asking visitors to wash their hands - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-02-2009, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
alton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 68
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't know why I feel intimidated about asking visitors to wash their hands when handling my baby. Anytime I have asked, at best I've got this puzzled look (how could MY hands possibly be dirty) or at worst indignation, and mostly people just tell me that their hands are clean. Eh...not clean enough!
I've tried modelling the behaviour I want, stopping myself before picking up the baby and putting on some antibacterial gel (always left around prominently) but nothing seems to penetrate. It drives me insane.
But I don't want to cause bad feelings among my relatives either.

Does anyone else have this problem, and do you have any tips for getting the point across?
alton is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-02-2009, 09:32 AM
 
nannymom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 2,618
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had this problem with my 1st baby. It is so weird to me as the first thing I always do before I hold someone else baby is wash my hands.

I had one friend tell me she washed her hands before she came over...uhm yes but then did you touch your dirty car, germy steering wheel, etc.

This time I plan to combat by setting a bottle of hand sanatizer beside me and the baby when visitors come If I notice they didn't wash there hands I'm going to say with a great big smile "here's some hand cleaner so you don't have to get back up to sanatize your hands before you touch my baby." I realize it's not as good as washed hands but it's better than nothing.

Mom to Iris and Henry
nannymom is offline  
Old 12-02-2009, 09:35 AM
 
MsBlack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: SE MO
Posts: 3,473
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You might try a sort of self-deprecating approach....

"Hey, I know it might sound overprotective or something, but will you pretty please indulge me on this? I'm a new mama, and with all the scare about swine flu and other nasty bugs going around, it just helps me feel better knowing I've done what I can to prevent my baby from getting sick. My doctor/midwife tells me that new babies don't have much defense against germs that don't bother the rest of us".

Or--make a little note to pass out to the resisters--or just post it on your door for all to see: "Did you know that hand washing is known to prevent the spread of infections of all kinds? Did you know that newborns are very vulnerable to infection because their immune systems are so immature? Even people who bathe regularly might be carrying germs that are harmless to everyone except a newborn. Help me keep my baby healthy--please wash your hands before holding the baby".
MsBlack is offline  
Old 12-02-2009, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
alton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 68
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
PHP Code:
I had one friend tell me she washed her hands before she came over...uhm yes but then did you touch your dirty cargermy steering wheeletc
That's happened me too! Just as she was letting my 4 month old suck on her finger! Aaarrrgh!
alton is offline  
Old 12-02-2009, 09:44 AM
 
MsBlack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: SE MO
Posts: 3,473
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ew! Well, at least it was a four month old....whose immune system is stronger than a neonate's!
MsBlack is offline  
Old 12-02-2009, 04:58 PM
 
JenBuckyfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 395
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was thinking about this the other day, wondering how I'll deal with it when the time comes. I like the script above for when people visit. I'm having a tougher time thinking about how I'll deal with it when out in public - I know there will be people at our church who will want to get their hands on our baby. Do you keep a sanitizer bottle on hand for those people as well and say something similar to what's above about the flu and all? I'm guessing that's the route to go.

Thrilled to be expecting Baby #2 after 15 months TTC (a 30% drop in TTC time than Baby #1!)

"Everything that is done in the world is done by hope." Martin Luther

JenBuckyfan is offline  
Old 12-02-2009, 05:07 PM
 
pantrygirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 196
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
At first I felt like I was being an alarmist but especially during the winter months, washing your hands is imperative.

I wound up greeting folks and then as I took their coats offered to bring them to the kitchen to wash their hands. I casually slipped it in. "Hi! Wow, it must be cold out. You look great. let me get your jacket. Come with me to the kitchen. I'll grab you a drink while you wash your hands."

Most folks won't question it. If they do, personally, I think they are idiots.

One friend said that she had her gloves during her trip to see us. I jokingly replied, "And I know what you do with those hands. {pause. Laugh} Here." and I held the soap pump for her to lather up.

Sometimes you just have to be 'the parent'. I wouldn't think it rude of others. I think folks who haven't been parents of babies in a while are forgetful and those who aren't around children and babies are oblivious to how may times a kid can get sick.

signcirc1.giffly-by-nursing2.giffamilybed2.gifslingboy.gif

Proud mom of an inquisitive, breastfeeding, babywearing, cosleeping 9 month old boy and a talkative curious 4 year old girl.

 

pantrygirl is offline  
Old 12-02-2009, 07:18 PM
 
JenBuckyfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 395
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by pantrygirl View Post
I wouldn't think it rude of others.
I agree with this too. It's funny how there are many things that I feel awkward asking people to do, whereas if I were asked by someone to do those things I wouldn't find it odd or awkward at all!

Thrilled to be expecting Baby #2 after 15 months TTC (a 30% drop in TTC time than Baby #1!)

"Everything that is done in the world is done by hope." Martin Luther

JenBuckyfan is offline  
Old 12-02-2009, 08:40 PM
 
emnic77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: MA
Posts: 1,203
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Blame it on swine flu.
"With all the flu viruses going around, I'm just paranoid, so if you wouldn't mind washing your hands..."

Em, married to Alex, mom to Samantha (11 yrs) and Cullen (5yrs) and Maybe (5/16/2010) Trying to grow 4,000lbs of produce on .2 acres. See my blog!
emnic77 is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 01:11 AM
 
HappyHappyMommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 5,894
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Hi Alton,

Congratulations on the birth of your baby!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alton View Post
I don't know why I feel intimidated about asking visitors to wash their hands when handling my baby. Anytime I have asked, at best I've got this puzzled look (how could MY hands possibly be dirty) or at worst indignation, and mostly people just tell me that their hands are clean. Eh...not clean enough!
I've tried modelling the behaviour I want, stopping myself before picking up the baby and putting on some antibacterial gel (always left around prominently) but nothing seems to penetrate. It drives me insane.
But I don't want to cause bad feelings among my relatives either.

Does anyone else have this problem, and do you have any tips for getting the point across?
My DP and I believe strongly in the importance of hand-washing and we have everyone who visits our home and plays with our toddler to wash their hands first. We done this since our daughter's birth, so it's just become part of the routine and doesn't faze me to remind/tell people to wash their hands now, but I too was intimidated about doing so at first. And I definitely got some puzzles reactions (and a few rude comments!).

I find I use different techniques with different people but here's what's worked for us:
--like you said, modeling the behavior we want
--just saying casually "we want to keep our daughter healthy, so we ask everyone who comes over to play to please wash their hands first" (we say this to adults too because most people we know like to play and it seems to keep the tone of the conversation lighter) or saying something like "I'm sure your hands are clean, but since we want to be sure to everything we can, we appreciate it if everyone washes their hands."
--for people (like some of our relatives) who tend to only take things seriously if an "authority" says it, we just say "our OB/midwife/pediatrician have recommended that we have everyone wash their hands before holding or playing with our daughter."

Quote:
Originally Posted by nannymom View Post
It is so weird to me as the first thing I always do before I hold someone else baby is wash my hands.
Me too! And I was like this before I had my daughter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MsBlack View Post
YOr--make a little note to pass out to the resisters--or just post it on your door for all to see: "Did you know that hand washing is known to prevent the spread of infections of all kinds? Did you know that newborns are very vulnerable to infection because their immune systems are so immature? Even people who bathe regularly might be carrying germs that are harmless to everyone except a newborn. Help me keep my baby healthy--please wash your hands before holding the baby".
I like this idea too. We are a shoe-free home (and have been for years before having a child) and we have a sign on our door that simply says "Upon entering, please remove your shoes and leave them on the mat." We've never had any issues. A few people have asked questions, but all of the questions were out of interest. Recently one friend told us that he and his partner now have a shoe-free house and were inspired by us. (That might be blush and smile.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JenBuckyfan View Post
I was thinking about this the other day, wondering how I'll deal with it when the time comes. I like the script above for when people visit. I'm having a tougher time thinking about how I'll deal with it when out in public - I know there will be people at our church who will want to get their hands on our baby. Do you keep a sanitizer bottle on hand for those people as well and say something similar to what's above about the flu and all? I'm guessing that's the route to go.
When we're out and about (not at our home or someone else's home), we keep some child-safe (non-alcohol based) hand sanitizer with us and wipe off our daughter's hands, etc. if friend touches or holds her and hasn't been able to clean his/her hands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pantrygirl View Post
I wound up greeting folks and then as I took their coats offered to bring them to the kitchen to wash their hands. I casually slipped it in. "Hi! Wow, it must be cold out. You look great. let me get your jacket. Come with me to the kitchen. I'll grab you a drink while you wash your hands."
I’m going to use that in the future!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pantrygirl View Post
Most folks won't question it. If they do, personally, I think they are idiots.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pantrygirl View Post
One friend said that she had her gloves during her trip to see us. I jokingly replied, "And I know what you do with those hands. {pause. Laugh} Here." and I held the soap pump for her to lather up.
The joking or laughter thing works great too. We have a hands-free soap pump (which we love!!!) that flashes to tell you how long to wash your hands for. It makes a great conversation topic. If people get the puzzled look, we just start babbling about how much we like our geeky soap pump and that usually breaks any awkwardness in the conversation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pantrygirl View Post
Sometimes you just have to be 'the parent'. I wouldn't think it rude of others. I think folks who haven't been parents of babies in a while are forgetful and those who aren't around children and babies are oblivious to how may times a kid can get sick.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JenBuckyfan View Post
I agree with this too. It's funny how there are many things that I feel awkward asking people to do, whereas if I were asked by someone to do those things I wouldn't find it odd or awkward at all!

hh2.gif Head over to the Holiday Helper forum and be a part of this wonderful Mothering tradition! joy.gif

Wondering about Mothering in general? Check out Mothering's User Agreement! smile.gif

HappyHappyMommy is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 09:58 AM
 
olive&pimiento's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 586
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This should just be a no-brainer. No one in my family would dream of picking up a baby without washing their hands, mostly because my grandmother drilled it into their heads that they must. Just be that person that teaches people about caring for babies. "Germs spread easily, babies do not have the immune systems that adults have, etc." And don't feel guilty!

Wife to Joe and Mama to Rosie, 6/28/06, Jack, 10/25/08 and JoJo 3/18/10.
olive&pimiento is online now  
Old 12-03-2009, 12:10 PM
 
Mama_2_Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ontario
Posts: 456
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well I'm going to be taking this one step further. I actually had posted about this topic a couple of months back. I don't want anyone handling my newborn - period We have alot of visiting to do with alot of people this month due to the holidays and the last thing I want is a round of "pass the baby". I remember when my son was born and company came by and I could just see that people were itching to hold him. DH was pushing me to let his brother handle him, because of course he's family right so I was made to feel guilty because he drove so far and all. Anyways, I gave him my son, left the room for like 15 minutes and when I got back he had handed him off to everyone! Including the younger (like 11 & 12 year old) kids! I was pretty upset. I'm making it a point to pick up a sling this weekend, and that way when we go to visit, she's coming out of the car seat and going straight into the sling and that is where she'll stay. I'm feeling way more protective with this one for some reason, not sure why that is? But I know what you mean about the comfort level of trying to tell people to wash their hands. I remember with my son having my brother-in-law trying to jam his gum into my son's mouth for a 'taste'..and just after he finished smoking a cigarette to boot! I was so mad! I told him, "no, he does not want to taste your gum - AND you just smoked, it's full of nicotine!" Well I'm still paying for having told him off and that was 4 years ago.

Mama to one very active DS (5.5) Loving wife to my wonderful DH and our baby girl arrived on December 10, 2009
Mama_2_Boy is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 12:51 PM
 
HappyHappyMommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 5,894
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama_2_Boy View Post
Well I'm going to be taking this one step further. I actually had posted about this topic a couple of months back. I don't want anyone handling my newborn - period We have alot of visiting to do with alot of people this month due to the holidays and the last thing I want is a round of "pass the baby".


In the early weeks/months of my daughter's life, most visitors did not hold her. (We held her!) We still asked all visitors to wash their hands, since even if they weren't holding our baby, they were touching all sorts of things that'd we (and potentially the baby) would be handling.

hh2.gif Head over to the Holiday Helper forum and be a part of this wonderful Mothering tradition! joy.gif

Wondering about Mothering in general? Check out Mothering's User Agreement! smile.gif

HappyHappyMommy is offline  
Old 12-03-2009, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
alton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 68
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHappyMommy View Post
Hi Alton,

Congratulations on the birth of your baby!
Thanks HappyHappyMommy but I'm just getting ahead of myself! I've another few months to go yet. This bugged me so much on my first that I wanted to come up with strategies well in advance of the problem arising

There are some great ideas in this thread. I think I just need to be a bit tougher, and not let myself get intimidated.
alton is offline  
Old 12-04-2009, 12:50 AM
 
HappyHappyMommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 5,894
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by alton View Post
Thanks HappyHappyMommy but I'm just getting ahead of myself! I've another few months to go yet.
Well, then, congratulations on your pregnancy and wishing you a wonderful birth! :-)

hh2.gif Head over to the Holiday Helper forum and be a part of this wonderful Mothering tradition! joy.gif

Wondering about Mothering in general? Check out Mothering's User Agreement! smile.gif

HappyHappyMommy is offline  
Old 12-04-2009, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
alton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 68
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
thanks!
alton is offline  
Old 12-05-2009, 02:30 AM
 
CheriK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: central valley, California
Posts: 442
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We had a sign on our front door - Cold and flu season is here (with an icky color photo of a cartoon flu virus). Please help us keep our new baby healthy by washing your hands!

Honestly, it wasn't particularly a problem. Everyone washed their hands when coming inside. I was typically barely covered up, baby typically cuddled against me in a diaper and blanket. .. mostly nursing. Most people aren't going to grab the nursing baby! Or I'd have her in the sling (especially when out and about).

Cheri
fencing.gifDD and DS are 11 & toddler.gif DD is 4    hbac.gif  Our car is a bike!bikenew.gif

Sharing our homeschool.gifwith 3cat.gif, 2 dog2.gif & 4 chicken3.gif

CheriK is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off