Nothing looks more irresistible than a newborn baby. They are so small, so cute and so cuddly! It’s no wonder why people just want to reach out and hold, squeeze and get their hands on the little ones. However, new parents are starting to put out a literal stop sign when it comes to visitors wanting to get close with their bundle of joy.
While it may seem harmless to people wanting to show love and affection to a new baby, simply going in to hold or touch an infant can make parents feel quite uneasy. This is especially true if the visitor doesn’t ask permission before trying to make contact. Now, moms are turning to decorative signs to hang on their baby’s car seat to provide a gentle, but clear message to admirers: “Hands off the baby.”
Earlier this year, a parenting social media page posted an image of one of these creative signs meant to keep people’s hands to themselves.
Are these kind of signs necessary to keep babies protected from illness? Or, is it simply helicopter parenting starting at a very early age? As with most issues debated on social media, the post showing that sign led to strong opinions being shared on both sides.
The Argument Against Germs
Are babies more at risk for illness when they are touched by many people? A baby’s immune system, or its defense mechanism against germs and disease, is underdeveloped compared with older children and adults. Like the rest of its body, a baby’s immune system is young and just starting to work effectively. The first six weeks of a baby’s life pose the biggest risk for catching other people’s illnesses. After two to three months, though, the little one’s immune system matures to the point where the risk drops.
Careful Parenting Gone Too Far?
Some commenters on Breastfeeding Mama Talk’s original Facebook post felt parents who use these signs are overprotective and could be doing more harm than good. One woman even claimed kids like this are being turned into “a bunch of weak fruit loops.”
Others who agreed with that commenter took a less dramatic stance but pointed out how their children didn’t suffer from being touched by loving family members.
Other parents stressed the importance of the condition of the baby (premature, sick at birth) before judging parents who use these signs.
And, as that mother mentioned at the end of her post, other parents see this more as a respect issue than a health issue.
What do you think? Would you use one of these signs on your baby’s carrier?