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Touching other people's babies

(177 Posts)
Beswitched Sat 01-Feb-20 20:42:02

A young colleague of mine with a 10 month old son was complaining recently because her mum's neighbour kept stroking the baby's cheek when she called in to visit.

I've also seen a lot of complaints on line about people touching other people's babies, holding their hands etc and it sounds very strange to me.

It was quite the norm when I was growing up and a young adult for people to be tactile around babies and young children.

When did this become taboo?

BlueBelle Sat 01-Feb-20 20:50:07

I think it’s all nonsense I would never kiss a strangers baby but I would often hold their little hand or stroke their fingers as we have a coo and a chat, still do it so wrong ?

Sara65 Sat 01-Feb-20 21:02:55

I agree with Bluebelle, there are boundaries you don’t cross, but holding a little hand, stroking a little head, where’s the harm?

SueDonim Sat 01-Feb-20 21:10:55

I didn’t like people touching my babies. Babies and small children aren’t public property.

notanan2 Sat 01-Feb-20 21:14:30

If you're a stranger how can you possibly assume that thats okay. The child might have a low immune system from being premature, or might be just dropping off or waking up.

It doesnt mean that nobody is tactile with the child just because random peope touching them isnt appreciated.

JuliaM Sat 01-Feb-20 21:26:58

Times have changed, l recently helped a young child get up and spoke in a comforting tone to them after they took a nasty tumble, the Mother was quite some distance away talking to someone, but it was clear by her tone that she wasn’t happy about what l did, and hastily snatched the child up and tutted to herself without as much as a ‘Thankyou’!

Sara65 Sat 01-Feb-20 21:27:29

I don’t think if you’re a stranger you would touch a baby, but Beswitched isn’t talking about a total stranger.

Starlady Sat 01-Feb-20 21:33:30

Nowadays, I wouldn't dram of touching someone's baby w/o asking first. No doubt, it was different years ago, but yes, times have changed. Parents are way more worried about germs now than they were back then, it seems to me.

OutsideDave Sun 02-Feb-20 01:48:32

No one should touch young babies without permission, and certainly not their faces and hands (which usually go straight in their mouths!). The flu is rampant, infectious illnesses are devastating for infants, and a mild cold for an adult can be fatal to even a healthy infant.

BlueBelle Sun 02-Feb-20 05:52:13

Oh dear project fear is up and running.., never touch a babies hand!! Poor kids, luckily none of the mums I ve come across seem to mind a little hand stroke if I m engaging in a coochy coo chat with the baby I m not stupid outside I wouldn’t be near a baby if I had a cold Well times don’t seem to have changed in my part of the country thankfully
By the way I m not talking about newborns or random small babies I m talking about a baby sitting up waving at me or engaging in some kind of connection so yes I connect back no wonder the world is so effed up

Esspee Sun 02-Feb-20 06:12:19

How insensitive. Nobody should touch another person without ascertaining that there is no objection. Why would you think it OK?
Babies carry germs straight to their mouths and what might be harmless to you could cause a very serious illness in a little person.
As for kissing babies!!!! Even if you are the grandmother or indeed the mother do you know for sure you don’t carry viruses such as herpes?
Have you EVER had a cold sore? Even if you are sure you haven’t it doesn’t mean you don’t carry the virus. 67% of the world’s population carries it.
Medical knowledge has progressed. Please do not touch babies.

Esspee Sun 02-Feb-20 06:18:21

@BlueBelle the above was in response to your posts on this subject.

BlueBelle Sun 02-Feb-20 06:27:38

Yes I understand that it’s for me espee and I will answer
as usual something simple has been thrown out of proportion
I have never said I would kiss a baby in fact I said the reverse
There is something badly wrong with this society if no one is allowed to touch a baby’s hand I am not talking about walking up to a stranger and touching a baby Heaven forbid
Ok here’s an example the other day I was talking to a stranger and telling her what a beautiful baby she had The little chap was sitting up in his pushchair about ten months old and put his hand out to me I took his hand and gave it a stoke in acknowledgment whilst still chatting and I m a monster for doing that Much more of a monster to ignore the child’s little hand offered to me or to run and put my gloves on before asking permission

No wonder some kids are so damaged today to be rejected in the name of cleanliness and germs ,,, what a world

Grannyknot Sun 02-Feb-20 07:12:57

Bluebelle I'm with you - babies are sociable little creatures. I had one in the supermarket the other day practically flirting with me. Eventually I smiled back and said to the Mum What a little cutie, he is determined to get my attention and I cooed over him a bit and tickled his cheek. Most Mums are happy to be told there babies are delightful.

Grannyknot Sun 02-Feb-20 07:13:38

Eek - their babies are delightful! I blame autocorrect.

mumofmadboys Sun 02-Feb-20 07:21:54

Babies build their immune system by coming into contact with germs. They crawl all over the floor. We do not want our children to be hung up about not touching anyone for fear of catching a bug. Such lies the path to neurosis.

Beswitched Sun 02-Feb-20 07:55:17

Exactly. Constantly shielding small children from germs is exactly the way to make them susceptible to every cold and bug going.

Some people adopt very extreme positions. There's a huge difference between slobbering a strange baby with kisses, and stroking their hand or cheek when they're smiling or engaging with you.

Liz46 Sun 02-Feb-20 08:03:03

We were going out of Asda when my husband spotted a toddler going through the door to the car park. He wouldn't touch the child but pointed him out to me.

I got hold of the toddler's hand, gently turned him round and headed towards the enquiry counter. I was nearly there when the mother arrived and snatched the child from me as though I was a pervert. Not a word was spoken but I thought a thank you may have been in order.

March Sun 02-Feb-20 08:35:31

If a complete stranger walked up to you and started touching your face, stroking your head and holding your hand, would you mind?

Yes babies are cute but they are also little people who feel all the emotions adults feel. Like scared, uncomfortable and nervous!

Sara65 Sun 02-Feb-20 08:40:02

I’m in total agreement with Bluebelle.

I don’t know how all this touching and hand holding is to be prevented when they start nursery.

Lucca Sun 02-Feb-20 08:45:49

A bit concerned to hear I shouldn’t kiss my own grandchildren if I had ever in my life had a cold sore🤔 does anyone else agree?

BlueBelle Sun 02-Feb-20 08:59:07

But March you are taking it all totally out of context and making a story to suit your ideals
No one is suggesting you should walk up to all babies ad Lib and start touching them thats a stupid suggestion, however
If I m in conversation with a stranger (sorry some of us do talk to people we don’t know) with a baby who is trying to connect with me looking at me putting its hand out etc yes I will respond and have never yet been admonished for it
If I m sitting in the bus and a baby in front starts playing peep bo round the seat back I respond, if it held its little hand out I d stroke it or tickle its fingers with mine
I m not rushing up to every baby I see and plonking a big fat kiss on its cheek fir heaven sake get real

And we wonder why our children engage more with their phones I d rather see a baby or young child touching out to someone than playing with their mothers phone

March Sun 02-Feb-20 09:17:56

Then its personal preference, I for one wouldn't like total strangers touching my baby. I dont really talk to people I dont know but maybe thats me? I do have social anxiety so it might be down to that.
I also had things going on, as a person, which strangers wouldn't know anything about, and a stranger touching my baby, would make me incredibly anxious.

March Sun 02-Feb-20 09:24:13

Actually, I remember when my youngest was in her pushchair, I was paying for something, turned round and there was an old man putting a small coin in my daughters hand, because it was good luck? Or something like that. Within seconds that was heading for her mouth.

If he had walked off, or I hadn't of turned around, she could of choked on that, or ended up in her mouth.

Maybe I just haven't had good luck with strangers!

Sara65 Sun 02-Feb-20 09:24:49


I kiss my grandchildren all the time. The youngest one, who is just a year, is a very affectionate kissy girl.

I’m more concerned about where she’s been, with her big wet slobbery kisses, but I’ll take the chance.