To borrow a GOT meme, Winter Is Coming, and bugs are primed to foil all our best-laid plans. Newborns are especially vulnerable to seasonal viral critters—and some parents are taking serious measures to protect against pestilence: enter the “No Touching” sign.
Reportedly, the No Touching newborn signs—to be tacked atop car seats and prams, or maybe crafted into a picket sign for your partner to wave as you approach publicdom—are trending on Etsy.
Of course, Etsy fame doesn’t quite mean the signs are a legit thing—yet. But they’re clearly becoming more common as plenty folks have an established opinion on the placard edicts. In response to Facebook group Breastfeeding Mama Talk sharing a snap of one such sign, the comments were varied, but multitudinous:
“Don’t touch other people or their children. It’s creepy. Don’t be creepy,” says one commenter. Another enthuses: “Got one for my preemie baby! So far being home from Picu it works! And I keep a cover on him.”
For some, the signs are not direct enough.
“I slap hands,” blithely states one mum. “Seriously, my youngest is 6 months and my oldest is 3. If I’ve repeatedly asked you not to poke, pinch, grab or hold my baby—don’t touch her. It’s not so much the germs (anymore), but you don’t just go up and touch someone else’s baby.”
And then there’s the faction who don’t see the point: “My babies were born healthy and on time or after,” one commenter writes. “We have a big family and couldn’t keep all the germy kids away. Both kids are happy and healthy now after being exposed to countless germs. I welcome boosting the immune system!”
In support of the mums who use the signs, babies’ immune systems don’t mature until around 3 months of age, so extra measures are totally understandable. But health professionals emphasise that the maternal immune system protects the infant via antibodies shared through the placenta—for the first few weeks after birth. The point being, that, warding off germs is ultimately down to parental prerogative; good hygiene usually suffices, but a cute little sign probably doesn’t hurt, either.