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Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me: Strangers Touching Baby

Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me: Strangers Touching Baby

The only thing worse than strangers rubbing your pregnant belly is when they touch your children!

And, as a new mom, it took me by surprise since I had lived my life as a person who kept her hands to herself.

My daughter had a set of irresistible chipmunk cheeks that passersby felt free to pinch. But beyond the sheer germ factor of dirty hands touching my infant's face, the tugging alarmed me.

To see what happened,


People crept up at the most unexpected times to peek under the stroller shade or take the liberty of giving her platinum haired head a good rub.

It didn't bother her, but it bugged me since my baby's space and safety were being violated.

While I didn't want to be rude, after a couple of episodes where strangers asked to hold her or leaned in for a kiss, I was fine with just telling people that I preferred they didn't.

Whether a situation calls for a polite "no" or merits an all-out, "Back away from my baby!" as a mom you should feel free to let your voice be heard.

Did this ever happen to you?

Astro_nerd Astro_nerd 9 years
No one would ever walk up to an un-pregnant woman and touch her stomach – that would be seen as sexual harassment! Is she suddenly an asexual being that people can just marvel at just because she is about to have a baby? Gross! She is still a wife or girlfriend; do they care how she feels about being touched below the shoulders outside of her relationship??? As for touching the baby, a baby is a person!! Would you pinch a grown-up who had cute features? Children have rights as to who they want touching them as well – I would not even touch a relatively familiar baby without their invitation first – ie, they smile and extend their arms as in “pick me up!”
emg2114 emg2114 9 years
I'm not even a mom and I've noticed thius and it bothered me!
brantsmama brantsmama 9 years
I absolutely hated when strangers touched my belly and I it made me insane when random people would come up and try to touch my son when he was a baby.. especially when he was brand new! I guess maybe I came across as a witch to some people, but I am a firm believer in letting people have their personal space! (even babies deserve this)..
orisugar orisugar 9 years
And yeah it would be weird if for example an adult in the elevator reached out and tried to carry the kid or kiss the kid or pinch their cheeks. Agreed. But if the baby is in a sling and if you've made eye contact with the parent and they seem receptive then i think it's okay to like touch their foot or if theres a toddler in the elevator and again you make some friendly non-verbal communication with the parent then it's ok to pat them on the head or extend your hand to shake hands with them. I've done that many times in the elevator in my apartment building because I love kids and i like being friendly to them. I mostly just smile at them or talk to them but sometimes if the kid is really cute ill pat him/her on the head- and most of the moms are really happy that someone is noticing their babies. I think most moms are flattered my friendly innitiations towards their children. But then again it may just be a sympton of Indian culture. So maybe it's just a cultural thing.
orisugar orisugar 9 years
I'm totally with you j2e1n9! babies are germ magnets anyway so it won't really do them much harm if an adult touches them.
milosmommy milosmommy 9 years
I'm alright if they touch his foot, but other than that and they're going to get told no.
macgirl macgirl 9 years
I really don't feel like I'm a germaphobe by any means. I just know I wouldn't want people touching parts on my body- regardless of how cute/pinchable some of my parts may be. So why would it be OK for them to touch my baby? I'm probably projecting my personal space feelings all over him. What's the worst thing that can happen, he doesn't like strangers touching him? I think I'm pretty OK with that ;-)
macneil macneil 9 years
Hate it hate it hate it! BUT, we should probably all chill a bit - they get so much pleasure from it, it doesn't happen much, and the odds are overwhelmingly staggeringly in our favour that they will not give our children dreadful contagious diseases.
Joelgasm Joelgasm 9 years
I don't have any kids or anything, I plan on having children someday just not right now. But I read something like this in a magazine about some lady just picking up her kid and stuff. I hope that when I do have a child nobody touches him/her....because I don't know how polite I could be at telling someone not to touch my child. I have a feeling it would come out a big ROAR, and possibly a slap across the face. All I've ever down is commented on a baby being cute and that's when they're right there and you can see them. I just don't get how anyone would think that's okay. :\
Greggie Greggie 9 years
It's not germaphobic to not want strangers touching your children. It's practicing proper precautions. Children need to develop their immune system, yes. But having a stranger touch my newborn's or small infant's hand during flu season is downright dangerous, and avoiding it is not germaphobic.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
It is hard for me to pass by cute kids, babies and dogs without wanting to reach out and pat them. I honestly dont know why, its just kind of like some insane reflex! I never thought about the whole germ thing until my friend had a baby and she said it kind of grossed her out when strangers would want to pat his head with the whole germs factor and all. So, I dont do it anymore, except if one is like running around a store or church or something and I have to reach out and block him or her from running into me. Although sometimes I have to admit I used to think that she whined about it so much because she just wanted to talk about how other people found her offspring attractive, kind of like in a conceited way maybe? I dont know, I feel like kids and babies gravitate towards germs anyway, they're always putting their mouths and hands on things in public and sucking on their fingers, and picking things off the makes me wonder if its really as big of a deal as people make it. :?
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
P.S. I didn't mean to sound conceited, I say "beauty" because that is part of the superstition. It is anything you admire. Just wanted to clarify.
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
OMG yes. My mother still tells the stories of the people who used to touch us. My older sister and I had very fair skin, red hair and my younger sister has olive skin and dark hair. But we all three have very blue eyes. We grew up in South Texas and it is a well known superstition among the Hispanic community that if you admire something you have to touch it or risk giving it the "evil eye". Strangers used to come up to us all the time and touch our hair, eyes or skin because they had admired their beauty and needed to touch it or risk placing a curse on us. My mother spent our formative years trying to keep us away from people because she has a fear of germs and worried about us getting sick. I still have older women, especially, who will comment on my eyes and then touch them to avoid this hexing superstition. I do not have children but I know that will not enjoy the belly rubbing (I hate being touched in general) and strangers touching my children.
jaxon jaxon 9 years
As long as people touched her feet I didn't mind. No one ever asked or attempted to pick her up/hold her. If I must touch a baby I'll touch or wiggle their toes if they have on socks. hope people are not offended by that.. Sometimes people are too neurotic!! I did not like strangers just randomly touching my belly if they asked sometimes I would say sure sometimes I wouldn't Babies and pregnancies are just magnets for people you're making life even though people have been doing it for hundreds of thousands of years each time its kinda like the first time. So there are plenty of other things to get worked up about I let that slide...
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I dont have kids yet, but when I babysat my neice i found that alot of older, elderly people thought they could pinch her cheeks or legs, i dont know if thats a generational thing because no younger people ever even tried too.
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
I don't have children yet but i would definately not be happy with strangers touching my baby. I can't imagine going and touching a strangers kids.
roxtarchic roxtarchic 9 years
abqmama... i'm w/you... i think it's also the reason noone even ATTEMPTED to rub my belly when i was pregnant... i can be scary (even tho i'm really not) but i also really dont have a problem w/telling someone... uh excuse me and i'd leave it at that...
anniekim anniekim 9 years
I know this is a problem for people, but I've never really had people trying to touch my belly or my kids. They do stop and remark upon their cuteness and try to coax out a smile, but not so much touching. I mostly figure that the interest is coming from a good place. maybe I give off the same vibe as abqmama!
stina829 stina829 9 years
So, when I was a baby/toddler I had the chubbiest cheeks in the world. I can remember people pinching my cheeks and it still annoys me to this day. I was out last weekend and a stranger came over and looked at my son and said "Oh, he's so cute!" and the hand started going towards my son's cheek - it was like slow motion, I wanted to slap the heck out of the lady, but my mouth just started running, and I said "I would appreciate you not touching his face because he's just getting over a cold and I don't want him exposed to any other germs" The lady gave me the rudest look and started to walk away and I said "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be rude, I'm just looking out for my son's health" and she said something to the effect of "Well I guess I can understand that" and walked away. Don't touch my baby!!!! GRRRRRRRRRRRR
orisugar orisugar 9 years
hmmm...i don't have kids so maybe I don't have uber strong maternal instincts I don't know how i'd react. I definitely wouldn't want strangers to kiss my baby or reach out and grab him/her without my consent, but i wouldn't mind pats on the head or a hand shake if the baby accepts..or smiles and funny faces. As much as I want my kid to be healthy, I don't want to raise a germaphobe. I'd rather let my kid's immune system develop. And I do feel the world is becoming too cold...parents today need to chill the hell out...As much as i am for reading about child psychology and books about raising kids, i think it's important not to totally cast away old fashioned child raising methods. I come from a culture where stragers show a lot of affection to kids they see around them, and it's all good. Ofcourse, one must be a little cautious- but harmless "intrusions" are fine I think. I feel like parents today (no offense) are tooo over protective. I'm seeing it all around me. Kids can't be raised in a cacoon people!
abqmama abqmama 9 years
lol macgirl, too funny. I'll have to remember that one.
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