New Mom Accuses MIL of Giving Her Newborn a Cold Sore


newborn feet at the hospital

There are a lot of things about parenthood and taking care of a newborn that can seem really scary. We've all read horror stories from parents and the grief and anguish that follows after. It's hard to not over-worry about our baby becoming one of those stories, so we all do the best we can. We put rules and guidelines in place for ourselves and anyone caring for our child. Those are what we lean on, and it's so important for other family members to respect them. If they don't, it can cause a world of issues.

  • One mom (OP) took to Reddit to ask for advice after her mother-in-law disregarded the new mom's guidelines for her baby.

    In Reddit's JUSTNOMIL forum, a mom to a newborn shared an incident that happened between her MIL and her new baby. "My son is 6 weeks old, and my MIL has only held him twice, first when he was two days old and once this week," OP started her post.

    "My boyfriend has repeatedly told her not to kiss our baby, yet she kissed him both times on his face," she wrote. "I've read far too many stories about people kissing other people’s babies and the babies becoming really sick with a cold sore."

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  • Despite these guidelines and already having problems from previous times MIL was with the new baby, things happened again.

    "She held him on Thursday and of course, kissed him when we weren't looking," OP wrote. "It makes me very angry."

    Being frustrated when guidelines aren't followed is one thing, but the new mom noticed something on her child that escalated things.

    "Then yesterday afternoon, my son wasn't his usual self, not eating and screaming etc. Then I noticed a small bump appear on his lip," OP wrote.

  • And from there, things went from bad to worse.

    screenshot of reddit thread

    "I immediately freaked out and thought he could have caught a cold sore from mil, so I rang my boyfriend and asked could she have caused it and he rang her to say about it." OP wrote. It sounds like OP called up MIL and accused her of giving her newborn a cold sore -- all from kissing, which she was asked not to do.

    "Newborns rarely get cold sores, but, when a baby who is less than 6 months old contracts the cold sore virus, it can have severe effects," according to Medical News Today. 

    The website noted that babies can catch the cold sore virus through contact with other people if they also have a cold sore.

    "Therefore, people with a cold sore should avoid kissing babies or letting babies touch the sore," the site advised. "If caregivers think that a baby may have come into contact with a cold sore, they should monitor the infant for any unusual behavior and contact a doctor to discuss the best course of action."

  • It sounds like that's what the new mom was worried about, and her baby started acting worrisome.

    "Later on last night, my son started to develop red open blisters in his mouth so we took him straight to hospital," the worried new mom wrote in her post.

    Thankfully, the doctors weren't as worried as mom.

    "The doctors said it looked like thrush but to keep an eye if it gets worse and to bring him back," OP wrote. "I feel like it was rude of me to immediately assume mil caused it so can't help feel as if I overreacted."

  • OP asked the JUSTNOMIL community if she was in the wrong for "for thinking mil gave my newborn a cold sore."

    "NTA. Did she kiss the baby? Sounds like it. Is kissing against your rules? Yes," someone wrote in the comments. "She blatantly disregarded your rules that are for the baby's health! If this isn't the herpes virus, consider it a warning. But I'm with others who say you should follow up with a pediatrician. Your baby is so so young."

    "NTA," agreed another commenter. "You are the mom and the rules you and your boyfriend put down (assuming they're sensibly safe etc) are the law. She has absolutely no rights to your child. Any time she gets to spend with them is a gift. She needs to follow your rules to the letter or she gets put in a time out. You cannot have her risking your baby's safety like this."

    "NTA -- My mom kissed my sister on the head when she was little, and the cold sore virus somehow wound up in her eye," a third commenter warned. "My sister's had eye problems ever since of course, has to wear a hard contact [lens] in one eye because of the scar tissue and everything. My poor mom didn't know she was right about to develop one and thought it was okay to kiss her head either way. Nope."

    The person continued, "Don't leave that woman alone with your baby. Even my lovely, well intentioned mom (seriously, she's great and my sister doesn't resent her or anything) made a mistake and messed up my sister's eye for life. She isn't taking her issue seriously because it doesn't affect her seriously. But she's not a child and she doesn't understand how much worse it is for children."

    "It's not rude to assume it was from her," wrote another person. "It was rude of her to do things to your child behind your back that you communicated to her wasn't okay."

    The moral of the story: Respect parent's boundaries with their kids, OK?