Baby Hints & Tips

Approaching family members who are smokers

approaching family members who smokeI’m due to have my baby anyday now and my husband and his immediate family are all smokers, and I’m nervous having to expose my baby to this when they will want to cuddle him after smoking. There is a non smoking rule in our household but I can still smell it when they walk into my house and is on there clothes and hands. Any thoughts?

  • I had premmie NICU babies, Changing clothes or washing hands is not enough. Smokers breathe out smoke for up to 2 hours after having one and when people hold a baby they breathe straight into their faces. Nicu discourages people who arrive at hospital and “have a smoke before they go in to the hospital” from holding babies. Its just not safe. All I can say is, you are your child’s protector and their only voice. Its up to you to set the rules for your house and your child. If people are offended, then that’s their problem. They chose to smoke, your child should have the right to not be subjected to it. It is a major SIDS risk and the risk outweighs the consequences of offending someone. Just tell them straight out, if I can smell it, I am not allowing you to hold bubba, end of story. Cheree
  • Unfortunately we knew quite a few smokers. Luckily I have always been very against smoking so even before pregnant I would not be around people smoking, I even have a no smoking on my property rule, if someone was over and wanted to smoke they had to be on the other side of the fence – I have dogs as well and don’t want them exposed to passive smoking. My husband and I emphasised this when I became pregnant with my first child. When my son was born we told people (I told my friends and family and my hubby told his) that they couldn’t hold bub if we could smell it on them. Everyone got used to this rule pretty quick and all but 1 person has stopped smoking now. Good luck and try to be strong, your baby’s health is much more important than their feelings. Kat
  • I have a 2 week old and I went to visit a friend who smokes. While we were there she went outside for her smokes however she wanted to cuddle my little girl after. She washed her hands but that was all. When I got home I had to change bubs and wash all her clothes and the blanket she was wrapped in as the smell from her clothes had leached into bubs. The next time I went around I asked my friend to put a jumper or another top on to smoke in and take the off before she gave bubs hugs. This worked better as there was no rub off onto baby. Passive smoking or even having the smell of smoke on the clothes can trigger sids and other problems. Gently let the family know that you love them all but you are thinking of bubs and want him to be happy and healthy and if that means they need to be a mindful of their habit then so be it. You have to be his voice. Jas
  • I went through something similar when my daughter was born, I am a non-smoker, my partner smoked on occasion when he would have a drink or two, but his immediate family are all heavy smokers. We went and stayed with them for three weeks when my daughter was 4 weeks old as they live in a different city. Firstly, I would approach your husband and voice your concerns to him. If possible confront him with a bit of research so he knows that its not just you being paranoid etc… I think the easiest way for you to explain to his family would be to have him ask them not to before they expect to see your son. He made sure that my partners relatives washed their hands every time they wanted to hold our daughter. It may seem a bit harsh in your mind and you might be a bit nervous, but think about how teenagers sometimes talk to the parents and it won’t seem so bad lol Amy
  • I think you have every right to talk to your hub and his family. When I had my baby girl, no one was allowed to hold her or go near her if they had been smoking and hadn’t washed their hands AND changed their top. Sounds ridiculous and lots of people ridiculed me for it, but I believed it was best for my baby and will do it again for this baby. Mind you, my little girl is 2 and I still have the same rules. My feeling was that I had to do whatever I felt was best to protect my child and I think in this day and age, where we know so much about the dangers of smoking passively, no one could argue with you! Good luck!!!! Jess

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