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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
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i hope you can help me a friend of mine had a baby girl 4 1/2

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i hope you can help me a friend of mine had a baby girl 4 1/2 week ago the problem is i've really grown fond of the baby i have her every weekend from friday to monday but the mum doesnt really want to know the baby she hasnt bonded with her doest want anything to do with her doest clean her right and very rare sterilise's the bottles and doesnt change her clothers the mum is quite happy for the baby to sit in smelly clothers when i pull her up about any of it she just sits there's and laughs at me which doesnt help the baby now knows when i got her and when i leave without her now i just dont know what to do the mum made a will has to if anything happend to mum i would get her i'am really feeling sorry for this baby as she doesnt know who her mum is and get passed around like a bad penny any help would be great
a friend who is trying the best to help out :(
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Jennifer replied 7 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using!

This is a complicated dilemma... First, do you feel the baby is not safe in her mother's care? Is she neglectful? I ask because at that point it would be unethical for you not to report the issue to child protective services. They would ensure the child is cared for properly.

If it's not yet to that point, you're doing what you can by trying to talk to her about your concerns. Is there anyone else she trusts? Perhaps you could enlist their help so that she hears this is truly a problem.

In the meantime, do what you can to make sure the baby is cared for. You can try to educate her mother by casually mentioning that you're doing things b/c you heard it is what's best for her, read it somewhere, etc. You could even leave parenting magazines where she might see them. The problem is, however, that she has to have an interest in being a parent to pay attention to any of this. Do you think she loves her daughter?

If you need some fuel for discussion, begin looking into the importance of attachment to a caregiver. There's a lot of research out there that shows that an infant's attachment to his / her caregiver (trust in being cared for, feeling secure, having basic needs met, etc.) is directly correlated to later relationships, particularly when it comes to being able to trust others. The theory is called Attachment Theory. Here's a link with a general overview:

I wish you the best of luck!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

hi jennifer


i forgot to say she already has another 3 children at home. she trustes no one else other than me the truth to be know i dont think she does love her daughter has when she found out she was expecting she didnt want baby and i was there for the birth of baby and she showed nothing towards the baby i have baby from 8.35am till 3:10pm and the mum has her after that when i have got baby mum is with me apart from weekends and she doesnt offer to help with feeding or changing baby i have passed baby to her a few times and she pulls a face as soon has the baby is in her arm's and cant wait to pass baby back i felt awful to day cause i've had to take baby back to mum as i have had family problems to which i'am still trying to sort out and poor baby cried for over 2hr's i have kids of my own and they have all grown fond of baby as well as for baby been at arm's way with mum i cant say for sure on that matter but her son does force the bottle into babys mouth early hours as one of her family members saw him do it and told him off it and she didnt care on that point at all i do feel for this baby and everything a baby does to the parents this little one is doing it to me and not to her mum. mum knows i've become fond of the child i have told her she just laughs i really think this child would not get anything if it was not for me been there as much i'am.

thank you

Expert:  Jennifer replied 7 years ago.
Again, I'm sorry you're dealing with this. It's obvious you care very much about the baby and that it's difficult for you to see her treated in this way.

What you can do is be there for the baby as much as you're able. She'll need love and attention as much as possible at this stage. If you do believe this baby is being neglected or emotionally abused in her mother's care, you'll need to contact the authorities. They will make sure the baby is cared for properly.

Other than that, all you can do is continue to try to get the mother to see how wonderful this baby is and model for her the kinds of things a good mother does for her child. Offer support through showing her how to do things, provide her with information (there are plenty of parenting magazines and books out there to educate parents), and continue to be a positive caregiver in the life of the baby. It sounds like she needs you.
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