Is this considered abuse?

My sister has a 4-month old son. Whenever he's fussy and won't stop crying at night, she screams at him. She yells for him to shut up. I've never seen her hurt him, but sometimes I hear her hitting the wall or something, then he becomes quiet. I worry that she's hurting him, though I can't prove that.

Is yelling at a baby abuse?

  • Yes
    71% (20)63% (19)67% (39)Vote
  • No
    21% (6)17% (5)19% (11)Vote
  • No, I would have done the same thing.
    4% (1)3% (1)3% (2)Vote
  • Only if physical pain in involved.
    4% (1)17% (5)11% (6)Vote
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Updates:
I forgot to mention that she does have postpartum depression. She talked about seeing a therapist, but I don't know if she ever did.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • I want you to step in and help your sister.. Give her some hrs in a week when she doesn't have to take care of the baby...
    Same happened with my mom.. She went Psycho and ended up hurting me pretty badly on occasions!.. I am scarred and am scared to confront young women!.. I am still a single and Virgin and never been in relationship and maybe never will..

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    • I'm sorry that happened.
      My sister does take breaks. She leave the baby with our mom or a friend during the day, while she goes off to work. There's no father in the picture so I guess that worsens her stress. It's night that gets to her. She needs him to sleep so she can, but he wants to stay up all night and fuss.

    • She is needs a little time away from work and the baby

    • Hope that worked out for you!.. Thanks for the MHO

Most Helpful Girl

  • It sounds as though she has post pardon depression and desperately needs to speak with her doctor about her frustrations. It's extremely hard having a new baby, I didn't sleep hardly at all the first 3 months my baby woke up every 2 hrs to eat and poop and eat again! Infants are demanding of course in many ways and if your sis doesn't have help at all she may be feeling a mixture of emotions. Meds and some "me" time will help her. There is no shame whatsoever in taking meds.

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    • Thanks for the MHO How is your sis and baby doing?

    • Better. I think she's doing something to improve her mood, so she doesn't yell or get frustrated.

    • Oh I'm so happy to hear that!! Yay for her! It's hard being a mother and she's lucky to have a sis like you! Best wishes to you and your family! :)

What Guys Said 11

  • it is. and more importantly it's a really REALLY poor teaching tool. basically reinforcing his bad behavior with her own bad behavior. it's obviously not physically hurting him but emotionally it can damage the child

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    • Can an infant remember those things later in life?

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    • He's teething. My sister said the little baby ice rings are too cold for him, so she lets him suck on her finger or a toy.

    • there are homeopathic teething tabs called Hyland's teething tabs. 100% natural and healthy. they work wonders for my daugther. You can get them in a lot of grocery stores and online (like amazon).
      --4 months is a little young but plenty of doctors still say you can give infant tylenol, we'd only give it to my daughter when was really REALLY bad
      --we bought an amber bead necklace. the idea is that amber releases anti-inflammatory oils into the babies skin, it really seemed to help my daughter. It's definitely pretty hippie-ish but it was $13 so we figured we'd give it a shot

  • Your sister needs help, today, not tomorrow.
    It is time for a family intervention.
    Talking about seeing a psychiatrist is not good enough. You need to take her there today.
    If a referral and an appointment cannot be organised today, put her in your car and take her to a hospital that has a mental health unit.
    The next phase to your sister's condition is harm to herself, the baby, or both.
    Please step in and ensure that does not happen.

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  • No but it is worrying. Could be postnatal depression.

    You should speak to someone before it becomes worse.

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  • yup that is definitely abuse.

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  • depends if she was verbally abusing him.

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  • How old is your sister?

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    • She's 19

    • Of I think it's the stress of having a baby do young... She should go to a counsellor

  • That's entirety innapropriate and damaging long term

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  • ye she's crazy

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  • No but in the future it could get worse and she could harm the baby, you should contact someone.

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  • yeah, it is abuse, neglect. i mean they didn't choose to be created, and they're completely defenseless. white knight nice guys defend women, women can leave, children don't get those options. advocate for the kid, gather evidence, get the police, and cps involved.

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  • A 4 month old doesn't understand rules.

    She's simply terrorizing him into silence, which is an instinct to avoid being killed by predators.

    Yeah, that can cause long term emotional damage.

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    • I can agree with this. My mother somewhat did that to me.

What Girls Said 7

  • It's mental abuse, if she continues like this then it WILL have a very negative impact on his mentality, and it COULD turn into her physically hurting him.

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  • She might have some form of post-partum depression or psychosis. You should contact CPS for them to investigate.

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    • Contact them on my own sister? I can't do that.

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    • @madhatters4 and they're just going to do nothing. "oh, a mother would never hurt her child! She's a good girl!" And then the next day the baby is dead.

    • yeah that's not what i said or even close

  • yes, it's abuse.

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  • Yeah her anger level is so high so might hurt him and not really want too. Some mothers feel so much pressure and depression after birth they just can't take it and need help. And either they can't find it or don't know who to ask.

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  • I'd do something if I were you. Especially when the baby is only four months old. Maybe take her to a therapist (regardless if this is why she's yelling or not) and tell her that you're there to help her.

    Even if she's not hitting him right now what's going to stop her from hitting him in the future?

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  • No, that's normal. Having a baby is really tiring so it's normal for her to yell and all. It's better than keeping it inside her.

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    • At what point would you say the yelling is too much?

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    • When she hit physically the baby. Yelling is not abuse.

    • @madhatters4 So you're different that's all. You're the man of course you'll not be tired it's your wife who take care of the baby.

  • Not abuse, but not normal behaviour. I know it can be tough, I have a baby not much younger than your nephew, so I know how frustrating it can get when you just need a break. What she's doing isn't "normal" and she should ask for help. She can leave baby with somebody for a few hours and have a break, even leave him overnight with somebody. Is the dad around? He can help by doing more too. When she gets like that, just tell her to go cool off while you grab his bottle or whatever.

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    • She does have breaks. When she goes off to work, she leaves the baby with our mom or a friend all day. It's night that gets to her, because she's exhausted.

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    • Aww you sound like such a good sister and aunt. She's so lucky you're there for her, and he's so lucky you look out for him and were keeping an eye on the situation in case of abuse.
      He probably is just more stimulated and not so bored when there are more people around so he cries and fusses less.
      She can get him some baby activity centers if she has the money. Some are like walkers with all sorts of lights sounds etc.. Some are a board with the lights and sounds. Just some sensory stuff. It'll keep him more occupied.
      Is she still young? If so she should definitely go to some of those young parent and baby groups, they're really helpful. Not only to meet others in the same situation, but also to find places to get more support etc..

    • Okay. Thank you for your advice. Her baby does have a lot of energy and we both think he should play more, but he can't walk, so the options are limited.
      When I get a chance I will ask my sister if she's getting help or thinking of getting it. Once she said she has postpartum depression and wanted to see a therapist again. Hopefully she has been, but I'll talk to her about it and I'll suggest the group thing. She's only 19.

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