You don't have to tell a mama just how irresistibly cute her baby is—we get it. There is just something about that feathery hair, those teeny fingers and their precious outfits that make babies completely magnetic, even to strangers. The problem is that strangers can bring along some strange germs, which is no small concern this time of year.
Now, some parents are going on the offensive against people prone to ohh-ing and aww-ing in dangerously close proximity to babies without getting a parents' permission. With some brilliant (and creative) signs, pins and onesies that spell out "Please, don't touch me,"—it's easier for parents to send the message that their baby should not be touched.
With yet another cold and flu season upon us, keeping babies healthy is top of mind for just about every mama—especially those of us with the tiniest babies. Two years ago, as we were going into one of the worst flu seasons on record, I welcomed my second child and quickly had to learn how to speak up to the people in grocery store lines who would try to shake my baby's hand or touch her cheeks.
Harsh as it may sound, if someone was offended when I (kindly) asked them not to touch my baby, that was a worthwhile tradeoff for keeping my infant healthy. I just wish I had one of these signs to do the hard work for me!
As Tracy Lapointe from the Etsy shop Little Love Canada says, her pediatrician approved and recommended these signs for use during a baby's first six months of life while their immune systems are strengthening.
"Just one well meant cheek pinch or hand rub can transmit harmful germs to an infant," Lapointe says. "This tag will politely let others know that you would rather not have germs spread to your child via physical contact."
Like Lapointe, Johanna Ackerman, owner of Tags 4 Tots is passionate about this because she's been through it.
"I started this business when my nephew was born with a heart condition that required him to stay healthy," she tells Motherly. "Then, years later, I ironically has premature babies with compromised immunity and I felt the anxiety of keeping our little ones safe."
Lapointe, Ackerman and other entrepreneur in this niche are helping mamas reduce their anxiety by reducing the need for confrontation through creativity. There are several mamas and NICU nurses who are putting a lot design ebergy into into getting this important point across.
Tags, pins and onesies can be cute ways to assert your wishes when bringing your baby in public. Some moms gave even taken the messaging a step further with DIY custom baby shoes.
Considering most people mean well, these cute and creative signs are an easy way to give everyone a refresher on best practices around babies.
[This piece was originally published October 18, 2018. It has been updated.]