16 October 2008

Baby Rules

Why is it that people feel entitled to pick up and/or touch other people's babies without even a "by your leave?"

Because Global Baby is so young and has such an immature immune system, I am very picky about who touches him. I would prefer to limit the touches to family and close friends only. And even with that, no one is given permission to touch him (not even grandparents and aunties!) unless they have just washed their hands. After all, it is the start of cold and flu season. Infants can easily become very seriously ill from these illnesses.

Also, keep your kisses to yourself. I know it is tempting to cuddle and kiss a baby, but do you have any idea of how many germs you may be passing onto a baby less than a month old? Unless you are willing to thoroughly wash your mouth and lips with soap and water before direct contact, please refrain from kissing!

While we are on the topic, I am a new mother and am nervous about people walking around with him. What if you trip and fall? Plus stairs terrify me. Do not walk up and down them with my baby! If I let you hold him, please just sit still. OK?

I have decided to become much more vocal about people crossing my boundaries and place my child's health and welfare above the potential of others being offended.

This has been a public service announcement.


G in Berlin said...

Absolutely be vocal. Just as I actively blocked anyone who thought they had the right to touch me, I actively prevented people from touching my kids by proactively offering the (sock encased) feet to touch, saying: Baby is too little to touch now, but you can pet her feet, if you like. We didn't have an respiratory problems the first year (although some of that is luck and that we had no out of home daycare).

Marcy said...

I found that to be one of the nice parts of being in Switzerland while D was so young. I didn't seem to have the problem of people coming up and wanting to touch and kiss him. I also didn't have random strangers try to touch my belly while pregnant. Yay for Swiss standoffishness! ; )

jen said...

Oh no! A new mother with OCD. I understand the hand cleaning and worrying for the first few months until he has his own immune system. After that, bombard him with germs (it's good for him).

Global Librarian said...

Not OCD. Just being a responsible mother for a newborn infant!

Limited contact for 2-3 months until his immune system is up and running. What's wrong with that?

G in Berlin said...

As the mom of two, I totally agree with you. And I have friends who were unfortunate enough to have their infanys come into contact with serios respiratory problems and other diseases who would give a big fat amen to your desire to protect your baby. Don't let people shame you into doing the wrong thing.BTW, OCD is a real condition, not a label to throw at people who believe in hygiene.

Pointless Drivel said...

I'm proud of my OCD, even if it does drive my wife crazy. But she does love to tell people how I to sort candy by shape, color and flavor in a dark movie theater.

Except I no longer refer to it as OCD, I call it CDO. It means the same, but is in alphabetical order like it should be.

swissmiss said...


When I was in the hospital in CH after delivery there was an anti-bacterial hand gel dispenser on the wall in every room on the ward and everybody who came in my room had to use it. I get it.

When a friend of mine delivered at the same hospital and I went to visit the first thing I did was use that gel and she said "Yep, she's been here before."

Susan May said...

Like others above, I agree whole-heartedly about the germs. And the stairs. Now, the falling over around the baby ... that's kinda cute. Bottom line: you are his mom and you deserve and have every right to feel very protective. I promise to never be around your son if I'm even remotely germy - ok?

Anonymous said...

As the eldest of eight, your post made me laugh and also agree.

Laugh because after a while? Yeah, germs and such aren't so scary and sometimes it's nice to have an auntie come and take the baby for a bit - even to walk them around. And baby's immune system, while still developing, is tougher than you think.

And agree because a mother's instinct is normally correct ..

All in balance..


suzie said...

Hmm...The part about walking around with him puts things into perspective. No wonder it was always "sit down" before I got the baby.


Susie Vereker said...

At first I smiled at your post and then I remembered my own paranoia and anxiety with my first child. The only babysitter I would leave him with was a friend who was a doctor. And of course I wouldn't let him out of my sight at first.
By the way, I have now guessed what a transition object is. I was surprised by a website that stated a baby *should* have one. Seems motherhood has different equally firm rules for every generation. Well, that's OK as long as you don't lose the comforter/have several identical ones. I have seen toddlers drag around disgusting looking blankets in the manner of Charlie Brown (or was it his friend?) My children were not especially interested in comforters, it so happened. So it isn't absolutely essential and if the child becomes fixated on the particular smell and look of the object it can become pretty unhygienic.
Whatever, enjoy your baby. He looks so gorgeous.

Kirk said...

You might want to limit your travel to Italy for a few months...when we were there with Maedchen when she was 6 months old, waiters wouldn't hesitate to pick her up and take her back to the kitchen, and old men and women would stop us to see her. On the other hand, once Global Baby is old enough to travel, Italy is great for just that reason. They're like the anti-Swiss when it comes to kids.

The Big Finn said...

Thanks for bringing this up because I feel exactly the same way...but in reverse.
Dear friends: Believe it or not, I do like your kids. But when they are sick and have snot running from their nostrils onto their lips...



And please, GL, don't become one of those moms who licks a Kleenex and then wipes off your kid's face with it. It ought to be against the law!