Many people don't stop to think if it's okay to rub your baby bump or touch your newborn baby. While it takes a village to raise a child, there is still this thing called personal space. And, when a newborn is involved, touching can have dire health consequences.
Why? Many illnesses are transferred from one infected person to another through direct contact such as touch or kisses. If an infected person coughs or sneezes, babies are the most susceptible to get sick because their immune systems are still developing, which is especially true for babies who were born prematurely.
In the Philippines, we're used to having guests come over ("isang baranggay" is our most common expression), and because we are non-confrontational, we usually don't stop family and friends from picking up the baby to cuddle and kiss. It's hard to blame them because as this study showed, there's not a lot we can do to resist getting physical with babies.
A few months ago, Breastfeeding Mama Talk showed this photo and asked if moms would put it on their child's car seat.
To ward off unwanted contact with infants, some moms now have begun to hand a "no touching" sign on their little one's carrier or stroller. "No touching. Your germs are too big for me! Thanks!" the sign reads.
You can easily make the sign, but a search for "no touching baby sign" on Etsy reveals many other variations of the message, from simple and direct to cute rhyming ones but almost always with a polite "thank you" in the end.
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"Please don't touch (germs can hurt me)."
"Stop! If your cough or sneeze. Please don't touch little me! Mommy thanks you very much."
"I know I'm cute, but please be fair. Your germs are more than I can bear. Please don't touch!"
"Hooty hoot. I know I'm cute. But if you touch, you'll get the boot!
"Not touching and kissing please!"
Other no-touching-baby signs offer an added information to explain why they're extra protective of their baby and cautious: their babies are born prematurely, have an immune disease or are sick.
Moms, however, seem to have differing opinions about having to put up a no-touch sign. On one hand, moms believe it's a need because they've witnessed it first hand how unhygienic other people can be and how they careless they can be and have no regard whatsoever for kids' health and safety.
"I got the sign because someone I know was out shopping and their baby threw the pacifier out of the stroller, and some random person picked it up off the floor and put it in their mouth. No thank you! Keeps the crazy people away!" one mom shared.
"I don't care how many germs are healthy for kids to be exposed to," one mom said. "Can you guarantee that weirdo at the park washed their hands after picking their dogs [to] poop up? Or touched their own ass? No. You cannot. Strangers shouldn't be touching kids and passing their funk along," she stressed.
"I simply don't want strangers touching my damn kids. If you won't walk up to adults to touch them, don't touch [people's] kids either," another mom wrote.
Moms say kids who are not exposed to some germs will never be able to build their immune systems properly. Others say it's rude, too, and it's just too much.
"Children need germs, their bodies need to learn to fight off sickness. Besides breastfeeding gives babies so many antibodies to help them fight everything off," one mom wrote, adding that she might be okay if the child has an autoimmune disease.
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"You can't leave your kids in a bubble. They are going to get exposed to all kinds of things if you take them out into the public," one mom said. "It's sad that you can't be kind to people in fear they might be rude buttholes," she added.
"I have had [four] big healthy boys, all have been bounced around people and played on the floor since they came out, and I wouldn't change a thing," one mom shared. "People are ridiculous with babies now," she added, though she admitted she'd make an exception for preemies and sick babies as well.
"Everyone is so self-absorbed and just rude now. Let someone say hi to your child," another mom reacted.
Is politely telling people to not kiss or touch or carry a baby without the parent's permission too old school? Is asking for people to wash their hands or use a hand sanitizer before handling another person's baby not enough anymore?
What do you think? Would you buy one? And why? Let us know in the comments!