not let her mother-in-law hold her two-month-old baby if she has had a smoke – but her husband says it ‘isn’t a big deal’, leaving the daughter-in-law in a dilemma

A new mum is fed up with her mother-in-law smoking around her baby – but she has been left in an awkward position after her husband says it “isn’t big deal”.

It isn’t always easy to bite our tongues when it comes to the actions and opinions of our in-laws. But one woman has drawn the line after confessing her mother-in-law keeps “ducking out for a fag” then instantly picking up her two-month grandchild.

The 39-year-old mum to the baby says she thinks her husband’s mother should wash her hands, face, and change her top before holding her child – she even suggested to put a scarf over her hair to disguise the scent. The problem has annoyed the new mum so much that she has decided her mother-in-law cannot hold her grandchild after she has been smoking.

Taking to Netmums, the parent, who wishes to remain unnamed, said: “Am I being unreasonable to tell mother-in-law she can’t hold our baby after she’s been smoking? She thinks it’s fine to duck out for a fag then come straight in and pick up our two-month-old, without washing her hands or anything.”

She added: “Personally, I think she should at least wash hands and face and change her top. And maybe put a scarf over her hair?”

But the baby’s dad thinks his wife is being “over the top” about his mum’s smoking habits – but agrees she should at least wash her hands post smoke. The mum has been left confused about what to do. Speaking to Netmums, she said: “He also thinks it’s not that big a deal, and won’t say anything himself – says it’s up to me if I want to say anything – grrr! Should I say something? Or tell he needs to man up and talk to her?”

A number of people rushed to share their opinions and advice via the forum. One individual said: “It’s not unreasonable to ask her to wait a while, second hand smoke is a thing even after finishing the cigarette and not good for a young baby’s lungs.”

Another claimed: “The poisons in cigarette smoke will still be exhaled on a smoker’s breath for two or more hours after they have finished their last cigarette. The toxins on the smoker’s clothes will still be there until those clothes are washed, sometimes even after that.

“And everyone around the smoker will be affected by those toxins. Babies who grow up around smokers, even if they don’t live with them, are more at risk of respiratory problems than children who are not regularly exposed to smoke. So, no, you’re not being unreasonable.”

Speaking about the dangers of smoking, the NHS said second-hand smoke is particularly harmful to children . A spokesperson said: “People exposed to second-hand smoke face the same dangers as people who smoke themselves. They too inhale the same poisonous gases and thousands of toxic chemicals found in tobacco smoke.

“Their risk of developing smoking-related diseases will also increase. When you smoke, it’s not just your health that’s put at risk, but the health of anyone around you.”

The NHS advises smoking outside – while this won’t completely protect others it will reduce the risk. It is also advised to clean and steam carpets regularly to reduce the toxic particles at home where smokers have been. “Do not leave cigarette butts or ashtrays in easy access of children, other people or pets,” the NHS adds.

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