Would you let a stranger hold your baby? Mum sparks debate after denying cuddles

14 August 2018, 15:17 | Updated: 14 August 2018, 15:25

Baby being held

It's a touchy subject - but was this mum right to tell a misty-eyed waitress she couldn't hold her 8-month-old son?

A mother has sparked debate after she asked if she was wrong to refuse to allow a stranger to hold her baby.

The anonymous woman took to Mumsnet to express her outrage after a waitress asked to pick up her child after serving them in a cafe. 

Writing under the handle Katarina12, 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. 

The original post and some replies on Mumsnet

"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.

"AIBU (Am I being unreasonable) to feel this was an inappropriate request of this woman? What would you have said/done?"

The post sparked a slew of responses, some agreeing with her stance while others thought she was being unreasonable.

A user called NeverUseThisName said: "You may have felt completely differently if she hadn't pestered you so much.

"I've offered to hold stranger's baby or toddler when I've seen someone struggling. I generally get either a grateful 'Thanks!' and the infant handed over, or a grateful 'I'm fine, but thanks for offering'.

"Occasionally there's a hostile response. But I would never pester someone about their baby. That's horrible behaviour."

Would you let a stranger hold your baby?

While another user named ToeToeToe described the time she allowed a man to hold their child due to 'new mum fog'. 

She said: "I was once queuing in the petrol station, with DS a few weeks old in my arms, and this massive bloke in workman's overalls just went "ah cute, can I hold him?" and I LET HIM. 

"He cooed over him for 30secs and then handed him back. Still can't believe I allowed it. He could have been a psycho. New mum fog." 

Another poster called HereAgain91 said: "If someone grabbed your phone off the table, or your watch from your wrist you’d jump up and shout either to stop or for help. 

"Neither of those things are a tenth as precious as my children so yes, if someone picked them up without my express permission I would absolutely go ballistic. The world is a nasty place and a stranger’s feelings are nowhere near as important as my child’s wellbeing or safety."

A user called 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." 

However you look at it, such a situation can be challenging for a mother. The persistence of the person in question made the situation all the more difficult in this case.