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Early years

03rd Aug 2019

Newborns and hygiene: Mum shares her anxieties over her parents holding her baby

'I can’t stop thinking about it.'

Anna O'Rourke

Newborns and hygiene: Mum shares her anxieties over her parents holding her baby

New parents are fretful at the best of times – but this can become tricky when friends and family are dying to see the new arrival.

How do you politely but firmly set out the ground rules for visitors? Or rather, how do you get your visitors to listen when you’ve already made yourself clear on what you expect from them?

That’s the dilemma one new mum has shared online.

The anonymous woman, posting to Mumsnet, revealed that she and her husband welcomed a baby seven weeks ago after a long battle to become parents.

The woman admitted that she has ‘hygiene-related OCD’ but said that her own parents aren’t listening when she asks them to wash their hands and use hand sanitiser before touching or holding her son.

“Despite me asking them not to every time they see him they still do it!!! It’s starting to upset me.”

Though she always having a good relationship with her mum and dad, the woman continued that the issue is putting a strain on things.

“I’m pissed off because they continue to do something I’ve asked them not to and upset as now because of my OCD I can’t stop thinking about it and feeling super, super anxious.”

Newborns and hygiene: Mum shares her anxieties over her parents holding her baby

Fellow users on the forum were divided in their response to the woman’s concerns.

Many pointed out that an over-sterile environment can be bad for a child’s immune system and some even recommended she speak to her doctor about her anxiety.

“It’s not really normal and you’re going to make yourself ill with worry if you let it continue,” wrote one.

“Very soon your baby will be putting absolutely everything in their mouth and you simply cannot sterilize everything. You cannot control everything and this will simply make your anxiety and stress worse. Get help now before it goes too far,” commented another.

“I think that your OCD is likely to resurface under these circumstances and I agree that you need to get some help for this because your anxieties are only likely to increase as the baby gets older. It must be very very hard for you.”

But some other users were more sympathetic to the new mum.

“It’s awful they are doing something that upsets you,” commented one poster.

“They should wash their hands before touching such a young baby… Nobody touched my newborns without washing their hands,” contributed another.

“Your baby, your rules and your parents should respect this instead of assuming they know better or just not caring what you think.”

Did you struggle with letting visitors hold your baby after becoming a parent? Or did you feel the need to keep the house very clean to keep baby safe? Let us know in the Facebook comments or on Twitter.