in , ,

New Dad Balks After SIL Demands He Reimburse Her For ‘Extravagant’ Clothes His Baby Soiled

baby in diaper
Thanasis Zovoilis/Getty Images

Babies are messy.

This should come as no surprise to anyone.

For at least the first few months of life, humans spend time expelling foul substances from both ends of their digestive tract.

So when a baby christened their aunt’s outfit, the father saw no need to compensate his sister-in-law. After pushback, he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Grand-Assignment2752 asked:

“AITA for not getting my sister-in-law new clothes because my infant pooped on her?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“My wife & I have recently had our second child, and it was a boy. It’s been a few months after that & my brother arrived to meet us now, along with his wife.”

“It’s the first time that they saw him as they were not present when he was born.”

“They prefer to live in extravagance & are the kind of people who like to boast about everything they’ve got/humble-brag, etc…”

“Things were basically going well until my sister-in-law lifted the baby, and he unfortunately defecated himself, aside from urinating.”

“She almost let out a yell and backed off, and my wife took the child from her hands. We apologized, but they got mad & were like how ‘disgusting’ it was and that she wasn’t expecting it.”

“She washed it off, but then she told me that I have to pay her for what my infant did.”

“I laughed and said ‘What did you expect when you held a child like that? I am not giving you money’.”

“Both of them got mad & said I am the parent and should be responsible for what he’s been doing, and we got into an argument.”

“In the end, I just asked them to get out of my house & they did so, but they were talking about how I was really inconsiderate/a miser, etc…”


The OP summed up their predicament. 

“Perhaps I should’ve responded in another manner which is what makes me the a**hole. Maybe I should’ve been more considerate.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors were split in their judgments, with some deciding the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“NTA. Babies leak bodily fluids. Lots of them, on all sides. Holding a baby comes with a risk.” ~ Then_Pay6218

“The way the story is written it honestly makes it sound like baby was fully naked. If so, obviously anyone holding a fully naked baby is on their own choice of putting themself in the danger zone.”

“If baby pooped and it leaked the diaper, I’d have phrased it like that. ‘Baby chose that moment to poop and unfortunately it leaked!’.”

“Either way, NTA. This is something that can happen holding babies. Especially a newborn.”

“People need to be prepared with clothes that can be washed easily or else don’t hold the baby without also having a blanket as cover. It’s not hard to use a blanket as cover, and people often wrap babies up anyway.” ~ believehype1616

“NTA. If babies came with a no-poop guarantee, parenting would be a whole other ball game.”

“Her expecting reimbursement for a common infant accident is like asking for a refund after getting wet at a water park.”

“Next time, maybe she’ll consider a change of attire before baby cuddle time or at the very least, some realistic expectations about the messy realities of infants.” ~ DaintyHoneysuckle

“There was this woman I worked with whose eight year old daughter puked all over her when she had some kind of bug. As my co-worker was cleaning both of them up, her little girl started crying and apologizing for puking all over her mom.”

“And my co-worker said to her, ‘Oh, honey, don’t cry, it’s okay. I’ve been thrown up on by people I don’t love half as much as I love you’.”

“I just thought that was so weirdly sweet in the way of kid puking stories. Plus, it gave kind of a fun nod to the possibility of my co-worker’s wilder, pre-kid days.”

“NTA, OP. Tell them to head to the laundry or the dry cleaner and stop being such a**holes about something that happens to all of us at one time or another when we’ve held a baby.” ~ emergencycat17

“I do not have any children and am generally unfamiliar with babies. If I got pooped on because I picked up the baby in a poop-inducing way, I’d be embarrassed because of my own ignorance.”

“They seem like know-it-alls and are probably too proud to admit it.”

“Disposable diapers are a relatively new technology. Poop washes out, we’ve been using cloth-based diapers for centuries. NTA.” ~ ekm8642

“NTA. But your SIL sounds like a moron.”

“I’ve had 2 babies. Every single family member whether parent or not, understood that babies come with poop and other fluids that can mess up clothing.”

“If they got messed up, they usually just chuckled.” ~ notjewel

Others felt the OP was the a**hole (YTA).

“YTA. Your baby shat on your sister in law. She’s not the parent, she didn’t sign up to deal with poop on her, so you owe her at least the cost of a new shirt.” ~ king-of-new_york

“YTA—not sure why you don’t like these people since you barely explained it, but you should offer to pay for dry cleaning.”

“Maybe it’s not a big deal if your kid sh*ts on you, but you can’t expect others to be fine about it.” ~ urdadisugly

“Like it’s some how unreasonable for your sister-in-law to be upset that she was shat on? Yeah, kids poop and have accidents but you’re not the least bit sorry because they have money so who cares about any of their feelings.”

“It’s not about the cost of new clothes, it’s how you treated her after. ‘You held a baby so that’s the risk you take and you kind of deserve it’. Not a good example to set for your kids. YTA.” ~ Camera-Realistic

“YTA. Why didn’t you offer her one of your shirts and to wash hers?”

“I’m not sure why a guest in your house had to leave wearing a poop shirt. Regardless of how it got there.” ~ veiled_static

“YTA. Why on earth would you not at least offer to pay a dry cleaning bill? Yes, poop happens but it doesn’t mean we all have to be fine with it.”

“If the baby had pooped on the couch, would you not have offered to clean it?”

“It doesn’t matter whether she was wearing Old Navy or Gucci, the polite and non-AH thing to do would be offer for the dry cleaning bill.”

“You could still laugh about it, but damn.” ~ CC_206

“YTA. Fast forward 16 years, and imagine your kid damages someone’s expensive car. You could try and make the argument that ‘younger drivers just hit things sometimes, and it’s not my fault you drive an expense car, so that damage is your problem’, but it’s not going to work.”

“Because part of being a parent is being held responsible for when your kid, even when it’s completely unintentional, damages other people’s stuff. It’s just a part of the parental “cost of doing business” so to speak.”

“So yes, you are on the hook.”

“HOWEVER, you’re NOT on the hook for brand new replacement clothing! No! That’s unreasonable of them to expect.”

“What IS reasonable? In terms of clothing, if it’s something that will mostly likely come clean in a regular wash, most reasonable people wouldn’t even accept anything if offered.”

“They’d just wash it. But if it’s not (and granted, more expensive/designer clothing is more likely to not be easy wash-and-wear stuff), or they’re not willing to try, then the offer is to pay for dry cleaning. Not brand new clothes, dry cleaning.”

“Now if it doesn’t come out via dry cleaning, then the next reasonable offer is one of two things: offer to buy them the same/substantially similar article of clothing used (so same brand, same shirt, but possibly a different color if the original is no longer available, for example), or to pay them the equivalent dollar value of that same/substantially similar article of used clothing.

“So again, not brand new clothes, used. And that’s it. They’re not entitled to anything beyond that.” ~ PARA9535307

While some were sure everyone sucked (ESH).

“Was he wearing a diaper? I’ve got 2 kids, I don’t think I’ve ever been pooped on, I have been peed on, but If I cared about my clothes I wouldn’t hold my nephew if he didn’t have a diaper on.”

“Pay for the dry-cleaning bill maybe as a peace offering.”

“ESH, especially the baby.” ~ willthesane

“ESH. The correct thing to do here is to offer to pay for dry cleaning. It doesn’t matter that they’re rich and can afford to pay for it themselves, your baby soiled their clothes.”

“I frankly don’t agree with the idea that get pee and poop all over you is a foreseeable risk when holding a baby.”

“Unless the kid has regular blowouts and you’ve warned them, they would naturally assume that the baby’s diaper would prevent them from getting soiled even if the kid did go to the bathroom because that’s how diapers work.” ~ Sarahlpatt

“ESH. I think the ideal etiquette here would have been to offer to pay for her dry cleaning and on their part being gracious and declining.”

“Yes, it’s a silly dance we play just to be polite, but hey, at the end of the day, it preserves relationships from being ruined over petty things like this.” ~ Croissantal

“ESH. Your SIL is overreacting and, frankly, being a bit silly. But your dismissive attitude isn’t great, either.”

“I have a close relative whose kids, when infants, befouled me with all sorts of nasty substances and she would lend me something to wear while she washed my soiled clothes.” ~ VisionAri_VA

“ESH. You should pay to get the clothes dry-cleaned. They are the AH for demanding a whole new outfit.” ~ peckerlips

The OP got some extremely different responses.

Whether they’re the a**hole or not, offering to clean any soiled garments is something most people suggest.

Maybe they can use that advice in the future.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.