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No kissing my baby

(238 Posts)
Naty Sat 11-Jan-20 21:02:29

Hello everyone. Am I being unreasonable? I've issued a blanket rule to both my own family and my husband's:

No kissing my baby! She's 5 months old.

Here goes:

My husband's family has a tendency of getting cold sores...very rarely..BUT his sister is affected very regularly...severely! Almost every week in the winter, and every time I see them, I scheme and plot to hold my baby and NOT pass her around since I've never had an open dialogue with her or his family about it. I feel stressed, sweaty and shaky whenever she's around my baby with an outbreak because of this.

If my own sister got cold sores, I'd be free to say "Hey, please don't kiss the baby." Or " careful she doesnt touch your mouth, okay?" ...because my baby is reaching and touching people's mouths a lot now and putting her hand in her own mouth right after. I had no idea before having a child, but swapping saliva with a young child is a cause of tooth decay and premature dental issues as well..their mouths just can't handle it.

In order to keep myself from losing my mind, I've told everyone via whatsapp message and in person not to kiss my baby. Nobody has ever kissed my baby's mouth. Ever.

My husband's sister kissed her on the forehead and had a cold sore coming the other week. I spotted the redness and when I gently questioned her, almost whispering "you aren't getting a cold sore, are you?"
She said "no...why??? " and then her hand shot up to her mouth and she jumped back..then sat was obvious she'd just forgotten she was getting one at the time.... but my husband's family doesn't talk about a lot of things directly, so it's that much harder for me....
The last time I saw her, that very same redness had turned into a very big cold sore.

This situation has been stressing me out, so I took matters into my own hands as my husband in this regard is pretty useless and
I have explained to his incredulous parents that saliva can get into a baby's mucous membranes (she rubs her own face a lot and can wipe saliva into her eyes, nose and mouth from cheek kisses) even when they are asymptomatic (i.e. not showing any signs of herpes) and cause my baby to get it. At this age, it can be super detrimental to her health.

My beloved MIL said her husband doesn't get them. She flat out lied or she's cherry picking facts. He does get them. HE even said so during that very same conversation. I feel like I'm in the twilight zone where denial is better than fact.

They tried to change the subject but I stood my ground. My husband backed me up and said "Do you understand, mom? No kisses for the baby."

She reluctantly agreed to our request.

His parents had no idea (and still don't believe) that it was even contagious and say it's from stress and not a virus. They are in their 70s, so perhaps they don't know it's initiated by a virus first, and then stays in your system forever.

Anyway, I'm getting reading material on it from gov website and the hospital so they finally believe it. They encouraged me to ask the pediatrician to make sure.

I'm not sure what his sister thinks (I haven't talked to her about it because I don't want her to feel bad AT ALL! Her own 3 kids don't get it, so SHE must know it's contagious. I don't want to alienate her or anybody...just want to keep my baby safe.

My own family understands and is going along willingly. The in-laws, however are trying to say that herpes isn't contagious and that it's from stress.

They've obviously UNknowingly infected their own children when they were young, as their adult kids have had cold sores since childhood (my husband says so). I don't want them infecting my child out of ignorance.

When I decided to finally bring it up to his parents, I made up a phantom friend who almost lost her child to meningitis brought on by herpes because I knew they'd be incredulous. They told me "no..not herpes! Herpes can't do that." I said very pointedly that it can cause blindness in babies, meningitis and encephalitis. I know that these are rare complications, but my child is STILL very vulnerable.

So I have said NO kisses for baby! They've reluctantly agreed, but I feel like the bad guy.

For the record: I do not have HSV1, but I kiss my baby on the head or anywhere else she can't transfer the saliva into her mouth (rarely do I kiss her face, but I'm extravagantly affectionate in other ways). My husband is well aware of the risks, and does the same. Am I being unreasonable?

Thank you.

MiniMoon Sat 11-Jan-20 21:10:15

My mother suffered from cold sores, but managed to avoid spreading the virus. My sisters and I were cuddled and kissed, but not when she had a cold sore.
My children gave and received kisses from her and neither of them have ever had one.
I think that perhaps you are being rather over cautious, but not unreasonable considering how contagious cold sores are.

Sara65 Sat 11-Jan-20 21:20:52

I get cold sores, and definitely avoid kissing my grandchildren when I know ones coming, but otherwise give them lots of kisses. None of them has ever had a cold sore.

Hetty58 Sat 11-Jan-20 21:25:34

Not unreasonable, but maybe obsessive and hysterical. The 'no kissing' is a good idea, though. An awful lot of people have HSV-1 - and quite a lot have HSV-2:

SpringyChicken Sat 11-Jan-20 21:26:22

No, you are not being unreasonable. I'd be the same in your situation. In fact, I'd check with the doctor to see if it's advisable for the inlaws to handle the baby at all when they have a cold sore.

MawB Sat 11-Jan-20 21:40:34

Does anybody actually kiss babies on the mouth?
I fail to see how saliva can get into a baby’s mouth from a kiss on the top of the head (which is what most people do)
Yes I do think you are being a fairly typical new mum, but don’t let your over-protectiveness tip over into paranoia.
This is another example of the tension you feel with with your in-laws, referring to your MIL as “beloved” says it all.
Fair enough to say no kisses, but you can’t wrap your baby in cotton wool throughout her toddler years or when she mixes with other children at nursery or pre-school. She will have to build up her own immune system once she outgrows the immunities she has through your breast milk.
She will develop snuffles, coughs, ear or chest infections and that is an absolutely normal part of growing up.
Cheer up - we’ve all been there!

Liz46 Sat 11-Jan-20 21:40:43

I think that cold sores can be brought on by stress. I used to get them but have not had one since I retired over 10 years ago.
However, I have never kissed my grand children on their mouths. I usually kiss their forehead.

ladymuck Sat 11-Jan-20 21:43:58

I think you're being wise. My husband suffered from cold sores because an aunt kissed him when he was a baby, (or so my MIL told me).
You can't be too fussy when it comes to baby's health.

Sara65 Sat 11-Jan-20 21:45:22

I would never purposely kiss a baby on or near their mouth, but my one year old granddaughter loves to lunge at you with her big wet open mouthed kisses, hard to avoid!

Naty Sat 11-Jan-20 21:46:34

Thank you for the answers!

My MIL is actually beloved and quite loving. I'm going through a period of boundary setting, though. I know it can't be easy for my husband's family, either.

Chewbacca Sat 11-Jan-20 21:48:41

I've never known anyone kiss a child on the mouth. Top of their head, cheeks or forehead, yes, but never their mouth.

Luckygirl Sat 11-Jan-20 21:51:24

They should not kiss the baby - and they should understand why - even though they are in their 70s!!

I am sure that they would not wish the baby to be similarly afflicted.

Cold sores can only be brought on by stress or anything else if you already harbour the virus - one is a cause, the pther a trigger.

phoenix Sat 11-Jan-20 21:54:18

Swapping saliva causes tooth decay and premature dental issues [h

Esther1 Sat 11-Jan-20 21:54:38

I think you’re absolutely right Naty. I was very protective of my baby and particularly hated the way people would put their fingers out for her to clutch in her tiny little hand - which she would then put in her mouth. Therefore, as a grandmother I am really really sensitive about this sort of thing. I do feel for you though - it’s hard to get your wishes across without appearing churlish. Good luck.

phoenix Sat 11-Jan-20 21:56:48

Posted too soon.

Naty you have your facts muddled, and that is the polite way of putting it!

V3ra Sat 11-Jan-20 21:58:25

My husband suffers (occasionally these days) from cold sores and he was always most particular not to kiss me or our children during an outbreak. I didn't actually realise they were that infectious when we met! He said he would hate to pass the virus on, and hasn't, for which I am thankful.
I don't think you're being unreasonable at all.

Naty Sat 11-Jan-20 22:00:09

Please correct me, phoenix

BradfordLass72 Sat 11-Jan-20 22:00:45

There is a very effective remedy to stop cold sores starting and deal with them if they've already erupted.

Tea Tree Oil. Get some for your family and in-laws, it will help them enormously.

Sadly, some people do kiss their own and other children on the mouth and it's not something I would ever allow, simply because of the germ issues.

If you need a weapon in your stand not to kiss on the mouth, get a leaflet about meningitis.

Naty Sat 11-Jan-20 22:02:28

Haha, Hetty! So I CAN be reasonable while being obsessive and hysterical! smile

phoenix Sat 11-Jan-20 22:02:55

Sorry Naty cba at present, but if you Google it you will see.

Hetty58 Sat 11-Jan-20 22:02:59

The way I understand it is that the virus is only contagious from when the cold sore weeps or bursts until it heals (so not when it's only just appearing).

Dangerous complications only happen to vulnerable newborns and people who are already ill with compromised immune systems. As most adults have HSV-1, it would seem to be harmless (although irritating) in general.

Naty Sat 11-Jan-20 22:04:34

I've googled it, phoenix.

Naty Sat 11-Jan-20 22:10:01

It could very well be pesky and unsightly once or twice a year...but it could also come back weekly to ravage my daughter's self confidence in her teen and adult years. If I can prevent it, I will.

I don't mind the mild cases, but aside from being not being great aesthetically, it could harm my kid at this phase in her little life.

But yes, I am being a bit obsessive at the moment, because the in-laws are being avoidant and sticking their heads in the sand, making me that much more dogged and determined.

MawB Sat 11-Jan-20 22:10:20

Naty - this is the same “beloved” MIL about whom you have started threads about dropping by unannounced on a daily basis?

We live 400 meters away from them and my MIL is frequently walking by on her way to grocery shop and other errands. She comes right up to the windows and looks in to see if I'm's getting me upset because this can be any time during the day and I'm on mat-leave
You sounded well stressed-out and ticked-off with her in that thread.
As for making up a story about a friend’s child developing meningitis from the herpes virus - talking about crying wolf!
I assume you do know the difference between HSV1 and HSV2?

Naty Sat 11-Jan-20 22:17:14

Yes! That's me! And yes, I was ticked off. Can I not be mad at someone and love them at the same time? We are all flawed individuals.

And yes, I know the difference between HSV1 and HSV2.

And yes, I'm crying wolf because the in-laws are very stubborn and have strange ideas at times (i.e. standing in front of a fan can make you ill/drinking water with ice will give you gastro distress/if your stomach is uncovered you'll get diareah..). My husband told me I could use that story, but it has actually happened to other people's children. I just said it was someone I knew to make the story hit closer to home.