'No-Touching' Signs for Newborns Exist -- Because Some People Still Don't Get It

no touching newborn sign
Breastfeeding Mama Talk/Facebook

One of the most stressful things new parents deal with is the fact that so many random strangers love to touch newborns. Before you have kids, it seems like people are exaggerating when they say that. But once you have a newborn in tow, you realize it's not a myth -- an alarming number of people see nothing wrong with rubbing their gross hands all over a fragile, new baby. That's why a few geniuses started making handy signs that warn people to keep their hands to themselves. But after they got shared in an online mom group, it quickly became obvious that not everyone is feeling them.

  • The Facebook page Breastfeeding Mama Talk shared a photo of a no-touch sign that warns, "your germs are too big for me."

    The sign was shared with the page by a mom who uses it on her car seat, but she's not the only parent who has one. A quick search on Etsy returns over 500 results, with signs that say things like, "Don't touch me (germs can hurt me)," and, "Stop! I know I'm cute as can be, but please do not touch little me!"

    The signs come in every shape, style, and size you can imagine, and some can even be customized to say different things. From the looks of it, they're a growing trend among parents who are sick of fending off touchy people at the grocery store.

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  • But, since every choice a parent makes for her baby turns into a debate, people were quick to give their opinions.

    no touching newborn sign

    Lots of moms said the signs are ridiculous and they love the "immune system–boosting" properties of allowing their babies to meet a lot of different people. "This world is turning into a bunch of weak fruit loops," one mom wrote. "Children need germs, their bodies need to learn to fight off sickness. Besides breastfeeding gives babies so many antibodies to help them fight everything off."

  • Others said it's "rude" to ask people to stay away from your baby.

    no touching newborn sign

    Never mind how rude it is to walk up and grab a newborn without talking to the parents first.

  • But these signs are about more than just keeping people away -- some kids really can't be touched for medical reasons.

    no touching newborn sign

    In the comments on the post, dozens of parents shared that their babies were preemies or were born with rare illnesses or conditions that left them immunocompromised. For those babies, an innocent touch really can mean the difference between staying healthy and ending up in the emergency room, or worse.

    While hand-washing can ward off some germs, pediatrician Tanya Remer Altmann, MD, tells WebMD it's a good idea to require that people ask permission before touching a baby, and that they should only be allowed to touch certain areas. "Parents should ask people to touch or kiss the baby's feet instead of the hands or face," said Altmann, since feet are the least likely to make it to a newborn's mouth (until they're older, at least).

  • And it's not just about the germs. As someone else pointed out, touching anyone -- even a baby -- without permission is kind of creepy.

    no touching newborn sign

    We'd never walk up to other adults in a store and start stroking their cheeks or touching their hair, so why on earth do some people think it's acceptable to do that to a baby?

    At the end of the day, all parents have different opinions about who should be allowed to touch their baby. To some, signs like these may seem like an extreme way to keep people away. But anyone who's ever had a newborn knows these signs exist for a reason. Maybe if people started asking for permission before pawing at vulnerable babies, parents wouldn't need these signs in the first place.


health & safety