Would you, could you, have you ever said, “Don’t touch my baby”?

Photo of a baby wearing a T-shirt with a message reading: Wash your hands first.

Moms know that unsolicited touching begins during pregnancy. In my wife’s case, the groping profile is old women and coworkers.

She works in a hospital and people who don’t know her, but recognize her as a hospital employee feel comfortable walking up and touching her belly.

After our first child was born, we were intruded upon much less often. Women and store clerks would give a close gander and in a few instances touch our daughter.

A particular store clerk became known to us when he reached across from the cashier side to the customer side to touch her head.

Later, when our daughter could sit in a shopping cart, he touched her again. We didn’t say anything, but avoid him to this day. We’re just not the confrontational type.

So, here’s an interesting product.

Wordsies Wear are baby shirts and bodysuits that bear blunt warning messages.

They are emblazoned with such sayings as:

  • Look but don’t touch
  • If you can read this, you’re too close
  • Please don’t compare me to your baby
  • Please don’t smoke near me
  • Please don’t kiss my lips
  • Wash your hands first

Would you put one of these on your baby as a sort of preemptive strike on passersby? It strikes the innocent and guilty alike. Meanwhile, spoken words can come too late. Baby gropers have lightning hands.

Please share your horror stories or perhaps how you’ve handled or even averted an international incident.

Comments

49 Responses to “Would you, could you, have you ever said, “Don’t touch my baby”?”

  1. Kayla says:

    I have a new little boy, born 6 weeks early, and live in fear of people touching him (getting sick=one way ticket back to the hospital). I would be more than happy to outfit him in something with bright red letters that says, “DON’T TOUCH ME!” but, alas. Stuff like that is hard to come by.

    People tend to not touch when he’s enveloped in the sling, so that’s become the transportation method of choice. When the occasional grandmotherly type comes too close I just say apologetically, “I’m really sorry, but seeing as it’s cold and flu season I have to ask you to keep your distance.” They’re always miffed and protest that they’re not sick, but they back off and thus far we’re cold/flu/RSV free.

    February 20th, 2008 at 12:44 am

  2. Deana says:

    I went to a family function with my son having purell attached to his outfit. It was in one of those holders that loops through a belt buckle.

    We had just spent 30 days in the PICU, I wasn’t taking any chances on going back.

    Now I just tell close talkers, or close gawkers, to please stand back from him, he has a very rare medical condition and a simple cold can be very harmful. That or they should stand back so they don’t catch it…kidding kidding.

    For family I just tell them to wash their hands and cover themselves with a designated blanket/quilt. The blanket goes in the wash when we’re through being passed around.

    The biggest uproar I got was this Christmas when I wouldn’t hold or snuggle and kiss my niece and nephew. They were newborn…and every other person in that room had their lips on the babies heads. Gross!

    February 20th, 2008 at 1:54 am

  3. Amber says:

    I would definitely put this on my daughter. I just wish I had known about them when she was a newborn! We had that problem a lot. Now it’s not so bad.

    February 20th, 2008 at 3:29 am

  4. thordora says:

    I kept meaning to make a shirt that said “I bite. HARD.” but I never got around to it.

    Even I’m guilty, and it’s a hard habit to break when faced with cuteness. But I’m getting better because I remember how freaking ANNOYING it is.

    February 20th, 2008 at 3:52 am

  5. Summer says:

    This might be a little different than germs but one thing that bothers me is store clerks and such giving out candy. We teach our kids “Never take candy from strangers” and yet every where we go there is a stranger wanting to hand her some candy! I really get annoyed. They think they are being nice and such, but really they are sending mixed signals to your kids! The other day we were at a yard sale and the older couple was there – in their 60s probably maybe older. Well they were oohing and awwing over my daughter and then the older man said, “Hold on a sec.” Went to his car and came back and handed her a piece of candy. Didan’t ask me if it was ok or anything. Problem is when he leaves you have to explain to your 2 year old why she can’t take that (what appears a nice man’s candy), and then she thinks you are mad at her because the guy gave her candy. STOP GIVING CANDY TO KIDS YOU DON’T KNOW PEOPLE! :-) ok thats my two cents.

    February 20th, 2008 at 6:24 am

  6. Jennifer says:

    I always ask before touching. To me, it’s common courtisy. The shirts like these are great, but I wonder how many people would take them seriously. I would venture to guess most who see them would take it as a “funny” shirt and not take the warning. I also know that in some cultures it’s an old wives tale that if you comment on a baby you have to touch or hold them…wards off some evil spirits. However, in our society now, I would never dream of touching without asking, even a pregnant belly.
    Doesn’t mean I don’t admire this beautiful miracle in both stages; but I figure you ask to pet a persons dog, their child is even more important to ask permission about!

    February 20th, 2008 at 7:32 am

  7. Allison (CodeCrafter) says:

    None of those sayings really appeal to me and even come across to me as a bit rude but then again I never really had any horror stories of strangers groping either my pregnant belly or my son. Maybe my belly was saved from groping because I work with mostly men? After my son was born when I did go out he was almost always strapped to me so that really cut down on the groping. Now we are to the point where if people touch him they are more likely to get something from him.

    Summer: I haven’t had this happen yet but I totally agree! In addition to it sending mixed messages it brings up all sorts of allergy concerns!

    February 20th, 2008 at 7:42 am

  8. Tenebrae says:

    We had a similar encounter with a clerk in the grocery store and handled it the same way. Gritted my teeth since it had already happened, but made sure to never get in her line again.

    The worst problem we had with this was hard feelings among in-laws. Our doctor was on the cautious side and advised only immediate family hold our son for the first 6 months. First time our son was over at my brother-in-laws place, an aunt cooed, “Ah, can I hold him?” and as I tried to explain the doctor’s advice and about washing hands, she said, “well, I am family”, and scooped him up. One of his other aunts stepped backwards as I was talking, offended that we hadn’t passed our baby to her (her house and her husband’s namesake) as soon as we entered the door. Seems some mutual friends were less concerned and played musical baby — passing their daughter to everyone in the room — right after she came home from the hospital. So my sister-in-law was all affronted that 1) we tried to place any limits on holding our baby and 2) that we had let someone else hold him before she or her husband did. They’re now pregnant and I’m smiling with anticipation to see how she handles baby “handling” and hoping she’ll soon have more empathy for our point of view.

    February 20th, 2008 at 7:44 am

  9. Anonymous says:

    You freaked out just because someone touched your child when they were at an age where they were old enough to sit in a grocery cart? I have news for you– the cart probably had waaaay more germs than the person did!

    February 20th, 2008 at 8:01 am

  10. Jessica G. says:

    This is a tough one. With my first, I was horrified at how many people wanted to touch, grab and kiss her. WIth my second, I was like “Here – PLEASE take my baby!”

    Slinging is a great defense against gropers. Few people are ballsy enough to pry fabric away from your chest to get a good look. And people don’t ask to hold a baby when clearly it is occupied in what looks like a complicated contraption. Babies tend to sleep in slings too, and who would wake a sleeping baby?!?

    At a certain point, they will be exposed to the ickys of the world. It is good to have some type of kid friendly santi-wipes / hand gel on your person for the really bad ickys.

    I am very forward with kids, telling them “Remember – we don’t touch babies, we look with our eyes and not our hands.” I don’t know why it is so hard to do that with adults!

    February 20th, 2008 at 8:17 am

  11. JMo says:

    I would never reach out to touch/kiss a baby, although sometimes I wave hi and the baby reaches out and grabs my finger.

    When my LO was a newborn, he was usually completely covered in my wrap when we were out in public, so it wasn’t an issue w/ people wanting to touch him.

    I only had one person touch my belly when I was pregnant – it was a guy at work. It was so inappropriate and I was very uncomfortable with it. The next time I saw him, I just said “no touching” and turned away. Nobody touched my belly except me and my husband.

    February 20th, 2008 at 8:29 am

  12. AJ says:

    Anon, I agree shopping carts are pretty disgusting, which is why we use an all-enveloping seat cover.

    The one drawback is that the cover draws as much attention as the baby!

    http://www.thingamababy.com/baby/2005/12/review_bilby_sh.html

    February 20th, 2008 at 8:40 am

  13. addy says:

    Down with gropers…I am a big fan of personal space for myself and my children…we get so many people wanting to touch our babies and we say please don’t touch as people approach…and if you have ever been out with triplets you get so many gawkers and gropers…My 3 year old hates the attention and she has been known to tell off strangers who get to close to her babies…she told a group of nuns to “buzz off you have germs and I don’t want my babies to get sick”…they thought she was cute I was mortified…I tell people not to touch daily and I don’t care if it is rude…I would rather be rude then have babies that are sick…I have had strangers ask to hold them…what makes them think I would let them hold my children. When I was pregnant so many people tried to touch me and I smacked a few hands…I would say hands off…I am overprotective. we also hate when people snap our picture without asking…I find that so rude…like we are a circus act or something…so never tell a gawker take a picture it will last longer because they just might!!! LOL I used this to vent so sorry so long

    February 20th, 2008 at 8:41 am

  14. addy says:

    Forgot to mention my favorite line for the belly gropers…some lady touched my belly when I was not paying attention and said what a big baby huh? so I touched her right back on her belly and said “big Meal” huh? she was mortified…so groping the grouper can really raise eyebrows…see how much they like it…i guess I was really evil cranky pregnant lady…

    February 20th, 2008 at 8:44 am

  15. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    I have not had problems at all with unwanted groping of my kid. OTOH, I didn’t limit others holding him either. Just kids and those who appeared sick. If he’d been a preemie or had problems I’m sure I would have been more paranoid.

    But I have not had problems with strangers wanting to touch him (though they do a lot of interacting with eyes. Smiling at the baby, then Theo smiles back. and they wave and talk about him/to him and he grins wildly. Etc Then they tell me he’s a great flirt!)

    February 20th, 2008 at 9:09 am

  16. Stacey says:

    Touchy feely strangers drive me crazy! When I was pregnant with my twins I had people walk up to me and touch my belly. Not feeling all that great I would step back and say “Why the hell are you touching me?” Some people would say sorry and quickly walk away and others would get offended like my belly was public property.

    Having twins, we get a lot of unwanted attention. Their cheeks get pinched, their heads get patted, and strangers walk up and nibble on their hands. If I can’t jump in quick enough to stop it I , not so kindly, tell them how unsanitary and rude it is to touch other peoples children without asking. Yes I get lots of scowls and rudeness back. But these are my kids and I have to be home with the two of them when they are both sick and not sleeping.

    I hope that by handling it the way I do some people will think twice before they reach out and touch another child.

    My mom says be kind to strangers…but these are my kids. I don’t have to be kind when their health in involved.

    February 20th, 2008 at 10:06 am

  17. Anon says:

    I have preemie twins who spent 6 weeks in the NICU. I frequently tell people ‘Please don’t touch” when they start reaching out. Often they are surprised and offended but I am always polite so I don’t care what their reaction is.The health of my babies comes first.

    February 20th, 2008 at 10:12 am

  18. Mark says:

    I’m in the same boat as Ruth, where I didn’t really have a problem with overaggressive touching, nor did we have much of a limit on who could hold him among our friends and family. He’s only been sick a couple of times and that’s usually come either from us or from playdates where nobody knew the kids were sick yet. Maybe I just don’t have that killer “get away from my baby” instinct. ;)

    February 20th, 2008 at 10:15 am

  19. Julia says:

    I didn’t have a touching issue, but I did have an older man look at my daughter and say, “Now I know why people steal babies.” I think it was a roundabout comment on her cuteness, but it was a little creepy. And I did have an older woman try to kiss my 2yo at Walmart. Maybe that’s a sign…

    February 20th, 2008 at 11:02 am

  20. Meira says:

    I think the shirts are rude. I can see the value if you just got out of the NICU or have an immune-compromised child, but other than that . . . it’s just off-putting.
    It also seems to me like a further extension of the isolation of moms in our society. Not only do we no longer have a village, now we have t-shirts to tell people to keep away? I have a 10-yr-old and 3 yr old twins –they talk alot, and like all moms, sometimes I get tired of listening — and if you’d like to shower them with affection & attention, c’mon over! The vast majority of the germs they encounter boost their immune systems, and every person that tells them they are great boosts their experience of this life.

    February 20th, 2008 at 11:17 am

  21. Sara says:

    I would agree with Jennifer: my guess is that most strangers would think of the t-shirt as a funny joke, not a serious warning…if they even notice what the shirt says. No one tried to touch my pregnant belly, although I planned to touch the offending stranger’s belly back if they had. I don’t know if I would have had the guts to actually do that, though, since I don’t really want to touch a strange person’s belly. And I don’t remember too many incidents of strangers touching my little one, either. I wasn’t really concerned about it, he is healthy and not prone to getting sick. But I would never dream of touching a stranger’s baby…that seems like such an invasion of privacy.

    February 20th, 2008 at 12:08 pm

  22. Tanya says:

    I would have LOVED to have these shirts when my baby was a newborn. She was not breathing when she was born and the doctors told us to treat her like a preemie for the first year. We didn’t take her many places, and most of the time I used the sling. I have only had one person get too close with the sling. It was an older lady. But, I was holding my daughter (without the sling) at a garage sale when she was about 4 months old and a lady asked if she could hold her. I told her no and she tried to take her out of my arms. We got in our car and left as fast as we could. Some people really have a lot of nerve.

    February 20th, 2008 at 2:43 pm

  23. twinsanity says:

    Our twin daughters were born 10 weeks early and spent 6 weeks in the NICU. We were under medically advised house arrest during flu and RSV season for 2 years. When we did venture our as a family, each of us wearing one girl in a sling kept the girls close and discouraged touching but when I took them out by myself I had to use a stroller. Babies in strollers seem to be magnets demanding to be touched, especially two or more babies. I used these little stop signs on their stroller from a company called My Tiny Hands that said, “please wash your hands before touching mine” and almost everyone I encountered said, “oh, what a great idea.” You can find them at:
    http://mytinyhands.com/

    It worked. Our girls didn’t get their first colds until after their first birthday and we managed to avoid RSV for their first 2 years, when it would have landed us with an extended hospital stay. Asking people to not touch your baby is NOT rude. Touching someone’s baby without asking IS rude.

    February 20th, 2008 at 5:19 pm

  24. Cindi Hoppes says:

    When my second son was born is when they started using the foam sanitizer on their hands. They even sent a bottle home with us! I remember going to the nursery to look at my baby and he wasn’t in there. One of the aides had taken him to lunch with her!!!!! My husband tried walking in the hall with him once and the nurse told him to stay in the room. I was so upset with that aid that I went to their lunch room and asked for my son! My dad even wore a white face mask when he came to visit at the hospital because he had a cold. People do not mess with my sons. Then or now…..Cindi

    February 20th, 2008 at 8:22 pm

  25. LiteralDan says:

    While I can’t imagine reaching out to touch someone that way uninvited, it was clear when my wife was pregnant that other people have no such qualms.

    Now that we’re past that stage (for a few years at least… fingers crossed), like someone else said, my kids are definitely more likely to give germs than get them, so there could be worse things, I guess.

    The touching of the kids has not been nearly as big an issue, though, probably because our kids are intimidatingly gorgeous. Check them out at http://literaldan.blogspot.com if you’re so inclined.

    February 20th, 2008 at 11:53 pm

  26. Anji says:

    When Orion was only a few weeks old we went into a little baby ’boutique’ (read: a place where you window shop but never buy, because the clothes cost more than your iPod) and had been browsing for less than five minutes when a woman came up and took him out of my arms. Literally just took him and then started going on about how cute he was. I couldn’t even speak. O_o

    February 21st, 2008 at 1:50 am

  27. K G S says:

    I had an almost opposite experience– a stranger scolding me for what she considered callously taking a helpless baby into germ-infested territory. We didn’t take our healthy but 3-weeks-early daughter into crowded places for the first two months (as per her doctor’s advice), and I remember how excited I was on one of my first forays out with her after that, to an IKEA store. (Yes, at the time I considered that exciting.) A little boy came running to look at her and his mom scolded (with an eye directed meaningfully at me): “Don’t go near that baby, she shouldn’t be here, she hasn’t had all her shots yet.” Umm… she won’t have had “all her shots” until she’s FIVE!!!

    Every baby’s situation is different, and parents are trying to do the right thing. I wish more people could remember that and not assume they know what’s appropriate for a complete stranger’s baby.

    February 21st, 2008 at 9:32 am

  28. Bria says:

    Meira
    Have you ever been a situation where a baby died from germs? Probably not. But I know a close family member who has experienced this. It was mortifying because it all started with a healthy baby – not premature- coming down with a simple illness that turned deadly. It could have been avoided with better sanitation practices – or if someone would have kept their sick hands off of the baby!!!! I don’t think the shirts are rude. And even if I did.. i would rather be rude than to be childless. I think your comment was based solely on what you’ve experience and not on what is fact and known. Plus not all of the shirts are germy! Dang.. even I can read that. These shirts are different than the same funky shirts I see in the stores that says “I’m a big sister.” Honestly, who gives a darn.

    February 21st, 2008 at 12:19 pm

  29. Katie says:

    Interesting approach, but I wonder if we’re all getting far too anxious about germs these days. When we were kids (read: 35+ years ago) we didn’t have antibacterial everything and we seemed to be pretty healthy. As a matter of fact, not one single kid I grew up with had any allergies or asthma. We were, of course, cautious with our son when he was smaller, but we don’t use antibacterial products, we don’t have a spotless germ-free home, and we have a long-haired cat in the house from before he was born. Our son is the least sick of all his day-care counterparts and of all our friends’ kids, as well. We believe that normal exposure to the everyday germs in the world have done him far more good as an immune booster than keeping him in an germ-free bubble. Certainly we don’t allow strangers to touch our child, but that is out of safety and common courtesy, not so much for anti-germ reasons. Just my humble opinion…

    February 21st, 2008 at 1:58 pm

  30. Jen says:

    I thought about going around with the new baby while wearing a hospital mask… people would probably keep their distance. But they would probably think I was mildly insane.

    Mmmm, might not be the best idea.

    I just can’t stand the permissionless touching of either my belly or the baby. A simple, “do you mind if I…” goes a LONG way and lets me prepare how I want to prepare, whether that be through Purell or refusal or whatever.

    February 22nd, 2008 at 7:24 am

  31. Christina says:

    I’ve never been too afraid of germs. My older daughter spent a good portion of her first 1.5 years hanging out in a hospital lobby where I worked. If that aint germy I don’t know what is. She has a great immune system. I’ve always been able to gladly let people (friends/family I mean, not strangers) hold my babies. I don’t slather them in antibacterial soap and yes, the dog licks them occasionally. Granted, I’ve never had a scare with RSV, or any of the other nasty things out there. Now, my 11 week old has had two colds since he was born, but I’m pretty sure he’s gotten them from his sister who goes to preschool with a bunch of other germy little kids. I don’t know, I guess I’m from the school of thought that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

    February 22nd, 2008 at 9:35 am

  32. Christina says:

    I forgot to add that on the same note, I don’t touch people’s kids unless the parent says okay, and I don’t ask to hold people’s babies, I let the mom/dad offer. It’s just awkward for me to presume to touch/hold someone else’s kid.

    February 22nd, 2008 at 9:39 am

  33. Meira says:

    Bria:
    I don’t understand what you’re trying to say with this: “Plus not all of the shirts are germy! Dang.. even I can read that. These shirts are different than the same funky shirts I see in the stores that says “I’m a big sister.” Honestly, who gives a darn.”
    But as for the rest of your comment . . . I’m very sorry that happened to your family member. That must have been devastating. I completely agree that proper sanitary techniques are vital, but I don’t believe these shirts are a useful contribution to that end. I think it’s more likely that they would contribute to putting people off, and that’s just not one of my values.

    February 22nd, 2008 at 11:30 am

  34. Bria says:

    Meira,
    What I meant was.. Not all of the shirts are geared at preventing strangers from touching a baby. Some of the shirts say typical things like my mom is hot – sorry can’t remember exactly what it says. I just don’t see how the shirts are offensive. I have four children.. and I know I never liked how people would just reach for them without even asking! The shirts may not be able to prevent it, but it’s an ice breaker. That’s all I am saying. I think it’s BY FAR more offensive for strangers to touch a baby with nasty hands than having those words on the shirts.
    What about the shirts that make references to women’s anatomy? The Boob Man shirt?? Heck, I think that’s more offensive than “Wash Your Hands first.” I don’t get the uproar.. but then again, I wash my hands all day long.. so maybe some people aren’t big on hygeine (not referencing you). Just saying… maybe hand washing isn’t as important as it is to others. And asking others to not smoke around THEIR baby? How is that offensive? Is it not more offensive TO actually smoke around a baby?? I just looked back at the site.. and it says she donates a portion of the profits to SIDS. Maybe that’s where the no smoking comes from because as we know, smoking is a contributing factor to SIDS. Me personally, I would rather by a shirt that defend my baby than to buy a shirt that says, I’m a Boob Man.

    February 22nd, 2008 at 12:01 pm

  35. bria says:

    Christina,
    That’s odd. You said whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I guess you didn’t read my first post. Again, I see I’m coming from another place. I’ve experienced the tragedy.. and I’m shocked that you in your field aren’t more aware of how people should stay away from a newborn.

    February 22nd, 2008 at 12:05 pm

  36. Bria says:

    Check these out!
    http://tahilla.typepad.com/mrsawatch/2006/09/hospital_superb.html

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/longterm/stories/111807dnmetstaphdixon.2aefacd.html

    I just think more people should wash their hands than NOT! Maybe the world can eliminate these preventable diseases!

    February 22nd, 2008 at 12:20 pm

  37. Meira says:

    Bria,
    Ahh, ok. Yeah, I wouldn’t buy a “I’m a Boob Man” t-shirt for my baby either. Breastfeeding is not a sex act, and not enough people realize that yet to make jokes about it. But I would totally wear one of the “Eat at mom’s! Open 24/7! ” ones.
    Of course, then I went to look at the rest of the shirts and frankly found them all pretty annoying. “My mom is hotter than yours”? “Mind Your Own Baby”? “Don’t you wish your baby was as cute as me”? Those just seem to divide moms, not unite them. And even the ones with ‘good’ messages (‘please don’t smoke around me’ or ‘got clean hands?’) — nine times out of ten, I think it’s preferable look someone in the eye and converse with them about it. Maybe I’m in a weird space today, but I look at these shirts and just keep feeling like our society doesn’t need shirts with snotty warnings — it needs to be actually interacting & finding common ground and finding ways to be peaceful & friendly . . . to stop looking at everyone else as the less attractive/germ covered/nosy enemy and instead find ways to get moms feeling supported . . .
    (yeah, I think I’m in a weird space today, lol!)

    February 22nd, 2008 at 12:34 pm

  38. Aliyah says:

    I think the shirts are cute! I am a mom to two and I understand what the shirts are saying.
    I’m also a business owner as well as a mom. I am disappointed at how some of you are so discouraging to another business mom. If you don’t like a product, then fine, don’t buy it. But slamming it is not in good taste either. If you own a business, would you want someone who disagrees with your concept to slam your product to everyone person she knows? That’s not cool at all. I sure hope those who are putting down this product don’t own your businesses! Because what goes around, surely does come back around!
    And haven’t we all been taught that if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say it at all? Dang… this mom came up with an idea and went thru with it. How many of you are doing the same? Instead of putting it down, find something else constructive to do with your time.

    February 22nd, 2008 at 11:10 pm

  39. pinkbeary says:

    wow! all these posts are reeeeaaaallly long. do you actually take the time to read all of these comments?

    they need these shirts in korea for caucasian babies. all my expat friends who live there hate that blond / blue eyed babies are touched and picked up without asking the mom or caretaker.

    strangers who walk by and pat my daughter’s head or touch her on the cheek…. argh. i wish that i was more confrontational and could say something right on the spot. those are the times when sanitary baby wipes come in handy.

    February 23rd, 2008 at 1:20 am

  40. Monsterchew says:

    Just to put out there: proper hand washing with soap should take at least as long as it takes to sing two rounds of “Happy Birthday” or “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”. Swirling your soapy hands around under cold water for 6 seconds does NOT count as cleaning them thoroughly.

    Even with antibacterial soap. In fact, as I’m sure a lot of you have heard, there’s controversy as to whether these soaps are completely effective, or, much like in the cases of unfinished antibiotics, they’re creating more SuperBugs.

    When in need, I stick with Purell. At least that works for sure.

    But on the other hand, I’m not of the camp of having to sanitize my entire life after my kids are about 3-6 months of age, (depending on the season and the kid). Studies have shown that having some exposure to germs builds up the immune system. Imagine actually achieving a germ free environment for your kid. Then, when your kid goes out into the world for the first time and encounters the germ for the common cold, that cold is going to be a doozy.

    But, with that being said, what I chose to make a priority in the sanitary realm is MY prerogative. Not that of some well meaning stranger, not that of my extended family. Mine and my husband’s.

    Considering that, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the t-shirts. I do find them mildly obnoxious, but for me, that’s just because I don’t necessarily agree with allowing your child’s clothing to say any message that we as parents want to convey.

    By a long shot, they’re better than the shirts that say, “Don’t you wish I was your boyfriend?” and things like that.

    However, most shirts with messages emblazoned across them are designed to “make people think” or “express an opinion” or to “show an allegiance”

    I’m just not a fan of doing that before my kids are able to make decisions on their own. They’re not my billboard, no matter how benign the message.

    As I tell my two year old, if something happens that makes you mad, use your words.

    I would just prefer they’d come from your lips, not off of the t-shirt of your kid.

    February 23rd, 2008 at 6:12 am

  41. Meira says:

    Aliyah,
    I don’t think the ‘support’ your advocating is very respectful of a MomTrepreneur. Is she not a strong, smart woman, just as capable as anyone else of coming up with something good? Do we say to ourselves, “Oh, we could have normal expectations, but since she’s a mom she’ll never live up to them . . .” and give her a pass?
    The deal is, I find the shirts offensive and divisive on multiple levels. Thingamababy asked for reader’s opinions, and I gave mine (perhaps too many times, lol). If the mom’s feelings are hurt, well maybe she’ll look at these shirts from a broader perspective. If her feelings weren’t hurt, then I imagine she’s pretty happy to have the free publicity.

    February 23rd, 2008 at 9:03 am

  42. AJ says:

    (Thinga-dad here…)

    Criticizing the appropriateness of the shirt messages is sort of like saying my hat doesn’t look good on me and I should take it off. What do you mean? I love this hat!

    By the same token, these baby shirts are for parents with specific concerns and they won’t be swayed by naysayers.

    I appreciate hearing all perspectives so long as they are polite. That’s hopefully why you guys and gals read Thingamababy. You’re not just seeing product thumbnails and regurgitated marketing text. A mom or pop inventor won’t like criticism, but it’s part of the cost of doing business. We’re having real discussions about the merits of products, parenting philosophies and so forth. So, I appreciate hearing that some of you think these shirts are great, and some think they’re awful.

    February 23rd, 2008 at 10:55 am

  43. Melissa Moog says:

    To this day I still remember quite clearly my horror story with Isabella, our 8 month old baby and a friend of ours! We had some friends over for a luncheon and of course everyone was ooh-ing an ah-ing at the baby, like most people do when they see cherub cheeks. Isabella started to fuss and one of our friends said “oh, she’s probably teething” then proceeded to stick her fingers in our baby’s mouth! Aghhh! I was so shocked I couldn’t speak, my jaw just dropped down a mile. At that point in time I would have loved a onesie on Isabella that said “keep your dirty fingers out of our baby’s mouth please”. I learned from that experience that I would gently tell someone next time to stop what they were doing if I thought it may cause harm to my child – the finger thing is an extreme case. I think the shirts are a fun idea especially for those parents who do not want to be too direct. Kudos to the mom entrepreneur for doing the hard work and following through with her business goal!

    February 25th, 2008 at 10:54 am

  44. Mama Peach says:

    Having also had a NICU baby, I found all of my slings and wraps invaluable in keeping prying hands at bay…people are much less likely to go poking when the baby is wrapped tightly to your bosom (although not everyone is afraid to go there…)

    February 25th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

  45. Danielle S says:

    Oh! I MUST get the Look But Don’t Touch for my little guy! That grosses me out when strangers come up and touch, sometimes even try to KISS him! Are you kidding me?! Gross!

    February 25th, 2008 at 5:18 pm

  46. Darby says:

    I’m 40 weeks pregnant right now (egad), and I have to admit that I have purchased several bottles of Purell hand sanitizer to keep around the house and in the car in anticipation of baby arriving. The stuff is great, and the label’s claim that it “KILLS 99.99% of GERMS” offers at least some comfort to parents when they are able to force it on people who will undoubtedly want to touch their baby.

    Unfortunately, circumstances do not always allow proper sanitation measures to be enforced. When the occasional stranger goes in to cop the unsolicited, albeit innocent, baby feel, the parents, recognizing the expiration of the fleeting split-second opportunity to grab the Purell bottle and shove it like a wedge between the self-indulgent stranger and their baby, turn into deer caught in headlights and hold their breath as the stranger undoubtedly contaminates their pure and defenseless little one. The parents part ways with the stranger, feeling dirty and violated, while the stranger feels all warm and fuzzy for having touched a miracle.

    This being my second child I already feel much more relaxed about the whole “touching my baby” thing. I have never minded people touching my belly when pregnant, even strangers. It is only when I am not pregnant and people touch my belly that I get offended and freaked out. When I am “with child”, I find it comforting and a bit energizing, like people are exchanging positive energy with my baby and me, as though we have superhero powers. After all, a baby growing inside its mother’s womb is a pretty damn special thing. I can understand why people cannot help themselves and want to be part of one of the few tangible miracles on earth, enough to forget their manners and ideas of social norm to feel away at my body. In my opinion, it is okay. Likewise, it seems perfectly natural that they would want to touch the miracle itself, my sweet and perfect baby. Again, in my opinion, it is okay.

    When I went to the store to purchase hand sanitizer for this baby’s arrival, I did pause and think about whether we really needed it. The Purell, I decided, is more for us at home and for our 2 1/2 year-old sticky-fingered and boogie-nosed daughter, who will be the ultimate germ vehicle to our new baby. Forget about you strangers. Touch away, grocery store clerk, postmaster and waitress. I am pretty confident you all have less cooties than my toddler.

    February 28th, 2008 at 7:13 am

  47. Monica says:

    I’m just wanting to know if anyone has suggestions for polite ways to say, “Please don’t touch my baby.” While I kick myself sometimes for not being more proactive in these cases, I also agree that some germ exposure is beneficial for my 9-mo. old daughter. Is it rude to simply pull her away from those incoming, quick hands and say, “Please don’t touch her.”?

    April 18th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

  48. Tanya says:

    The sense of entitlement that people have to handle anyones children continues to amaze me. I have been in the field of child development for 30 plus years and even now when new families bring their children in to meet ‘Miss Tanya’ I smile say ‘hello’, offer myhand to their parents. But when I turn to them I say ‘hello,——’,and include the child’s name and keep my hands open but in my lap. If the child moves closer I respond, but only then. Children are not objects. And,’cute’ is not good excuse to touch anyone least of all children. Illness is definitely a concern, but with the behavior of random touching aren’t we also teaching children that they have no voice in the matter? A few baby signs can be modeled very early in your childs daily life so that your infant validate their sense of self and can communicate to you. Touching anyone without some form of permission is just plain disrespectful.

    January 7th, 2009 at 9:57 am

  49. mplpl says:

    When people touch my baby, I pull out my mobile phone, dial a 9 and a 1, and say, “You know, technically, that is assault. Should I dial the last 1?” Gets the point across…

    January 31st, 2009 at 11:32 am