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Kissing grandchildren?

(186 Posts)
Philippa60 Fri 12-Aug-22 07:50:49

I am seeking other opinions on this - we are currently in the UK visiting our son and DiL and their nearly 5 month old baby, their first child.
We also have 4 grandkids from our daughter who lives very close to us.
The couple here are VERY anxious and super protective of the baby, and have told us that we are not allowed to kiss her. I am not talking about big sloppy kisses! Not even a peck on her arm....
We are 4 times vaccinated, and also just recovered from Covid so that isn't the issue.
They say "only Mum and Dad (them) may kiss the baby". They also don't allow anyone except the grandparents to touch or hold the baby.
I know it's "their baby, their rules" but at nearly 5 months old I am wondering if this sounds "normal".

Ladyleftfieldlover Fri 12-Aug-22 08:03:31

I had a friend years ago, who after having their first baby was very anxious. There was a notice on the wall of their loo which read : Please wash your hands. I think you just have to accept their rules and bite your lip. Even forty years on, I can still remember the utter shock after having our first baby.

Katie59 Fri 12-Aug-22 08:09:10

A quick peck should be no problem, in fact with older children you are more likely to pick up something nasty from them.
However if the parents are frantic about it just go along with their wishes, poor kids.

Philippa60 Fri 12-Aug-22 08:10:08

Yes, they truly are in utter shock, and of course we wash our hands before touching the baby. But grandparents not being allowed to kiss the baby (at nearly 5 months) seems odd to me.

Iam64 Fri 12-Aug-22 08:10:46

It’s their normal so do it.

Philippa60 Fri 12-Aug-22 08:11:37

Thanks, Katie, yes we are only talking about a quick peck of course, and no question, we will go along with their rules!
I was just interested what this group of wise grandparents think about it - if it's "normal" or a bit extreme?

Madgran77 Fri 12-Aug-22 08:14:27

To me it is a bit extreme! But as you know, you'll have to go along with it. flowers

Farmor15 Fri 12-Aug-22 08:16:26

At least you're allowed to hold the baby, so not being allowed to kiss shouldn't matter - except it obviously does to you. I have 7 grandchildren, youngest one 6 months. It doesn't really occur to me to kiss her - it's more fun smiling at her and making her laughsmile. But I'm not a "kissy" person.

Marydoll Fri 12-Aug-22 08:16:30

I can understand their fears. A few years ago, I read about a new born baby, who contracted herpes and died. It was thought that someone with herpes had kissed the baby.

I would make me very sad, not being allowed to kiss a grandchild, but you have to abide by their rules, it's their baby.
Have you considered mum may have a touch of post natal depression, which may be causing your DIL's anxiety?
Are you allowed to cuddle the baby?

I hope you enjoy your visit, regrdless of this.

Fleurpepper Fri 12-Aug-22 08:18:15

Yes, a bit extreme. And this is how allergic children are 'formed'- but it is their rule, and as you have already accepted, you have to follow them. I'd find it very sad too.

TwinLolly Fri 12-Aug-22 08:28:56

I too, have heard about the herpes virus being passed onto babies and they have become gravely ill or died.

It is sad, but it happens. So precautions are probably justified.

At least you can show your grandchild affection in other ways.

BlueBelle Fri 12-Aug-22 08:37:02

Ridiculous how is a child going to learn to use their emotions
I have kissed all my children and grandchildren , I ve never kissed on the mouth which always seems weird to me, why I don’t know, but a hug and kiss on the cheek is surely
what life is about
What a sad old world if you can’t hug an kiss a grandchild who will grow up with little immunity to anything
And no one may touch the child my goodness what a sad life for this darling child who ll probably never be allowed to play mud pies or mess around with other kids Sad sad sad but nothing you can do

(Of course if you kiss with a herpes sore on your mouth you can pass it on, otherwise not )

Fleurpepper Fri 12-Aug-22 08:41:57


I too, have heard about the herpes virus being passed onto babies and they have become gravely ill or died.

It is sad, but it happens. So precautions are probably justified.

At least you can show your grandchild affection in other ways.

If your parents had Herpes, they probably would know about it.

Lathyrus Fri 12-Aug-22 09:07:44

At five months the baby doesn’t want or need kisses from anyone except the mother actually. They are part of the mother/child bonding. In the animal kingdom nuzzling is the equivalent and is only mother to baby. I think your need to kiss to the extent that your experiencing and projecting, might be triggering quite a primeval reaction.

Do the parents, the mum in particular, feel at some level that your trying to “take “ the baby. Make it yours?

When it comes to babies the animal instincts are still very strong. Just putting it out there for thought.

Just accept what they’ve decided and enjoy the time you have with them being positive and praising.

tanith Fri 12-Aug-22 09:11:57

I’ve hugged and kissed all my GC it’s natural for family to show affection surely nothing wrong with that.
Having said that their child their rules I find it strange and over the top myself.

aggie Fri 12-Aug-22 09:17:51

I never kissed a baby except my own , hugs and cuddles are given gently
Recently I was given a baby to hold , I sat him on my knee and we gazed steadily at each other till he broke into a big grin and relaxed , but he didn’t want cuddles till mum took him back
It was delightful

Witzend Fri 12-Aug-22 09:24:00

This sort of attitude does seem much more prevalent now, but I’m afraid it does seem OTT and precious - to me anyway. And hurtful to GPs, I’m sure,

Thank goodness my dd was always very relaxed. We cuddled all of them within a few hours of birth, and at 3 weeks number three was happily passed around all son in law’s family, plus sundry friends and neighbours.

Smileless2012 Fri 12-Aug-22 09:26:09

I agree Witzend OTT, precious and upsetting for GP's.

Philippa60 Fri 12-Aug-22 09:29:08

Thanks for your insights, everyone.
Again, just to be clear, I have no intention of challenging their rules, just wanted to sanity check because I do find it precious, OTT and upsetting for us, and also very different to with our daughter where there was never an issue at all

paddyann54 Fri 12-Aug-22 09:40:22

We didn't kiss babies,or toddlers or cuddle them if they didn't want cuddled.I absolutely hated being told to give granny/Aunty or Uncle a kiss or cuddle and I would never make any child let someone invade their space .
I know with babies they have no say in it so its up to the parents to take their side ,so please do as you are asked.

We spend loads of time with our children telling them about boundaries what Not to let adults do yet strangers from afar that they've never met are allowed to pick them up and kiss and cuddle them?
You are seeing and spending time with your GC happy about that
For the record now most of ours are teens we get unsolicited cuddles from them all even the 19 year old boy ,but at least one would have run a mile to avoid being kissed or cuddled when small .

Saxifrage Fri 12-Aug-22 09:42:57

I have two sets of grandchildren, three are in their teens so now get hugs but not kisses. The primary age children, since covid I have hugged and just kissed the top of their heads, which works well for their height!

Gin Fri 12-Aug-22 09:47:49

To me, current ‘rules’ about child care seem extremely over the top, it is not just kissing. A friend has just returned from giving a hand looking after her daughter’s baby and is a nervous wreck! She said she wondered how her three children survived, the things that she did then that are now classed as wrong: bathing the baby every day; sitting him in a bouncy chair; feeding him more than one type of food at the same time. The list was endless, she felt she needed to go on a retraining course!

Chestnut Fri 12-Aug-22 09:48:23

I'm not a great fan of kissing, and certainly not babies for the reasons above. I would hate to pass anything onto a young baby. Holding them should be enough and when they're older a nice hug is just lovely.

JackyB Fri 12-Aug-22 09:58:28

I'm not a great kisser either, but I do spontaneously hug my grandchildren as they do me, and I probably have given them a peck on the cheek or forehead when we were really close up. It would never have occurred to me that it could be contentious. As for herpes, the older one had quite a bad case the other week when he was with us for a sleepover. I got him to a doctor quick, especially as it was a Friday, so if anyone was going to pass that on it would have been the brother.

In fact, when I asked, the doctor said herpes wasn't contagious at all. We all carry it in us and it can break out at any time, but no way would I be getting it from him (DGS not the doctor!) nor would anyone else.

Esmay Fri 12-Aug-22 10:01:05

When my grandchildren were born - two of them aren't cuddly and kissy .
One of them will come to me when she's ready .
I back off .

My grandson is , but I don't force him .

I think that the parents have made a a sensible decision .
At the moment , I think that kissing isn't really advised .
Wait until these health scares abate and the grandchild can make up his or her mind about being kissed .

As a child , I recall being forced to kiss endless relatives and I found it rather overwhelming .
Saying no was not allowed .