Thoughts on strangers approaching your child

I know babies are cute and always seem to grab people’s attention but, what are your thoughts and feelings on when strangers come up to your baby and touch them or play with them? The other day I was in line at the grocery store holding my 9 month old son in my arms and a lady came right up to us and held my son’s hand and let him grab her face. I wasn’t sure what to do..but she was definitely in my bubble.

  • Rebecca
    Jul 11

    My husband often gets on my case about not handing our 2 month daughter off to those who want to meet her. (He even passed her through the car window as a neighbor who was driving down the street stopped to say hi- no one we are even close to!) As a new mom I guess I’m still learning etiquette- if someone you trust comes up to say hi should you be the one to ask if they want to hold her or wait for them to ask you?

  • Kristin
    Jul 11

    Same here. I think we’re all Mama Bears. But ever since he was born, my now 6 mos is very sociable & friendly. So as much as I’m not comfortable strangers trying to touch or touch my baby, my baby likes interactions. Honestly, I just try to wipe him as soon as I can. Also, I make sure I make it a quick interaction but I think I may need to practice to say no or set a limit on that. Except, my baby usually is the culprit bcos he smiles & giggles at strangers!

  • Anonymous
    Jul 11

    I’m so passive it’s so hard for me to say like “back off” 😭 usually I say something like “you can touch his little toes!” When they go in for a feel because obviously I don’t want strangers touching his hands and face lol

  • LaBeaux
    Jul 11

    More times than not, everything Sada said is spot on. Most people/"strangers" that are "touchers" also share that "their grandkids live far away", or share the sage advice to "enjoy them, because time will pass so quickly" midtouch as they're clearly reminiscing about their own children, grands, etc. Be grateful to God that your child is able to brighten someone's day. Be proud! You helped create that! Smile politely-albeit awkwardly- and just SANITIZE SANITZE when the interaction is through.

  • Julie
    Jul 11

    Yesterday is was at the grocery store with my baby and an elderly employee tried grabbing her foot. Then when she turned away from him and I was telling him not to touch my baby, he pulled a dollar out of his pocket and tried to hand it to her. She wouldn’t touch it and neither would I. He told me to take it home to her piggy bank. I told him we don’t accept gifts from strangers and walked away. It was probably well intentioned but it creeped me TF out.

  • Jennie
    Jul 11

    I don't mind strangers approaching us and I teach me kids to interact kindly and appropriately with strangers. If I feel that they are in my personal space or my kids' I'll say something but in most cases we exchange pleasantries and move on. I'm not a germaphobe and I enjoy talking to strangers and nice conversations can make my day. But say something rude then we have a problem. 😉

  • Julie
    Jul 11

    I do agree with you, Jennie. If a stranger smiles at my baby and says hi I don’t try to shield her in any way and even show her that it’s okay to be nice to strangers by smiling back. I wouldn’t want them touching her just because I wouldn’t want a stranger to touch me. But certainly there’s both wrong with smiling at a stranger and saying hello

  • Julie
    Jul 11

    The other day at a different grocery store a stranger was smiling at my baby and saying hi and she was being bashful and trying to hug me. Then the stranger accidentally walked into a floor display and sent a bunch of things flying and made a big clatter. My baby thought that was hilarious and started laughing, waving, and clapping. Oh boy. She thought they had put on the show just for her. 🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️

  • Jennie
    Jul 11

    See, I guess I don't mind a stranger patting me on the shoulder or shaking my hand. I'm a toucher, so if I'm trying to get by someone I'll touch their shoulder and say excuse me. It doesn't bother me. But obviously if there is uncomfortable touch too. So I guess I just use my judgment. If they are touching a baby foot, no biggie. But if they touch a face or something, weird. Yesterday in the store, a young man approached my cart asking for high 5s. My 1, 3 and 7yo gave high 5s and the guy walked away then my 6yo cried because she didn't get one. His attention was positive in thier eyes and she felt left out. I like my kids having positive interactions with strangers (but I also read when they're unsure and remind them to politely say no thank you).

  • Carissa
    Jul 11

    I try not to mind strangers interacting with my daughter or maybe wanting to give her a high five or something- I think it’s really sweet. I remember before I had her I was always worried I was freaking people out by smiling or waving to their babies in restaurants or stores but it wasn’t because I was trying to be creepy- I just love children and always had that yearning for my own. So I try to keep that in mind- people could be missing their own babies (grandkids, children, etc.) I’ve met people who have lost children of their own and being able to just hold my daughters hand for a second seems to make their day. Once when we were at a sushi restaurant the waitress was being a little too friendly with my daughter and I got a weird feeling so I was on high alert but later found out she had a daughter of her own who she had to leave in China while she worked here to try and build a life for them both. My heart broke. So I always will gladly accept any love strangers want to give us as long as it’s nothing too weird and I always keep my guard up more than I usually would. When you accept the initial interaction usually the person will feel comfortable to tell you stories about their own kids/grandkids and I really enjoy hearing it. As my daughter gets older I’ll teach her about red flags and rules for strangers but I also want to model for her to always be kind to people because you never know what someone else is going through

  • Erin
    Jul 11

    This is a huge pet peeve of mine! My son is almost 2 now but when he was an infant I lost track of how many strangers would touch his hands or squeeze his delightfully chubby cheeks without asking. It drove me nuts, especially in cold and flu season, it's like, of course my baby's going to put his hands in his mouth right after you touch them, what are you thinking??! They used to get right in his face and talk to him too but at least that's not touching so I tend to let that slide, even though he's shy and it usually freaked him out. The one time I got stern was when an unruly strange kid straight up started crawling into my son's stroller out of nowhere - I loudly said "Please don't touch my baby" and got the hell out of there. That's my usual startegy, is to flee, lol. Because yes people almost always mean well and I don't want to hurt their feelings. But at the same time, just because someone misses having little ones or something doesn't mean I have to give them a free pass to touch my child and possibly get them sick. We are not a household that handles illness well so yes I am a bit of a germaphobe these days, and that is my right! Especially since I'm 7.5 months pregnant with my second boy!

  • JK
    Jul 12

    I hate it when people do this. Sure- most people have good intentions and truly love babies . But if it makes you uncomfortable, don’t feel bad saying NO! And BACK OFF! I say “please don’t touch my baby.” Direct. Who cares if they are offended. They offended ME first, and I want to raise my kids feeling empowered about personal space and their bodies.

  • Jennifer
    Jul 12

    I'm spot on with Carissa. I was at a grocery store one time with my daughter and this70yr old Grandma would smile at my daughter but they do keep their distance as the only smiled and said hi. Then she told me that she misses her granddaughter who is now all grown up attending college. Also I absolutely love babies, I'm the type that always love waving or making funny faces when waiting in line at grocery store. Often times I have my daughter sitting in the shopping cart with me, and while waiting in line sometimes there is a baby in baby carrier in front of us. The baby will stare at us, so I would smile back to even play peak a boo. However I always keep my distance and never touch anyone's kid. That's just strange to touch as I'm well aware that some Mama Bears are germophobic.

  • Jennifer
    Jul 12

    I would like to say it's good be alert from strangers intentions. When my son was 1yr old back then, I was shopping at Costco. There was this very strange lady in her 30's alone..... that walks around Costco and goes up to every parent that has babies and walks up to strollers to play with the kids. As in touching the baby hands and feet. She was not there to buy things. She did that to my son and I was very uncomfortable. However, I later found out from her story that she has mental issues (which you can tell from they way she looks) she had a miscarriage and can no longer have babies. So I guess she really wants to have a kid but can't have one. So her intention was not bad, she just wanted to have kids. I felt bad for her.

  • Vonda
    Jul 13

    I have a cover for his car seat that’s mesh so people can’t touch him. Lol. I’ve had people come up and want to touch. I physically block them discreetly so they can’t just reach out and touch him. I’m ok with small talk. But no one is allowed to touch my kid unless you are a close friend or family member.

  • Melissa
    Jul 13

    I position baby away from individual and remove us from their presence. I don’t speak to them or give them an opportunity to touch my little guy. He was born preemie and had health challenges and people don’t wash their hands enough

  • BE
    Jul 13

    We need a baby stroller version of this! 😂

  • Sara
    Jul 14

    I live in a city with a large diverse population, the old ladies know to come close talk, coo at the baby but not touch, the younger not from around here populations seem to not know it’s not appropriate to touch a baby. I guess they never heard of germs. If someone gets too close (like the drunk girl at the beach) I state “please, don’t touch my baby” (as her drunk friend debates with the waitstaff why he can’t eat at the food establishment without shoes on).

  • Cambric
    Jul 31

    I know it can be uncomfortable, but I just try to remember that people mean well. And maybe getting a smile from your babe will make their entire day! You can also use hand sanitizer after.

  • Amelia
    Aug 02

    I was at a restaurant and these woman came in with 2 kids one around4/5 other was like 1 the server comes up and asks the older son what he would like to drink and the mom said “don’t talk to my son I told him to not talk to strangers if you need to ask him his order ask me” and I was at the table next to them like .....ummm k