So I have been asked to write a blog about strangers touching babies. Strangers touching Amaya has been a massive issue for me. Amaya is preemie, so she is more vulnerable than full term babies BUT all babies are vulnerable and as much as people mean well, we don’t want you to touch our baby. Since having Amaya, I have become a little more outspoken (among other things), because I have had to be. I am so shocked at the amount of strangers who stick their head in the pram and are pretty much face to face with Amaya. Not only does this scare the crap out of babies, but you are breathing all of your germs (and on some occasions, smokers breath) ALL over her face. I also have had problems with people allowing their children to touch Amaya…seriously? I don’t know if it’s because I have worked in early childhood for so long, but do you know how germ infested little people are? I have allowed my friends children to hold Amaya but that is because they are clean people and I trust them to not allow their children to hold Amaya if they are sick or have not washed their hands.
As much as I sound like a raging psycho, I also believe that babies need to be exposed to some germs to build their immune system. But those germs that they are exposed to, should be the choice of the parents, not strangers. Plus, you don’t know who is immunised these days. When people ask me how old Amaya is, I am always honest and tell them that she is premature, this intrigues people more and they tend to get a little closer. I considered just telling people her corrected age, but I feel like I am selling her short by not sharing just how strong she is. So here is how I cope with people touching/getting close to Amaya…
Yep, I wear her. This is where the Chekoh Baby Carrier comes in handy. I avoided the shops as much as I could but when I did go there, I wore her and I covered her with a wrap (I recommend Children Of The Tribe for wraps as they are a very decent size, are beautiful and are great quality). People would ask me “is there a baby in there?”, I replied yes and did not feel obligated to show her to them. But if I did choose to allow them to see her, I had complete control over how close they got to us. Now that she is a little older I tend to use the pram more, but I am always watching people when they get close to Amaya and I am not afraid to be rude or to offend people, if need be. Our paediatrician told us to avoid crowded places when it is flu season or when there is an epidemic around. So with that advice, my baby wearing and me being a Mumma Bear, so far we have had it covered. Amaya did catch a small cold but I used essential oils to help clear her nose as well as the breathe balm from Basik Organics.
As a Mum, there are a lot of unknowns and you learn so much through trial and error and from other Mum’s. It is scary when your job is to ensure that this little person is safe at all times. I am always questioning my decisions and always reflect on how I could have done things better or differently. At the end of the day, you don’t want to have any regrets, so don’t be afraid to offend people, because they clearly aren’t afraid to offend you.