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Parenting: Ignorance vs knowledge


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Old 24th July 2017, 6:31 AM   #1
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Parenting: Ignorance vs knowledge

"The false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." - Isaac Asimov

I am getting very frustrated with my current situation, my boyfriend and I have a 7 week old baby (I'm also experiencing separate issues with him and if interested you can read about them here: 1 month baby, is it right to leave her father?) and he is of the opinion that we just have different parenting ideas and that he is constantly giving way to me. I asked him yesterday why on a Sunday we only saw him for about 1 hour (he was off seeing family and friends - he did the same thing last weekend too) and he told me I made it difficult for him to be around because I wouldn't let him parent the way he wanted to.

These are the things that I have an issue with him doing with our 7 week old daughter!!

Feeding her solid foods. About 1-2 weeks ago when she was crying I found egg in her mouth. My boyfriend told me to leave it there because she would swallow it when I breastfed her. I sent him articles about the risks of feeding solids too early, his response was all his family were fed solids early and none of them died (in fact his mother famously within the family had one of his nephews eating chicken nuggets at 3 months of age). Many Babies Fed Solid Food Too Soon, C.D.C. Finds - The New York Times

Wanting to feed her bottles of water. This one came from his mother who told him we should be feeding our daughter water. I explained she gets all the fluid she needs from being breastfed, that water has no nutritional value to her and its just going to fill her up and possibly mess up my milk production. This was before I did more research about the other health risks of giving water to a baby under 6 months old. His mother recently brought up the subject with me, telling me I should do it to clean her tongue and that her mother did it with her and she did it with her kids. When I said I wasn't going to give my daughter water she asked with a condescending tone if a doctor had told me that and how she doesn't listen to all advice. Again because my boyfriend doesn't know of anyone who was noticeably hurt by being fed water this is another case of him accommodating an over-anxious first time mother. Drinking water can be harmful to smallest babies | Reuters

Putting our daughter to sleep on her stomach I can talk until I'm blue in the face about SIDS, that the recommendation has been for years to put babies on their backs to sleep. I've talked about the different recommendations to prevent SIDS and that since doctors have been pushing these recommendations deaths have decreased by half (from 1 in 1000 to 1 in 2000). However, apparently he has not known anyone to die of SIDS and that doctors change their minds all the time about what is safe. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/sts/campai...ksleeping.aspx

According to my boyfriend I am showing him that I have no confidence in his parenting abilities and that I would rather raise our child according to Google than listen to him. I can't believe how dismissive he is being over doctor recommendations and the risks associated with these activities. He does not do these things in front of me anymore, he said its not worth me getting upset with him, but that leaves me with zero confidence that he isn't doing these things when I'm not around.

We have been going to counseling and he told the counsellor that I'm paranoid. When I explained in further detail she told him this was not paranoia but valid concerns, but it doesn't matter to him. All the doctors in the world could line up and tell him about the risks but because he hasn't known anyone to be hurt from these actions and this is what his family has done is the past I'm the one at fault because I won't let him parent the way he wants to. I feel like I am up against an entire family, trying to keep my baby away from perfectly avoidable risks. She has the rest of her life to eat solids, drink water and sleep on her stomach, I don't understand why it is so important to rush things. (By the way, he is 40 and I am 34.)
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Old 24th July 2017, 6:46 AM   #2
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OP, I read both your threads and it looks as though this all stems from the same issue - your bf is not acting as a supportive life partner and co-parent.

How does he parent his other bio kids, and what is his relationship with their mother(s)? At 40, he won't change and what your baby needs is a relaxed mum and both parents on the same page. Of course a newborn will send your life in a spin for a while as your priorities change but what you're describing sounds more deep rooted than the usual teething problems that all new parents experience.

ETA: as for ignorance vs knowledge, follow your own maternal instincts and do what you feel is best for your baby.

Last edited by littleblackheart; 24th July 2017 at 6:54 AM..
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Old 24th July 2017, 10:34 AM   #3
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Two parents will never agree 100% on every issue. But your bf is doing things that are putting your child's life in danger. Putting food in a 7 week old's mouth is a major choking hazard for obvious reasons even if you believe that you can feed solid food a bit earlier than recommended.

And disregarding every warning about how to put the child down to sleep is another example.

Start documenting this stuff in detail, because you may need to apply for fully custody soon and you want these details to prove that he is not SAFE for your child to be left with.

Also why would someone brag about giving their kid chicken nuggets at 3 months old. Kids will find junk food soon enough, why force feed it to them as newborns?
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Old 24th July 2017, 1:20 PM   #4
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Phoebe, please trust your instincts here.

Is it right to leave your 7 week old baby with a man who will feed her eggs (ffs!!) and increase her risk of dying from SIDS?

You know the answer to this, it is easy to see, when it's written out in black and white on a page. I know from experience that it is much harder to see when you're in the thick of it.

You can trust your instincts. They are on point when it comes to the health of your child. I think you need to get away from your BF, but only if you can take your baby with you. I agree with the suggestion to document everything (even better if he is texting or emailing you with his dangerous ideas.) I would not want him or his family watching your daughter unsupervised until she is quite a bit older.
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Old 25th July 2017, 5:39 PM   #5
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Honestly, did I do everything by the book and recommended guidelines? No. I don't think anyone ever does.

But I definitely informed myself, weighed the risks and the benefits of a certain parenting decision and did what was best for us. What could possibly be the benefits of feeding a baby eggs (btw, a very common allergen!) or water or laying her to sleep on her stomach?

First and foremost, his mother neds to butt out. She's not the parent.

Second, it seems to me that he is getting his ego bruised by you telling him all this and it makes him even more defiant, and that's definitely not what parenting is about. Does he do anything to help with the baby? Change the diapers, spend time with her, put her to sleep?

I swear, things like these make me thankful for being a single mother.
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Old 25th July 2017, 6:26 PM   #6
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Parenting "his way" could kill your baby. He's being ridiculous. I don't care if no one in his family has died from it yet.

Putting his child in danger is simply unacceptable.
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