Nurse Tapes Newborn's Mouth Shut Because He Was 'Too Noisy'

picture of a tape dispenser
Baby nurses and other medical professionals who work with newborns are supposed to be absolute experts on how to care for our little ones. When we give birth in a hospital, some of us -- especially those of us who were nervous first-time mommies (I'm guilty) -- look to these pros for advice and comfort. So what would you say if you found out your newborn had spent the first day or two of his life in the nursery with tape over his mouth? And no, not because docs have discovered some breakthrough health benefit of bonding a child's lips with tape -- but because your poor baby had the nerve to...get ready for it...cry.

A couple from the Philippines is LIVID because this exact, unbelievable situation happened to them after their son was born. A nurse at the hospital basically put a plastic tape muzzle on the child because, in her words, he was "too noisy." When mom asked her to remove it, the nurse reportedly told her she could take it off herself. She did -- but also accidentally ripped part of her baby's delicate lip skin, as well.


If your immediate thought is, oh well, that wouldn't happen in my hospital, I hope you're right, of course. But how sure can we be that our babies are getting the care they deserve when they're out of our sight for hours at a time?

More from The Stir: Hospital Worker Tapes Pacifier to 4-Month-Old's Mouth

Before giving birth to my son a few weeks ago, I discovered that my hiospital's policy on babies staying in the nursery was...well, a little odd. They basically discouraged any use of the nursery and urged moms to "room in" with their babies so that we could more readily bond with them (and I'm guessing this was also their not-so-subtle way of reminding us we should breastfeed).

At first, I was outraged -- outraged! I wanted to sleep at night and thought it was my right to do so after having experienced the pains of labor and delivery. But I wasn't about to rock the cradle, so to speak, so I shut my mouth and kept my baby by my side the entire time.

And rooming in proved SO much better than leaving him in the care of others overnight. There wasn't one second where I worried about him or wondered if a nurse was leaving him to cry or picking him up to provide him with comfort. As soon as he felt a hunger pang, I was there for him. I got to know his cries and the sounds he made while fast asleep.

I'm not naturally a distrustful person, but when you hear horror stories from other parents, a part of you thinks, why take that risk? At the end of the day, we care about our children more than any outsider ever will. There are a great many amazing nurses and medical professionals who treat your baby like one of their own, but the thought of there being even one who wouldn't treat him well makes me a super-strong advocate for rooming in with baby.

Did you room in with your baby or trust the medical professionals at your hospital's nursery?


Image via Tom Inglis/Flickr



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TheSi... TheSilence

That is horrible! Poor baby :(

I roomed in with both of our children. If they had to leave the room with a nurse at any time my husband went with them.

wendy... wendywendy

Terrible.  I'd be beyond pissed if I were that mom.

My daughter was in the NICU, did not have the option to room in.  Didn't stop some dumb nurse from barging in at 2 am,  saying it was "time to feed my baby, so were is she?".  When I explained she was a preemie, in the NICU and tubed so unable to breastfeed, she just looked at her chart said "Okay" and left.  No apology.  I cried after that, so hormonal, that mom guilt that I wasn't breastfeeding and did I somehow cause her to be born early?

2cent... 2centsCDN

I find it odd that you think the policy of rooming in is odd. Unless there is something medically wrong with your baby or yourself, there is no need for baby to be sent to the nursery.


Babies spit up a lot, by her doing that the baby could have choked and died. What a bitch.

nonmember avatar annonymous

I wish the hospitals here felt that way about rooming in! They always seem to find it weird that I wanted my children with me as much as possible. Personally, after waiting so long to meet my kids, I didn't want to be apart from them at all. Plus the peace of mind, knowing that a stupid staff member isn't doing something like this. I don't sleep well in a hospital anyway, so the idea of being separated from my infant so I could rest doesn't even apply. I cannot even imagine what kind of moron could think doing this to an infant was a good idea!

Lucki... Luckicharmz

"I wanted to sleep at night and thought it was my right to do so after having experienced the pains of labor and delivery"

Sorry to pop the delusional bubble there, but that is most definetly not your "right", in fact you signed that right over when you decided to have children as its part and parcel of being a parent.

Our hospital does not have a nursery, your child is either in the NICU with health issues accompanied by a parent, moms room, or you go home. Nurses are there to provide health care, not babysitting services. I was home 2 hrs after my first was born, but with my son was in hospital for 3 days for antibiotics and he was cared for by either myself or my husband and I would not have it any other way.

nonmember avatar Anon

How sad for this mother. I wonder if it happens there often. We had our daughter kept in the nursery at night. I had an emergency c section and they wouldnt let me out of bed for a couple of days. Also, my husband snores and would of kept the baby up all night... I was very appreciative of having the opprotunity to get some rest after surgery.

nonmember avatar Lauren

My first baby they continuously took my son out of my room when I fell asleep. I was so upset and could not sleep without having my hand on him. So I would walk down to the nursery and take him back. One nurse actually yelled at me that I needed to rest and stop taking the baby. I was sure to include more specific directions on this in my birth plan for the second.

Kourtney LaGesse

I had my first born in the room with me (nervous first time mom), but with my second I had him go to the nursery, after labor I, and knowing what I had coming home I took advantage of my last full nights sleep for awhile.

Mjeb86 Mjeb86

I have three kids and they all stayed with me in my room cause there was no way I was letting them out of my site for a second. Too many horror stories. The nurses tried to take them to the nursery and I told them that I would knock them out if they touched my baby.

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