How To Tell Grandma Not To Kiss Baby

How To Tell Grandma Not To Kiss Baby

Everybody loves newborn babies. When our firstborn stepped onto the seen, their grandparents were first in line for cuddles and kisses.

This was a problem for us, as we’d read all the latest research which explained how allowing those outside of the immediate family to kiss your baby comes with health risks (immediate family is you, your baby, any siblings and your partner if you have one).

This is because newborn baby’s immune system is still weak and not fully developed yet. Germs and bacteria that won’t affect adults, may cause sickness in newborn babies.

Particularly when other relatives (like in-laws) are kissing the baby’s face and mouth it creates a potential risks of making the child sick.

Telling Grandma Not To Kiss My Baby – My Experience

I can’t explain how difficult it was, first of all to come to the decision that we wouldn’t be letting our parents kiss their new grandchild, and then letting them know.

Telling grandparents not to kiss baby

Setting boundaries with the people who were the ones making the rules when you were a child, or the ones raising your partner, is one of the most difficult tasks imaginable.

Both of our parents were upset. I didn’t blame them, with her chubby cheeks and big, beautiful blue eyes, it was hard for them to resist showing her affection in the form of kisses.

But as difficult as this decision was to make, I am glad we did it, because the health of our child is more important to us than the expectations of our parents.

It’s possible that you are now facing a similar situation. You may be concerned about your new baby contracting sicknesses after family members go wild with the smooches.

It won’t be easy, but we’re here to support you as you set boundaries with your partner’s parents or your own. Read on for some advice learned from both our own successes and failures when it came to telling our parents that we didn’t want them to kiss our baby. Here are my top tips.

Best Tips For How To Tell Grandparents Not To Kiss Baby

So you’ve weighed up the risks and decided that you don’t think allowing gramps or grandma to kiss your baby would be a good idea.

Like us, you probably dread the idea of telling grandma or grandpa that kisses are off limits. Here are some suggestions to help you go about this the right way…

why grandma should not kiss baby on face and mouth

Blame The Doctor

Speak to your doctor about the risks involved when it comes to letting a family member kiss your baby.

If the doctor agrees that you need to set rules and tell your child’s grandparents to hold the smooches, then telling that it’s ‘a doctor’s orders’ might be a less confrontational method of explaining your decision.

You will let them know that there are medical reasons for your decision and that you aren’t trying to punish them.

Be Open And Honest

When it comes to telling grandparents not to kiss your baby, or setting other guidelines, it’s best to lay all your cards on the table, especially since you will be talking to your own parents or in-laws.

Make the reasons why you don’t want your grandparents to kiss baby clear, and explain why while this was one of the most difficult decisions you’ve ever had to make, you believe it’s the right one.

Be Polite But Firm

Telling grandparents and in-laws that you need to set some ground rules will work much better if you do it with respect.

Let them know that you value their presence in your and your baby’s life, and that are not trying to upset them, but that you do need to put your baby’s health first. Express yourself as politely as possible, but stand firm on your decision.

Form A United Front

If you have a partner, it may be tempting to blame them for any difficult decisions when communicating to your own parents.

This will, however, only come back to bite you when your partner finds out they’ve been scapegoated, or when what you’ve told your parents has a negative effect on how they see your partner.

If you are going to stop your folks from kissing your baby (especially baby’s face), this should be a joint decision that you and your partner have made together. You should also stand united when setting boundaries, and make it clear that you have come to this important decision together.

Benefits of kissing the baby

Remember That Your Baby’s Health Comes First

While there may be some hurt feelings and family tensions caused by your decision to ban grandma’s kisses, in the long run, they will learn to forgive you and respect your decisions.

Be prepared for the fact that your parents or in-laws may be upset, but don’t back down if your decision is based on what’s best for your baby.

The Benefits Of Kissing The Baby

Before we explore the risks involved in kissing babies, let’s cover the benefits: Affection is a vital need for your baby. Kissing babies can boost their immune system, help build their intelligence, and most importantly, let them know they are loved.

But although it’s vital for you to kiss your baby, letting others do it does come with risks. Here’s what you need to look out for…

Kissing The Baby – All The Risks

Now that we’ve gone through some of the best tips for setting rules with your baby’s grandparents, let’s ask the important question: Are there good reasons to be worried about kisses from grandparents in the first place? Let’s unpack the risks involved…

risks of kissing the baby on mouth

Newborn Baby’s Immune System

While your baby’s immune system can get a boost from kisses, if those kisses come from someone who isn’t practicing proper hygiene, there are plenty of opportunities for germs to spread. This is particularly the case if your baby is under three months old, as that’s when the immune starts to mature.

Contagious Sicknesses

Your baby’s relatively weak immune system, particularly in the first three months of their life, means that they are vulnerable to contracting viruses.

Respiratory illnesses can easily be transferred to your baby through kissing, which poses a significant risk, as a child’s lungs are only fully formed by age eight.

Mononucleosis, otherwise known as ‘kissing disease’, is another risk. Caused by the spread of saliva, its symptoms include body aches, fever, fatigue, and in rare cases, respiratory problems.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease can also be easily caught through kissing, leaving your baby with sores around the mouth, feet, and other areas of the body.

Of course, flu and any other airborne diseases can also be spread through a kiss.

Cold Sores And Mouth Blisters

Caused by a virus known as herpes simplex1, cold sores, and mouth blisters are among the most contagious sicknesses your baby could contract from kissing, with just a small peck on the hands (which your baby will later place in their mouth) enough to spread a herpes infection.

While the main symptom is sores around the mouth, a cold sore can be extremely dangerous. In rare cases, the infection can spread to your baby’s brain, with potentially fatal consequences.


If your baby is old enough to have some teeth, you’ll need to start a good brushing routine so they don’t get cavities. But a lesser known fact is that cavities can also be spread through the saliva of others.

Kissing babies by someone with the bacteria streptococcus mutans in their saliva, can cause baby’s teeth to decay.

Keeping Your Baby Healthy & Safe

Now that you know what the risks are, don’t panic, as there are a few things you can do to minimize them…

Proper Hygiene

It’s best to wash your hands and brush your teeth before kissing a baby and to generally practice good hygiene to prevent the spread of bad germs.

Common Sense

If any family members are sick, they should of course avoid kissing your baby. Remember that you are the one who needs to make difficult decisions when it comes to your baby’s wellbeing, and your family will need to follow your lead.

While kisses on the mouth pose the greatest risk, it’s important to note that kissing babies on other parts of their body can also spread germs, especially because your baby’s mouth is their main way of discovering the world, and they are liable to put any of their body parts that they can into their mouth.


While going against your parents’ or in-laws’ wishes is always tough, rest easy in the knowledge that you should never have to feel guilty for doing what you believe is best for your baby.

Remember that although you, as parents, will need to shower your baby with affection, the same risks that apply to grandparents apply to you and your partner as well.

There’s no point in banning anyone from kissing your baby if you aren’t going to practice proper preventative measures yourself.

Many of the tips in this article come not from what we got right when we told our own parents we wouldn’t allow them to kiss our baby, but what we got wrong.

I’m happy to report that our firstborn is now a toddler who enjoys a healthy and excellent relationship with her grandparents.

I hope that you can learn from our mistakes and make sure you have an easier time informing the grandma or mother in law of this difficult but important decision.

Browse through LittleBabyGear to read more articles about parenting, baby’s development and baby product reviews.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for medical consultation or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts, and before you introduce tummy time. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. The article contains affiliate links – your support helps us run this blog!

About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

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