Wednesday, February 20, 2008

TFT: Don't Touch or Snuggle Up...

*I'm posting this a tad early, well, obviously as you're reading it NOW and not tomorrow HAHA! I'll add links to other TFT'ers to the bottom once I see those posts. Give me a shout if you post a TFT!

OK... on to the Thought for Thursday....

I came across this post on Thingamababy and thought it'd make a good topic for TFT. If you don't care to visit the site and read their post, the short story of it is they were highlighting a website that sold baby onesies that say things like "Look but don't touch" and "If you can read this you're too close."

Now, I am guilty of reaching out and touching little newborns, and snuggling my nieces as babies and smothering my own child with kisses as a newborn as well as passing him around to whoever wanted to hold him. I don't consider myself a very "overprotective" (for lack of better word) parent when it comes to germs... I never really think twice. We had a squirter of Purel by the door, but rarely used it. A year later it was less than half gone. Furthermore, I was out and about within a week of giving birth. Porter was born on a Tuesday and the following Monday he had a doctor's appointment and we also stopped by to see the teacher I student taught with the month prior. Yep, school germs! Eww. That same week, we took him to Outback Steakhouse for Ryan's birthday dinner. A week later I was visiting Spring Arbor University's Fieldhouse to walk the indoor track. We were out and about and I never thought a thing about it.

Anyhow... as a parent... I never think twice if a stranger oogles my baby, or if relatives want to pass him around. I read the comments on Thingamababy's post and I started to wonder if I was in the minority.

So... my question to you this wonderful Thursday...
  • Were you cautious with other people handling your newborn?
  • Did you stick to the old "6 week rule" and not leave the house for 6 weeks?
  • What precautions did you take to protect your newborn from germs?
  • Any additional comments on this topic?
Other TFT'ers this week:

Cass on luxury

Jessica on dreams and aspirations

Jenny on name-brand products

Heather on what's in a name

Michelle on celebrities selling the exclusive rights to their family photos

Denise on ghosts and haunted houses

April on interpreting dreams

Kristi on ESP and premonitions


  1. i sure hope you can respond to my comment if you want ; )

    with my first baby, years ago, i was not excited for people to touch him. not particularly because of germs though. i just didn't want anyone holding him. that wore off after about five months. this time around i'm not the same way.

    we hit target on the way home, so no 6-week rule here.

    no precautions, really... but now with all the ick going around i do make my 8 year old wash his hands before mauling the baby!
    my blog my email

  2. i was just like you. when max was about a month old we went to my cousin's graduation party, and i swear i didn't see him for about 8 hours. i don't consider myself very overprotective either (like you said, for lack of a better word :).

  3. I am totally on the same page as you.. I bought One pump bottle of Purell and it still sits in Lukas' room half used!! I guess I never thought that we should be super germ conscious, I mean we have Tony that is a school teacher and I work in a hospital. Germs are gonna be coming home, no matter what we try to do. It seem to do just better letting his immune system be exposed to everyday germs. And Lukas has does fine with it (knock on wood). He didn't get sick a rediculous amount of times and didnt catch any weird diseases. I still will be cautious around other kids and parents, because this might be a tough thing for them. I know of one friend that is pregnant and am sure she will be guarding her child with plastic bubble. So I just have to respect her wishes when it comes to being around them.

  4. Shoot, I had Jack at camp the day we brought him home. Starting at 1 week old, he was at camp with us all day, every day. He was passed around at every meal while Kyle and I ate. I guess I hadn't really thought about the "germ factor" until just now. Whoops.

    Oh well . . . he survived!

  5. i was a freak when tucker was born. i only say that because he was a premie, i was a new mom, and the doctors had told me not to go out with him in public places until his due date. well, i took that as gospel. however, family and friends that came over could hold and play with him all they wanted. i did take him to his doctors appointments and outside, on walks...just not to stores or whatnot. i'm sure that the whole premie thing had flipped my switch because i don't think i'm 'overprotective'. oh, and there is no way in hell i would ever put a shirt on my kid that said 'look but don't touch' - wth?

    i like going to places where everyone wants to oogle my babe - it gives me a break!

    good post. i'm on the tft train this week too.

  6. I never minded playing pass the baby, most people would tend to wash their hands 1st anyways. I was a little wierded out by total strangers who wanted to touch my children & saw nothing wrong w/it!? By the time my two youngest were born I had grown enough backbone to just ever so protectively pull them away & smile. Just don't know where their hands had been.
    No 6 week rule & they are still doing fine as of this minute. They were pretty well traveled infants.

  7. This is awful, but we were at the Toy House three days after Reyna was born. We weren't too overprotective of her when it came time to leave. I didn't want to coop myself up in the house. I didn't think it was healthy.

    I also thought it was good to get her immune system built up.

    It didn't bother me when others held her.

    I might have felt different if she was preemie, but I guess I can't make that call since she wasn't.


  8. Both my kids had several outings in their first week of life.
    Savannah was born on a Tuesday, we were at Target and Old Navy on Thursday and then church and families' houses all day on Sunday(it was Easter Sunday).
    Sawyer was born on a Wednesday and we had been to the grocery store, visited some friends, and went to church on Sunday. I remember people asking on Sunday how old he was and when I answered "oh, not quite four days" many looked at me like I was crazy. Oh well. Life doesn't stand still just because you have a baby.
    I've never been uptight or worried about germs. I just don't think that way. I was just reading a blog the other day where a mom was complaining about strangers, as well as friends coming up and touching her (6 month old) baby and how much that grossed her out; Their hands on him, reaching out and taking his little hand in theirs without asking...
    I just don't think about that. I wouldn't hesitate for a minute about greeting a friends' baby with a little baby handshake. It's strange to wonder how many people I've given the heebie jeebies by just touching their baby. I don't think I've ever touched a baby I don't know though. I think it's weird when people do that. Like strangers touching your pregnant belly. I just find it amusing that a baby belly or a newborn draw all these people as a public attraction. Not weird in a germy way, just weird in a personal space way.

  9. I was told not to take Renee out for AT LEAST six weeks because she was a preemie but I did it anyways. I remember my mother-in-law saying "Are you sure you should take her for a walk?" when she was two weeks old and me flying off the handle. I'm just not a stay-in-the-house-all-day type of person. I've always wondered if I should be more worried about germs (it really doesn't even cross my mind) but she hasn't been sick NEARLY as much as my niece who has hardly been out of the house in seven months of her life. I think people who freak out about germs are the same people that won't let their kids eat sugar and obsess about every little thing they do...I, frankly, just don't have the energy...I say let them be kids! Eating dirt and spreading germs is part of the gig. Happy Birthday to Porter!

  10. Good lord no We stopped in to see my mom at work (she works at an old age home) on the way from the hospital! LOL

    Plus, my family and friends would be HORRIFIED if they didn't get to glom on to a new baby - with them, a new baby is considering everyone's new baby!

    The funniest part is that I'm not a big germ fan myself - I Purel constantly at work but then that's probably cause I think alot of my co-workers are nasty (I see you in the bathroom people, WASH YOUR HANDS!)

    Morgan didn't even get sick until he was a year old - when he started daycare. And if your kid is in daycare, you mine as well just throw in the towel in regards to germs - kids are so gross! I do plan on taking this baby in so that Morgan can show her off to his friends, I think that's an important part of being a big brother!

  11. This is a great TFT. I think this is going to be a struggle between my husband and I. He's a real germ-a-phobe and I'm really easy going about stuff like this. I could not even think to be in the house for 6 weeks straight -I can't be in the house during daylight hours for 12 hours before I start getting nuts so that rule isn't even considered.

    The one hangup I have is I don't really like to be touched by people that I don't know or without invitation. I like hugs, I'm a big hugger but someone just reaching their hand out and touching me, just not for me at all. And having this little babe in me for all this time makes me feel like she should be off limits to the global touch too. Time will tell and you better believe this will be something I'll be blogging about.

  12. I'm just like you. I think that if I had different circumstances like Jen, I would have been different. But both my girls were born healthy and at term. I was out walking the neighborhood days after my csection with Annika, at a neighbor's party, at the mall, target, wherever. I can't be cooped up at home. With Bianca, it was still winter, but I still managed to make it out quite a bit. I think that if a baby is healthy and was born at term, they will do fine. They have our immunities still in their systems. I think they are more prone at 6 months of age than as a newborn. That's when Annika first got sick anyway. Great topic. We'll see how I am this time around!

  13. I wasn't a too cautious with other people touching Gavin, but then again we didn't really go anywhere for 6 weeks. Partly because the weather was horrible (snow, snow, snow) and partly because our doctor urged us to stay in because RSV was so horrible the year he was born and he had numerous patients in the hospital with it. I'm not a huge germaphobe - if his binki falls on the carpet, I don't rush to wash it off. It's not a huge deal to me unless it falls in the grocery store or somewhere other than my house.

  14. I'm definitely not a germophobe/overprotective concerning babies and germs. I was working part time when my first two boys were born, so within a few weeks they were in an in-home daycare and obviously, exposed to stuff. The only thing I am careful about is other little kids wanting to touch my baby...I always encourage them to touch his feet or legs, so that he's not getting whatever nasty they already have!

    Good topic. I'm glad to see there are more moms like me than I thought!

  15. PS I found your blog through Heather Morrison's, so I'm not a creepy lurker or anything :)

  16. We didn't take Matthew to stores right away. My husband read that it can be too overwhelming to little babies so we kept him away for a week or two. However, we did have company over the day we brought him home plus every weekend after that for a couple weeks since our closest relative is 2 hours away. We took him to the park though for a walk and fresh air. We did make sure any kids who were going to touch him washed their hands, and most of the adults just did it on their own. We have family who smoke so we were more cautious with them. I also had a little reservation to hand him over because out of the 4 days we were in the hospital, he was only allowed in our room the very last night because of needing an IV so I wanted to make up for some of that time. I felt the company got to hold him more than I did so sometimes I'd turn down the request to hand him off, not because of germs though. Right now, when I notice one of the kids at church doesn't wash their hands after using the restroom, I will make sure they wash up before getting to close because that's just gross to me.

  17. p.s I agree with Leslie on building their immune system. We must have done something right because Matthew never got sick until he was 15 months and it wasn't because we are super careful about germs.

  18. I'm like you, I took Ryan to the daycare where I worked when he was 3 days old and we went out nearly everyday after that. I didn't mind when he was passed around but nobody really sick asked to hold him either. When my second was born we stopped to buy baby things on the way home from the hospital when she was 2 days old and I started back with my home daycare kids when Morgan was 2 weeks old. I wish i had not done that so soon but not because of germs, i just wish I had more time with her alone, but that's a whole other topic. I was once told by an instructor in a first aid course that the reason there are so many allergies nowadays is because our society is too sterile, don't know if that's true but that's what he told us.

  19. No babies of my own, but I do love to hold them BUT I ALWAYS wash my hands first. I think parents of newborns better just make it policy to have guests wash their hands first before holding them.

  20. we went out to eat when we left the hospital with ava. i'm not a freak about it but i did ask people to wash their hands. aside from that nothing. i mean christ i had 4 other kids in my house what was someone else going to give her that her brothers weren't?

  21. I have a sister who was just like you were with Porter and then a sister who would not leave the house, let anyone but close family members hold her little girl and was paranoid about her getting sick. They both turned out fine and we haven't noticed one being more sick than the other.

    I think that it depends on the person but I have a strong feeling that I am going to be the Germ Phobic parent when we have children. I am already quite a bit like that right now with myself and germs so I can only imagine how Crazy about it I am going to be once I have a baby.

  22. I have a sister who was just like you were with Porter and then a sister who would not leave the house, let anyone but close family members hold her little girl and was paranoid about her getting sick. They both turned out fine and we haven't noticed one being more sick than the other.

    I think that it depends on the person but I have a strong feeling that I am going to be the Germ Phobic parent when we have children. I am already quite a bit like that right now with myself and germs so I can only imagine how Crazy about it I am going to be once I have a baby.

  23. What a fun topic, I've enjoyed reading everyone's posts!

    When I had my ds, I took him out within a few days of coming home from the hospital. No strangers ever touched him, not that I wouldn't have let them, just no one asked! I would have gladly let them tho.

    When dd came along 2 yrs later, I was a part of a Mom's group and it just seemed that every one just understood to wash their hands prior to holding her. The biggest problem with that situation was the other kids wanting to touch her. I heard countless mom's telling their kids not to touch the baby. Good advice!

    Then just this past August I had dd #2. We were at a b-day party when she was a week old. We had decided not to let anyone hold her, just because the exposure to germs would have been really high. I didn't actually expect anyone would ask to hold her, but 1 woman did and my dh told her no. I would have probably caved.

  24. Well, after reading the comments, I would say that I am in the minority. I tend to be a bit of a germaphobe - I don't think I would have been, except that my children seem to get sick VERY easily! I tried to keep Norah away from germs. We took her to church on Easter - she was 2 weeks old - but not again until 6 weeks.
    We had friends come visit off and on, but we rarely left the house. Norah got sick at about 5 weeks old - very sick. We began doing breathing treatment - every 4 hours, even in the night. It was HORRIBLE!! I have no idea if it is related or not, but now Norah has asthma. We do a breathing treatment everyday, x's 4 if she gets a cold or cough. She was literally sick ALL winter last year - RSV, pneumonia, strep, ear infections, flu - you name it, Norah had it.
    So, obviously, when Lucy was born we didn't take her (or Norah) anywhere for about 6 weeks. We had friends over, but if anyone coming over mentioned they had a cold, I asked them not to come. Lucy was sick a lot last winter, too. Thankfully, this year has been better, but my girls wash their hands all the time. We talk about germs alot. We use Purell if we are not near a sink. I try to wipe down carts at the grocery store with clorox wipes. I try to wash our toys regularly.

  25. I was slightly anal about germs when Ryan was born last April, but not overly so in my opinion. We stopped at Dairy Queen on our way home from the hospital, and walked the baby down our sidewalk that same evening. We were at Target two days later, and I made it a point to try and go somewhere everyday for my own sanity.

    I always appreciated it when people washed their hands before handling the baby, and there were probably a few times when I asked people to wash beforehand if I thought of them as especially germy or coming from an icky place before they entered my house. I guess I would be bothered if strangers tried to touch my baby out in public, especially if they touched his hands or face. EW. Sometimes little kids lunge at him and I cringe thinking their germy little booger hands might touch my baby!

    Another thing is- I find myself being only as anal as the parents that I'm around in a given circumstance. For example, at a playdate or whatever, if another mom is being super anal and trying not to let her kid suck on the same toy that my kid just sucked on, I'll try to help her out and pretend like I'm also that anal! (ha). But if I'm around people that don't really care about germs, I'm pretty laid back about it too. I guess I'm fickle that way:)

  26. Never really worries about it. I took her out before 6 weeks. I would've went insane in the house. SHe was in daycare after 8 weeks. Germ Central. Hopefully the more germs the better the immunity after a while.