Please, Don’t Touch!

Before I became a mother, I’ve heard from my mom that most of those expats where I grew up do not like people touching their babies. With my naive thoughts, I’d say “Why not?” Now I know why!

Yes, babies are cute, they smell good and their plumpness seems to act as an unwritten invitation for strangers to touch them. Strangers who just came up to us in public places and starts holding his hand makes me cringe. Why? Well, …let me try to break it nicely, people. First, God only knows where those hands have been. Second of all, who knows what kind of germs those strangers might carry around?

When we were still living in Dothan, AL. and Lil’ A was just a baby we did not experience much of these. Some will just stop, hold his little foot and say a few nice words.

Now, here in Indonesia…where sadly hygiene senses still below the par and most people still don’t practice basic hygiene & sanitation (i.e. washing hand after a toilet trip). This is scary! For moms with small babies these facts are enough to make you paranoid but at the same time, you wouldn’t want to come out as too strong. From visiting some Asian countries, I concluded that it is affectionate ways when strangers come up to you and start touching your baby. It’s considered a normal thing to do so when you flat out tell them NO some will easily get offended and calling you a snobby mama!  For first time moms here, it’s not easy to balance protecting their babies and not offending others.

I used to worried too much about these germs before Lil’ A was a year old because, for me, a baby will not be able to verbally communicate what bothers them when they got sick. Dealing with a sick infant is a horrible guessing game! Is it a stomachache? Is it stuffiness? Yes, there are germs everywhere but if we can minimize the exposure coming from strangers that would at least make life a little easier, no? Lil’ A was a preemie so…

Back in August 2007, Parenting magazine published little tips to avoid strangers from touching our baby:

  • Redirect the love. Leave your baby’s socks off, and encourage people to touch her adorable feet.
  • Tell a little fib. Warn strangers that your child’s been up all night puking and pooping (even if she hasn’t). No one wants to get sick, no matter how cute she is.
  • Tote a travel-size bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer— it’ll work in a pinch.

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Maureen

Lifestyle and travel blogger, founder of Single Moms Indonesia on a quest of finding joy in everyday life and living life to the fullest with kindness, compassion, grace and a bit of sass.

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6 Comments

  1. April 7, 2010 / 6:52 pm

    Ugghhh yeah the touching! I like the second idea of warning that your baby was puking!! Good one.

    • Tatter
      Author
      April 8, 2010 / 7:29 pm

      Yes, that’s my favorite ‘white-lie’ the puking one LOL. Thanks for stopping by! 😀

  2. April 8, 2010 / 11:31 am

    Makanya kalu kita mudik aku selalu bawa wipes including Lysol wipes. Memang sih di Indo lebih banyak orang yg pengen gemes megang, nyumit, gendong sampe cium2 Jake and Matt. Disini ada juga sih yg megang2 mereka cuman aku lebih relax disini secara lebih bersih, di Indo, bukannya aku sombong, kebersihannya kurang and aku gga mau mereka sakit krn ke dokter di Indo berabe, and juga takutnya pas pulang masih sakit mana perjalanannya kan panjang. (FYI, kalau ke Indo aku bawa obat2an dari sini. So, sebelum ke Indo aku contact my pediatrie minta obat yg perlu dibawa and kalu ke dr. Indo aku gga mau terima sembarang resep dia sebelum kontak ama pediatrie disini).

    • Tatter
      Author
      April 8, 2010 / 7:31 pm

      Sylvia, hahahaha iya sama aku juga gitu kemana-mana bekalnya wipes yang antiseptic. Once, when we were in China, this lady just came out of no where then started touching and talking to Lil’ A. OMG and came to find out later, she’s a little ‘crazy’…it was sooo painful because at the time none of us speaks Chinese but also didn’t want to come off as being rude but it freaks me out. After she left, I almost wipe Lil’ A’s face off with the wipes LOL. Phew! Soal obat iya aku setuju banget, mendingan bawa dari US lebih aman.

  3. wanda walker
    April 8, 2010 / 8:37 pm

    Hi, Miss you all so very much….And Don’t touch!

    Lol, and much love,G Auntie wanda

    • Tatter
      Author
      April 10, 2010 / 2:52 pm

      Aunt Wanda, We miss you too sooooo much! Hope you and everyone else are doing fine there. Please give Mimi a big big hug and a kiss from us. Love you!

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