A mother has sparked debate after sharing her outrage that a stranger dare asked to hold her baby.

Sharing her story on parenting site Mumsnet, the woman asked whether her reaction to the waitress was unreasonable.

Some parents sympathised with the woman others were at a loss as to why she was so offended, shares Daily Mail.

She explained: ‘Met a friend for coffee and cake this afternoon with my 8 month old… DS is very friendly and sociable and the lady serving our table took quite a shine to him. She kept ‘popping back’ to check we were ok and to smile and wave at DS.

‘I am very sociable myself and as DS is such a smiler I often getting chatting to people out and about which I am more than happy to do… however, this lady wouldn’t leave us alone and persisted to keep coming back for well over an hour.

‘Finally as I was picking him up from his high chair to put him in his pram she came over and held her hands out and asked if she could hold him… I found this totally inappropriate.

‘In my shock my mind went absolutely blank and I rather abruptly just blurted out “no you cannot” – I am usually a very polite easy going person, but I was so shocked by her request and I guess instinct just kicked.

‘Am I being unreasonable to feel this was an inappropriate request of this woman? What would you have said/done?’

What is wrong with it?

Responding to the post many users agreed that there was no harm in letting a stranger hold your child.

One person said: ‘OP I think you overreacted a bit. Do you think you were frustrated with her because she’d been back and forth checking on DS, so you inadvertently took it out on her by saying no?

‘She obviously was smitten with your lovely baby which there could be a hundred reasons why. A quick cuddle would have probably made her day. She was hardly going to abscond with him was she?!’

Another wrote: ‘I honestly can’t see why you would be rude to someone who admired your baby.’


One person said: ‘I get awkward around that also. Everyone is always stopping me to say something about my daughter (ie how much hair she has or her big eyes.)

‘It gets extremely annoying with all the comments and one lady who was a bit older even wanted to hold her in the baby shop and I too was a bit taken aback and rudely said no and walked off.

‘I would never want to hold or touch a strangers baby so I don’t know why they feel it’s okay to do so. I hate when people touch her or her hair but I just smile politely and walk away. I don’t have the balls to say can you not touch my baby.’

A user speaking under known as SpectacularAardvark praised the mother for having the confidence to say no.

She said: ‘Well done for having the balls to say no, OP. I used to hate this and felt thoroughly uncomfortable with it, I wish I’d stuck up for myself more when my DC was little.’

Another added: ‘I understand you OP – I would not have let her either, she sounded a bit creepily interested.’


Do you hate strangers touching your baby?

Share your comments below.

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  • My eldest was a nightmare baby but when we would go to the supermarket she was fine as long as we kept moving and no one got in her face but so many people would stop and lean in, touch her face, hold her hands, etc. And she would start screaming and then I would either leave or do the rest of my shopping with a screaming baby. Always drove me insane.


  • I had an experience where a waiter in a resturant on a cruise put his arms out to hold a toddler I was minding. There was no way he could run off with her. I just quietly said, “no, sorry she’s not mine and I am responsible for her at the moment”. At a later time her parents let him hold their toddler. It was their decision to make, not mine. Maybe I was being overprotective.


  • How would you know if she had washed her hands or if she had an infection that could potentially harm your child. I’d have said no as well. I would never nurse someone else’s baby unless they needed help for some reason


  • I can see both sides here – I would feel a little funny if the waitress was continually coming back to the point where it was becoming annoying, that being said I probably would have allowed a quick hold. That being said, these kinds of social situations always do feel a bit awkward for me. I guess each situation is different I generally wouldn’t mind too much in a restaurant situation but if it was a random person on the street, no way.


  • I guess I wouldn’t know how I would react until I was in that situation. It would be in the moment and a gut feeling based on the rest of your interactions.


  • Whilst I never liked anyone touching my children (just me being overprotective and a germ phobe) I don’t see the harm. She just thought the baby was sweet and wanted to show her caring side.


  • Babies are not a commodity that can easily be shared, they are a part of you, you are allowed to do what you see fit and appropriate. I would have made an excuse and just politely say “no I would prefer not thanks”. We all have the urge to cuddle a puppy too but no one lets you do that either. I think it is disrespectful for a stranger to ask to cuddle a baby or child. Keep it in the family and close friends only.
    After saying that I do remember once I took my baby out to see some friends at a music night and he was whisked away from me from an acquaintance who took him off to see everyone else, I felt very uncomfortable and anxious, but he was asleep the whole time. Now looking back I should have not allowed it to happen. Although I was in a safe environment there were still strangers in the room.


  • I wouldn’t like this either. I can understand where she is coming from.


  • My eldest was prem and very little. People used to touch her without asking and I remeber one time a lady stack her finger in her mouth ! I was so shocked and offended by that.
    My youngest has Down syndrome, she’ll be 5 in November, but is only 92cm and non-verbal so you would think she’s younger. She’s very affectionate and claps in her hands and spreads her arms out to everyone, asking for cuddles. Funny enough I now often explain to strangers that she’s asking for a cuddle and feel more offended when strangers don’t respond positive on this ! My girlie has taught me something and that is that cuddles are fine, spontaneity is fine, hugs are warm and free. Why are we not sharing them more freely ?


  • I would feel uncomfortable but some people are lonely and missing their family so I think a polite no if you don’t want them to.


  • I like comments on my baby but sometimes it rather gets abit to much, dislike when people ask to hold my baby especially under 1 years old they still new to everything and everyone so strangers is a big no no, it’s like asking yourself would you kiss a stranger no well it goes the same with passing a baby that’s just my opinion


  • I love babies, but I never ask to hold them. My friends know I’d love to, and they’ll hand baby over if the time is right. I don’t feel it’s fair to put any parent, friend or stranger, on the spot.


  • That someone I know asks to hold my baby is one thing. For a stranger.. no… I wouldn’t allow it either.


  • It’s a compliment that the waitress was so smitten with her child but my answer would have been he same. You don’t know this person, their background, current health or anything. And that’s aside from the fact that it should ultimately be up to the child wether they want to be held by anyone, stranger or not.


  • I’m not sure how I would feel if this ever happened to me. I can understand the waitress getting clucky but should she have asked to hold the baby? I’m not sure.


  • I would never dream of asking a complete stranger if I could cuddle their child so, I guess, I wouldn’t like to be asked either.


  • I would find it a bit strange if some random person asked to hold my baby! Might have been completely innocent but is an odd thing to do. When our and about I might comment on a cute baby but would never ask to hold them.


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