I'm really not in the business of passing around my baby like a hot potato. I recognize the loving intent and that babies are delightful, but
a) it's not like she's starved for physical contact,
b) it's a form of forced intimacy, whereas adults have the agency to decide with whom they want to snuggle, and
c) she's not a pet or a doll.
Eleven is 5 moons new and very chill, and being held by a stranger while standing in a circle of unfamiliar squealing adults probably isn't her cup of tea. If she gets a chance to vibes out a person, she's more likely to warm up to them and of course won't mind hanging out on a lap or in their arms! But to immediately encounter her and grab her in a frenzy isn't doing anyone any favors. Then they wonder, "Aw, why is she fretting?" Um, because she doesn't know who you are and you're making loud noises in her face?! "Aw, she doesn't want to be held?" Um, did you ask her if she wants to be held?
People forget that you CAN communicate with pre-speaking children on subtler levels.
I'm not a germaphobe per se, because I do understand the metaphysical causes of illness and dis-ease. But I can't forget that Eleven was born and has spent her entire life in the breezy, sunny, organic environment of Trinidad and Tobago. To come to chilly Chicago and encounter folk who have been holed up indoors for months breathing on each other---it's a major shift in environment.
It broke my heart to recognize how uncomfortable she was our first couple days stateside. Ephraim and I are familiar with cold, but she was wrapped in layers and scarves and probably thinking, "What d ass is dis nah?"
I am hyperaware of energy and vibes, too. Infants do feel wonderful to hold, and in a sense it's because we can bask in their pure, bright energy and soft innocence. It can be a lovely thing to share, but it can also be draining on the child herself.
When I was younger, I'd often say, "I'm going through baby-holding withdrawal!" In recent years, I've come to know better. When I encounter a small child, I always take my time. I vibes them, they vibes me, and I'll ask the parent. I don't understand people who try to snatch up babies and run. Would you like being literally scooped off your feet, tossed over someone's shoulder, having your booty smacked and babbled at by a strange person? Of course the perspective from an adult's body is different...but is it, really?
I'm definitely protective mama bear here. I may be projecting, but I think at least as she is initially being introduced to new people, it's best to keep her near and take my time instead of just handing her off. Papoosing helps. It won't be long before she's crawling and running around anyway, so I'm being cautious during this time now while she requires holding.
Eleven doesn't communicate in English with words just yet; she and I connect in mind, gesture, and telepathically. Not everyone else will, of course, so I recognize it's ultimately up to me to decode her signals and protect her beinghood.
Are you okay with passing around your baby at social gatherings? Is it different in a family-only setting? Does the baby's age make a difference?