Issues of Life

Did I do that to you?


I am just realising how unthinking, inconsiderate and clueless most people are when it comes to babies.  So many think that it’s not only okay to reach out and touch a new born, but that it is wanted and good manners!  Well, if you ASK first, and WASH your hands second!!!

I’m so seriously fed up with random people reaching out and grabbing my baby’s hands, even before I have noticed they were near!  Do they think they are doing me or my baby a favour?  Even if your hands are spotless, because you just washed or sanitized, I don’t know that.  At least for decency, to ease my fears, make a point of cleaning them in my presence, before going ahead and touching my infant!

And I don’t care how clean your hands are, please don’t go holding hands with my baby.  I don’t know about yours or others, but his hands are his second favourite food after my breastmilk!  So, within seconds, whatever you touched your hand with while holding him, will end up in his mouth.  Please, I don’t mean to be rude but, THINK!

It’s so frustrating because this is so common place, and it’s hard to tell people to attend to due diligence and wash their hands first.  They feel that it’s a criticism against them, or an accusation that they are unclean.  This even happens at the hospital!  They take for granted that they’re clean by virtue of the fact that they work in a hospital.  But isn’t that more reason to be careful?

I’m sorry to rant, but I need an outlet.  I’m very ready to smack the hand of the next person who behaves so thoughtlessly!  Especially now that there’s an Ebola crisis in the country.

If I did this to you when you had your baby, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE forgive me!  Now I know better.

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11 replies »

  1. This actually makes sense. This something I do regularly and I guess I never looked at it this way because I’ve never been the father of the baby being touched. On the other hand, it would be uncharacteristic of human beings not to be drawn to the cuteness that all babies seem to possess and as such the touching is almost unavoidable. What I would probably do in your shoes is start carrying around a bottle of hand sanitizer and politely offer it to any one who wants to touch my baby (with an explanation of my reasons for doing so). Unfortunately, not everyone would understand and you will probably end up offending quite a few people but that’s a small price to pay for keeping your baby healthy.

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    • I’ve thought about doing it that way, and do have hand sanitizer in my baby’s bag. However, like I said, a lot of people don’t ask, and some touch before you’ve even noticed. This happens in Church, at the Bank, hospital and supermarket. Now, I’d have to be carrying hand sanitizer on one hand and baby on the other for this to work – that is when I see them first!!! Otherwise, I would need to say, “please wait, let me get the sanitizer from my bag”, and find a safe place to put baby, while doing it!!! I’ve rebuked people a few times, telling them that they might as well put their hands down my baby’s throat. I find that saying “no thanks” to attempts to touch when out in public is my best defence.

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  2. Funny…though I usually try to ask….I’m just now seeing it from the mother’s perspective…I guess it cant be easy but I’m sure you can politely and somewhat seriously say….’pls dont be angry but im going to have to ask you to wash ur hands if you want to carry him o – Jason too is avoiding Ebola’. People will probably laugh but they will also most likely oblige…And if u are outside the house, then they know they cant carry him( (my 2 kobo)
    …now just to make sure I dont fall victim..lol

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    • Thanks for the suggestion Ejay. I have tried it believe me. It’s HARD work. Sometimes, when people come over, I simply say “we sanitize first” and show them by sanitising my hands! However, about people not wanting or trying to carry him in public, haha! That’s a laugh. They most certainly try. Usually, I can get away with not offending people when he’s sleeping. But, if I offend, I’d sooner live with that than with a sick child!

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  3. I really appreciate this. I’m not a touchy person AT ALL, so I can’t even imagine someone touching a stranger’s baby.

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  4. Well, it is only normal!!! For people to see fine babies n wants to touch them!!! But in this Ebola crisis we are in nw, one can never b too careful. So what I will advice is dat when going out wit Jason u should sanitize any where is been touched n use his wipes to clean him up. Cos how many people will u quarrel with!! in church today, I saw some people I don’t know, touching my little girl saying ‘ fine girl’ I was scared but i can’t shout at all of them in church so wat I did was to sanitize her face n hands n used her wipes to clean it up. Same I did to her siblings, every nw n then I sanitized their hands n tell them nt to let anyone touch them. In this situation we are nw it is necessary we take all d precaution.

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    • Thanks Lovette. I posted this on circleofmoms.com and got similar advice. I guess to protect my sanity, I have to accept what I cannot change, and work with what I can control, like making sure I carry sanitation wipes to wipe him down regularly during the day. But the touching hands things is hard, because he quickly puts his hand in his mouth, before I’ve even noticed that someone has been touching them! Anyway, God is in control ultimately. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. while i found this piece quite funny, it is a real dilemma. i actually never thought of it until i read this. i probably would have had my hands slapped off by you had i been anywhere near your baby cos i’m drawn to them. i know better now thanks to you.

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