Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Don't Touch My Baby! Also titled Paranoia Paranoia Everybody's Coming To Get You

I've read many variations of the same complaint on mommy websites:

"OMG why do strangers touch my baby This old lady smiled at my baby and touched her hand and I pulled my baby away and said GOD why do you have to be so rude ewwwww germs I need a sign that says hands off"

I don't understand this reaction. 

I get that there is an automatic mommy-bear reaction when someone you don't know is around your baby.  You want to protect them.  You want to make sure the other person is safe.  I get that, I really do, and I'm not advocating handing your child to the man who stands on the street corner mumbling about puppies and George Bush.

There are times that I understand the concern.  If your child is newborn, especially if he/she were premature, I understand the hesitation and frustration when everyone wants to touch him or her.

But my baby is old enough to crawl.  Anything and everything she sees she puts into her mouth.  I've come to the conclusion that she's going to be exposed to dirt and germs, and although I wouldn't want someone with a cough and fever picking her up, I'm okay with a kindly stranger touching her.

Think about it:  It's not like you are spotlessly clean yourself.  No matter how well you wash your hands, they are dirty.  You touch doorknobs, money, your purse--things that have a large amount of germs on them.  If for some reason these things don't have germs in your house, chances are you are over-sanitizing---and that could be even worse for the health of your baby.

When I hear about these complaints, I think about my grandmother.  I think about how babies are a sign of hope and love, and how these ladies just want to say "hi" to a baby and remember their own children and grandchildren.  It's sad to me that the culture of fear is so prevalent that any stranger, no matter their intention, is viewed is suspicion and distaste and even revulsion by some moms.

Moral of the story: please don't be a jerk when someone touches your baby.

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