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Be polite, but firm. This is your child, so even though people might think it's no big deal to touch baby's hands, feet, or (gasp!) face, if it bothers you, speak up! Try the honest approach with something like, "I'm a little worried about germs, so I'd prefer you look, but not touch." Say it with a smile so the other person knows you're not being mean -- just a protective mom. But if the stranger persists, lay down the law: "I'm not comfortable with people touching my child, so please don't do it."
Blame the baby. You can also tell people that your little one doesn't respond well to strangers. "She'll have an absolute meltdown if anyone she doesn't know touches her" should be enough to get anyone to back off. After all, who wants to be the cause of a baby losing it?
Walk away! If you see a stranger eyeing baby and you're worried about touching, swivel the stroller around and simply walk in the other direction. If you're in a restaurant, place baby's high chair between you and your spouse (this works best when you're in a booth) so that you each act as a buffer between others and the baby.
Post a sign. The folks at MyTinyHands.com, founded by a first-time mom, have created signs that you can hang from baby's stroller or car seat ($7.95). Each sign reads, "Please wash your hand before touching mine." At the very least, it will make a person think twice before touching.
Get some coverage. You can always put a netting over baby's car seat or stroller (the kind that keeps bugs at bay during the summer months) to keep strangers' hands away from baby when you're out and about.
Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.