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When my niece was about 6 weeks, we took her to a local zoo. I went to change her, and this lady came out of the bathroom stall and zoomed towards her with her hand outstretched... straight out of the bathroom stall - without washing her hands!!! I gave her the nastiest look I could muster and told her if she touched the baby she would come back with a bloody stump. She wasn't too happy, but the baby didn't end up with god knows what from the bathroom all over her.
Seriously, what is it about people who think babies are community property? I'll be the first to coo over a baby, but unless I know them, I don't touch, and even when I do know them, NEVER the hands. And it's mostly women, which drives me even more insane!

I've got to say...I think the sign is a little overprotective, particularly in light of new research that indicates that kids who are exposed to certain kinds of "dirty" things (such as farm animals, unpasteurized milk, viruses, dirt, etc) are less likely to have chronic conditions such as allergies and asthma (the "hygiene hypothesis"). On the other hand, I do understand that you want to keep your children safe from new, virulent viruses such as H1N1.

I totally agree with you.

I totally agree as well. In my life, unfortunately, the main people touching (which can mean, sucking on her fingers, feeling her teeth, etc. ah!) my kid are family members and so I have to be extra sensitive to how I tell them to back off. It is horrible!

I'm with you! It still FREAKS me out and she's one- WHY do people do that???? You'll get more out of my child if you talk to her, or smile- NO need to touch her! When you find the sign- let me know- I want one too!!

i agree with you, especially since you are aware that 'children should be exposed to germs / dirt etc'.
it's really disgusting when total strangers think they can touch babies. it's not just gross in a germy way, it's also gross in a keep-out-of-our-private-space way.
i do think the sign is a bit over the top. isn't it much more reasonable to simply just tell these ill-mannered strangers to please step away? i think a quick verbal intervention is taken more seriously than a sign. (at first glance i thought the sign was a joke/ ironic)

I had a lady tell me, when I was on my first outing when our son was a week old to Walmart that "Oh he's just too tiny to be out and about here!!" and then proceed to reach out to touch him!! Wait...he's too tiny to be out in a world full of germs but you reach out to tweek his hands? But after 2 other children we'd gotten good at anticipating "the touch!!" and my husband stepped between our son and the lady and said, "Don't touch unless you want to loose that hand..." in a cheerful enough tone that it wasn't threatening, but a serious enough look that she stopped and withdrew her hand.

I was so sick out people touching my child that I said(to my hubby) shortly after our first was born..."if one more old lady comes up and rubs her cheeks I'm going to reach out and rub theirs and say 'oh how cute YOU are!!'" And when the next lady did I actually felt my hand start to raise and I had to force myself not to stroke her cheek and coo at her.

*sigh* its hard to be an over protective parent isn't it? But its worth it :)

I totally agree with you and Rose. It drives me NUTS when I am on the subway (live in NYC) and people touch my daughter. What are they thinking?

Right on, sista!

I must admit that up until now I never ever even thought about that!
Well, obviously I don't go around and touch other people's babies (who does that???), but still..I never considered that moms would freak out over it. But that's probably because I don't have kids of my own yet.
Bottom line: I do agree that it must be very upsetting once you start to consider that your baby could be exposed to a million germs. And I am very very sure that once I am a mom I'll be as worse as any other overprotective mom.
But still, the sign? It's a little passive-agressive I think. But it could help if you feel you're not assertive enough to tell people to their face.

I was in wal-mart with my twins in the ginormous twin stroller with their infant carseats clicked into it and this woman spotted us from across the store and made a BEELINE for us. We were waiting at the end of the checkout counter and really had nowhere to go. I made a point of pulling up the canopies on their carseats and stood as much in front of the stroller as possible and STILL this woman reached out to put her hand inside the seats to touch them. I reached out, and blocked her and told her they were sleeping. She gave me a bit of a look and walked away.

I HATE that babies are seen as public property. I hate that people think that babies are touchable when they would smack the crap out of you if you reached out to touch them randomly. I'm a big fan (especially at the infant/non-interactive ages) of babywearing with a blanket over them. It's harder as they get older and are actively interacting with the people in their environment. I always keep hand sanitizer or hand wipes with me, and practice more avoidance than actually telling people to keep their hands to themselves.

Of course, now that the twins are 3 1/2, we are simply screwed. They touch everything, and I don't want to turn them into neurotic hand washing obsessive compulsives, so I try and just be as vigilant as possible and teach them that we wash our hands after we've been doing various things.

Eh. While I have to say I have a big beef over people trying to touch my kid, germs in and of themselves don't phase me. When my daughter was first born we couldn't walk down a grocery aisle without being bombarded by little old bitties that wanted to put their hands all over my kid. On the other hand, when my daughter (now 7 months old) chewed on the menu at a restaurant I didn't freak out at all.

I agree with you in theory. I would rather not see a sign though. It's better to carry wipes and ask people to use them before touching the baby. If you say it, you can give the appropriate cues that let people know it's not them, it's germs.

My boys (almost 5 now!) LOVE LOVE LOVE babies and Nicky always wants to touch them and play with them. I am constantly pulling him back from grabbing hold of strange babies as they go by. Since we live in Manhattan, this happens a lot. But I keep telling him not to touch babies and not to pet dogs we don't know. Eventually it will sink in, I hope. He's been bitten twice — not by a mom, but that could happen!

Wear the baby in a sling and you'll get plenty of "oh how adorable" but no touching. If I put either of my sons in a stroller people would touch them freely but noone would if they were in a sling or mei tai.

Personally, I hated it when smokers touched them. Blech. I hate it when my baby smells like a two-pack a day habit.

Overall this stuff doesn't really bother me. Only at the really newborn stage. Maybe because I've never raised children near family I am grateful people want to be around my children and socialize.

Yes. For some reason this always reminds me of the Hitchcock Miss Marple story and the movie with Elizabeth Taylor 'the mirror crack'd'. Please keep hands off little babies....and pregnant women too.

Regarding the 'hygiene hypothesis", that study pertains to children raised on farms, i.e., plenty of dirt and animals to play with, but little human contact. And it is not a study on newborns!

I am not not NOT a germaphobic kinda mom...but! I will never forget taking my 5 day old into the dr for a routine/have ya killed 'em yet check up and the nurse came out and put her grimy hands on my newborns MOUTH in attempts to remove a piece of lint that had just landed on her perfect beautiful mouth. Being 24 and waaay to young to confront, I said nothing. Everything ended up OK, but I still can't believe I let "being polite" override "WTF!!!"....

Kern beat me to it. My kids spent more time in slings than strollers/carseats for various reasons...and I seldom dealt with this problem. When Baby Bear is that close to Mama Bear, people don't dare paw the little critter.

I'm thinking t-shirts are in order. "Dude, don't touch my baby." "Looking if fine. Touching will get you killed." "She has a rare fungus. Please don't touch." "My baby *is* adorable, and I *am* psychotic. Please don't touch."

I think it's an over reaction honestly, I hear you and the other commenters but if you were a real life friend I would tell you to unclench. People like babies, babies like people, it ensures their and our survival.

I never had a problem with people trying to touch my children, both in that it never happened often enough for me to be concerned and that if it did happen I usually welcomed the connection and appreciated a stranger making my kids smile.

Different strokes I guess.

Hands? Try faces in NZ. Everyone touched the twins faces. And no bugger asked. Completely hacked me off and freaked the kids out to have big old hands coming near their faces. In the end I told people they had a gut bug everytime someone approached, nobody wants to touch a kid with a dose of the runs!

I am not a germaphobe at all, but I HATE it when strangers touch my baby. I don't think it is the germs that bother me, just the fact that they don't think it is rude to reach out and touch someone's baby. I am going to start telling people "watch out, she bites."

No, I didn't worry about this. But if I did, I would have told people to keep their hands off my kid. I think the sign is ridiculous.

Boliath - loving the 'unclench' comment. It is something my best friend
says to me all the time. I am very 'clenched', I know

2009/9/30

Oh I love these signs! Its a non-confrontational way of telling people to keep their hands to them selves. I get a lot of white people touching my Haitian daughters hair and it drives me NUTS. Maybe I need to make a sign of my own....

Totally agree! I went and ordered a sign before reading all the comments. I'm going to have a newborn during the Winter, in a big city (NYC), during an anticipated BAD flu season. Sorry people think it's going overboard and aggressive, but I agree with the commenter who thinks it's non-confrontational. This way a person can read it and get the message without having to be told off and embarrassed. With the H1N1 outbreak, we're getting so many messages about hand washing, yet people still don't think about it when reaching for an infant's hand.

I interact with babies out in public ALL THE TIME, but I do not touch them. Particularly their hands.

BTW, I am not even remotely a germaphobe, but come on, an infant hasn't had all their vaccines yet, and needs time to build up immunities.

hhmm I tend to think this is a bit paranoid....germs are everywhere and more illnesses are acquired due to simply breathing than by having someone touch you.

I have these exact signs on my twins' car seats. They were micro-preemies and came home this summer after FOUR MONTHS in the NICU. There's no way I'm allowing anyone to touch my babies without permission. We will not risk going back into the hospital just so a stranger can hold their hands. Don't touch my babies, thankyouverymuch!

The signs save me from having to fuss at people. And I can get pretty fussy. ;-)

I'm more of a head toucher. They do have such cute little hands though! I don't have kids yet, but I think for me if it is someone I know who is relatively sanitary in their everyday life, I wouldn't mind. I wouldn't want strangers touching, or someone touching who I knew wasn't clean/had just done something dirty. Some germs are good, some colds are good, but not H1N1 or dog poop, thanks.

Oh, I wanted to add that I don't run around touching stranger's babies, which is what my other comment makes it sound like. I think that would be pretty rude. Cooing and waving is more my style. If I KNOW the baby, then yes, more of a head petter. Hmm. I still sound weird.

I'm sorry, but I think this sign is pure silliness. When my twins were born I was told not to take them out of the house for any reason until they had had their shots because it was cold and flu season. Other than that, if your baby is full term and healthy there is no reason to be afraid of people touching your child. The people who shouldn't be touching Max's hands are Adam and Kate. Pre schools are hands down the germiest places on earth, and the kids who go to those places are the germiest people on Earth. Also, if you are walking around a store, pushing a cart, and touching merchandise you are just as polluted as the person standing in line at the checkout, but I bet you'll be touching your baby's hands without sanitizing your hands first. When my babies were very young I went out without them, and I washed my hands first thing when I came home before touching them. Most of the germs your baby is going to get come from YOU, your spouse, and your kids, not from strangers. It would be better if you had a sign that said "wash your hands before you touch me, please, and yes that means you too, mom".

What Maria said. I think we are running into health issues in part because people are too germophobic and don't let their kids get exposed to dirty stuff. Then we create supergerms by overusing hand sanitizer and such. BUT--caveats--people should never touch a baby if they have even a hint of a cold, and for very young infants (a month or two old) it makes sense to be a lot more cautious, as they haven't had any time to build up immunity.

My daughter has just turned four months old, too. I paid attention to the touching when she was younger, and people were really very good about it generally. As she got to be around three months old they started touching her a lot more, but I didn't mind at that point, because she was much bigger and stronger by then.

I agree w/you. I could give a shit if people think I'm crazy either.

Cripes, maybe parents should keep their babies at home where they can't contaminate the rest of us. Germophobia is going WAY too far. The little darlings are usually giving US colds, not the other way around.

I don't touch people's babies, but I HATE those signs. Unless your child has an immune disorder or some medical condition, they seriously aren't that fragile. Seeing those signs leads immediately to my judgment that the parent is irrational and insanely overprotective. I understand not wanting someone to touch your kid because of the creepiness factor, I guess, but the germ reasoning is outright ridiculous, uninformed, and illogical.

When we were out and about, if my son wasn't in the sling, he wore mittens when he was a newborn, and we live in miami!
they make light cotton mittens for newborns and they're great hand protectors, people see the mitts and lose the urge to grab his fingers, and if they do, no harm done, change the mittens...
The mittens are also good at protecting them from scratching their faces, which can happen when they're upset about being locked into a carseat...

What is aggressive and/or confrontational about telling adults to keep their hands to themselves? If an adult takes it in a bad way, then they can piss off. Why would I care what some stranger thinks?

If this issue matter to me, there is no way I would rely on a little sign. I am more than capable of defending my own child, for goodness sake.

Ok, first up, I never touch anybody's baby without asking first... now that we know I'm a nice person, can I confess to something? I'm anal about this, but in reverse! I don't want germy little kids touching me!

I used to live with someone that ran a child care facility and we both kept getting sick becuase of all the viruses running around the centre and it made me paranoid in reverse. My nephew, lovely little chap that I adore to pieces? He always wants to share his food with me, which is charming, yay, he shares! But he likes to pick food up with his hands and drop it into my mouth or plate - after I have just watched him scratch his arse, pick up dirt, wipe his snotty nose etc And wants kissses while he has snot running down his face... I always kiss him, because he's my little special snowflake, but I have to suppress the internal reaction of "EW! KID! Go wash your face and hands!"

Hunh. I'm not an other-people's-baby-toucher, myself, but never minded other people touching (or holding) mine. Honestly (though I "get" the premie issue, for sure, and can see the need in such situations), this would just never have occurred to me as being a problem.

You know I might have considered buying one of these when my twins were babies. Maybe. Seems a bit hard core but then the strangers who grabbed their fingers or pinched their cheeks might have had a bit more manners. Hmmm...

Rather wish I had invented the idea! Am sure they will make out like bandits.

Completely agree. I don't like poeple kissing my baby either. I also walk around with wet wipes everywhere. My son was born in spring so it was generally too hot for Mittens. I did get a nice cotton set at Dischem pharmacy though. It is hard to not allow it without coming across like a paranoid freak. I wish I had that sign though.

When I had my baby girl out and about, all of the little old ladies wanted to touch her feet. And in a cruel twist of germy fate, she decided to be a toe-sucker. So her hands would be free and clean and germ-free(ish), but her feet would get assaulted. The worst for me was the grocery store, where people would handle every box and every can and every piece of produce, thumb through the magazines, and then touch my daughter. Geeeeeeyaaaah.

I adore babies and want to touch them, but I stay away from their hands. I ask their moms if I may touch their faces, and then I rub their yummy little cheeks. I don't blame you a bit, I did the same when mine were little 20 years ago.

i do like people asking me first, but am still pretty relaxed with amelia - i have older kids with allergies, and one of the best ways to avoid allergies is - yep - exposure to germs of all sorts, including animals. i have breastfed her for just over two years, and she has never had a tummy bug - despite putting anything and everything in her mouth, including the bloody dog food - from the bowl he eats from (and no, we don't 'let' her do this, she is just damn sneaky and quick). truth is that people with remarkably germ free homes often have allergy laden kids who are prone to 'catch' stuff, their immune systems haven't been built up to resist invasion.

plus, the fact that she is a licker of EVERYTHING at age two, I.E. "look mummy, i licking the table, dog, dad's shoe, shopping trolley handle . . ." etc, makes it very difficult to manage keeping her germ free. i take wipes with me, and do what i can, and leave the rest to providence.

i agree with chickenpig tho, we PARENTS touch so many potential germbeds - including OUR COMPUTER KEYBOARDS, which are up there with phones for absolute filth. by the time we have driven somewhere, pushed open a door or five, fossicked thru our bags (which we hardly EVER wipe with antibac stuff), picked up and investigated items for sale that every other person in the city has touched for all we know - we are probably crawling with bugs. seems to me that we could spend our whole lives worrying about the 'what-ifs' and just be uptight all the time, when reality is things happen that are beyond our control, so i prefer to let go.

to get resilient kids we have to let them be exposed to so much stuff - to build their immunity and ability to survive an onslaught against their health. also, i don't think its healthy to bring them up feeling as tho they should be scared of strangers - you never know when they may need the help or kindness of someone totally random - and they need to know that people do have the potential to help and protect them - even people they don't know yet.

Totally agree - when we went out with our triplets (imagine!!) the stroller immediately attracted attention and people zoomend in on us that some times it was difficuilt to walk - it was a freak show and everyone wanted to touch them! My husband was just straight forward and told people "you can look but please don't touch" - some people were offended but we did'nt care.

I totally agree. You never know where that hand as just been!

Love it. Going to come back to this post in a couple of months so that I can copy it and print my own one out...

snigger. I've actually NEVER thought of it that way. Last time I ever touch a baby's hands without permission...

On that note though, I can't understand how strangers have the audacity to even approach a baby that doesn't belong to them, I find it so invasive!

Oh yes, agree with you wholeheartedly Tertia! My best was when we went to a dinner party for the first time since our Girly's birth - she was 3 weeks old... amongst us were friends and friends of friends... on the way home amidst the good-byes and oogling, I turned my back for a second, only to be confronted with a rather pickled guest with her FINGER in my daughters mouth. It haunts me to this day. And I will be as neurotic with my 2nd on the way.... bring on those signs.... where can I get one?

Personally, I would never touch somebody else's baby uninvited, but I have two little girls who have a hard time staying away from any baby in reach. I've told them to ask for permission, and then to touch only the top of the baby's head or the baby's feet, never the baby's face or hands.

EUREKA!!!!!!

I want one. Please people, don't touch my baby. I don't know who you are or where you've been.

Eureka (Ancient Greek Εὕρηκα/Ηὕρηκα - Heurēka/Hēurēka "I have found it") is an exclamation used as an interjection to celebrate a discovery.

Overreaction in my opinion. I saw one of these recently on a baby carrier in the grocery store and I immediately thought the child must have severe immune system problems. People have been touching cute babies forever.

Thats pathetic! Get over it - or leave him at home altogether. Your twins would be bringing home germs galore from their pre-school... do you ban them from touching Max too?

Touching fine by me, I don't allow kissing. I once saw a lady and her family out. She carried the Dettol waterless hiegene lotion with her. Before anyone (of the family...) (this included grandma and grandpa) touched the baby they had to first clean their hands.

I went one step better, every time I went out with my baby I put mittens on him and when people asked about them, I just said it was because he kept scratching himself with his sharp little finger nails.

Completely agree with ChickenPig. Those signs tell more about the parents than they can imagine... When the kid starts crawling what are you going to do then? Ask everyone to float? Paranoic fear boderline OCD. If it's a micro-premie or an ill or vulnerable baby is completely different. But a healthy baby WILL get germs, virus and bacteria, mostly airborne, accept the fact, don't be ridiculous.

You are all making me feel so guilty! But in my defense: He started it! Just yesterday I was waiting to check out at walmart with two of my own small kids when I felt someone gently stroking my back. I whipped around to find an adorable little baby boy in a cart (maybe 5-6 mos old) grinning at me while his mother chatted with someone passing by. Smitten, I reached out and held his little hand and told him how cute he was just as the thought passed through my mind that I shouldn't do it because of germs. I'd used hand sanitizer provided at the door of the store but had been in there for an hour. His mother smiled at me and kept on chatting. I'm sorry little guy! I'm usually better at being 'all looky, no touchy' but I confess I blew it this time!

Chill out.

I was at a Toys R Us when I first saw these signs. A lady had one on her newborn little girl. In passing by I just smiled at her, when I turned back around to point out the baby to my little boy, I saw her pick up a pacifier of the floor that the baby had just spit out. Then she stuck the damn thing right back in her mouth. I couldn't help thinking that was thousands times worse than the baby being touched. It was on the floor!! of a store!! HELLO>

I don't hate you, I don't know why anybody would want to touch a baby anyway. ;-)

What chickenpig said, but I don't blame you at all for wanting one of those signs, and wouldn't judge the parents who had one for their baby.

I understand the idea behind it, I just think the signs are a passive-aggressive attack on people. "Please don't touch his hands!" goes a lot further than a sign, like is the child on exhibit?! Where are the kid-bubbles anyways. Sigh.

AMEN!

I have one of these signs hanging on my stroller, haha! I got it for free at the pediatrician's office ~ it has an ad for an RSV shot on the back. Let me tell you, SO MANY of my mom friends LOVED it and wanted to know where to get one! My daughter was already one when I got it, so I wasn't planning on using it (she already touches everything), but then our foster baby came and she was only a month old. I hung the sign down low on the stroller where dfd rode (Phil & Ted's stroller). It still hangs there b/c I'm too lazy to take it off, but I will definitely have it there when baby 2 is born next year. If I touch someone else's baby, I try to make sure that I touch their feet. Usually, they are wearing socks, too, so it doesnt seem like a big deal.

sjoe ... people are sensitive

I agree with you 100%, everyone seems to think that babies are public property. It drives me crazy when I walk through the shopping centre and people insist on touching and some even trying to kiss my twins. Keep your germs to yourself!!! Some people even have the cheek to try and wrestle my baby out of my arms for a cuddle. I have got to the stage when I try and not make eye contact with people in shops so that they will leave me and my little ones alone.

You know, I've never thought about this, but now that you mention it I kind of agree with you.

my firstborn was a preemie and I seriously debated getting one of those signs. My husband said it was ridiculous. So if I had the baby out & about I would usually close up the stroller/throw a blanket over in a public place or wear him and snug those little hands close to my body. If anyone so much as cleared their throat near him I would be cross thinking they might have a cold. Now he is almost 3 years old and I find that I am a totally overprotective mom and am working on relearning my approach to life with him, so I'm not constantly slathering him in sanitizer. I wish I had tried to strike more of a balance in the earlier days--would rather learn to be more relaxed as a parent than obsessive, because really a lot of what I recall about the baby days is a constant fear of disease, and that is kind of sad.

I don't think you are paranoid at all. People have no idea how to cough or sneeze properly and always do this into their hands, that's how illnesses like colds, flu, and so many other things spread. People don't always think to ask if it is okay to touch your baby and after my daughter was diagnosed with cancer I learned a thing or two and I learned that for some people a single cold could be life-threatening and that most of the time people won't know how well your child is able to fight infection. I really think people should ask before they just assume.

I totally agree, I'm not a mother but even I have a major problem with touching other peoples hands.. Maybe it's because I've been living in my bed for over 6 yrs, living in the house because of my sickness and I'm now uncomfortable with touching anything that might have germs. People get offended and that's not my intention at all, but there are so many germs out there, and watching Dr Oz on Oprah has made it worse.

You have every right to be aware of who touches Max, they must gush without touching.

i agree i also hate it when ppl coem and want to touch or even try and kiss the babies-another pet peeve is when parents allow their snotty nosed kids to come and breath over a newborn i mena HELLO keepy your germs to yourself! my daughter is 3 and i have taught her if she is going to sneeze or cough she needs to turn her head away from ppl and cover her mouth/nose

no, you're not being paranoid.
I'm not a mother so I really don't know how you feel about total strangers zero-ing in on your baba.

However, I can't stand it when my personal space is invaded, when folks pat my shoulder or take my hand when they talk to me and I won't even talk about those people who want to dish up hugs every time they see me.

Yes, kids should be exposed to a bit of dirt....by playing with the family dog, sharing toys with siblings, digging in Grandma's garden etc...

But having strangers touching is out. There are a lot of folks who have seriously dodgy personal hygiene.

Any mother who has ever had a preemie wouldn't agree with the "expose them to germs" theory.

My twins were 12 weeks premature. I was advised to keep them away from very crowded places for the first few months after they came home from hospital. Our lovely nurse suggested we put a gauze sun/mosquito cover thing on the stroller so people couldn't bend down and touch the babies. A winner !

With my February baby (full term and healthy) I had strict instructions for her pedi to keep her away from people. He knew I'd want to show her off or get out of the house after a week or two, but he was mightily against it because people just can't control themselves when faced with the preciousness of a baby. Especially the hands; they want to feel those tiny baby squeezes around their fingers.

I pretty much ignored his advice and took her to Target. People flocked to the tiny newborn dressed in her finest cotton candy pink outfit. Of course they touched her - her head, her cheeks, her feet, and her hands, and as a result my girl had her first cold/double ear infection at 2 weeks old. GUILT!!! She was miserable, and there was NOTHING we could do to help her. No fever reduction meds, no immediate relief with the humidifier. I was terrified to put her down. I only slept when someone was awake to make sure she was breathing (i.e. holding her).

Moral of the story: Don't take your newborn out, and if you must then hells yes, take an aggressive stance about people touching him/her. I personally LOVE it when new mommies have the infant carrier closed up tight in the stroller. Good for them! I wish I hadn't been as cavalier.

Today someone touched my 3yo's head at the market and I wanted to push her and growl. I don't mind germs, but I don't like people-germs.

www.handsoffbaby.com has the best message I've seen so far. A Tampa couple produces them. They say "Wash Hands Before Touching Baby" with the universal "NO" sign which is known in any language. Family members and friends will still touch if the signs says "don't touch baby" because they don't think it applies to them. These signs will at least remind them to wash their hands. They also sell onesies and bibs with the same message, and cute "Hands off Belly" maternity tops. Check them out at www.handsoffbaby.com or www.washhandsbeforetouchingbaby.com.


I have a 5 month old and I guess I am pretty laid back. The one time I thought NO was when the dirty man from the greengrocer touched him. I have no problem with the girl from starbucks doing it because I think that she probably washes her hands. I am guilty of it, I always touch my best friend's baby on the hands and face just like I do my own. DO you make everybody wash their hands immediately before touching your baby or are you more relaxed with friends? Is it really that big a deal when your baby starts crawling around and sticking toys in his mouth after they've fallen on the floor or do you immediately take them away and wash them before returning them to him??

I know I'm a bit late in reading this, but I had to comment. I have an *almost* 3 month old little girl, and had to attend a work meeting out of state last week (one week before returning from maternity leave). I didn't want to leave my baby at home, so my best friend came with me to watch my baby while I attended the meeting for 3 days. On day 3 she was having a particularly frustrating day (with all the rain, rude people, and inadequate stroller access - my darling daughter was being an angel). She went to the grocery store and while she had her back turned to do some shopping, a lady walked up to the stroller and started to lean in to look at my precious baby. No sooner did she do that, than my friend whipped her head around, saw the woman and told her "Don't f*cking touch the baby!" I nearly died when she told me this story. I half wanted to cheer her on and half wanted to crawl in a hole. She told me later that she actually felt bad after she said it, but never wanted to let on to the lady that she felt that way! Hurray for overprotective best friends!

Wow! Great friend. I think I'm devolping an ulcer from how nervous I am around people touching my babies hands. Why is it so hard to tell people DON"T TOUCH!!!!!!!!! I just came back from a social outdoor event with people who must be in denial about the swine flu. WAKE UP people! Yes that sign would come in very handy at the moment. I feel like such a terrible mother - why do we feel so powerless that we need a sign - i want to be a fierce lioness around my baby

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