A woman writes in asking for advice about a family member’s baby. She says she is not a mom herself, but the health and safety of a family member’s 8-month-old baby have her concerned. Though she had a “falling out” with this family member, she keeps up with them via social media. She is concerned about what they feed their baby, how the baby sleeps, and some other situations they’ve put the baby in, at least according to photos they’ve shared. Is it her business to step in and say something?
A member of the community asks:
“I am concerned for a family member’s baby: Thoughts?
Hi there! Not a mom here, but a concerned family member and I need some advice. A family member and her husband had their first baby. It is less than eight months old. Let me preface this by saying: said family member and I had a falling out a little over a year ago, and we are not close. Both she and her husband are extremely overweight (talking 400+ pounds each) and don’t really seem to grasp what is “healthy.” Regularly, she will post photos and videos of her baby on social media doing/eating things that really concern me.
She feeds her infant (again, less than eight months) chocolate snack packs; full freeze pops, ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, veggie straws, chips, sour skittles, and full cookies. She has applied a full face of makeup to the baby and will put lip gloss on her on a regular basis to promote the products she sells. There are also a few more things that I can’t quite remember. This poor baby sleeps with TONS of blankets/stuffies and is left sitting alone with their dogs on a regular basis.
She has posted photos of the baby in a single cab truck with her husband (in a car seat, but still unsafe. They have vehicles with a backseat but don’t want to use them because her husband just “loves his truck”), and take the baby in an enclosed off-road vehicle up large dirt hills on their property without a car seat — just sitting on the seat next to dad with his hand on her to keep her in place. She did “photoshoots” of the baby outside on top of said vehicle in 30°F weather with a thin long sleeve shirt and a thin blanket layer underneath it. The poor thing was so red and looked so cold in all the photos.
I’m very worried about this baby’s general health, on top of the fact that my family member’s husband is verbally abusive to my aunt and physically abuses one of their dogs, and is overall a very impatient person. He refused to even hold his baby until it was around five months old, even at family functions when mom was busy, and nobody else wanted to hold the baby, he would simply state “I don’t want [baby’s name], give the baby to baby’s mom.”
Baby’s mom is also extremely manipulative, and a compulsive liar who will not respond to concerns brought up about how she is taking care of this baby. I’m sorry that this is so long, but any advice you have on what to do/how to handle the situation (or if I should even step in) would be really great. Thank you so much in advance.”
Community Advice for This Woman Who Is Concerned About the Health and Safety of a Family Member’s Baby
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this woman in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community offered this woman in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.
“All these people saying the lady should mind her own business WTF is wrong with you all?! A child is everybody’s business. How many times have we seen news reports about babies dying due to negligence and we all said, ‘If only someone stepped up and helped that poor baby…’ 8 months old is too young to be driving in a car without a car seat, eating those kinds of solids, and she has no voice to say she’s cold. Step up. Call the right authorities, be that baby’s voice!!”
“You must be a Karen. You said you weren’t a parent, so until you are maybe you should mind your own business. You seem bitter about your ‘falling out.'”
“If you truly believed she was hurting this baby would you really be bringing it to Facebook to see what we all thought? If you believed that baby was in danger, common sense tells me you’d have already called child protective services. So what’s this really about? If you’ve voiced your concerns then what else can you do? Because obviously it hasn’t risen to the level where you feel the need to get baby help. It sounds like you are being nosey and picky otherwise I assume you’d have already gotten help for this baby.”
“I’m shocked at these responses. I would definitely report a baby that you are worried about. So many people turn their head and then the baby ends up harmed or worse.”
“You seem to know a lot about a family who you are not very close to. Sounds like a personal vendetta to me.”
“As unfortunate as all this sounds it’s not neglect. You and many others may choose to parent differently than they do but technically they’re not harming the child. If I were you I’d bud out. You could try DCFS but I highly doubt they’ll do anything because it’s not neglect or abuse.”
“You need to mind your own business, little girl. Baby doesn’t sound in any danger; you just sound nosey.”
“If the child is not being physically harmed/abused, has food regularly and is not malnourished, has proper sleeping arrangements such as a crib, there is nothing you can do. It is their right as a parent to raise their child however they want, within the boundaries set forth by the government…
… The child seems to have everything it needs and doesn’t seem to be in any danger of any kind other than potential health issues due to poor diet but that is not something CPS or DCF could help with. Best to leave the parents alone and allow them to parent how they see fit.”
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