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to be upset because strangers touch my baby

(244 Posts)
ladybird8131 Thu 26-May-16 17:28:30

It seems that everywhere I go with DD, strangers feel the need to stop, tell me how gorgeous she is and then - invariably - touch her hands/face/hair.

Today I was just outside of boots after meeting up with a friend. As I was putting my DD back in her pram an old lady stopped and starting making a fuss about how beutiful my baby was. I thanked politely, still trying to fasten the harness (sweating). She then said: "don't let her out of your sight!" I said. "of course not, I am very careful".
She went on, asking how old she was, whether I intended to have more children, because you know they would look beautiful....
I couldn't make out whether she was mad or genuinely friendly.
She carried on, even though it was clear I wasn't really interested in the conversation and was only replying out of politeness.
She asked how old I was and then.....while I was still adjusting the harness, she managed to slip her hand down into the pram and stroke my DD hair. Even though I was surrounding DD with my body (still adjusting the harness). While doing this she said: "Mommy doesn't mind"
I was fuming, but more so, I was agry at myself for saying nothing. Of course I did mind, so why was I unable to say so? It worries me that, in order not to offend a stranger (a lunatic maybe?) I allowed her to do something that I do not tolerate.

Why do people (strangers) think it is ok to touch other people's babies?

Is anyone bothered by this or is it just me??


VestalVirgin Thu 26-May-16 17:33:07

Haven't been in that situation, but I would be bothered by it, totally.

I wouldn't touch a baby without the mother's permission, either. It is such a weird thing to do. confused

WorraLiberty Thu 26-May-16 17:35:12

Fuck me, what a palava.

I suspect you'd be having a bigger attack of the vapours if no-one gave a shite.

FreshHorizons Thu 26-May-16 17:35:53

This is a regular on MN, except that strangers are generally 'dirty'. Then we wonder why UK isn't child friendly! You will find that countries that are child friendly, generally Mediterranean ones, touch a lot.
Here it is 'like my child' but under my rules, and it simply doesn't work like that unless you stay at home and don't mix.
It is far better to the baby to have people being sociable than being in an antiseptic bubble. If the baby doesn't like it the baby will let them know- they do no suffer in silence through politeness- it is not a concept they have yet.
This thread will get heated on both sides. People will come on and tell you that we don't stroke adults legs as if it is anyway similar!

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Thu 26-May-16 17:38:45

You need to train your child how to bite them.

She can snap at their fingers like Audrey 2 does to Seymour in Little Shop Of Horrors.

BitchPeas Thu 26-May-16 17:38:56

I think you're getting a bit worked up over not much tbh. Did she stroke her roughly? Did your DD cry? Was she filthy or obviously off her head on something? If all the answers are no I think you should shrug it off.

This happens to my DCs all the time and especially when they were babies. Take it as a compliment, I'd be offended if no one had ever stopped me to tell me how beautiful my DC where! grin

SpookyRachel Thu 26-May-16 17:39:23

Yep, this one always polarises. Personally, I don't think it's weird for strangers to touch a baby - I think it's the most instinctive and natural thing in the world. However, now I have learned (from MN) that many mothers don't like it I hold back, because that's the polite thing to do. Some people don't know that modern mothers don't like it, some others may be lonely or disinhibited or whatever. It's not weird, it's not outrageous, but you are of course perfectly entitled to ask them not to.

I would keep it in perspective, though - really, is this such a biggie? All over the world, strangers are pinching children's cheeks and patting their hair.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Thu 26-May-16 17:40:24

Cheering up someones day by letting them interact with my baby for a minute or two never bothered me at all.

If it bothers you tell them so, eventually people will stop trying to be friendly so the problem will be solved.

VestalVirgin Thu 26-May-16 17:40:46

People will come on and tell you that we don't stroke adults legs as if it is anyway similar!

Yeah, you have a point there ... adults can fight back.

If people touch baby and she doesn't like it, guess what - they already touched her against her will.

ALSO, if they disregard the mother's wishes, do you think they respect what the baby wants?

PPie10 Thu 26-May-16 17:40:55

It seems that everywhere I go with DD, strangers feel the need to stop, tell me how gorgeous she is

Oh how you must suffer. hmm
Yabu and being a drama queen.

uglyflowers Thu 26-May-16 17:41:15

You should be grateful that people think your baby is cute. Also, have a bit of compassion. Old people get lonely and a baby is often a good way to have a wee chat. Honest to god, you need to be less precious and more kind. One day you might be an old lady on your own.

DixieNormas Thu 26-May-16 17:42:24

Joffrey that's funny grin

yeah do that op

VestalVirgin Thu 26-May-16 17:42:40

All over the world, strangers are pinching children's cheeks and patting their hair.

Oh yes, and I can still remember very well how much I hated that when I was a child.

Now I no longer wonder why some travel guides tell you "In this country, patting a strange child's head is not considered polite" - I had thought it was common knowledge. confused

PacificDogwod Thu 26-May-16 17:42:47

I always thought how lovely the reactions were that my babies got tbh. And IMO it is really nice for them to learn that people they meet are nice and smily and make a fuss of them.

If you don't like her being touched by fawning admirers (and there will be loads), you will need to learn to say 'Please do not touch her'. And you will have to accept that people might look at you a bit funny.

How old is your DD?

leelu66 Thu 26-May-16 17:42:54

Really? Everywhere? I know a couple of babies that had been 'spotted' by model scouts and even they don't get told they're beautiful and stroked everywhere they go.

YANBU for disliking your baby being touched by strangers but YABU for exaggerating and calling a potentially lonely old lady a 'lunatic'.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 26-May-16 17:43:24

It happened a bit when mine were babies and it didn't bother me as long as the people were pleasant, clean, considerate and gentle. I even let strangers hold my babies when they asked. But the person should be able to read your reaction and judge whether it would be welcome so I do understand why you're not happy.

PacificDogwod Thu 26-May-16 17:43:53

Mind you, DS4 used to growl at fawning admirers shockhmmgrin which at times was well awkward grin

SpookyRachel Thu 26-May-16 17:44:45

Absolutely what uglyflowers says.

Oh, and I think it's probably very good for babies to feel admired, to interact with strangers. dd1 looked like an accountant with a combover and nobody ever, ever stopped me to tell her she was gorgeous. Whereas dd2 was admired and loved wherever she went. I do wonder if that was some contribution to dd1's introversion and dd2's social confidence.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 26-May-16 17:45:10

You sound really mean, you will be old one day, hopefully the lady didn't notice your resentment and your baby still made her day.

MrTumbleOnRepeat Thu 26-May-16 17:45:14

I know how you feel, when I was paying for an item an old lady actually took him out his pram to give him a cuddle. When I asked her to put him back she didn't want to and told me to go get a coffee and she would watch him! Thankfully her friend could see I was seething and made her put him back.
Think sometimes people forget themselves and get caught up in the cuteness

Celticlassie Thu 26-May-16 17:46:06

"she managed to slip her hand down into the pram and stroke my DD hair." Clearly a master criminal. wink

Honestly OP, some people like babies. Babies generally like a bit of attention. You're being a bit bloody precious.

araiba Thu 26-May-16 17:46:47

only 1 lunatic in the op

clue-its not the old lady

PortiaCastis Thu 26-May-16 17:48:22

What worra said

DixieNormas Thu 26-May-16 17:48:28

mine always liked the attention, except ds4 who once slapped someone who stuck her head too close

50shadesofTom Thu 26-May-16 17:49:24

Well done on getting 'old' and 'mad' into the post.

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