Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I keep well-meaning neighbours from touching my newborn baby?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
My husband and I live in a condo and just welcomed our first baby, a girl. Maybe she’s just irresistibly cute, but every time we load her into the stroller and bring her in the elevator, someone grabs her hands or strokes her cheeks. It’s really bad when newborns get sick. How can we pre-empt these well-meaning strangers without seeming like germaphobic nutters?
—Babe Alert, Liberty Village
Given a few seconds’ warning, you might be able to blurt out something diplomatic and effective to ward off contact (my go-to has always been “She’s got a nasty cold”). But usually it all happens too fast for even a “Hey! No!” You could convince yourself the exposure will supercharge your baby’s immunity. But I think your best option is to shroud her behind a cover—plastic in winter, mesh in summer—that slips over the stroller. That’ll allow strangers to engage the baby with their eyes while keeping your wee one insulated from excess pawing.
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9 thoughts on “Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I keep well-meaning neighbours from touching my newborn baby?”
how about, get over yourself, if you live in a city, you will encounter other people
How about being less paranoid? If newborns get sick so fast it’s because they are over protected and molly coddled – how about enjoying the pleasure of others so happy with your baby?
STOP TOUCHING MY HUMAN!!!! That’s what you get for raising a child in Liberty Slums.
You are a germaphobic nutter.
The kid is going to get all sorts of sick from other kids. And the kid is going to keep passing it along.
Fortunately Ebola isn’t too common.
There’s always the Michael Jackson oxygen tent option.
If someone reached out and touched another person without consent it would be consider foul play. Somehow babies get a “come touch me with your germy fingers” free pass. I don’t think so. Keep your hands to yourself!
The real question is… why are YOU touching your baby? Its obvious that by coming to Toronto Life to have this question answered means you dont have any good parenting skills OR common sense. Toodles~
It’s not about germs, this is about permission. So it’s fine for me to walk up and touch your face without your permission?
While your baby does need to be exposed to pathogens in order to develop a healthy immune system (meaning that your germaphobia is probably doing more harm than good), she also needs to learn the importance of consent. It is not okay for anyone to touch your baby without permission, and it’s important (especially for girls) to learn as young as possible that their body belongs only to them. If you get into the habit of letting it slide now while she’s a baby, then you’ll let it slide when she’s a toddler, and a pre-teen, and etc. etc. And so will she, because she will not have learned that it’s okay to say no. People need to learn to respect the bodily autonomy of others- I don’t care how cute you think someone is, you NEVER touch without consent.
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