Advice on dealing with young girls who want to hold my baby(27 Posts)
I'm looking for some advice please on a situation that keeps cropping up with me and my 6 mo.
Several times recently when we've been out and about (in the park / meeting friends for coffee / changing her in public loos) I've been approached by girls of around 8 asking if they can hold her.
They always ask very nicely, but when I reply in the negative, I always get a "why?", or "I'll be careful" or “but I get to hold my young cousin".
I literally don't say "no" but I'm obviously quite new to this and I'm looking for a response that means 'end of conversation'.
Alternatively, do I have to accept that little girls are interested in babies, and just let them hold her?
No you do not. Your baby, your rules. I cannot bear seeing babies in childrens arms. They invariably don't know how to hold them properly. Your baby is not a doll. Nor should it be treated like one. Just say no anddon't entertain any more conversation with them.
You could say that the baby has a stinky nappy or is likely to barf milk down them?
I wouldn't know what to say either, I've got a 10m dd and have thankfully never been asked this! I'd be tempted to say "no thanks, she's comfy in her pushchair/ highchair/ with me" or "it's lovely that you like to cuddle your cousin but my baby doesn't know you - I don't think you'd like to be picked up by a stranger either".
That is incredibly weird
I think being firm but polite should do the trick. They don't know it's a strange thing to ask (and wtf are the parents thinking letting them come over to ask?!).
Mind, I went to a family gathering a bit ago (DD was about 5 weeks old) and I put her in the sling to have a sleep/keep out of sun. There were a couple people there I'm not related to and barely know. And they were all "ooh I hope avocado passes baby round for a cuddle". I smiled politely but she stayed in the bloody sling. Babies aren't toys ffs.
No, my baby doesn't like strangers.
'I've said no, girls.' with a smile and that would be that. They sound like children who have never learnt the MN favourite, that 'no' is a complete sentence.
I have the same problem with a girl who always wants to pick up my very heavy 2 year old. I've just simply started saying "don't, he doesn't like it", which is simply the truth!
Thanks all - I like the 'she might be sick on you' suggestion, but I think in all three cases the girls would have said, "oh I don't mind!".
I'll try "no, she doesn't like being held by strangers." Doesn't give them much of a come back.
I had this with ds (he was my third, and I still want prepared for it!)
It was usually other children at dd2's school, so not total strangers, but I don't like small children holding babies at all.
Sometimes I allowed it, on strict rules of sitting still next to me so ds could still see me ('he doesn't like to be way from me'). This meant the cuddles lasted all of, oh a minute, before the children were itching to be up and about again. Other times it was a flat 'no'. Once, I had said no, and was holding ds (aged about 8 months) while watching dd2 at a club. I suddenly felt a huge pull on ds - a chi,d I had refused a cuddle had come up behind me (I was sitting on a gym bench) and seized hold of ds from behind me, and was busy trying to heave him out of my grasp! I extricated myself (and ds) amd turned around to berate the child, only,to find child's parent stood next to him, and met with 'oh, he does love babies' wtf?! He could have seriously injured ds the way he was pulling him, and the parent just let him carry on. Unbelievable.
I refused all cuddles with ds after that.
I would just tell them he/she has a bad tummy and might be sick over them and also is grumpy because of being sick so would cry.
RiverTam's suggestion would be what I would say too, with a firm but pleasant tone. Then just repeat it as necessary until they stop asking and go away.
My baby at that age was really outgoing and sociable but I never had this situation and I would have said no if it was a child I'd never met. If it had been a friend/family child I would have been open to it but made them sit down (ideally on the floor) and let them hold the baby under close supervision. I said no to a friend's child who was about 6 when baby was only a few weeks (can't remember exactly but still at the floppy head stage). Her parents totally backed me up, in fact they might have said no before I did. But I let her do up the straps on his carseat when it was time to leave (obviously I checked/tightened them afterwards) and she seemed happy with that.
At that age I loved babies too but would never ever have gone up to a complete stranger and asked to hold one...
Had this once at the park with DS2 (about 16 months at the time), and I said something along the lines of "No, sorry" until the girls have up and went away. But they wanted to take him on the swingy hammock thing, which made it easier to be firm, despite the protestations of "but he wants to swing on it" (true, but tough luck, DS2), "we'll be really careful" etc etc .
I get this but with young teens at school (I'm an adult) with both the boys and girls wanting to hold dd from a few weeks old. I just say she is tired and grumpy and maybe offer that they can push the pram around and play with her in the pram. A few times I've let them and inevitably she has screamed, as its her favorite pass time, they give her back sharpish and I don't get asked again for a few weeks.
When I was changing her in a public loo, two girls came in and said, "oh, your baby is so cute! What's his name?"
Ignoring the fact my daughter had her legs akimbo and their basic lack of biology was severely lacking, when I said they couldn't hold her, because obviously I was changing her, they then proceeded to stroke baby's cheek and hold her hand while I put a fresh nappy on.
Like I said, I'm a bit new to interacting with strange kids in such circumstances. I did say, "don't you need to go to the toilet?" but they just said they'd come in to wash their hands. Looking back that's even worse that they were touching my baby!!
I will definitely be more assertive next time.
I don't really understand this. Why are you changing your baby with the door open in a public loo if you don't like social interaction with strangers? Of course you're going to get children coming over if you do nappy changes in public view. If you cant cope with them coming near your baby find somewhere private to change her I would think.
Some baby change facilities are just in the open bit of toilets, rather than in a cubicle. So you wouldn't be able to shut a door on other people. And, the OP has said that it hadn't occurred to her that other people's children would be interested in her baby.
I mostly had 3-4yos wanting to hold dd, so more obviously not a good idea until she was old enough to hold her head up. Then I'd sometimes let them if they sat down, but before that I used to say she doesn't like being held by people she doesn't know, but she does like her feet being tickled.
Actually she didn't give a toss, but it meant the kids could feel important and interact with a baby in a way that wasn't going to risk hurting her.
I've not long had my third. When friends and family's children ask I say yes, but only if they sit down. I'm next to them then.
They soon get bored.
I've never had a child I don't know ask to hold any of mine but I would probably say no but you could push him on the swing gently as pp suggested.
Or that baby is very tired, maybe another day x
I have had an adult who I've never met ask to hold my first dd though. That was awkward.
I'm going to go completely against the grain here as my opinion is I think it's lovely for other kids to show an interest in babies and want to be affectionate. We are a social species and it wasn't that long ago when we were all living in close communities where everyone would get involved in the care of babies and children. We as adults are now living in an age where we are full of anxieties about mostly unfounded fears. Children are lucky enough to be innocent of these anxieties and are just acting on their unconscious and primal instincts to be interested in and show affection to the younger members of the 'herd'. This is a lovely thing and I think it should be applauded and encouraged.
Your babies will benefit too as they will learn to be more sociable and comfortable around children and not just be attached to mummies hip - terrified of interaction with anyone else.
When kids asked to hold my baby I would say yes and we would sit down together and they could hold her and ask questions and we all had a nice time. The older children's mothers were always grateful too and we a nice chat about when their kids were babies etc.
Consequently my daughter is sociable and confident and has a solid immune system!
I think society needs to lighten up and not be so uptight about our precious little bundle. It would be worse if the whole world ignored you.
Danger. ... its all so extreme from your perspective. Isn't it?
I mean. ... * Your babies will benefit too as they will learn to be more sociable and comfortable around children and not just be attached to mummies hip - terrified of interaction with anyone else*
Ridiculous! No one asked to hold my babies, and yet somehow they have developed into very confident happy beings. What a mystery
Where are their parents when this is going on?
I would just say "no" nicely with a nice smile and go back to chatting to my friends. I wouldn't give a reason - there's no need to. It's not a decision that needs justified
If they asked again, I'd ask if they were lost and needed me to help them find their mum and remove them back there if needs be.
Re: the changing, I've never seen changing facilities out in the open but I wouldn't be too bothered about children talking to me then and I never mind children talking to the DC at check out queues etc whilst they are in their pram - I think it's nice. What I don't want it to be interrupted whilst I'm out with friends and - after DD suffered a fractured skull after being dropped by a nurse (yes, really and it was in hospital!) - I'm not policing children hding her or DS
I agree with DangerGrouse. The kids are just displaying interest and empathy, and those are both traits to be encouraged.
You can be firm with kids, but thank them for their interest and curiosity.
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