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  • Post last modified:December 11, 2020
  • Post comments:2 Comments

Mom’s Question:

I think my inlaws enjoy seeing my baby boy’s masculine parts, they put excuses to change the diapers each time we visit them, to bathe him each time they change the diapers, and they claim that I should remove the diapers completely to make it easy for the baby to play.

Is it in a way an abuse?


Baby Help Line:

Baby Sexually Abused Or Not?

I would not consider this is abuse. Unless you feel they are getting sexual arousal out of their behavior, which would be unlikely then I would not really be so concerned.

However, if you are uncomfortable with their behavior, then talk it over with your husband, and then talk to them about it. If you are not comfortable with your baby being naked in front of others then that is your choice.

Some families have very different attitudes to body parts, particularly genitals. It may be they are far more liberal than the way you were brought up so you feel uncomfortable they way they draw attention to it. Some cultures and families, particularly with boys tend to admire their penis as a sign he is a big strong boy, the same as you would strong legs!

Babies are sensual little creatures, and a baby boy can have an erection (even though it certainly has nothing to do with sex)! It is healthy for them to have a kick without diapers on, both for the fresh air, and the extra freedom to kick without a wad between his legs.

You want your little boy to grow up loving all parts of his body, but at the same time learning which parts we keep private. Babies don’t care who sees them, and family members love to be part of the caring of a little one.

I love bathing babies, and it is a sensual loving experience, but that is very different from a sexual experience.

If you feel the boundaries you are comfortable with are not being respected then you need to talk it over with your husband and his family. You absolutely have the right to make the decision about who bathes or changes your baby.

Enjoy your little boy,
All the best,

Find comments below.

Comments for “Is My Baby Boy Sexually Abused?”

Feb 22, 2012 Re: Is My Baby Boy Sexually Abused?
by: Fullredlips22

I would keep him away from them. That doesn’t sound normal at all SMH! It’s your job as a mother to protect your child if he is in harm’s way. Trust your motherly instinct.

Feb 23, 2012 Not abuse!!!!
by: Anonymous

Do not listen to the first comment. The Baby Helpline answer is completely correct.

Unless your inlaws are fondling your child or getting aroused then the behavior you describe is completely common and normal. I am sure they would be horrified that you feel this way — for them, it sounds like the naked infant is personified innocence. Do not shut out your husband’s family especially if they enjoy seeing the baby. You should nurture as much love around the baby as possible– but you are right to keep an eye and discuss any discomfort you have with your husband. He might explain how his family views things.

Enjoy your baby and remember that protecting him also includes protecting him from troubles/arguments and non-issues that you may cause.

Nov 19, 2012 Keep an eye

by: Anonymous

Yes, it could be child abuse. Next time when they ask to give a bath to the baby just tell them that baby is already having a bath so no need now. And obviously they’re not going to fondle or going to be sexually aroused in front of anyone. Who knows what they doing with him in bath or u stay with them in bath when they gonna give bath to baby. This is ridiculous, I won’t let such people to touch my baby. Be careful. Protecting baby is ur first responsibility

Sep 15, 2013 Stay away from them

by: Kristina

I have a daughter, but that is just weird to me. I just think that is some type of fetish…

Sep 22, 2013 Put your suspicion and Fears to Rest or Confirm the Worst!
by: Anonymous

I realize this is an old post but hope this is not too late. Invite them to your own home. Let them bath him. But place a spy camera in your bathroom beforehand. That way you will know exactly what is going on. If this is innocence, your fears will be allayed, and there is no need to feel guilty – you are a mother and have a God-given right to protect your young! If there is a foul play you will know it! You can either ban them from your lives and end it there or call the Police so other children are protected from them. However, prepare for a mega change – your marriage could end, and you could be accused of putting your child in harm’s way by letting them bath him when you had your suspicion but choosing to video them! But the hard reality is if you make any complaints, you will have no evidence and will surely wreck your baby’s life whether the concern is genuine or otherwise. Now the way to get around the accusation of failure to protect is to play dumb. Your comment will be something like “The spy camera placed in the bathroom as one of the nanny cams you were preparing for your little one’s nursery because you were thinking of hiring a nanny as you wanted to get a job, study etc. Sadly it caught your in-laws in the act before you had a chance to even interview a nanny and you are devastated” – which part of course is true!

I sincerely hope that your fears are unfounded – but maternal instincts are rarely off point! So trust your instincts.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Gabby

    How do you know when ur baby is being mistreated… a family member (female)put their tongue all over my baby’s mouth in an attempt to wipe food off his mouth is that normal? They also said to the baby that they should be the only one to do that.. My baby is 9 months I need answers please

    1. Paula @ EasyBabyLife

      Hi Gabby,
      I would not call this sexual abuse – most likely nothing sexual about it – but certainly unusual and and obviously beyond YOUR boundaries and what you feel is ok. Also, noone is entitled to decide above your head what is acceptable for your baby or not. It can be sensitive when a family member interacts with our children in ways we don’t like, but you are perfectly in your right to simply tell them that you don’t want this. Not even any need to explain why – even if you can quote the risk of transferring bacteria or virus, for example.

      Good luck!