How to approach a newborn who is not our own is always a problematic question. After all, we can’t wait to get to know him, to feel his soft little hands, to inhale his sweet scent, to shower him with kisses, and finally, to hold him in our arms and coo at him, while it never occurs to us how much our sincere love can actually ʜᴀʀᴍ him…
In the first weeks of their lives, newborn babies are extremely sensitive and prone to all kinds of ɪɴꜰᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴs and nasty ᴅɪsᴇᴀsᴇs. It’s not good to keep them in the dark either, but there are a few things we should pay attention to.
One mum has been left fuming after her sister swooped in to give her baby a kiss on the lips – and did not ask for permission first. Thankfully, her newborn did not come to any ʜᴀʀᴍ, but the parent was left outraged by her sister’s choice, and she blasted her sibling for putting her six-week-old at ʀɪsᴋ.
The mother expressed her emotions on Mumsnet and also voiced her concern, admitting that she was afraid that her baby might have been infected with the ʜᴇʀᴘᴇs ᴠɪʀᴜs. Her fears are not unfounded, because if a newborn catches the ᴅɪsᴇᴀsᴇ, it can even ᴅɪᴇ. And yes, the ʜᴇʀᴘᴇs ᴠɪʀᴜs is spread even with an innocent kiss, whether the person has sʏᴍᴘᴛᴏᴍs or not.
Fortunately, the woman’s sister was never known to be infected with the ᴠɪʀᴜs. But the mum was nonetheless infuriated that her sibling had put her child in ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀ.
“I still think it’s bloody stupid to kiss a baby on the lips!” she said. However, her relative found it difficult to understand her reaction, took offense, and called the expectant mother “ridiculous,” so she turned to the Internet for advice.
In a comment left on her post, the mum also revealed she was “fine” with a kiss to the cheeks or head; it was the choice to kiss her daughter on the mouth she took issue with. “Since when is it okay to kiss a newborn baby on the lips?” she asked. “They have basically no immune system.”
In response, many parents agreed with her, but at the same time tried to calm the upset mother.
“I would be very annoyed too! You did the right thing to tell your sister, and her not respecting your boundaries is her problem,” wrote one commenter. Another added: “I’m sure your baby hasn’t caught anything, but kissing babies and children on the lips is gross in general, and I would never do it or allow it with my own children, let alone anyone else’s! Mouth-to-mouth kissing is sᴇxᴜᴀʟ.”
However, health organizations agree that ʜᴇʀᴘᴇs can be very serious for a baby whose immune system is not yet fully developed to fight the ᴠɪʀᴜs.
“In the first 4 weeks after birth, the baby is most exposed to the ʀɪsᴋ of ʜᴇʀᴘᴇs ɪɴꜰᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ. You should not kiss your baby if you have a cold to reduce the ʀɪsᴋ of spreading the ɪɴꜰᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ,” says the NHS.