Mom 'Knocked' Stranger's Hand Away After She Tried To Tickle Her Baby's Toes — 'You Cannot Touch People's Children Without Permission'

She wondered if she was the crazy one for protecting her baby.

mom knocked strangers hand away after she tickled baby toes without permission William Fortunato / Pexels

A mom took to Reddit to vent her frustrations about an interaction she had while running errands with her 10-month-old son. She wrote to the r/parenting subreddit questioning whether she was in the wrong for setting a clear boundary with an older woman who tried to touch her baby.

The mom knocked the stranger’s hand away after she tried to tickle her baby toes without permission.

She explained that she was at a store with her baby when an old woman tried to reach into the stroller. She wrote, “I immediately knocked her hand out of the way,” editing her original post to clarify that “it wasn’t my intent to ‘hit’ her, I just saw something out of the corner of my eye going towards my son so I moved my hand out to block and then ended up pushing her hand away.”


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The mom said the old woman looked shocked by her reaction, telling her, “she just wanted to tickle his little toes.”

“I replied, ‘I don’t know who you are. You cannot touch people's children without their permission,’” the mom explained. The woman kept insisting that she just wanted to touch the baby’s toes; the mom reiterated that it’s not okay to touch a baby without permission.

mom knocks strangers hand away after she touches baby without permissionPhoto: RDNE Stock Project / Pexels


The mom walked away, only for the woman to tell another customer, “Wow, this lady really needs to be on medication.” The mom reacted by yelling back, “You think I’m mental because I don’t want strangers to touch my child, what is wrong with you?”

“I don’t get it, why can’t people just leave me alone when I’m out with my baby,” she stated.

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The mom second-guessed her reaction, wondering if she was ‘crazy one’ for not wanting a stranger to touch her baby.

The resounding response from other parents on Reddit was that she had instinctively reacted correctly, knocking away the stranger’s hand in order to protect her baby. Most believed that even if the woman wasn’t intending to be malicious, her behavior still wasn’t acceptable.


The mom even clarified the situation further in an edit, stating, “She came up from behind, I did not see who was trying to reach for my baby. She did not make eye contact with me, she didn’t try to speak to me, the first thing she did was come up from behind me and reach over, I didn’t know who or what was there.”

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As such, most people in the comments applauded her for defending herself and her baby, and for setting a strong boundary in an awkward social situation.

One person commented, “I don’t understand why people don’t treat babies like other humans. Adults don’t go up to other adult strangers and tickle their toes without permission,” highlighting the issue of consent.


Another parent echoed that sentiment, describing that they’d been in a similar situation where someone they didn’t know tried to touch their child. As they explained, “I want my kids to know that it is their choice who touches them and they have the complete power to say ‘no.’”

mom knocks strangers hand away after she touches baby without permissionPhoto: Sarah Chai / Pexels

They continued, saying that when the same thing happened to them, they understood that “the old lady meant no harm, but intending no harm and doing no harm are not the same.”


Allowing a stranger to touch her baby, even with the best intentions, crossed a line that the mom didn’t feel comfortable with. She’s not crazy for setting a boundary, nor is she crazy for requiring consent.

Bodily autonomy is one of the most valuable lessons that parents teach their children. This mother is already on her way to modeling what consent looks like to her son, and for that she should be praised.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.