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“I Won’t Let My Stepdaughter Near My New Baby Because She Always Has Head Lice!”

If your child is at day care, kinder or school and has ever brought head lice home, you’ll know what an expensive, time consuming and all-round gross job it is getting rid of them. The warmer months here in Australia when our little people must wear sunhats to play outside is an especially difficult time to keep head lice at bay, particularly if children pick up the wrong hat and wear one owned by a child with a lice infestation. One woman, who has recently given birth to a baby girl, is facing an ongoing head lice issue with her 11-year-old step daughter who continues to swap headwear with a friend with head lice. Despite being told repeatedly not to, and having her hair treated multiple times, the stepdaughter continues to swap hats and headbands with her friend and as a result, comes home with recurrent headlice. In an attempt to protect her 8-day-old newborn, the woman has told her step daughter that she is not allowed near her new baby sister, for fear she’ll give her head lice. But, her husband isn’t onboard with these protective measures.

I gave birth to my daughter 8 days ago. I have 3 step kids. There’s James, 12m. Amanda, 11f. Chris, 7m. All of them are great kids and I have been in their lives for 6.5 years now. We have them every weekend and rotating holidays (as well as a few extra weeks during summer break).

The issues are the fact that they all just started school and obviously with that comes shit storms. Like Amanda refuses to stop sharing hats and headbands with her classmates (as in comes home with new head wear damn near daily because her and her friends “switched” for the day) and has gotten a bad case of head lice. This has ALWAYS been an issue with Amanda. Every single year she gets head lice because of this issue and she refuses to stop sharing her hats so the cycle continues. This is at no fault of her mother or the school. She’s been told several times that this is unacceptable and we are tired of buying lice treatments, just for her to get lice again because of this. It goes in one ear and out the other. So right now, she is LOADED. Her mom has done 2 treatments alone since school started and Amanda’s hair is just as bad as when it started because she just refuses to stop taking and wearing her best friend’s hats (who always has head lice). So, I have started refusing to let her near the new baby. I don’t want the baby getting head lice and she has a lot of hair already. This is “mentally destroying” her (her words) but she still refuses to stop sharing head gear so I will continue this until her head lice is under control and until she sees the importance in what we tell her to begin with.

As for Chris and James, they hold the baby often and it really messes with my step daughters head because she isn’t allowed to touch the baby at all. I feel utterly fucking terrible about it because I love my step babies and I want my step daughter to be able to hold and love on her sister but I don’t feel comfortable given that she won’t stop sharing and spreading head lice wear. AITA? My husband is definitely getting pissed at me and has all but given me the cold shoulder but he hasn’t said anything thus far. Her bio mom is on my side and thinks maybe it will “teach her” that she can’t do this anymore.

Commenters did not hesitate to reassure the mum that not wanting anyone near her newborn with head lice was both justified and wise.

Omg, no, the girl with lice cannot hold the baby. Why is she at your home at all right now? NTA for the question you asked, but the lice thing needs to be sorted asap. New friend, new school, haircut, whatever it takes. This is ridiculous. (Electronic_Fox_6383)

Your baby is barely a week old. They’re very fragile at that age and its security should be your absolute priority. SD’s ego can take a hit, it will recover. Baby having head lice and having to undergo treatment might have a much harder time and serious repercussions. I wouldn’t risk it either. NTA. (laflibuste)


NTA, everyone who thinks it’s okay for the baby to get headlice is a huge asshole. You can’t treat a baby for headlice!

Many thought that this was a prime opportunity for little Amanda to learn that actions have consequences.

NTA. Baby can’t be treated for lice. Amanda is old enough to know what are good and bad choices and that there are consequences to both. It sucks for everyone. And yes your husband needs to get on board for a treatment/consequences if she doesn’t start changing how she acts.

I wouldn’t even allow her into the house with lice if I had a newborn. (Lady1218)



She needs to learn to stop sharing hats. She has been told time and time again that it needs to stop and yet she still does it. She is 11 and should know what stop means. Maybe start taking away the hats and her hats so they can’t trade anymore.

Have you talked to the friend’s parents about the hats? They might be giving lice to each other and the other parents are blaming your kid. This could help get you and the friend’s parents on the same side and put a halt on the lice spreading.

“This is “mentally destroying” her (her words)” This is her fault. The baby shouldn’t get in contact with the lice. It sounds like you have explained this to her and yet she refuses to listen. She is making her own misery.

I think it’s funny that the mom and you are on the same side with the hats and new baby. Refreshing to hear the mom and step mom on the same side with something. Maybe the dad should take a hint and realize he is wrong. (SockMaster9273)


NTA. You need to protect the baby. Amanda can understand the consequences of repeatedly coming home with lice being the reason she can’t hold the baby. Lice are becoming more resistant to the available treatments so Amanda needs to stop sharing clothing or other items at school. I would give her a nice pixie cut until she has an extended period without the lice. (napsrule321)

With regards to the husband’s response, many commenters pointed out that they doubted he was the one having to go through the unpleasant and painstaking process of removing thel ice from his daughter’s head, and would without doubt change his tune entirely if he did!

So your husband who should be dealing with this is letting it all happen and getting pissy with you.

What’s his problem? Does he want the baby to have headlice? Is he happy to get headlice?

Who is dealing with the lice treatment? I’ll bet it’s not hubby.

If you and the ex are dealing with it, you get to call the shots.

NTA (Dry-Crab7998)


NTA but make your husband buy and do all the treatments, he’ll soon get fed up with it.

I’m itching just thinking about it🤢 (Tasty_Doughnut_9226)


Your stepdaughter knows how she’s getting headlice, she is choosing to get it. Not holding the baby is a consequence of the decisions she alone made.

Life is tough when you make shitty decisions, now is a good time to learn that. (NewPrairegirl)


NTA if your husband is the only one not on board with chopping our hair off to help control the situation when there are other children that are affected. Then he should be the only one treating it and picking the nits out. When he’s the only one having to deal with it and pick the hair and the child screaming because it hurts, he’ll be ready to cut it off. (AstronautNo920)

One commenter even recalled her own experience with head lice as a child and the creative way her mum dealt with the situation.

I used to switch head things like her when I was young, usually with my cousins who often had lice. One day my mom got tired of it and made me sleep with my head COVERED in mayonnaise because it kills the lice, since then I’ve never shared head gear with my cousins and I also can’t stand the smell of mayo. Maybe that could help deter her. (Kenzie_Dawn)

What would you do in this mum’s position?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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