Did I overreact?

[deleted account] ( 33 moms have responded )

My son's grandparents (his father's parents) decided to feed my son Nutella. Now normally they would ask me if they're allowed to give my 9 month old a new food but this time they didn't and I'm really upset because I know they know I would of said no in the first place.

The decided to try him on Nutella, you know the chocolate hazelnut spread. I'm upset for two reasons 1) I don't want my 9 month old to be fed chocolate 2) It has nuts! and the consequences of their actions could of resulted in an allergic reaction and may or may not resulted in death.

My ex mother-in law tells me im overreacting and I should be glad that we now know my son is not allergic to hazelenuts, and she can't see my point in any of it! Even my social worker went around and told her that it was a really dangerous and silly thing to do and in future not to give my son anything else with nuts in it until his 12 months.

Granted the pictures were very funny. But what I want to know is am I overreacting? or should I be grateful that I now know my son is not allergic to hazelnuts?


Ntombi - posted on 09/01/2010




Nutella or not their behavior was unacceptable. I am not even talking about the allergic reactions your baby might have experienced. I am sure your had sent your baby with his own food. People do that just to undermine you.

[deleted account]

From the op my gut reaction was yes you are over reacting a little, there are always going to be times where people do things we are not particularly happy about in regards to our children and as long as there are no family allergies children can now have nuts (not whole nuts) from 6 months, actually there is only really honey that you are advised not to give to babies under 12 months now so it is not a major issue.

However, after reading your other posts I am inclined to say your reaction is justified, as your MIL knew that you have a family history of anaphylaxis from nuts (although she may have forgotten) it was a very dangerous thing to do, your son is at risk of having allergies and although he cannot die from first exposure he could from the next (anaphylaxis does not occur on first expose but can anytime after). I would do as Cathy says and keep a journal of anything like this where your son could potentially be in harm for future evidence!

Nikki - posted on 08/31/2010




I would be sooo pissed, that is so rude! It is not anyone else's place to test if your children are allergic to nuts.

Not sure if anyone else has mentioned this, I haven't read the posts but the second time they have an allergen food is usually the time there will be a serious reaction not the first, so you still need to be careful next time they have nuts.

Jacquie - posted on 08/31/2010




I would be mad too! You are the mother and you make the rules- they should not have given him anything new without your permission

[deleted account]

I was going to say there really is no reason to restrict foods unless there is a known allergy in the family. (according to my pediatrician) Being that your sister is highly allergic to nuts, I'd be very concerned about your children.

Regardless of family allergy history, you are not over-reacting. Anything concerning the health and safety of a child should be solely up to the parents to decide.

That can be hard for some of our parents and in-laws to understand because they've already raised children. And the "rules" so to speak, were different back then. It's hard being told that they things you did for your children may not have been the correct thing (I mean, we survived after all!). But that still doesn't excuse them from overstepping their bounds with OUR children.

This conversation has been closed to further comments


View replies by

C. - posted on 08/31/2010




Um, this is a tough one b/c I know with my son, if someone did that, I would have been PISSED that they did it behind my back b/c they knew I'd say no.

While I am so glad that your son didn't have any reaction to the Nutella, he COULD have- and then what would they have done? I would say.. No, you're not overreacting. This is YOUR child and if you don't want him being fed certain things, they should respect that. And if they don't, I say they don't get to take him anymore (well, that's what I would do, anyway).

Now, if you'll excuse me.. My son just crapped his pants :)

[deleted account]

Very silly mistake that could of had very serious consequences for the child involved..your son&yes i would of gone for them like a bull in a china shop..we all make mistakes but i would of made it a big deal as to why you dont go doing things like that.

Lauren - posted on 08/31/2010




I don't think you are. It's your son and they have no right to feed him what they wish. On the other hand, they're of a different generation than you, maybe things like that weren't really noted as a risk, so they see nothing wrong in it.

But I agree with you, it was a silly thing to do.

Chrystal - posted on 08/31/2010




No I don't think you are overreacting at all. I understand that grandparents want to spoil their grandchild, but they still need to ask the parent if it's ok if they can feed them something. It's not their kid, and I'm sure they felt the same way when they first had a baby. You keep putting your foot down and telling them to ask you first.

Krista - posted on 08/31/2010




And when you're done cleaning with it, you can drink it! (Well, maybe not with the bi-carb soda...)

[deleted account]

@Caitlin yeah I'm not too keen to try him on anything with nuts unless my mother is there (she's a pediatric and allergen and clinical respiratory nurse) my younger sister is allergic to all nuts but her peanut allergy is the most sensitive. I'm glad my only allergies are soap and household cleaning products (and quite frankly who needs household cleaning products when all you need is vinegar bi-carb soda, vodka and lemon juice?)

Caitlin - posted on 08/31/2010




Hmm, just so you know an allergic reaction doesn't always appear the first time a child is exposed to an allergen, it's actually more rare for it to appear the very frist time, which is why when introducing new foods to a baby, you are supposed to feed it for a few days before switching to something new.

That is very important to know. As a mom of a child with 4 major allergies, only 1 showed up on first exposure. The first exposure is generally reffered to as the "sensitization" and that's the time the immune system decides it no longer wants that food. Just because he didn't react this time doesn't mean he will not react violently next time. Watch very carefully for signs and symptoms if he is exposed again. Not to the extent of being paranoid for sure, but it's definately worth being careful.

I'd say take careful details about the incident and other things that may happen liek that about them not being careful with you son (like maybe answering the phone while he is in the bath or other things that you aren't supposed to do. If it becomes a serious issue and they do this many times not respecting your wishes, you can possibly file something woth the court to remove that order.

Oh, and also regarding the allergies - peanuts and nuts aren't the same thing, so be careful with peanuts still, even if he isn't allergic to nuts.

Ez - posted on 08/31/2010




Ahh ok Sarah. I'm sorry you're having to deal with unsupportive inlaws on top of everything else. Cathy's right though - you should definitely keep track of the things they do to aggravate the situation. Apart from them trying to provoke you, are they otherwise good with the baby? Does he seem comfortable with them?

[deleted account]

@Erin: while they're son is away for work there is a court order in place mandating that i allow them to have him every second weekend until the end of next year

Ez - posted on 08/31/2010




You did not overreact. You are the mother. They know the rules (that they ask you before giving any new foods) and they went and did it anyway! I would be pissed too.

Edited to add: If they are intentionally disrespecting your wishes on an ongoing basis, I wonder why you are allowing them access to your son? Do you rely on them for childcare? Or do they only see him when he is with his father?

[deleted account]

@Kati, they knew my sister is allergic to nuts because I had to go up to the hospital one night after she used a knife that had a small trace of peanut butter on it. They have this thing where they like to fire me up so they can prove over and over that I'm an unfit mother due to my mental illness because they actually want my son to be their own. retarded i know but thats a whole new story

[deleted account]

If they knew that you wanted to be asked before trying out a new food then they should have respected that because you are his mom. It's sometimes hard to get grandparents to understand that times have changed when it comes to giving infants new food, but they still should have respected your rule even if they didn't agree with it.

Loreana - posted on 08/30/2010




My cousins dad is HIV positive and has bleeding gums, one day she came to visit me and complained that she was having a hard time telling her dad to stop sharing stuff with her four year old daughter, well i absolutely flipped. I don't think as a mother that we should even have to apologize for protecting our children from a situation that could literally kill our child, I told her that as a mother she has all the rights and responsibility to ensure her child is safe, and although sometimes we can say things in a way that is not rude or could cause a rift, sometimes we have every right to be firm, there is a reason mothers are refered to as lionesses. I think you were totally in the right and should not feel guilty, grandma was a mom once too so she should understand without you having to explain, the situation should not have had to happen.

Charlie - posted on 08/30/2010




I agree with Teresa no one should give a child under 12 months food without asking first especially high risk allergens like nutella.

Marabeth - posted on 08/30/2010




i don't think you were overreacting. my parents are always trying to give my daughter food they know i don't approve of and i was too gentle with explaining to them how i feel at first. after months of being gentle i realized i just needed to as some might think "overreact" to get what needed to be done done. i wish i had been that way in the first place and gotten it over with instead of dragging it out into a thing.

Lucy - posted on 08/30/2010




No, you are not over reacting.

If I were you, I would be angry that they had fed your son something so inappropriate and possibly dangerous. But the main thing that would wind me up is the fact that they did something they knew would be against your wishes.

My Mum and I don't share all the same ideas on parenting, but when she is looking after my kids she is happy to do things my way, and that's how it should be!

[deleted account]

I don't think anyone should give a child under 12 months (at least) any food w/out the parent's specific permission, so no.. I don't think you overreacted at all.

Rosie - posted on 08/30/2010




well at first i was gonna say maybe a little overreacting, you still have the right to be upset because they didn't follow instructions. but you have to be able to see it from their perspective, years ago it was ok, years ago people gave their kids nuts all the time, and it's just hard for them to get the new info and let it sink in.
BUT after i read your sister is allergic, it makes more sense. did they know that you have a family history of allergies, or were they just clueless to that as well?

Krista - posted on 08/30/2010




And your sister having a strong nut allergy just makes it that much worse. I presume your ex-in-laws know about this? If not, they should definitely be told, if only to increase the odds that they'll start taking these things seriously.

[deleted account]

I'm not sure how nutella is nutritious for anyone. I might just add my sister has a highly sensitive nut allergy and we have taken her to hospital because she's had a reaction cos she came within 10 feet of a peanut butter jar...im not making fun, its true

*Lisa* - posted on 08/30/2010




Yeah I don't think you are over-reacting either. Nutella isn't nutritious for a 9 month old in any way.

Krista - posted on 08/30/2010




I would have been pissed off too -- I mean, what were they thinking??? I'm glad your social worker backed you on this.

The way that I see it is that ANY introduction of ANY new food should only be done by the parents, or with the parents' express consent.

Your ex-MIL probably won't ever see your point -- her defenses are up now. But it's worth reminding her that if she wants to give your son a new food, to please call you (or your ex, if he's sensible) to get the go-ahead first.

Katherine - posted on 08/30/2010




No. You were not over-reacting at all. Infants should not be fed Nutella or any other type of nut product. I would have been furious. Ok so what your son isn't allergic NOW but allergy's can pop up anytime.

Jessica - posted on 08/30/2010




When my dad tried to give my son nuts, I went BALLISTIC. He had never seen me so angry before. I think he got the message.

No, you didn't over-react. Just the possibility of a deadly allergy is enough to not proceed until your child's immune system is functional enough to survive the trip to hospital.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms