Aunt Discovers Niece 'Breastfeeds' Her 5-Month-Old Brother for a Heartbreaking Reason

Lauren Levy
Breastfeeds

YouraPechkin/iStock.com

What should've been sweet memories turned into startling family drama after a woman recently learned the truth about what her niece and nephew go through at the hands of their mom.

While everyone was together at her parents' house, the anonymous aunt went to pop into the next room and check on the 8-year-old girl and 5-month-old boy. It was then that she found out her sister frequently leaves the kids alone to fend for themselves — and figure out a way to comfort each other while she's gone. Thanks to her niece's innocent admission, this aunt is furious and doesn't know what to do next.

The anonymous aunt explained that the fight started after walking in on her young niece trying to "breastfeed" her baby brother.

According to the 27-year-old woman, her sister and her sister's boyfriend stopped by their parents' house with her young niece and nephew. After staying for a bit, they left but the kids stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's.

"I heard the baby crying and went to check on him and saw my niece with her shirt pulled down and holding him to her chest," the aunt wrote in a post on Reddit.

She explained that she then took the baby from the 8-year-old girl and asked what she was doing. "She said she was trying to make him happy. I told her not to do that because that's something only her mother should do," she wrote. "She said she does it when her mom isn't home. I asked how often does her mom leave them by themselves. She said a lot."

When her sister returned to pick up the kids, the woman and her parents confronted her.

Things didn't go very well when her 32-year-old sister was called out on her parenting. She got mad at her family for questioning her parenting and things escalated quickly.

"She thinks an 8-year-old is old enough to stay home alone. She says she fixes some food and bottles before she leaves," the aunt wrote. "My niece just does the breastfeeding thing to comfort him because it's what she has seen my sister do. My sister doesn't think there's anything wrong with it."

But just because mom doesn't see a problem with it, her family made it clear that everyone is furious and finds it unacceptable. "She snapped and said if we are so [concerned] then why don't we just take them," she wrote.

Grandma wasn't having it, so she told mom to step up and take care of her children instead of neglecting them or expecting someone else to do it for her. "She took the kids and left," she wrote. "No contact since. We're worried about the kids."

Now she doesn't know what to do: They want to call CPS but also don't know if they have any other options.

Online, people were clear that the "pretending to breastfeed" part of the story isn't the problem.

"Yeah, from what I've heard, an older sibling, particularly a girl, attempting to breastfeed a baby sibling is not at all uncommon," one user wrote.

"Hell, my brother did that to me (a girl) when he was a kid because I was crying and he had seen my mom do that to comfort me. It's not that strange for kids to mimic the actions of adults," another commenter added.

"Damn, I'm 20 and I can hardly take care of my 5-month-old baby nephew," someone else pointed out.

And the problem isn't just that an 8-year-old was left with a baby, it's that an 8-year-old was left alone, period. "She is 8 and says it happens ‘a lot’ so that means it has been going on for a longer time," one person wrote.

phozv4o1wk2qbwe

And many people agree that she needs to do something, ASAP, to stop this.

phild6p5sk2qbwe

"Imagine the guilt that the 8-year-old will feel if something happens when she is left alone in charge of the baby. It would destroy her," one user wrote.

"If her mother can’t/won’t step up and care for them properly then the other adults in their life need to do so," another person added.

"She doesn't want her children and is NEGLECTING them. She doesn't care if they could die in an accident when home alone, in fact she probably low-key hopes for it. No matter her excuse (PPD is a real option), neglecting your children is CHILD ABUSE and should go reported asap," someone else pointed out.

"You may not want to call CPS because you don’t want to hurt your sister, but if something happens to one of those children it’s going to haunt you for the rest of your life that you didn’t," another user wrote.

However, some think she needs to calm down a bit. "It’s not the grandparent’s or aunt’s responsibility to raise her children," one person wrote.

phu9gsv74s2qbwe

"I think it'd be safe to leave either my 8 year old or 10 year old home alone," another user added.

"The amount of time is also a huge factor. Quick trip to the store vs an entire shift/day a work changes the situation hugely," someone else pointed out.

But at the end of the day, most feel strongly that there's only one answer: She needs to call CPS now for the sake of those kiddos. "Your sister is a walking time-bomb, and if you don't call CPS, a hospital staff will if the baby gets dropped from negligence. Do your sister a favor before she goes to jail for neglect, manslaughter, etc. Call CPS," one user pleaded.

phg7lrsj4s2qbwe

"CPS is important. What if one or both of those children get hurt or die and no one intervened on their behalf?" someone else added.

"Five months is amazingly young to leave a baby with a goddamn 8-year-old. All bad. Very bad. Horribly bad. Call CPS. Don't wait for something to happen to those kids. Because it will. It just hasn't happened yet," another user wrote.

Let's hope this experience is the catalyst for change that her sister needs.

*This story was originally published on Mom.me sister site CafeMom. *