Am I over protective when I won't let my step kids play with their sister?

Desiree - posted on 09/04/2012 ( 17 moms have responded )

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I have a 7 month old baby (my first child). I also have 2 step kids 2 girls 9 and 10. My husband thinks I'm over protective bacause I'm constantly yelling at the girls to wash thier hands before they play with baby. And constantly telling them to keep their small toys the floor because the baby will put it in her mouth and choke. There has been 3 occasions already that the baby had something that she shouldnt have. The other night the girls were passing her around like she was a doll and I freaked out. Her head was flopping all over the place but I'm too protective. Am I crazy?

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Suzie - posted on 09/18/2012

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I think everyone needs to relax a bit. Sorry... its not me being insensitive. I have a three year old... she was my first and I didn't act like that... I have a HUGE Italian family and I had a ton of people hold her and love on her and that included kids. I agree, everyone needs to wash up before holding a newborn... Everyone needs to wash up after being outside or using the restroom. However, it is not reasonable to wash your hands every single time you touch a baby, especially one that is now 7 months old and isn't immune-compromised in anyway.



Your step daughters are 9 an 10... You need to keep in mind that your daughter and your step daughters are all half of your husband. Its an equal playing field. Your step-daughters just want to be a part the baby's life, play with her, hold her, etc. I don't think this is a time to panic. I think this is just a time when you and your husband need to educate them and then you both are going to have to remind them constantly. They are still children too and they still have to learn. I think you are being a little harsh with them.



I think you should show them how to hold the baby properly... how to play on the floor with the baby... etc.. And maybe you set ground rules, nobody over the age of 12 walks around with the baby. But either way, I think you are being a little overprotective and your expectations of your step daughters are a little high. I was a first time Mom and I definitely worried and made sure my baby was safe...but there is a fine line. You need to be understanding that this is a learning process for your step daughters as well. And you need to be patient with them as they learn to care for their baby sister.

S. - posted on 09/04/2012

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Well I have never liked to watch my babies be treat like dolls, iv never let kids pass them around I wouldn't let kids push there prams (occasionally I'd let my oldest) and small toys are a constant battle in my house. I think by the time the youngest was 7 months I wouldn't be so fussed about the hand washing as long as the kids were clean. You do relax as the baby gets older but i'v been a bit of a fuss pot with all 3 of my kids. Fair enough if your still like it when the kids 3 but I think it's natural just try not to offend the others.



I remember when I had my 2nd daughter I strictly said children was to only sit down whilst holding her, me and my hb went out and left her at my mils house, the next day my oldest daughter told us that my SiL (11) at the time stood up with her and walked the room. I was livid and it ended up in a big argument.

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Sophia - posted on 11/23/2012

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its two of them ... right you like them coming over or would you like dad going over ?????? I think he is going to see his children one way or another ! they are older and at some point will get sick of you and your wonder baby .. and tell dad to keep going.. and guess who will not be getting any loving !!!!

Angela - posted on 10/28/2012

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I think at 7 months they are nearly mobile anyway and it would be different if it was a 6 week old baby with its head flopping. I think small toys yes are dangerous but u just have to be vigilant as a parent, you are responsible for your bubba and keeping dangerous toys away, keep reminding the other kids to pick them up or they go in the bin, my kids lost a few things and now it gets put back from wence it came lol..... it makes me laugh nowdays that people dont wash their hands after using the loo ... its basic hygiene!! I shout at my kids WATER WETS AND SOAP WASHES.... they do forget from time to time but im on them straight away :) i took my daughter who was 8 at the time into the toilet and placed a piece of chocolate on the toilet seat and asked her would she eat it now.... she said no way so i said if you dont wash your hands the germs are on her hands and then she touches food. Now she never has to be told. Her bro is a different story altogether ...

Rachael - posted on 10/27/2012

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No you're not crazy. It seems as though you have a genuine concern for her safety as any parent should have. Women especially are hardwired to behave this way. This is how our offspring stay alive.

I would say though that you don't need to be crazy concerned about sanitizing everything though. It is important for the baby to get some germs in her system so that her immune system can learn to fight off infection. If one of your step kids are ill, then its a good idea to keep clean, but it's still important to let your baby get some germs. This is another reason why young babies put everything in their mouths!

Chrisso - posted on 10/20/2012

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ok everyone it seems i have hit a few raw nerves here that i didnt mean to. i know it is bad to do but when i replied to this i was having relationship issues with not only my partner but my step daughter as well. what i was meaning about the sperm donor is that my partner is my sons step dad however we have been together since i was 12 weeks pregnant and he was the one to cut the cord and all. i meant that i am a believer in nurture rather then nature or who raises the child over who helped make the child ( my ex has not wanted contact since signing the birth certificate). I am absolutly thankful that my partner works and works hard to provide our family and yes i am including his daughter in that with all the things we need but for us it is also a necessity thing. our 2 year old isnt able to go to any daycare as she is visually, intellectually, phyically disabled with hearing loss, epliepsy and autistic traits so would require a registered nurse to care for her at daycare according to government. i still stand by my house rules regarding when the children can hold and such but that is as i said just easier for me with my son to know that all non adults have the same rules whether sibling, cousin or close family friend. i will admit when my son was little i did have unrealistic rules for my SD regarding playing with her little brother but as soon as a child starts to be mobile they make their own mind up and alot of that did come from me being 19 and a first time mum. please do not think of me as a hateful person i may have issues with my SD at times but aiy what parent or guardian isnt going to lock heads with a 13 year old girl at some point

Starr - posted on 10/17/2012

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I think you are being a little over protective, especially since your baby is now 7 months old. When my youngest was born my older girls were 10 and 13, they were such a huge part in everything. I loved being able to share the experience with them and they loved being involved with their sister. They were allowed to hold their sister from day one. They would even change diapers, rock her, help with bath, everything.



It seems like your step kids love their little sister and want to be involved. They are excited. You need to try to relax and allow them before they start to resent you and start feeling you favorite the baby or don't like them anymore now that you have the baby. Kids are funny that way you know. Maybe sit them down at a time when everything is mellow and the baby is sleeping and discuss how you'd like them to handle her. Teach them calmly about small things laying around. There will be times when the baby gets a hold of something you don't want her too, it happens with or without siblings around. Make a visual sweep yourself when entering the room with the baby and teach them what to do if they see her start to put something in her mouth or if it looks like she already has. On the hand washing, your baby isn't a newborn anymore so its not as important as it was at first. Just make sure the kids wash their hands when they come home from school or playing outside and ask them not to handle her when they are sick. A little germs once in awhile builds resistance. And whatever you do try not to yell, the last thing you want them to do is resent you.

Suzie - posted on 10/16/2012

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I am glad I am not the only one who thought this whole chain of dialogue was off-putting to say the least!

Chelsea - posted on 10/16/2012

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Chrisso- Can't believe you said that. How disrespectful to your husband. That is such an awful thing to say.

I spend all day at home looking after my baby, cleaning the house, folding the washing while my husband is at work. I drive the car more often, I carried our baby and fed her for hours on end, through breastfeeding. I go weeks without sleep in's and bad hair days.....BUT NEVER IN MY LIFE, have i EVER thought, that all those things were more mine then his. And my husband is juts a pay check and a sperm donor.

You need your head read, because that is just offensive. Your children are "things" that someone owns more of.

Chelsey - posted on 10/08/2012

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You do realize that at 7 months old your daughter is going to be crawling soon and putting everything in her mouth anyways so the older kids washing their hands is going to be the least of your worries. My kids are 5, 3 and 7 months and my girls are allowed to play with their brother pretty much whenever they want. They both hold him (when he doesn't wiggle away). My only rules are that they don't pick him up and that all small toys stay in their rooms, but remember that they are kids and are going to forget.



Babies are going to get into things especially as they become more mobile you just have to keep watch. Be happy that they want to play with her and love their baby sister.

Suzie - posted on 10/05/2012

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Chrisso- All I can say is wow! I wonder how your partner would feel if he ever read that? Of course as a mother you have a special bond with you child. I am a single mom who left my ex when my daughter was 3 months old. I know what it is like caring for my daughter 100% of the time. However, as much as I dislike him, especially this morning considering we have been arguing over his lack of communication with me in matters concerning my daughter... He's still her father. And she is still half of him. I just don't see how you can say your partner, someone you love, is only a sperm donor. And your kids are more yours than his... And your step kids are more like random kids you picked up at the park. I'm sorry but I have been with my boyfriend for years... his kids only come for a few weeks here and there over holidays but I can say I genuinely love them from the bottom of my heart because they are half of him and I love him so much. Like I tell my daughter... Your heart has the ability to love lots of people... and the more people you love, the bigger it grows.I just think its sad that you don't think more highly of your partner or your step kids.

Chrisso - posted on 10/05/2012

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sarah- i dont mean to sound hateful. but in my house i have a nearly 5 year old son who knows what he is allowed to do with his sisters and my SD is only here for 1 week of each school holidays so i dont feel it is fair to allow her all these extra things while she is here and he knows she isnt a adult when he is not allowed to do them. i know that she is half of my partner and so are my daughters but the thing is any man can become a father it is just a sperm donation on their part i feel the kids are more mine then his. i carried them for 40 weeks, i fed them from my breast and i am the one that cares for them 100% of the time

Sandy84 - posted on 10/04/2012

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I don't think you are! It's natural to be protective- especially wiht other kids!!

Suzie - posted on 09/28/2012

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Chrisso- I was just reading your comment... You sound so hateful when you say "back off, your only the half sister". Your child is half of you and half of your husband. Your step daughter is half your husband as well. That means... Your step daughter is equally related to your child as you are.... I just find it really disconcerning that you would say that about your family.

Chrisso - posted on 09/17/2012

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i definatly understand where you are comming from. I have a 13yo step daughter and have had my 3rd baby 5 months ago. i was exactly like you and still to a degree am. even though she is 13 i will still only allow her to hold her 2 little sisters (2 year old serverly disables and 5 month old) when she is still in the couch. i have to pass them to her and she is not to move them around. my main reasoning (excuse) nowadays is that my eldest is 4.5 and the rules have to be fair for both siblings regardless of age. the children do learn about things on the floor a couple of times of items being thrown in the garbage bin will do that and yes always washing hands is a great practice for them it is hygienic. i am always told by my partner that i am being too over protective and should let her baby sit all three kids on her own hahahah what a joke. 4.5 hates her and always fights with her. 2 year old is non verbal and non mobile and can suffer seizures shutting off her airways at any given time and the 5 mo well i think that is self explanitory. my rule here is you can be the mummy and tell the kids to do and do what you like with them when you have your own kids and can support them on your own till then back off you are only the half sister.

Lori - posted on 09/16/2012

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i would say no its not a bad thing hand washing is a must so that we dont keep passing grems onto one another............thats what i tell mine and now since i have a medicaly fradgile child they have to be alot cleaner and keep things off the floor and i dont let them hold their brother untill they ask to hold them and they still need to be on the couch and i still put him in the corner cause of his issues he cant sit yet(hes 8 mo) its totaly understandable for me to be like that....just keep reminding them that we dont want lil...... to be sick and we dont want ....to choke so lets not leave our toys laying around. i have a 3 5 and8 yr old ive had to reward them for the little helpful things that they do causee there is a little jelousy going on and i try my best to make it up to them cause they understand it takes a lot of money and extra time to deal with the baby maybe your step daughters may feel a little outta place and put out by the "new" child just a thought..........hugs

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You are not crazy. I totally get it. My stepkids never used soap after using the toilet. I waste money on liquid soap because that was the only way I could get them to do it (sometimes). I really needed everything to be clean around my babies and the situation was intolerable. I have spent many sleepless nights because of it.

I am actually up now because my 19 year old stepdaughter still does not wash her hands properly during the day or at all at night if she thinks no one knows. I hear her use the toilet (right next to my bedroom) and then go straight back to bed (3 am). I am at my wit's end. I can't sleep because I keep thinking about it. My husband won't say anything to her (never does) so now I am fuming and wondering how on Earth to bring this up yet again. I should be asleep!

I can relate to the head flopping too. Everyone thinks you are being overprotective but they have no idea how a mother feels at that time.

I can't help (as I have obviously failed myself) but you are not alone. If anything, keep at it or you'll end up like me. They will not change just because they grow up.

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