My baby kisses everyone

This is the part of the post where I would sing the praises of the little angel in my life, talk about how smart and lovely she is, and entirely coat my blog in the same maple syrupy ooze of love my heart is coated in. I feel like whenever I try to write about how well she’s doing and how crazy I am about her, words fail me. (That could also do with last night’s teething party, but you know.) I’m sure many of my parent friends out there feel the same way; you know what I mean, even though there aren’t really words to express it, and words would almost cheapen the inherent emotions.

Us  1 of 1 2

So I’ll just cut to the chase of this post:

my baby kisses everyone.

Ok, so not really everyone, but about 99.7% of the people she meets, if she likes them.

The interaction goes like this:


[She waves]

I see the wheels turning in her head:

Should I kiss them? Ok, yes I should.

[She then leans in for the big smacker, which is often right on the lips.]

I’m not really sure what I should do.

Kissing mason

(#proof: kissing her buddy Mason when she was 6 months old. Ps. Hi Lis!)

Of course, I wouldn’t mind being kissed by a baby, but I’m not sure everyone out there feels the same way. And then there’s the germ thing. How would I feel if another baby kissed Liv on the mouth? (This hasn’t really happened yet, but I’m thinking it would be something like, “Oh how cute!….Ew.”)

I think she picked this up because it’s a cultural thing with my family. We hug everyone we know, often with a kiss on the cheek (especially family members). Liv hugs and loves on her baby dolls -she takes great care of them- but I’m not really sure how to teach her that we can’t kiss everyone.. especially on the mouth.

What would you do?

We were thinking about telling her,”You have to ask before you kiss” or something to that effect?

Even though I know she has to learn how to show affection differently to different types of people (hugs and kisses to family members, high fives or handshakes to new acquaintances), it makes me sad to think that we have to teach her to not always kiss. It’s the same kind of feeling where your baby waves and says, “Hi!” to someone and they don’t wave back.

As always, I’d love to hear any tips or similar experiences <3



Random: Liv is also at a phase where she calls any man who remotely looks like Tom “Da-da.” Equally funny and awkward.

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  1. Natalie@fitjamericangirl on March 13, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Sorry, no tips. But jeez that is the CUTEST thing I’ve ever seen.

    • Rachel on March 13, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Ditto, I’m fresh out of anything but OMG Daaaaaawwwwwww!

  2. Tessa on March 13, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Haha! My 3yo STILL does this. I’ve witnessed her pinning kids in her class down to hug/kiss them. Some run from her and it breaks my heart to see her feelings hurt. She doesn’t understand. She knows that we love her and we kiss her. We love each other (me & my Husband) and we kiss each other. It’s what she knows. We have just recently explained to her that mouth kisses are only for Mommy and Daddy and that not everyone likes to be kissed. We have strongly encouraged hugs. We seem to be making progress. High Five Momma! Your baby knows LOVE.

  3. jodie on March 13, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Cutest pic ever,

  4. Helen on March 13, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    First of all – that picture is the cutest thing ever! I love how she’s got a grip on his head so he can’t get away! πŸ™‚

    I know I might not be in the majority, but if a baby kissed me, I’d be amused and totally love it. I coach figure skating, and some of the toddlers haven’t learned the difference between different types of adults yet, so they’ll run up and hug my knees or accidentally grab my butt for balance. I think it’s cute and don’t worry about it – they’re just kids. πŸ™‚

    But maybe you could tell her that she should give kisses only when the person isn’t a new friend?

  5. Erica { } on March 13, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Lol – I’m not a parent so I can’t offer any advice but what an adorable ‘problem’ to have!

  6. Nicole on March 13, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    I about LOL’d at that kissing photo- I managed to hold it in because I wasn’t on mute on my conference call. That’s SO funny! I supposed I could have told them I was laughing at the dog.

  7. Avery on March 13, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I’d say if someone gets close enough to a baby of Liv’s age, they should be okay with getting at kiss. If you don’t like baby kisses, you might not wanna hold a baby!

    That being said, once she gets a little older, I would suggest an ” on the cheek” guideline. When I was a nanny and would hug the kids goodbye for the day (often in front of their parents as I was heading out the door) it wasn’t uncommon to have a booger-nosed little face come towards me straight to the lips. I’m not personally grossed out, but I try to be careful with the whole germ thing, because otherwise, I’d be sick constantly! I appreciate when parents would say ” on the cheek” as their little one leaned toward me. That way you get the sweet affectionate moment and and a little less chance of germ swappage. Once she gets a little older you can explain that certain people (maybe family members) are fine if you kiss them on the lips, if that is a cultural thing in your family.

  8. ErikaMC on March 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Our son is a kisser too! We’ve taught him to kiss on the cheek – it still isn’t the best but it’s better than kissing everyone on the mouth. When we see him going in for one we say “on the cheek” and he will lean to the side and this also seems to register in whoever he is trying to kiss to turn their head for him – a nicer way of saying “NO! Don’t kiss my kid!” – ha ha.

    He also calls everybody dad and mom – people in books, on tv and in person.

  9. Jeannette on March 13, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Not a mom (yet) but I’ve noticed my mom friends telling their kids what to do to greet me or say goodbye. They say, “Give Judy a hug!” or “Give Keith a high five!” with regards to my husband. So, maybe that would help? You can vary the instruction based on your comfort level and that should help her figure out who gets what kind of lovin.

    Good luck! Sounds like an adorable, but also worrisome problem to have!

    • Irene on March 13, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      I second this advice! I’m not a parent either, but I appreciate getting some guidance because I always want to act in a way the parent is comfortable with (not just the kid). I help out in my church’s nursery regularly, so I know some of the kids very well, but not always the parents (if one drops the kids off much more frequently than the other for example). So while I personally think baby kisses are pretty great, I’d probably be uncomfortable receiving them from someone I didn’t know super well. But if the parent said, give Irene a big kiss, I wouldn’t say no! But I would probably help them aim for the cheek:)

  10. Rachel on March 13, 2013 at 4:32 pm


    As an Air Force brat myself, the “everyone in olive drab and black boots is Dada” phase lasts until about age 3. Just thought I’d give you a heads-up. πŸ™‚

  11. Jacquelyn on March 13, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    So adorable. My cousin’s son calls every man Dad and every woman Mama. It’s really funny when you’re by yourself with him because he seems like a kid without a Dad (or a Mom if you’re a man alone with him). He looks up with his big brown eyes and says really loud “Dada!”

    Maybe say “We don’t know them” so she learns the difference between greeting people she knows verse those she doesn’t. I wouldn’t want to discourage my child from showing love either.

  12. Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution on March 13, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Let her kiss people! I don’t think it’s inappropriate until she’s at LEAST two. Maybe even longer. It’s cute! I doubt anyone would object. You can warn people if you want, and if she goes in for a kiss on someone you wouldn’t want her to kiss, maybe just steer her away? But if you’re worried about the other people, don’t. I’d be flattered if a baby kissed me.

  13. Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution on March 13, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Oh, and speaking of awkward phases, my nephew went through one when he was…2, maybe? Yeah, well, he told everyone his name was Charles when they asked.

    His name is Nick.

    Imagine having to explain to this stranger that this child you are with is NOT Charles, he is Nick. And, no, I did NOT kidnap him, I am his Auntie and I swear I’m a competent guardian. Eek.

  14. Dianna on March 13, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    My godson used to do this. While it’s cute and adorable, I wanted him to stop. I work as a critical care nurse and I’ve seen the types of viruses and bacteria out there. I also was afraid he would kiss the wrong person and get herpes simplex I.
    While I didn’t want to rob him of his innocence and his love, I figured it was safer than him getting stuck with a viral infection the rest of his life. Sorry to be the Debbie Downer. :/

    • Wendy Heath on March 16, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      Because the cold sore virus (Herpes Simplex I) is just so, so awful… c’mon now, as one RN to another, you gotta pick and choose your battles. I know we see a lot that makes us hypervigilant and paranoid when it comes to illness, but seriously? That’s a touch out there, even for a nurse. You’ve got to remember that you see the worst of the worst as a CCRN, and that’s not really representative of the population as a whole.

      ‘Sides, whatcha gonna do when he gets to the “kissing/dating” age- make him ask if they’ve ever had a cold sore? Lol! πŸ˜‰ I’d personally be more worried about exposure to triclosan impregnated plastics and hypersanitization as far as immune system worries for kiddos goes…

      Anyway, back on the original topic, I’d say just teaching to kiss on the cheek is the way to go for friends… I know that my husband’s dad’s side of the family, his grandfather kisses on the mouth and it surprised the bejeezus out of me the first time, but I realized that was just part of that side of the family and how they show affection. For me? The only person I really kiss on the mouth is my husband. Most people I know are the same way…

      I think you can keep the cute and innocence while starting to teach awareness of others… it’s not “bad” or “wrong” to kiss on the mouth, but it’s important to make them feel loved instead of weird or sad when you kiss someone else.

      • Amy on April 21, 2013 at 4:27 am

        Agree with this. I’d be more worried about exposing my kids to a lifetime of asthma and eczema through being too careful with their immune systems, rather than a cold-sore which I think just about everybody has had throughout their lives.

        Your baby has no immune system at the moment, and the only way she’s going to grow up with a healthy one is through picking up germs. Sad but true, I’m of the opinion being over-sensitive to germs is more harmful than good, as you don’t just develop immunity to things from nowhere.

  15. Abby on March 13, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Our 2 year is a compulsive hugger haha, we’ve finally got her to ask the other people for a hug. She now walks around, arms outstretched saying hugs? Hugs? She’s never been turned down haha.

    • jameil on March 13, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      This is the cutest thing ever! Baby kisses and hugs would melt my heart and ovaries!

  16. Heather on March 13, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Too cute!

    My 9 month old daughter usually just greets people with a polite wave and a smile, but this afternoon she totally pinned her 5 month old cousin on the ground and covered his face with big, sloppy, baby kisses. I don’t know if that was an isolated incident or if its going to become a regular thing, but I’m also interested in how to handle it…

  17. Leah O on March 13, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Oh she is so adorable! My little guy is 1 year old and he has only kissed me once! I’m not actually even sure it was a real kiss…. I bet she will grow out of the kissing everyone she meets stage fairly soon. I know exactly how you feel though – having to teach her to ask to kiss or something like that, its like a loss of innocence or something because babies are so uninhibited and sweet!

  18. Randa on March 13, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I love this! It reminds me of my oldest daughter who went through a phase at about 8-9 months of age where she would kiss everyone on the mouth as well, but she would lean in with a big wide open-mouthed kiss. Of course we thought it was adorable/hilarious, but not all of the recipients necessarily agreed!

  19. Anne on March 13, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Awww not only does it warm my heart to hear how cute this is but it makes me smile to think that she brings just a little more happiness into people’s lives (even if everyone doesn’t love baby kisses :))

  20. Silvia @ skinny jeans food on March 13, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Too cute! Isn’t it a great stage when they are so unaffected by self consciousness about expressing their feelings?

  21. Catie on March 13, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    I work at a day care center with 3 year olds. And one thing that we teach is that kisses are for family. Just to make sure that they don’t kiss everyone in class so we don’t spread germs and some parents have a problem with their kids kissing each other. But we talk about how teachers can give kisses and I’m sure you could teach her that some good friends are like family and you can give kisses to them.

  22. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey on March 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    OMG, dying of cuteness. I have no advice – mainly because I’d just be happy she’s kissing and not hitting. Ha! Hilarious.

  23. Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome on March 13, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    My son went through a phase like this too! Open mouth, sloppy, wet kisses. On everyone! We taught him to give high fives and knuckles instead of kisses which worked for him πŸ™‚

  24. Beth on March 13, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Oh my gosh, so cute. I don’t have any tips, and I totally understand how you would feel, but I can’t stand the cuteness! My older son went through a phase around the same age as Liv where he would think any man that looked anything like Daddy was, in fact, Daddy. We were sitting at a Starbuck’s once waiting for a friend and he points to the man at the next table and says to me, “DA-DA?!?!” The poor guy almost fell out of his chair!

  25. Babs on March 13, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Aww what an adorable problem to have. Although I can see how you dont want her going around putting her mouth on everyone. I don’t think it will be a problem to do what some of the others suggested and say kisses for family or if someone asks for one.

  26. Leslie W on March 13, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    As a person that works with kids, when they go to kiss me, I just turn my cheek and let them kiss it. I can’t ever bring myself to avoid it. It lasts for such a short time. <3

  27. B on March 13, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    ok, so i haven’t had the kissing issue so much as the hugging. Where my daughter HATES to be hugged by anyone other then her dad and I. However my niece ALWAYS feels the need to hug, like CONSTANTLY and my daughter hates it! As a mom, I’m over protective and have to tell my niece that not everyone likes hugs. My SIL always gets upset with me saying, its just a hug… I guess you just have to monitor the reaction of other people. Like my eyes always get wide (mostly with fear), that my daughter will push her or hit her in return.

    I think now it’s fine, but once she gets a bit older I would personally just watch others reactions to it before deciding.

  28. Carrie on March 13, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    O M G! That post made me LOL. That is the absolute sweetest thing ever! It’s so cute that I can barely begin to wrap my mind around what could or should be done. So sweet. Okay, I’ll stop with the gushing. πŸ™‚

    Maybe teach her kisses with family and high fives with acquaintances. I’m sure they don’t mind. Maybe just throw them a warning in case they are sick or would prefer a high five?

    My daughter is doing the same thing with basically any man somewhat resembling my husband. She calls them all “daddy.” ha

  29. Jen on March 14, 2013 at 4:47 am

    It’s sad that we live in a world where an adorable baby isn’t well received by others when she wants to hug or kiss them. Poor Liv. It breaks my heart that you might have to issue a warning. πŸ™

    • MelissaH on March 14, 2013 at 10:06 am

      I don’t think it makes it a sad world that some people aren’t into kids. I think it’s cute that Liv does this, but I’m not a kids person. I’ve never held a baby and I don’t really want to. I feel very unsure of myself around children because I have zero experience with them. It’s not that I don’t like them, they just aren’t my thing. If a baby came at me ready to kiss me on the mouth, I would turn my head and let her kiss me on the cheek, but I would wipe it off immediately. I don’t know where that kid’s mouth has been. I think it’s a parents job to parent their children and respect other people. I don’t see why it’s a big deal to teach your child not to kiss people who aren’t in their family. It’s not sad, it’s teaching your child to be respectful.

      • mountain girl heidi on March 14, 2013 at 6:04 pm

        Thank you. I don’t mind kids. I hold them when I need to. But baby drool just kind of grosses me out. I hope it changes if I ever have my own kids, but I’ve never handled other peoples’ baby drool/kisses well. I’d rather be confronted with a hug.

  30. Shelley on March 14, 2013 at 5:45 am

    Well I don’t yet have the kissing problem, but at 12 months old, I’m sure it’s soon to come. My son is a flirt! I’m interested in what your friends have replied, as I’ll be needing those tips…

    I have an idea about the awkward “Da Da”. You can simply reply, so both Liv and the fella can hear if needed, “Yes, that man looks like your Dada.” That way Liv is acknowledged, and the fella understands that he looks familiar to the little one.


  31. Carly @LifeInTraining on March 14, 2013 at 8:43 am

    That’s a tough one – I think the “on the cheek” reminder that Avery posted above is a good idea. If I take my little guy in the bjorn on the subway, he reaches out and strokes anyone. Just starts patting random strangers. Some people think it’s adorable. Others give us dirty looks. And it’s hard on a subway to not get close enough to anyone to do it.

  32. Kristen on March 14, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Maybe when someone wants to hold her, just laugh and say,”She likes to give kisses!” That way, they kind of expect it. It can be a little wierd if you don’t know it’s coming.
    I finally got to meet my best friend’s baby a couple of weeks ago when we took a little weekend trip to visit them. My friend never once has mentioned that he kisses. I took him and within 30 seconds he very quickly touched my face, opened his mouth, and went in for the kill! Haha
    It didn’t gross me out at all. It just caught me off guard because I wasn’t sure what he was doing (my 12 month old doesn’t do this so I’m not used to it). I thought he was cueing that he was hungry! HAHA My friend said,”He’s giving you a kiss!” Then I felt like a moron and kind of sad that I didn’t respond to him because I didn’t know that’s what he was trying to do.
    So I’d just kind of give a heads up πŸ™‚

  33. Lara on March 14, 2013 at 10:18 am

    That is very very sweet! I think it’s incredibly endearing that she is so loving. But I also really like your approach of teaching her to ask first. It is a great opportunity to teach her that being loving is not only showing affection, but also being considerate of others.

  34. Brittany @ Kitchen::Candid on March 14, 2013 at 10:32 am

    I’m still cracking up about the “da-da” bit!! I love to joke around with my husband and if a baby (we didn’t know) said that to him rest assured he’d NEVER hear the end of it! As for the baby kisses…they are precious! I’d say just give people a friendly heads up, she’s a kisser! πŸ˜‰

  35. Tracy on March 14, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    My heart melts….too too cute!

    Aren’t you glad you’re not worrying about her biting everyone?? That’s actually a much more common problem amongst toddlers. I’m happy I never had to deal with that issue! I’m sorry I don’t really have any good advice for you, but asking people who aren’t family seems a good approach.

  36. mama on March 14, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    If she can understand, you could say something to like ‘oh, we only kiss family, like mommy, daddy, grandma, etc’ ‘we give friends high fives!’ or something to that nature! We have used this with both our girls when people at church are always wanting hugs, to pick them up, or tickle. Teach them to say ‘no thank you, i’ll high five instead’ when asked for a hug/kiss if they don’t want one. So i think you could do kind of the same/opposite with Liv! Instead of telling her who she cant kiss, tell her who she can!! Same for greetings of other people, i.e high five or hug!

  37. Rhiannon on March 14, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    There is a picture of me on my first birthday much like Liv and Mason. Our parents had sat me and another baby my age (who is still one of my best friends) on the dining room table to get pictures with presents when I leaned over and open-mouth planted one right on him!! We all still joke about our first kiss!

  38. Jesse on March 14, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    We recently taught my son how to kiss on the “cachete”. We’re going home in a few days and i did not want him kissing everyone on the lips. He does both cheeks sometimes if he’s feeling it πŸ™‚

  39. Katie Fox on March 15, 2013 at 11:23 am

    We taught our son to kiss on the cheek (this doesn’t solve the “if someone doesn’t want to be kissed” thing but helps with germs!) Everytime he would go in for a kiss we would turn our heads so his lips landed on our cheeks. We also started kissing him on his cheeks only. It took a little time but he caught on. Also maybe emphasis how fun hugs can be! As she gets older you can help her understand that some people don’t want hugs/kisses but she is so adorable now I have a hard time believing anyone wouldn’t want her lovin πŸ˜‰ Ultimately be proud of yourself for teaching your daughter how much she is loved and how she can spread love!

  40. Lara on March 18, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    This is the sweetest thing I’ve heard all day! Personally I don’t think you should do one thing to change it. We need more love in the world, not less! If someone has a problem with it, they’re crazy. Who doesn’t want baby kisses?!

    I guess the germ factor could be a little icky…I like the idea of teaching her family kisses vs friend smooches on the cheek or something πŸ™‚

  41. Alexa on March 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    This post just makes me happy. I read it when im feeling stressed out at school or work. I would be honored to get an Olivia kiss! πŸ™‚

  42. Mary on March 20, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Yes, I agree with the people who say “aim for the cheek”. Its very cute for a baby wanting to kiss everyone, but I would be terrified of her catching the cold sore virus etc, as she would have it for life then, and pass it on to you too. I had a problem with my son, between the ages of about 6-15 months of being too friendly. He would hold out his arms to total strangers (eg. in the supermarket) to be held. People did not tend to take him up on it, even though he was super cute, because they knew it was inappropriate. He would have gone off with anyone. Luckily, he grew out of it before long!!

  43. Liz on March 22, 2013 at 7:56 am

    My kids are teenagers now, but when they went through this phase we taught them hugs and kisses for family and close friends and we had them “blow” kisses to people they just met. My daughter took it very seriously, would make very loud smacking noises as she kissed her own hand and then would dramatically “throw” the person the kiss and then clap for herself because she did such a great job. πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on March 22, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      haha i love it! liv is a pro at blowing kisses, too. we’re teaching her cheek kisses now

  44. Emily on March 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Omg I’m a long time reader but don’t usually comment, but this post screamed to me! I was that kid growing up!! Up through pre-school, I would always hug and kiss my family/friends when they arrived, left, or did something great while in my presence! Eventually I grew out of it, but before I did I got a talk from my T-Ball coach (who was also my Uncle) that there is “No kissing in T-ball” because every time somebody did a good job I’d run up and hug/kiss them! ><

    So I'd say Liv will be just fine! =) Just make sure she gets this talk before joining an organized sport… haha

  45. jodi on March 25, 2013 at 11:54 am

    This is the cutest ‘problem’ ever! What a sweet gesture. At least you can be thankful she knows what love is!

    But, my little cousin use to do something funny when he was a toddler. He would get really close to you because he seemed intrigued or whatever, and you’d think he was leaning in for a kiss, but then he’d get closer and bite your nose! It happened to me once – he chomped down on my nose and I was left with teeth marks. I guess a sloppy kiss is better than a bite πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on March 25, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      hahahah! i love it

  46. Bella Hardy on May 9, 2018 at 10:51 am

    So cute and beautiful photos. I found your post from Pinterest! I’m also gonna pin this post on my Pinterest board my followers will love it. Thanks for sharing!

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