Here's why everyone should honour a new mum's request not to kiss her baby

Don't be afraid to come off as selfish or paranoid when you ask your guests not to kiss your newborn baby. Your concern is valid.
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If you're not new to babies, you might have already heard someone tell you to not kiss newborn babies. Back then, that advice might not make sense to you and might even be difficult to do because who does not kiss cute babies?

But if you are reading this article now because you're a new mum and want to finally understand the meaning of that rule, you're in for a ride.

The no-kissing-newborns rule is not at all about being selfish with your kid. There are a lot of health concerns that can result from kissing newborns on the face.

In this article, we will tackle all the need-to-knows about kissing newborns on the face and how you can politely tell your family, most especially the grandmother, to keep off of your baby's face.

The risks of kissing newborns

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Yes, their cheeks are unbelievably fluffy, and sometimes you're not going to be satisfied with a kiss but with a light bite.

Don't be surprised. That happens. Unfortunately, no matter how difficult it is to keep off of your baby's face, you have to maintain your distance.

Yes, you read that right. Even you, as the parent, should take precautions when you're kissing your baby.

Your baby's immune system is not as strong as you would like it to be by the time they come out of you. So, abstaining from kissing your baby is going to save them from future health concerns.

What are these health concerns, you ask? Let's talk about them.

RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)

If you or any of your family members or friends have had a cold recently and decide to kiss your newborn, the transmission of the virus is not the same as when they're passed on between same-aged individuals.

Remember: Your little one's immune system is not super strong yet. So, even just a quick contact with a person who has had colds recently can easily cause RSV in children.

What happens when newborns get RSV? They can have severe breathing problems, which no one wants.

So, what can we do? At all costs, whether you are sure or not if the person has had colds, do not let them kiss your baby.

Cold sores

Knowing about cold sores and what they mean for your newborn is going to change your whole perspective about kissing babies because the impact of getting your newborn infected with cold sores through kissing is for life.

The virus that spreads from a person with a cold sore to a newborn baby gets stuck in the baby's system. So, while you might be able to resolve it the first time it comes around, it's going to happen a second time.

What does infection by cold sores look like? They are going to look like small blisters on your baby's lips. Then, they will eventually spread to the rest of their face.

So, if you want to avoid this lifetime impact of cold sores from a person with cold sores, do not let them kiss your baby.

Food allergies

You'll never know what someone ate before they kiss your baby. And, not all of your family members or friends are aware of what your baby is allergic to.

Sometimes, it's not even what they ate but what products they're wearing. Some lipsticks have gluten which some babies may be allergic to.

So, to avoid the whole awkward family or friend reunion after them infecting your baby with food allergies, do not let them kiss your newborn.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease

This is a pretty common disease that happens to children below 10. It causes ulcers and rashes around the baby's hands, feet, and mouth, which can get quite uncomfortable for your baby.

It's not life-threatening for most babies, but it can be for babies with weaker immune systems. And babies can catch this hand, foot and mouth disease from having physical contact with other adults.

'Kissing' disease

Another irreparable effect of kissing babies is the 'kissing' disease or mononucleosis. It's a disease that can be passed on to the baby through saliva, often through kissing.

You will notice your baby having this disease when they have a sore throat, fever, fatigue, swollen lymph glands in the neck, and vomiting.

The sad thing about this disease is that it has no cure. When your baby is infected with mono, you can just hope their system can flush out the infection on its own.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to prohibit your family and friends from kissing your baby. Take note that some of these infections or diseases are incurable.

So, the next time you are with family and feel awkward telling them to back off of your baby, remember these five conditions that your baby might be at risk of if you do not gather up the guts to tell them: "Do not kiss my baby on the lips."

How to tell family not to kiss your baby

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How to tell grandma not to kiss the baby? Is there a nice way that she won't be offended and you don't come off as being selfish?

There are some ways that you can avoid this sticky situation and protect your baby from the viruses and bacteria that may be brought about by kissing.

Be forward with the facts

If your grandma, family members, or friends highly respect facts, you're going to convince them to stay off of your baby's face when you tell them the different health concerns that are associated with kissing a newborn.

You do not need to over explain. Lay down the facts as you know them. And they will understand.

And tell them ahead of time. Before your baby is born is the best time, because then you can share this article or any other article you've found about not kissing newborns and the whys.

Then, once your baby is born and you remind them not to kiss your baby, they'll back off.

Do not get defensive or accusatory

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Clarify with them that the rule applies to everyone, even yourself. When you put it that way, your parents or your relatives might not take offence.

Also, don't assume what they ate or what products they used on their face which could cause health concerns for your infant. They might take offence at that.

So, instead of going down this route, stick to saying the general reason why kissing is off-limits for your baby – that their immune systems are low and that they can easily get infected through their mouths and hands.

Then, you can list down the different health concerns that might result from your loved ones kissing your baby.

Bring up the good part

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Your baby's immune system might pick up by the time they reach their second or third month.

So, if you're prohibiting your loved ones from kissing your baby and they can't help themselves, let them know or remind them that the rule stands only for a short amount of time.

Once they reach their third month, it will be much safer to kiss your baby.

If all else fails, remind them to wash and brush

If your baby is too cute that even with all your warnings and fact-giving, your loved ones cannot resist the cuteness of your baby. Remind them to always clean their hands before cuddling with your little one.

And, always make sure they take proper oral hygiene. When you’re spotlessly clean, you are less likely to infect.

This article was first published in theAsianparent.