Back away from the baby

The general public often fall into three camps when they see your newborn baby in his pram: 

  • They are normal and help you out/coo over the baby – these people are what make you agree with yourself you will leave the house again. We love these people but sadly they are the exception, not the rule
  • They are ignorant and make your life a living hell (more to follow another time) 
  • They are touchers

There is something about babies that makes people want to touch them all the time. I was quite fortunate that aside from one incident where a relative of my husband’s kissed my belly (before I was even showing I might add), I didn’t experience the world and his wife wanting to touch my bump when I was pregnant. It was probably the ‘keep your hands to yourself’ death stare combined with being heavily pregnant in winter and having a good coat that concealed and protected the bump.

But with babies it’s a different kettle of fish. I don’t want to be sexist but it’s mostly women as well. 

It’s the same old story but you don’t mind when it’s both people you know and the baby is awake. But why do complete strangers with their unknown germs think it’s ok to stroke my sleeping baby’s face and hands (which he puts in his mouth) in lifts, cafes and shops? I don’t stroke your face old lady – keep your paws to yourself!!

I had one incident at the local hospital when my boy was three weeks old where a girl,with her own older baby in a pushchair, started stroking my baby’s stretched out fingers while he slept. She stank of fags and looked like she hadn’t washed her hair in weeks and you’d think she would get it after recently having had a newborn herself. The second I got out of the lift I wiped my boy’s hands with an antiseptic wipe. 

It may be a slight overreaction but I remember reading on a blog (I’m sorry I can’t remember where to credit you!) that you can practically see other people’s germs leaping onto your baby when you first become a mum and it’s so true. I’ve so far been very British about it all and employed the following strategies:

  • Cringe  / smile through gritted teeth
  • Respond to the question about how big he is by making a point of saying how long it took him to get back to birth weight – i.e. he doesn’t need any extra challenges like bacteria from under your fingernails giving him the mother of all colds so back away from the baby before I go all mummy lion on your arse
  • Move the pram out of reach
  • Get out of the lift too early and take the next one
  • Pretend to need to rearrange something on or around the baby as a gentle hint to get the fuck off him
  • Start asking the baby if he has a smelly bottom in that cutesy irritating repetitive mum voice – most people don’t want to stick around long enough to smell the poo let alone get poo on themselves (I’m holding in reserve in case I ever get a stubborn one that doesn’t back off at that point saying to my baby “Oh no you haven’t gone through all those layers again have you? Third time this morning, what are we feeding you?”)
  • Carry around a large pack of antiseptic wipes. Next step will be to clean him in front of the culprit – this is what I think about you touching him and let this be a lesson to you that you can’t just go around touching tiny humans you don’t know

Does anyone else have any good tactics that we can add to the list?


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