No Baby No

“Here! Hold the baby!”

We’ve all been there. That moment when a friend, sibling, family member, or acquaintance asks you to hold their pride and joy. Why? Who knows. Part of me thinks it’s just the parent(s) wanting to share their happiness with others. Other times, I think it’s for the sheer amusement of watching someone less experienced struggle uncomfortably. Either way, it’s essential to understand that not everybody wants to hold your child, and that’s perfectly okay!

For some people, holding a baby might be a joyous experience. But for others, it can be a daunting and uncomfortable task. There may be several reasons why some might not want to hold a baby. Perhaps they’re scared of dropping the baby, or they’re afraid of hurting them accidentally. They could have a medical condition that prevents them from holding the baby comfortably or for an extended period. Or maybe, just maybe, they’re simply not comfortable with the idea of holding someone else’s child.

Proud parent: “Here, hold (insert baby name here) for a bit! He’s really cute!”

Innocent bystander: “What? No…I’m good. Thanks.”

Proud parent: “No really! Go ahead!”

Innocent bystander: “No. Really. I’m good.”

Proud parent: “Go on!” *shoves baby into bystander’s arms* “You can’t break him! He’ll be fine!”

Innocent bystander: *awkward silence followed by even more awkward holding*

Proud parent: “OH! WATCH THE HEAD!”

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard this. At what point are we willing to listen to people when they say no. It’s not a joke. I mean, I’m sure I could make some sort of quip about how “no means no,” but there’s no punchline to follow.

So how do we manage this?

The truth is, it’s okay to communicate your feelings respectfully and honestly when someone asks you to hold their baby. Don’t be afraid to let people know how you feel about it. You can say something like, “I’m sorry, but I’m not comfortable holding a baby,” or “I would love to, but I have a medical condition that makes it difficult.” Remember, it’s not necessary to explain your reasons in detail. A simple no is sufficient. And this works both ways! If someone isn’t comfortable with you holding their child, then don’t force the issue. Respect the person’s space and boundaries.

In addition, remember that babies can sense when someone is uncomfortable or nervous around them. If you aren’t comfortable holding the baby, the baby will sense it, which may cause them to cry or become unsettled. This can then lead to the parent feeling anxious or worried, which could have been avoided if you had said no to holding the baby in the first place.

As humans, we are wired to be compassionate and empathetic beings. It’s natural for us to want to help and support those around us, especially when it comes to our friends and family. However, there are times when it’s okay to say no, even if it’s uncomfortable or might disappoint someone else. So, if you’re the type of person that loves holding babies, then go for it! As long as the parent is cool with it. But if you’re not, or you’re just not feeling it for whatever reason, then be open and honest with the parent. Especially if they’re being pushy about it. Don’t put yourself in a situation you’ll regret just to spare someone’s feelings.

Having recently become a father myself, I can honestly tell you…

There’s no shame in saying no. And that’s a lesson on its own.

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