Smoking Relative - Not Sure How to Handle This One — The Bump
3rd Trimester

Smoking Relative - Not Sure How to Handle This One

My Father in Law smokes. He claimed he was quitting, but that didn't happen. They were just here and he stepped outside. When he returned he REEKED. The smell permeated my entire living room and the chair he was sitting in. When he plays with the kids, they come away smelling like smoke. It drives me crazy and the smell just makes me ill. Even if he "washes his hands" like he makes a big deal of doing....he still stinks.

The new baby is due in about 4-5 weeks. Is there any way of asking that he not hold the baby if he's been smoking without coming off like a complete jerkface? I love my FIL and I don't want to offend him, but's gross.  I don't want my newborn smelling like cigarettes.

Re: Smoking Relative - Not Sure How to Handle This One

  • My MILs boyfriend smokes pot and I can't stand the smell. He's 70 yrs old so I just let him be. I was thinking of sharing some general rules with all my visitors saying that if they smoke to please bring an extra shirt or change of clothes. I haven't shared this with my DH yet so idk how he'll take it. 
  • My SIL was a smoker when DS1 was born. I didn't talk to her, DH did, but he basically said when you come to visit (and she came
    when we were still in the hospital!) either change into a fresh shirt or don't smoke until you leave because he can't breathe that in. The chemicals etc linger and it's not a judgment on anyone but he was pretty strict and told her that if we could smell it she couldn't hold him. So she waited to smoke and it was fine. I would definitely have your husband handle it but make sure it is very clear why. A newborn doesn't need exposure to anything more than the unavoidable. 
  •'s such a touchy subject because he's a bit of a loose canon when it comes to anything that could be perceived as "judgy" with him. Husband has agreed to talk to him, so hopefully it goes over okay. 
  • I vote having your H handle that discussion. But to me, it is an absolute non-negotiable. You smoke, you don't hold my kid. Period. If he feels like you are being "judgy", perhaps you are- but your kid, your rules.
  • Weird, my super super old log in just decided to pop in there....what the heck! 

    Thanks for the feedback, guys! 
  • First of all, this should be your hubby's conversation to be had.  As he is your in-law, it's just not something you should be responsible to have to deal with.
    Let him decide the best way to go about discussing it.  
    Sometimes conversations just have to be had, and there's no easy way to say it.
    My hubby smokes, but he is already being very careful about making sure he's not smoking around the stroller, car seat, etc.  He exclusively smokes outside the house and changes shirts any time he can smell it on him.  

    Baby first, feelings second.  He'll understand.
  • 3rd degree smoke is a ligitimate concern. Don't be afraid of treating it as such. 
    BabyFetus Ticker

  • My mother smokes - about 3/4 of a pack a day.  Before I even had to ask, she would change her clothes if she had a cigarette before she was with my son (when he was small).  I was comfortable with this method of decreased exposure but it really all depends on how you feel.  I think it's helpful to be open about your concerns and what level of exposure you are comfortable with before the baby comes.  This way, the person who smokes can anticipate and prepare themselves.

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

    Married: October 23, 2010

    DS: 8/7/2013

    #2 EDD: 6/29/2016, C Section: 6/22/2016

  • My inlaws smoke and I hate it. I've learned to choose my battles though. My children's occasional exposure to the smoke will not leave any lasting damage. I just have to do more laundry when we are with them. My son loves seeing them. They care for him deeply. It is what it is.
  • I'm glad that your H is going to talk to him. After all that we do to keep our LOs safe during pregnancy it is not unreasonable to not want them inhaling disgusting and dangerous chemicals once they are born. Asking him to change his clothing before holding the baby is really not a big sacrifice and if he sees it that way than that is his problem.

  • As a former smoker, I would like to add the possibility of a jacket or extra shirt that he throws on top of what he is wearing when he goes to smoke. Then, he can come back, remove that item, wash his hands and preferably his mouth and the smell is gone. It eliminates a lot of extra laundry and his cigarettes and lighter can handily be stored in the pocket right by the outside of the front door/in a car trunk. Easy access. 

    As a mother-to-be, I've had this talk with my drama queen of a mother and while she was offended, my son's health is more important than her feelings. 
  • Everyone has given good input. DD doesn't spend enough time with any smokers for me to fuss about it. They aren't holding her enough for me to feel like it's an issue. Everyone's comfort level is different and you shouldn't have to let it go if it's important to you. 
  •  It would be difficult to ask someone to quit smoking completely, but you can certainly ask that they change their clothes before holding your child. However, I feel like it is unacceptable to bring the smell and fumes from smoke into your home.  Your DH definitely needs to talk to him. 

    My BIL smokes and my MIL asks him to spray himself with air freshener before coming in their house. That may take care of the smell, but it doesn't take care of the risks from 3rd hand smoke.  If BIL continues to smoke, he won't be holding our child or coming into our home after a cigarette. We are a smoke free home. End of story. 
    Me: 29 DH:32
    Married: 11/2013
    TTC: 11/2014
    Clomid Cycle 1: 10/5/2015
    BFP: 10/30/2015
    EDD: 7/11/2016!!!
    Beta 1: 247
    Beta 2: 538

  • My mom came from away to stay with us for two weeks and she smokes a pack a day. It was tricky to talk about, but she agreed to wash her hands, brush her teeth and change her shirt before touching the baby. And she smoked outside. I was super strict about it, and she went along. I agree with the PP that said having a plan and letting the person be prepared in advance was helpful. 
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