876380-004The Internet is all for vaccines. Sure, there are pockets of those who don’t believe in vaccinating their children, but a huge majority do. If the subject of vaccines comes up in any forum – parenting or not – there is always a huge amount of pushback against those who don’t believe in vaccinating their children. I agree with the pushback. I’m with science on this one – children should be vaccinated. But it’s interesting to see how the conversation shifts if parents talk about wanting adults that are around their kids to get boosters.

A husband made this statement on a Reddit parenting forum this week:

Wife is due in 4 weeks with our first child, asked my parents to get whooping cough vaccine. They refused so we had to tell them that they wouldn’t be allowed to see or hold their new granddaughter until she is vaccinated. It didn’t go well at all.

The gist of the story is that he asked his mom to get vaccinated against whooping cough as per the recommendation of his pregnant wife’s doctor. Grandma refused because she thinks the risks of the vaccine aren’t worth it. He explains, “I’ve read many of the discussions about vaccines here and thought I was ready. I tried to explain our reasoning behind needing to get vaccinated but she wouldn’t have any of it. I finally had to tell her that they wouldn’t be allowed to see or hold their new grandchild.”

Now, some may see this as paranoid – but I think it’s a new parent’s right to be paranoid about their kid. Also, the pertussis vaccine can come in a combo shot for tetanus, which adults are recommended to get boosters for anyway. Honestly, the couple is probably being a little too paranoid, keeping Grandma away for six months if she’s not in some super high-risk group. But this also may just be the first battle-of-wills that happens – and I support parents standing their ground.

The comments were mostly supportive of the father’s decision – it is a parenting forum. The bottom line is, as a parent you are allowed to set boundaries – it’s one of the first lessons you’ll learn. Some may see those boundaries as outlandish, but in this case I think that if parents are honestly so worried about the health of their baby that they would keep an unvaccinated grandma away – they are going to be nervous and miserable if they let anyone around around the baby that they deem to be a health risk.

When you’re a new parent, your life is basically riddled with unrealistic fears. I’m all about sanity. If being a sane parent means that you have to set boundaries like these to make you feel better in the first few months of your child’s life – so be it. If grandma or anyone else needs to see the baby that bad, they can research the vaccine booster and realize it’s not that big of a deal, get it, and be done.

(photo: Getty Images)