Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

To wish people wouldn't hold my baby's hands

(187 Posts)
anicegreentea Mon 19-Nov-12 11:44:44

especially at this bug ridden time of year.
I keep telling myself not to be uptight and just go with the flow. You can't stop people cooing over cute babies.
But yesterday lady in department store came over to talk to him, holding both hands for ages. Then he grabbed her pen which she thought was cute/funny. I didn't say anything - what can you say anyway?!
Today he has vomiting, temperature, runny nose. I know it might not have been from this lady, but also It might have been!
Also had uncomfortable incident when an old lady who looked almost homeless did something similar in marks and spencers a few months ago.
Do these things annoy anyone else?!

exoticfruits Tue 20-Nov-12 06:47:26

The stranger has the right to decide,LimeLeafLizard, or at least if not the right, they will if they want to. The mother has to realise that she can only control herself and she has no control over others and if she wants 'my baby, my rules' she has to stay at home! You can't control the entire environment out of the home - however much you might want to. Personally I don't touch random babies but other people will. If the baby doesn't like it they let them know!

Valdeeves Tue 20-Nov-12 07:03:18

I know loads oof people who feel that way about their newborn. It's natural to feel over protective. I always wash my hands before holding s newborn for exactly that reason. You'll feel less like this as your hormones calm down.

DonnieD Tue 20-Nov-12 07:05:44

All good for the immune system!

Growlithe Tue 20-Nov-12 07:21:45

What are you going to do when the child has to go to school?

SoupDragon Tue 20-Nov-12 07:30:38

The stranger wants to touch the baby.
The parent does not want the stranger to touch the baby.

Who has the right to decide what happens in this circumstance?

It's not a matter of who makes the decision really, it is whether the parent is being at all rational and basing their decision on actual fact rather than perceived danger.

Merinda Tue 20-Nov-12 09:13:59

I love the primates comments as well as living in a village ones.
I will skip the primates discussion, although I believe we are a bit more evolved.
London (where I live) is not a village. It has millions of people taking the tube, flying in and out of airports, bringing germs from all over the world. High TB prevalence, by the way. A bit more immune system testing than needed for an average baby.
In many cultures (e.g. Asia, Eastern Europe) it is customary to keep the baby at home or shield from strangers for quite a while, in some cases up to a year. This is an ancient custom, and I think a very wise one.

Finally, all to their own, of course. I am not happy for my baby to be touched by strangers. I think OP is not unreasonable. If you are - great.
Just yesterday a lady came up and stuck her fingers in my baby's eye, because "he has really long eyelashes". People routinely try to stick their fingers in his mouth "to check how many teeth he has". I think this is ridiculous, an invasion of privacy for both me and the baby, and extremely unhealthy. So I will continue to be polite but firm in not letting them do so. There are plenty of ways to interact with a baby without touching them.

Mrsjay Tue 20-Nov-12 09:17:13

I will skip the primates discussion, although I believe we are a bit more evolved.

of course we have evovled a bit more but the principle of raising babies is sort of the same everybody or ape will touch the baby and make sure they are ok it is natural and I think humans are the same , although we dont go grooming for beasties anymore grin

squoosh Tue 20-Nov-12 10:32:14

A finger held out for a baby to grip is a world away from fingers in eyes, fingers in mouths.

whoopwhoopbib Tue 20-Nov-12 11:59:41

Yanbu OP I don't like it when strangers feel the need to touch DD's hands or face. I don't say anything at the time as I am aware that this would be rather rude and offensive so I just give a quick wipe with a baby wipe.

It's not just mum's of pfb though, I was waiting with a nurse outside hospital to be picked up and a couple came over to speak to DD who was 4 months. I sat there with her on my lap and chatted to the couple staring all the while at the womans heavily nicotine stained fingers which were holding DD's hands. As soon as they walked off the nurse turned to me and asked if I had a wipe for DD as she didn't like the look of the womans hands!

I am fully aware that babies need to be exposed to germs etc but even the baby groups we go to wipe over the toys with anti bac wipes so we can't all be unreasonable.

EasilyBored Tue 20-Nov-12 12:16:22

I don't particularly like it when random strangers touch my baby, but I let them because I think it's a bit rude to say anything if they have come over to admire how beautiful he is. He's at nursery now, so I've stopped caring if he picks up a bug from a stranger, as he spends all day licking other baby so pretty much has a perma-runny nose. DS is more likely to spread germs to other people, than catch them himself. Plus, I agree with poster who explained why people want to touch babies, and I'd rather that society continued to view him as precious and look out for him. Also, DS is a chubby, smiling, very very sociable little guy, and revels in the attention from strangers. Being pushed around Tesco in a trolley is one of his favourite things to do.

The only time I have bothered to wipe him down after a person touched him, was when that person was actually homeless. The guy was lovely, very friendly and admiring of DS, but he was filthy. And he stroked DS's face. That time I discreetly wiped him down after the man had left.

DH, on the otherhand, can't stand it when people touch DS, and wipes down the shopping trolley before putting DS in it etc. I just let him get on with it.

EasilyBored Tue 20-Nov-12 12:17:10

I've missed so many words from that post. I don't even know how that happened.

Devora Tue 20-Nov-12 12:40:20

What a hilarious thread!

I think Pagwatch's post was the most sensible of the lot. We will lose an awful lot if we ban interaction between strangers and babies. And touch IS part of interaction. Not without limits: I agree that a finger jammed into a newborn's mouth is both unpleasant and intrusive. And people should not touch if their hands are not clean. And they should take it gradually, checking all the while that the baby looks happy.

But babies have no language, and talking/coochy cooing at them is very limited. Holding a little hand is a really important part of the repertoire of how we communicate with babies, isn't it? I really can't see the harm.

But then I'm jealous, because my baby looked like a Jewish accountant with a combover (so I was told) and nobody ever wanted to touch her grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now