As moms, we have all heard of this happening or have experienced it for ourselves. Sometimes, it starts with strangers or possibly acquaintances touching your belly while pregnant. This actually doesn't bother me - or I should just say, I haven't had the wrong person touch my pregnant belly yet!
Then, once you have your baby and are out and about, apparently there is the risk of strangers TOUCHING your baby. Hands, feet, head, face - whatever it may be, I did not experience this with my son. However, this happened to me the other day with my four-day-old daughter, and let me tell you. I get it now. DON'T TOUCH MY BABY!
MIke and I ventured out to pick out some things for our house. It was mid-day and we were headed to a store in town where we knew it would be quiet and calm. The saleswoman that would be helping us during our appointment asked right away how old our baby was. I said only four days old. I pulled her out of her car seat to hold her, and while doing so her little red hat fell off. The sales lady took this as an opportunity to get way too close and swooped in to rub her head four times. While this probably only lasted seconds, it felt like an eternity to this new mom!
I was immediately taken aback. Did that just happen?! Did this stranger just take her hand and rub my daughters four-day-old head over and over again?! I was horrified! I pulled out two wipes and immediately wiped her head down in front of her.
I had a really hard time focusing on home decor after that postpartum baby attack that I had just experienced. Many women do not leave their house for weeks after having a baby. And now I know why! If you see a woman out with a new baby, don't make her regret her decision by touching her brand new-to-the-world baby.
That wasn't the last touch. Our appointment was 2.5 hours long, and my daughter needed a diaper change. Two other ladies working in the store said to change her on the table since no one was in the store. I did so, and my baby started to cry (she does that when being changed - it is winter after all!) The lady came back around and then AGAIN, rubbed her head over and over again! And this time, I smelled cigarettes! I threw myself over her, put my hands on her head to knock her hands away, and said, "I got it I got it I got it!!!".
Out came two more wipes, and a head wipe-down. My body language and reaction could not have been more crystal clear.
The moral of this story is not for new moms to lock themselves in their homes for 12-weeks worth of maternity leave in order to hide from germy strangers. This message is for strangers - do not, under any circumstances, touch another person's baby without the mother's permission when out in public. In fact, just admire from afar! The other two ladies in the store kept a very noticeable five-foot (at least!) distance and told me what an adorable baby I had. This did not go unnoticed. I appreciated their consideration with my new baby.
Is this too much to ask? I think not! I know that babies can be irresistible, but just remember, a new mom basically has a microscope for eyes in those first few weeks/months with a new baby. Don't contribute to an increase in her visual colony count by touching. Admire from afar - please and thank you!