Motherhood

Motherhood Mondays: Do You Kiss Your Babies on the Mouth? Or Your Parents?

On this Motherhood Monday, I’d love to talk about kissing babies.

First, here’s a little story: When I was sixteen, we went to visit my grandparents in England. One night, I was saying good night to my grandfather. “Good night, Dilly,” I said, standing next to his armchair, and then I leaned over and gave him a peck on the mouth. We had always kissed my parents on the lips, and I figured that was appropriate. I thought it was just what you did!

“Oh, yes, uh, well, Joanna,” he said, flustered and almost dropping his whisky. Then he pulled himself together and looked up at me. “You know, I always say, ‘A man should kiss his father on the forehead, kiss his friends and family on the cheek, and kiss his wife on the lips.'”

Oh, I thought, blushing a shade of lobster red. Good to know. I was mortified! After that, I stuck to cheek-kisses for pretty much everyone (even high-school boyfriends, but that’s another story).

Fast forward fifteen years: Now that I have my own baby, I can’t help kissing him all over the face, including his slobbery mouth. I basically make out with him. :) Nothing feels better than drool-y kisses from a baby. It feels instinctual. And I remember seeing a French movie years ago where the mother kissed her five-year-old daughter on the mouth, and it seemed sweet and natural (and chic:).

Funnily enough, though, Alex feels differently. I remember the day after Toby was born, we were still in the hospital, and I turned to Alex and said, “Oh, you have to kiss him on the mouth, it feels so good, you have to try it,” and Alex was like, “No, thanks, I’ll kiss him right here…on the top of the head.” I teased him good-naturedly but, a year later, he’s still rocking the forehead peck.

So, I’m curious: Do you kiss your babies on the mouth? What about older children? Was there an age where you stopped? Have you ever kissed your parents on the mouth? Do you think it’s lovely or entirely inappropriate? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts!


(Top photo of Toby; bottom photos by Anais and Alain)

  1. Jean Sterner says...

    Now that every time you turn on the television you see this generation of no-so-smarts kissing their dogs, I don’t have time to worry about their exchanging saliva with babies. Yuck

  2. Naama says...

    My parents weren’t big on showing any kind of affection. In fact when I would tell gem I loved them they would say that I don’t need to say it and be so corny touchy-feely. When I would ask my mom if sh loved me ( because they never said it) she would brush it off with a ” of course I do, stop asking you should know better”.

    No that I am a mother I decided to do the complete opposite, and I do what ever fees natural to me. Kissing my baby Alex on the lips feels natural to me. I remember when I was little I had a friend who kissed her parents and brother on the lips. There was nothing sexual about it at all, it was just how they greeted each other. I was really jealous because I thought they must be closer to each other than what I was with my parents and I asked my mom to give me a kiss on the lips I think I was 5 at the time. She said that we don’t do that. She gave me that one kiss, but never did again. I felt really ashamed for asking for that kiss and ever worse after. I want my kid to grow up know it’s completely ok to show affection in anyway they feel is confortable to them. And often. I don’t want them to just assume and trust that I love them I was there to be tons and tons of evidence, so if they are ever in doubt they can look back and say- of course she loves me- look at all these extravagant displays of affection! I will continue to do this until they ask me to stop. I think there is nothing that will reward my kids more than knowing to the core of their being that they are loved.

  3. Austin says...

    I’m a man and I kiss my son on the mouth all the time. It’s the sweetest thing in the world. If anyone has a problem with it they’re being too sensitive. It’s harmless…and I only have so
    many lip-kisses until he decides it’s over and then it’s OVER.
    BUMMER!
    Great topic and yes of course it’s fine to have slobbery kisses with a sweet baby.

  4. I still kiss my daughter and she’s three. We smooch on everything….
    Our “handshake “.
    I don’t know if it’s right or wrong but I love my daughter dearly and so I display it to her so she knows I always love her. People have sick very simple minds and can eroticize oxygen and h²0 so i just ignore the negative feedback. They even have a stereotype to the affections a “typical black mother shows” my mom is blank and despite contrary beliefs and ghetto stigmas… my mothers care for us and her example is the reason I hold a level of sophistication and can also teach my daughter……..

  5. Aga says...

    Yes and yes.

  6. I was 43 when my parents died – not a moment passed when saying hello or goodbye that we did not kiss on the lips. I would give just about anything to feel their lips on mine just once more.
    I carried this special gesture through raising my own children…and now my grandchildren. I have one daughter-in-law that doesn’t want my grandson lip-kissing….no problem. I’m flexible. But the others…we pucker up!

    • Shelley E says...

      This is lovely. I also lip-kiss my kids and family. It’s a whole lot of wonderful!

  7. Gross no! Now I know why so many people/children have cold sores. Adults should keep their diseases to themselves.

    • Austin says...

      This is terrible!

  8. I grew up kissing my family on the mouth, and decided to switch to cheeks when I was a teenager. But some extended family members still do it. I’ve always been curious about the cultural patterns behind this. We are New England French Canadians. Or is it a Catholic thing?

  9. I love mouth kisses, honestly that’s the only way I want to kiss my children! Since birth I have always always kiss my children on the mouth and the rest of their face. I have three boys one is almost 9 ,one is 4 and one is almost 2. My oldest one still kisses me on the lips and I’m hoping that it will continue for the rest of his life because it makes me know that he loves me. I honestly don’t care how old it sounds to anybody. My children kiss me anywhere that we are out in public in front of their friends they don’t care so I don’t care. I honestly think that if anybody has problems kissing their children on the mouth of then there something wrong I wouldn’t change it for the world

  10. I kiss my kids, 4.5 and 2.5 on the lips all the time, it’s soo yummy! My parents never kissed me like that but I can’t resist. My older one is too big now but I still kiss my little one on the tushy cheeks (only after bath time). Love my sweet babies!
    thanks for the post Joanna and happy vacation!

  11. I don’t know which french movie you saw, but NO!!! We don’t do that in France!!! I think if someone do that in public, people would be really really shocked, and even make some unpleasant comment.

  12. We didn’t really kiss anyone when we were kids and my parents weren’t big fans of kissing or even hugging other then when we were leaving for an trip or when we returned. At that time my mom would give us a big hug and my dad would give us a side hug around the shoulders. When my nephews were born, I became obsessed with them and showing them affection, it felt so natural and instinctual. Now 9 and 6 years later my older nephew still gives me a kiss on the lips when he sees me for the first time after a while and before heading to bed. My younger nephew will still kiss me on the lips when he sees me for the first time after a while or heading to bed but then will turn around and wipe it off :) He still kisses me because he knows I love him and that it means a lot to me. I was worried that I wouldn’t know when to stop kissing them and didn’t want to harm them so I asked my therapist one day and she said that the time to stop is when they don’t want to or refuse to kiss you when you lean into a kiss. She said the same things about changing clothes in front of them. She said that one day I would notice that they might seem uncomfortable or that they might start closing the door when changing themselves and while it was a subtle change, it did happen and I followed their lead. I assume something similar will happen when it’s time to stop kissing as well. It is a fascinating topic though, isn’t it?! I enjoyed reading some of the comments.

  13. My friend, who is an orthodontist, told me not to kiss my baby on the lips because it passes germs and contributes to cavities, especially if you have fillings/ cavities.

  14. Super late to this article, but I kissed my parents on the lips and still do and I turn 30 in a few months haha :)

    • Marie says...

      Meeee too. And I am 33. HA! ; )

  15. I am a father. I love kissing my boy anywhere, we even have a game like this where we kiss each other, I think it is the most adorable and personal thing to do with your kids, hug and kiss and let them feel that you love them. I now have a baby girl I kiss her to and will keep kissing them until they say they dont want to be kissed no more. I come from a familly where we didnt kiss much and didnt talked much and I can see now that I dont feel my parents close at all and have nothing to talk with them, I dont want this to be the case with my kids.
    Cheers!
    PS. I just found your blog and I love, it keep up the good work, greetings from Bulgaria.

  16. I’m not down with kissing anyone but a lover/partner on the mouth. My 7yo’s dad (with whom I’m no longer partnered & who is remarried) kisses his kids on the mouth, even his 28yo daughter, and it honestly grosses me out. One thing that concerns me is passing HSV-1 and other bugs to our children. Another is teaching consent. I teach my 7yo to ask for & receive consent (verbally or non-verbally) before kissing or touching anyone. My kiddo and I like to kiss each other everywhere else, though! Consensual forehead and neck kisses are my favorite :)

  17. My parents and I always did a “three way Kiss” which sounds kind of weird but it was totally cute when I was a little girl (an only child) my dad would pick me up and it would be like our family “love” sign. Now my husband and I do it with my 22 month old son and he loves it! I couldn’t get enough of his baby lips and both my husband and I kiss him on the lips including our three way kiss!

  18. Where I come from you don’t kiss anyone on the lips except your partner, so it is very odd for me to see people do that. I don’t think I ever will kiss my kids on the mouth, but I will kiss them everywhere else! Kisses have such a different meaning in every country, a friend worked in South Africa where someones (teethless) Granny kissed her on the lips! Here in Switzerland we’re not big kissers. We kiss our parents on the cheek once, sometimes we kiss friends on the cheek three times. beside the baby-mommy kiss wich I think is harmless, what worries me is when parents “train” their babies to kiss people the baby himself doesn’t know very well, like “aunty” or a family friend. Studies have shown in disturbs the developing of boundaries, and the ability to say “NO” to strangers.

  19. I think kissing babies on their mouths is gross! Adults transfer caries-causing bacteria to children, not to mention other adult-mouth germs. Imagine adults that kiss their dogs and then turn around to kiss a baby on his mouth!

  20. I kiss everyone in my family on the lips: Babies, nieces, nephews, sisters, in-laws, parents and grandparents. I guess I just kiss my sisters’ husbands on the cheek, but in general I guess we’re a kissing family, and I love that.

  21. Also, I kiss my nephews and close family friend’s kids too. By best friend has a premie and it kills me not to mooch her to pieces. Baby kisses are the best.

  22. I didn’t grow up kissing family members but I kiss my kids square on the lips. They are 12 and 10 and I can’t imagine stopping but my husband is not a fan. Weird, because he always kissed his mom and we both kissed his grandparents on the lips.

  23. I am 100 percent against kissing babies on the mouth, and my husband is too, so we knew we wouldn’t do it when our son was born. Of course, now that he’s here, we both definitely enjoy every kiss on his beautiful lips and can’t get enough! These days will end soon enough so I cherish each kiss. It is intoxicating and the best thing on earth! Never ever miss an opportunity to enjoy and feel close to your children, today’s babies are tomorrow’s adults, too soon :-)

  24. I still give my brother, mom and dad a little peck on the mouth! My sister in law thinks it is gross but honestly I never thought about it until she pointed it out and now I sometimes feel like the SNL parody of “The Kissing Family!” No, it is nothing that extreme, just a little peck hello or goodbye and yes I do kiss my beautiful baby boy on the mouth as well. It is just a natural expression of love for me that I grew up with! We always gave our grandparents, both sides, pecks on the mouth, parents, siblings. I never thought twice about it! My favorite part of the day is when I walk in the front door from a long day at work and get a huge hello and a little kiss from Max my 2 1/2 year old! It is a natural expression of love for both me and my husband and I wouldn’t change a thing!

  25. I do mouth kisses for family and good friends. My daughter is 4 and we do full on mouth kisses, and sometimes she grabs the back of my head an kisses me for a really long time! it is suer cute and I love it! I guess I just think that kissing is a natural way to show affection, and it is pretty easy to differentiate between an affectionate kiss and a sexual kiss.

  26. I feel like such a prude but I couldn’t bare the thought of kissing my mom or dad or any family member on the lips! I think its gross that I was breast fed. haha But in general my family is really conservative with our bodies and any form of intimacy.
    I could understand the appeal though. You’re children are extension of you. How could you not kiss something you created?
    I think if my parents did kiss me on the lips, it teach me to be closer with people. But as far as my own children, and my own personal comfort kisses on the cheek, forehead, nose, toes, and tummy will suffice!

  27. I read this post when I was pregnant and wasn’t sure which side I would be on and now I just have to chime in! soon after we brought baby home from the hospital my husband noticed him arching his back and puckering his lips as he was waking up from a nap and zoomed in to plant a kiss on those smoochers. now we both kiss him on the mouth- puckered or open, drooly or dry it is such a sweet part of my day!!

  28. I guess I am in the minority on this one, but I have NEVER kissed a family member on the lips, unless it was by accident. (although as children my sister and I used to do this incredibly weird thing called “touch tongues” where we’d just touch the end of our tongues to each others. It was really strange! I guess it was more of a textural thing. kids are weird. We definitely did not do it in a sexual sense.) I am quite affectionate with my mother and sister, but it’s mostly hugging or cheek kisses. I could never imagine giving a lip kiss to anyone but a significant other. I guess it really is just what you’re used to!

  29. My three-year old nephew LOVES to kiss me on the lips. He is quite agressive about it, too. He will hold my face very firmly and give me a big smooch, slobber and all, for quite a while. It’s pretty funny. I’m not a mom, but if I was, I would probably kiss my bebes on the lips, but once they get older, it feels weird. The “innocence” seems to go away and for me, it feels more appropriate for kisses on the cheek.

    New to your blog and love what I see :) Thanks for sharing!

  30. My whole family kissed me on the mouth when I was little but, as time went by I stopped kissing my Grandpa and father on the lips, it just didn´t feel right. But I never really stopped kissing my grandma or my mum on their lips and I even do it with my stepmum. When my sister visits I kiss her on both cheeks or I´ll just hug her but it wouldn´t feel strange to kiss her on the mouth and as my brother is in a very “cool” teenage phase (he´s 13), I am lucky to get a hug =)
    When I was a little bit younger I had a group of friends that would always kiss on the mouth (boys and girls) but now i only hug my friends or kiss them on both cheeks.
    I would definitly kiss my child on the mouth, it´s just so natural =)

  31. I kiss with babies on the mouth, cuz they’re slobbery and cute, and I think their immune systems could use the cooties. ;P With kiddos, I only really hang out with my boyfriend’s five year old, and she’ll kiss me on the mouth when she says good-bye, but I only initiate forehead kisses on my end.

    I grew up kissing my mom on the mouth, as a wee thing, but I don’t remember when we stopped. Probably when I was a pre-teen. Now it’s all cheeks and foreheads. No real reason, actually. My step-dad kissed us all in the same way, so gender had little to do with it (I’ve a brother and three sisters).

    I read someone’s blog post somewhere, I forget who even wrote it, that they talked to their sons and daughters– explaining that the boys would only get hugs and high-fives from dad, and kisses and cuddles from mom. I thought that was weird. Seems awfully mean to deprive your sons of affection just because they happen to be boys. It was a long time ago, I might be misremembering, but I came away from it thinking that I’d definitely love love love on my kiddos, if/when I have ’em.

  32. I remember reading this post a long time ago and thinking kissing babies on the mouth? Nah. BUT my little toddler just figured it out and thinks it’s so hilarious to give me a peck on the mouth. I love, love it! I get it. I’m a convert and thought you should know. :)

  33. Anonymous says...

    I think it is wonderful. I also love to kiss my baby (now 3!) boy on the mouth too. Nothing has been as sweet as that. I haven’t really paid much attention to him and his father on placement kisses.

  34. Kathleen in Tokyo says...

    I loved reading these comments! My husband and I both come from (closed) mouth-kissing families, and we kiss our 8-year-old daughter on the mouth. Both of my parents died a few years ago, and I am glad that I never felt strange about them a great big kiss on the mouth, and I wish that I could now.

  35. Growing up we all kissed on the mouth, but once we hit out teen years it was cheek kisses after that. Once in a blue moon I’d slip my mom the mouth kiss, just cause…I don’t know I was used to it. I stopped the mouth kisses with my dad sooner than I did with my mom though. Oh and when i went to visit my grandparents in europe, everyone went back to mouth kissing again. haha.

  36. Anonymous says...

    I don’t know I feel like lip kissing is for your bf or husband only. It seems a bit pedophile-ish to me. I kiss my baby everywhere just not the mouth.

  37. I always always kiss my nephews on the mouth and so does the rest of my family. I still kiss my mom on the mouth but not my dad. One of my sisters kisses me on the mouth, the others I kiss on the cheek. Kisses are an expression of love and caring! There is nothing wrong with sharing that with your family. But everyone is different!

  38. Cynthia says...

    Love this question. Yes, I have always kissed my parents on the mouth and don’t think anything of it. Even my Grandparents. Children’s goo-y kisses are the best!!!!!

  39. I thought it was so weird for people to kiss their kids on the lips until I had my first child almost 4 months ago. Now I just can’t help it! His little mouth is so cute I just have to give him little mommy kisses :)

  40. I don’t remember ever kissing my mom on the lips, but I’m sure I did as a toddler because there are pictures.

    My husband and I both kiss our 2 year old daughter on the mouth. It’s so normal to her, that now everytime she hugs someone she tries to kiss them on the lips. If they turn their head, she’ll grab their face with both hands and force a kiss! It’s still adorable and I’m sure she’ll grow out of it before she’s too old for it to be cute.

  41. Annie says...

    Great reading the comments on this post! I grew up kissing my parents and grandparents on the mouth and bro on the cheek. I can’t remember when I switched to cheek kisses with my dad, probably as a teenager? And I only switched to cheek with my mom a few years ago (in my late twenties now). About 10 years ago she told me I should probably stop doing it to my granny – I’d never even thought about it before that! It was so normal for me. Now my brother and I still give her good night cheek kisses and i give my dad g’night cheek kisses. :) I don’t have a baby or close baby/child friends so I don’t know what I’ll do but I’m quite sure it’ll be mouth kisses! I know my mom didn’t get much hugs or kisses growing up, so her reaction was to smother my brother and I, which I’m very happy she did! Otherwise, I only kiss my in-laws and bestest friends on the cheek, everyone else gets big hugs.

  42. I never grew up kissing, we basically hugged it out. It all is sort of strange to me. I have no problems with others kissing, I just find it awkward to do myself. Do what feels natural to you! ;)

  43. Before I had my son I would never kiss anyone but my husband on the lips. I even thought it strange for parents to kiss their children on their lips but after having my son I do have to say I love wet open mouth baby kisses.

    Funny thing is that my husband also likes them and he welcomes them. He felt the same way I did before we had our baby. I think when he starts going to schools we’ll have to teach him not to kiss everyone on the lips. Don’t want our child to be charged with sexual harassment at the age of 5!

  44. This is really interesting for me to think about – I actually don’t remember ever doing on-the-lips kisses with my own parents. But with my nephews (now 4 and 2), we always kiss on the lips. And now that I’m thinking about starting a family with my husband, it makes me sad that he might not be able to lip-kiss with out kids (he has cold sores – don’t want to pass that on!)

    • M says...

      Good call – old sores can be dangerous to babies!

  45. I am REALLY surprised to see so many mouth kissers! I haven’t seen a lot of this growing up (or now) and my family never kissed each other on the mouth (spouses excluded, of course). My parents were super affectionate and I always felt very loved, emotionally and physically. Yet I am pretty sure we were explicitly taught that you kiss your family on the cheeks or forehead or whatever, but NOT on the mouth, so I’ve never kissed anyone but a SO on the mouth and the idea of doing so skeeves me out. I don’t have a baby yet, but the slobber factor seems gross!

    I have no doubt I will smother my future babies with kisses, but mouth kisses I’ll probably reserve for hubby. To each their own!

  46. hahaha. Love this post. I’m kinda stuck on your blog jumping from entry to entry. I grew up kissing my parents and siblings on the lips, and still do as an adult. I kiss my almost three year old on the lips and so does my husband. And yeah, it’s almost like making out with them when they’re little and haven’t figured out how to purse their lips yet- so delicious! :D It’s sweet and affectionate in my experience.

  47. Anonymous says...

    My parents always kissed me on the mouth when I was younger and they still try to today! (I’m 22) If we will not see each other for a long time I usually comply or if we’re at church saying peace my mom will kiss us on the mouth as well. Maybe it is a Hispanic thing because we kiss all relatives on the cheek (and sometimes friends of friends aka strangers).

  48. Oh! We all have something to say on this, love it.
    My four year old girl is all for kissing me square on the lips, no messing, and it amused me that I was bashful about it. I love being able to show her I love her the way that she’s chosen to show me. It’s a little thing we share, one of the many things you share with your little ones…

  49. I see it as a cultural thing. In Spain we just don’t kiss our parents / children on the mouth. I’d never kiss my father on the lips, but I kiss him on the forehead.

  50. Rouge says...

    Excellent topic!

    I kissed my father on the mouth until i had like 16-years-old because that was the most natural thing to do (for me) whenever i wanted to say “Hello” or “Good Night!”.
    I think it stopped when I started dating.

    Now that I have a little girl I completly understand you! Kissing my baby is always fantastic… my mom is always giving me lectures about “how that way the flu and many other deseases are transmited” but it feels right… BUT i don’t like it when other people (like aunts or the other siblings) try to kiss my girl on the mouth.

    PS. Sorry about my poor english.

  51. I have 3 little girls and we all kiss on the mouth including my husband too. I kiss both of my parents on the mouth as well. But my husband doesn’t kiss his parents on the mouth. It just feels natural to me! Great topic.

  52. My mom made such a big deal about only kissing on the cheek that when I was at the age when I wanted to start kissing boys, I had major hang-ups about kissing!I got over it of course but still held onto the idea that kissing on lips was a terrible thing when it’s your kid. My first born is a cheek-kisser only, borne of the tradition my mom started but my youngest (they are nine years apart) is all about the “lip nip” so I’m cool with it. It actually feels great to toss that old hang-up out the window and just enjoy a natural expression of affection.

  53. My husband and I both come from lip-kissing families. That said, we both kiss our baby girl on the lips, no problem. But I still can’t handle the kisses I get from my mother in law right smack on the lips!

  54. I’m a 25 year old female who still gives my dad a peck on the lips when I say goodbye to him. It just feels like a sweet, endearing gesture, there’s no weird feeling associated with it. Its just the way I grew up.

    To each his own, but personally I love kisses on the mouth :)

  55. This comment has been removed by the author.

  56. funny- i remember reading this post while I was pregnant and wondering if I would kiss my baby on the mouth. I never did this with my parents growing up, but I had wondered if I’d feel differently with my baby. Well, he is 5 months old now and I have been kissing his little lips since the moment he was born! IT’S THE BEST! My husband takes Alex’s approach though, and sticks to the forehead and cheeks :)

    xx

  57. I don’t have kids yet, but i don’t think i will kiss them on the lips. It is strange to me when a close friends baby tries to kiss my lips, because they kiss their mothers. I also get a little weirded out when i see adult “kids” kissing their parents on the lips. I don’t remember ever kissing my parents on that way. I feel like your grandfather, lip kissing is for your significant other!

  58. Such a rad topic! We were always a really affectionate family, mum and I kiss each other all over the face and dad and I kiss right near the mouth, but not on it. Im only 18 and not a mama yet but I love kissing babies (other people’s!) on their sweet mouths, I think it’s the most natural mama instinct.
    Have you done a topic about whether you came from a nudie family or not yet? It keeps coming up in my conversations with girlfriends. I came from a nudie fam, but most of them puke at the idea of seeing their parents naked!

  59. I kiss my baby all over his face, including his mouth. He just figured out how to kiss with his mouth open and its the cutest. I have zero interest in curbing this…and I’m pretty sure I’m going to laugh at him one day …say wedding day, when I tell him that he learned how to kiss by practicing on his mom {aka me}. I’m sure naturally at some point I probably won’t kiss him on the mouth anymore. I definitely don’t kiss my parents on the mouth. But like you said, with a baby it feels natural.

  60. I absolutely have always kissed my children when they were babies on the mouth, that seems totally normal. But I can feel both children – they are now 6 and 10 moving to cheek kissing, altho lips are still okay!

    I would definitely NOT kiss any member of my family – mum, Dad, brothers on the lips – that seems very odd and uncomfortable!!

    Interesting post :)

  61. Anonymous says...

    I only have one child, and he is now 13. It was only about 6 months ago that I decided he was too old to kiss on the mouth. It felt not quite right anymore. As it happened, I had a coldsore, so had to keep away from him for a couple of weeks anyway, and it just naturally went from there. I can’r remember if I kissed my parents as a small child…probably…but i guess I must have grown out of it pretty young to not remember. I know I had a lot of issues with people getting “in my space”…didn’t like it at all. So with my son, I made sure, and still do, that we cuddle up on the sofa to watch a film, or hug him whenever possible, so he doesn’t get like that. His Father is not good with people in his space, and his parents weren’t affectionate, and it has made him a cold fish. So hopefully my son will be a more rounded person in adulthood. :-)

  62. jeanne says...

    i am a southerner (we are known for our warmth and affection) who raised her three daughters (now 20, 18 and 15) in the northeast and was married to their father (a north easterner) who kissed, and was kissed, by his mother and his younger sister on the mouth for at least as long as we were married (14 years, at which point he was 39 yrs old). my parents were very warm and affectionate, and we certainly hugged and kissed freely, but i have no memory of kissing either of my parents, or them kissing me, on the lips. my family was, and is, very naturally affectionate though. when i had my daughters i certainly kissed each one all over her face (including the mouth) and arms and tummy and feet, etc. to me it was just a natural instinct to smother my children with kisses, but as they grew older i think instinctively i stopped kissing them on the mouth. i have no recollection of the time at which that came to be the case, but at some point it no longer felt natural. it simply stopped. their father, however, continued to kiss them on the mouth until either they initiated a stop to that (as my middle daughter did) or, as in the case with my eldest daughter, around the time she told me it made her uncomfortable (she was in middle school – maybe 13), her stepmother told her dad she felt it was highly inappropriate. he mentioned it to me and asked what i thought…my reply? “funny you should mention it b/c catherine has mentioned it makes her uncomfortable and yeah, i think it’s past that time in her life for kissing her on the lips.” that is not to say i judge people for doing things differently than i did, this is just what my experience has been.

  63. jeanne says...

    i am a southerner (we are known for our warmth and affection) who raised her three daughters (now 20, 18 and 15) in the northeast and was married to their father (a north easterner) who kissed, and was kissed, by his mother on the mouth for at least as long as we were married (14 years, at which point he was 39 yrs old). my parents were very warm and affectionate, and we certainly hugged and kissed freely, but i have no memory of kissing either of my parents, or them kissing me, on the lips. my family was, and is, very naturally affectionate though. when i had my daughters i certainly kissed them all over their faces (including their mouth) and arms and tummies and feet, etc. to me it was just a natural instinct to smother my children with kisses, but as they grew older i think instinctively i stopped kissing them on the mouth. i have no recollection of the time at which that came to be the case, but at some point it no longer felt natural. it simply naturally stopped. their father, however, continued to kiss them on the mouth until either they initiated a stop to that (as my middle daughter did) or, as in the case with my eldest daughter, around the time she told me it made her uncomfortable (she was in middle school – maybe 13), her stepmother told her dad she felt it was highly inappropriate. he mentioned it to me and asked what i thought…my reply? “funny you should mention it b/c catherine has mentioned it makes her uncomfortable and yeah, i think it’s past that time in her life for kissing her on the lips.”

  64. I didn’t read every one of these five hundred plus comments, but I’ll throw in my thoughts anyway! I may be a repeat… Sorry! My family is cheek kissers, and I kiss only my husband on the mouth. This was later bolstered by the fact that I am a dentist, and we have been shown study after study that the transfer of bacteria that causes cavities in children is primarily associated with mothers passing bacteria through saliva by mouth kissing. Just food for thought! We dont have kids yet, but I don’t think I will kiss my baby on the mouth, just to prevent that transfer… Babies don’t have strep mutans bacteria when they are first born. And I don’t want to have to fill my own kids’ teeth!!!

    Meredith

    http://www.thisnewmanlife.blogspot.com

  65. we have always done it at home (parents, grandparents…) and still do it. (I just turned 40 and I’m from Germany (and think it’s “normal” here). (o:)

  66. I think is not the best for baby´s health but my little daughter, she is 6 now, always kiss me in my mouth and I love it because I love her because I´m her mum! But my another daughter, she is 8, never kiss in the mouth!

    They are very different and I know it. I only kissed my husband´s mouth but now I kiss my littles daughter too because she loves it!

  67. Anonymous says...

    I’ve always been uncomfortable with mouth kisses unless from my hubby. Whenever I’ve seen it I cringe a little, it just seems too intimate for someone you’re not intimate with. Growing up I don’t remember kisses at all except from my grandma (on the cheek & really smooshed into my face) & my (step)dad on the cheek as well. As far as my mother goes I honestly can’t remember her ever kissing me. I’m sure she did when I was younger-at least I’d hope. She wasn’t really very affectionate at all. I don’t recall my mother hugging me at all except when I was older & they felt forced & unnatural/awkward as well. I was worried when I became a mom that I’d have the same disassociation with my child, but that is definitely not the case. I hug and smooch(on the cheek)& tickle & play with my daughter who is now 7.We also do 100 kisses, which is a whole lot of smooching on her cheeks, head, nose, chin, neck, & arms. She insists on kissing me on the mouth at times and I do oblige for a short peck, sometimes though she wants to hold my face so she smooshes into my mouth/teeth & I don’t really prefer that :) My niece who’s 3 kisses on the mouth & always has & I also oblige her if she wants-otherwise I kiss hello or goodbye on her cheek first. But to each their own :) Baby kisses are the best for sure!

  68. A beautiful and honest post. I wouldn’t usually read something like this but my wife has left the browser open and now I might be hooked.

    I’m 29, I’ve always kissed my mum and grandmothers on the lips, there are a couple of stray aunties/ great aunties who also somehow manage to steal a peck on the lips. I kiss my sisters/sister-in-laws and other female family on the cheek, some old female friends get a kiss on the cheek but usually only if I haven’t seen them for a while. I cant remember kissing my dad or brother on the lips although there are photos of me kissing them when I was little, don’t know when that stopped, kind of sad to think about really. My father-in-law is very affectionate and I often get a kiss on my forehead from him; that took a bit of getting used to.

    We’ve got a 10 week old little girl and I was actually thinking the other day, while when kissing her cheek and she turned and our lips met, what the social norm was.

  69. I have to kiss my baby on the mouth all day. HAVE TO.

  70. I kiss my girls on the mouth, my mum on the cheek, my dad on the mouth or cheek. My husband tends to kiss the girls on the cheek, unless they really pucker up!

  71. dental caries (cavities) are caused by bacteria. not only did I never kiss my son (now 17) on the mouth, I also did not “share food” in ways that transferred saliva back to the baby, or “clean” his teething toys etc. w/ my mouth or spit. I think it is at least partly because of this that his dental checkups have been consistently great.

  72. As a child, my family would mostly hug and kiss on the cheek. But I can’t help but kiss my nephew on his slobbery soft baby lips!

  73. This post is amazing! I always kiss my little one on the lippies. I used to kiss my mother on the lips when younger but I guess it stopped when I turned a teenager. Thanks for sharing this!

  74. Babies crawl around in filthy environments, yet their immune systems aren’t fully developed. When a mother kisses her baby, she gets a sample of whatever dirt is on the baby’s skin. Her immune system analyzes it for pathogens, and the next day she produces breast milk specially tailored to kill whatever the baby was crawling around in the day before.

  75. My grandmother (step-grandmother, really) is the only mouth-kisser in our family (which makes sense since she’s transplanted from another) and though it started out as supremely uncomfortable for most of us, most of us have let Grandma kiss us on the mouth a few times, if not regularly. It is the strangest thing, though, to be raised a cheek-kisser, with one aberrant mouth-kisser who breaks your social boundaries come holiday time.

  76. one more comment…. have you seen/read “eat pray love”? javier bardem’s character’s 18-year-old son laughs that his dad still kisses him on the mouth.

  77. Just revisited this post… I think it’s so sweet that you kiss Toby on the mouth. And I think it’s really great for him to have that level of intimacy with his mother. My parents always kissed me on the mouth. In high school, I kissed my mom less and pretty much didn’t kiss my dad at all. I was awkward and felt weird about kissing because I still hadn’t *really* kissed a boy. In the past year or so, I’ve reclaimed nonromantic kisses on the mouth. My 6-year-old cousin has been giving me the most loving little mouth kisses since he knew how, and they just melt my heart and I have to hug him so tightly. (And then crave my own child, of course.) My dad said something once along the lines of “Why don’t you kiss me on the mouth anymore?” And then I learned to kiss my friends on the mouth. Nonromantic kisses on the mouth are so sweet and help me feel warm and safe.

  78. Anonymous says...

    My parents never ever ever kissed me on the mouth, that I can remember. I never felt the desire to kiss them on their mouths. These comments are kind of making me want to vomit!

  79. My parents are cheek-kissers, but tbh it’s usually me kissing them on the cheek. If my mum kisses me, it’s usually a cheek-to-cheek deal. My uncle and aunts are similar, but my cousin’s two little boys used to kiss you goodbye on the lips. You know, untill they got too cool ^_^

  80. european girl says...

    well, i must say I would have been as shocked as your grandpa if any of my family members kissed me on the mouth
    :/ we just don’t do that, and no one i know does it either.the only people we kiss on the mouth here are our boyfriends/girlfriends/spouses. it’s not so common in europe i guess.

  81. Parents should NOT kiss their children on the mouth, it´s an incestual gesture, even if the parents don´t have this intention, of course! I learned this in Psychology courses.
    Best regards, Marjolijn (Belgium)

  82. I kiss my mom on the cheek or mouth, my dad always on the cheek or forehead. But we do this thing where the 4 of us (my parents, sister and I) do a joint kiss where we all get a little bit of each other’s lip or cheek or nose :)

  83. I was a little surprised reading this! At 19, I still kiss my parents and even uncles and aunts on the lips. I always have. And I kiss my friend’s daughter on the lips. I’ve never thought anything of it. If it’s any consolation, though, I kiss my boyfriend much differently than I kiss anyone else. Just because they’re on the lips doesn’t mean it’s the same.

  84. Stephen says...

    I was prompted to visit your blog because this question was the subject of an article in the Toronto Star newspaper on May 13.
    We had just arrived back home from a trip to the Netherlands which was our first big adventure as a family. That being myself, my wife Nora and our 12 year old daughter Natalie.
    The trip was a wonderful bonding experience and I love anything that is that for us.
    Kissing each other and affection in general definitely tops the list.
    We have always been openly affectionate to one another and believe in unconditional love and being demonstrative about it.
    We spontainiously say ‘I love you’ on a daily basis (several times in a day sometimes). We have family hugs and yes we kiss on the lips (we call them ‘moochies’)on the cheek (cheekos…I think that’s how it’s spelled)and on the forehead (we don’t have a pet name for that).
    I know that in a couple of months my daughter may, once she is officially a teenager decide kissing on the lips is gross.
    I hope not, although she is the one who initiates the lips kiss I have noticed a bit of hesitation sometimes. I think it is me giving some sort of sign that I am uncertain.
    Having read the story and now some of the posts here,I am now going to make a point of being more assertive with her that the full on kiss is still OK with me.
    She is my only child and because I am adopted she is also my only blood relation.I want her to know in every way that I can show her that she is very special to me.

  85. Rachel says...

    i kissed my mom on the mouth growing up. i’m sure i will kiss my baby. and i LOVE kissing my dogs for now lol. they are tiny dogs with clean breath and most people think it’s gross, but i love them so i don’t care!

  86. E says...

    If you care about your kids teeth you will not kiss him/her on the mouth or use the same spoons etc with him/her until the child is 3years old.
    There is no other way to avoid giving your kid the dental caries bacteria. :(

  87. My family was mouth kissers. I still kiss my mom on the mouth (and I’m 30.) I don’t think it’s weird, but it’s for sure something that not everyone is comfortable with. If I had a baby I don’t think I would be able to NOT kiss their sweet little mouth.

  88. Great topic!

    My grandma and I always give each other a little peck on the lips. I kiss my oldest son on the lips (a peck) because it’s what he prefers. My middle child likes kisses on the cheeks. And my baby gets kisses everywhere (mouth included!) until he decides otherwise :)

  89. absolutely– I kiss my babe Eliot all over his face, and love the feel of his soft little lips! I kiss my parents on the mouth as well, though definitely went through a teenage period where that was NOT cool. I’m pro-mouth-kissing!

  90. This is such an interesting topic! My parents must have kissed me on the mouth when I was a baby because I have the cold sores to prove it, but we don’t even cheek kiss now – especially on my dad’s side. Funny, because I remember that my parents were very free about dressing in front of us and sharing the bathroom, which I hated even as a kid. My husband and I have both decided that we are definitely NOT planning to be naked in front of or even share beds with our kids. Even hugging for any reason besides comforting or saying hello/goodbye makes me uncomfortable. My husband on the other hand, well I’m constantly kissing/hugging him. I’ll kiss the kids at my workplace and I’ll kiss small animals anywhere but on the mouth. I have a feeling I won’t be able to resist tiny baby mouth kisses from time to time when they’re from my own though.

  91. Emilie says...

    in our family we kissed on the lips (but now that i think about it, i don’t think i ever did with my dad). with my mom’s parents we did, but then we were really close with them, i never really saw my dad’s parents. but both my parents and their parents are/were really traditional, so when i look back on it now, especially looking at my mom’s side, i think because a lot french people ended up marrying into my family on that side, the conservative traditional part regarding how you treat family morphed a bit

  92. I’m 26 and I kiss both of my parents and my 20 year old sister on the lips! I don’t think parents kissing their babies’ mouths odd at all, I think it’s natural and adorable! What I do find odd though is when parents tell their babies to give kisses to other people, especially when we aren’t close. I love your baby and I think he’s precious but I don’t need a goobery kiss from my 2nd cousin once removed that I’ve met once and probably won’t see again until he’s 10!

  93. Aghhh! A sore subject! In my memory, my family have always been cheek kissers. In fact, I am profoundly disturbed seeing a friend (25, like me) kiss her father on the lips. HOWEVER, last weekend visiting my parents, I went in to kiss my mom and she turned her face and we got mouths! I don’t know if it was accident or not, but I shudder thinking of it. I only kiss my husband on the lips now, buuuut I could see the appeal of a bitty baby’s mouth.

  94. Anonymous says...

    so interesting that you brought this up. i think it’s funny some people were grossed out by your joke about basically making out with your baby. ;) it’s funny to me because i know exactly what you mean!

    we did *not* mouth kiss our own parents, but we are mouth kissers with our own kids. my husband especially was raised rather hands-off with his parents and like your husband was a bit squeamish at the beginning but got used to all the affection. there is nothing like a slobbery baby grabbing your head and giving you a big smooch! :) we are simply much more affectionate (and *relaxed*) with one another than our parents were with us.

    also interestingly, we have two sons and we have always held hands while walking and my oldest son – just turned a teenager! – still holds my hand when we are walking together. melts my heart. i told my husband this yesterday and he said, “he still holds MY hand!” :)

    for the commenter who wondered if these kids would grow up to not understand boundaries etc., i can only say my boys are very affectionate with their other family members as well as their friends and don’t go around smooching everyone. they just seem to be warm, affectionate, loving people – not at all inappropriate or confused about how the world works. :)

  95. Anonymous says...

    Like someone mentioned before, kissing baby on the mouth is a sure way to infect him with caries..same thing applies to eating with a same spoon etc.So avoiding a saliva contact with a child since he is about 3 years old (old enough to have his own strain of good bacteria) means the odds of him having healthy teeth for the rest of his life are significantly higher. But then again, who could resist:)p.s.
    love ur blog<3

  96. My family are mouth kissers…i remember one time in 7th grade my mom dropped me off at school before a field trip…i kissed her on the mouth and jumped out of the car to get on the bus, but one annoying boy saw me. he teased me for days, but so what? i’m 28 and still kissing my folks with lip pecks. :)

  97. This post is so timely – I was just talking to someone about how I always kiss my grandparents on the mouth. I also still kiss my mum on the mouth (I am 32), and some of my friends, but I usually give my dad a long, hard hug and then he kisses the top of my head (he’s a tall guy).

    I am glad to kiss babies / people under 5 any place they will accept kisses.

  98. Nicole says...

    My mom kissed me on the mouth as a child and as I’ve gotten older I don’t like it. She is the only family member I’ve ever allowed and like I said, I don’t like it. The only one I want to be kissing on the lips is my husband. Come to think of it, I have a “kissy” friend who always kisses me (on the cheek) and I don’t like that much either!

  99. Hi!
    I think as a family its sweet. When I was a little girl, as a bed time ritual, I would always give my father a hug and a butterfly kiss and an Eskimo kiss. My whole family is very loving. At 25 i still give both parents a kiss on the mouth good bye. My brother at 19yrs does the same. Neither of us have ever thought it was anything other than just what you do with parents and grandparents. I once dated a man who felt weird even hugging his parents good bye and I felt that was cold and awkward. I plan on being just the same with my own kids. Its a deeply loving thing reserved for just those special family members and i wouldnt want it any other way.

  100. Anonymous says...

    My MIL always kissed her kids on the mouth. I didn’t realize this until recently when she thanked my husband for something and kissed him on the mouth. My stomach churned. I refused to kiss my husband for a couple of weeks. I felt like he had kissed another woman! We are 30 years old.
    Babies – yes. I think its ok until kids are about 7/8 years old.

  101. My nearly 4yo son loves kissing and hugging. He gives a nice, quick sweet lip smootch with a loud “smack” – which he finds funny! He kisses dh and me, as well as grandparents, and will sometimes hug and kiss his friends. He is cuddly and huggy, and also very boy, boy, boy (jumping, running, playing soccer and pretending to be a superhero).

    My family NEVER kissed, and neither did DH’s (dh can’t even recall ever hugging his father), and neither did mine, so it’s nice we have started some sweetness in our house. We will continue to kiss until he offers his cheek – and then I think I will smoosh up his cheeks and give him kisses all over his face! I like to think that someday our son will hug and kiss his own children and he will ALWAYS remember that his father did the same for him.

  102. I have always kissed my parents on the lips, just little pecks. I think it’s really beautiful, it’s a nice bond to have. I only do it with my parents and grand mother sometimes and obviously boyfriends but it’s not the same type of kiss at all. I have no siblings but if I did I’m sure we would. And I definitely will kiss my children on the mouth. Lovely post, thanks!

  103. Kissing on the lips should be strictly reserved for people you are having sex with.

    You should not be kissing babies on the mouth, especially when you describe it as by saying “I basically make out with him.”

    Making out with your own child, or any child for that matter, is NOT acceptable behaviour. It’s disgusting. It’s what pedophiles do.

  104. Anonymous says...

    not inappropriate in the least!

  105. what was the BEST present you received/gave at a baby shower? i’m looking for ideas…

    thanks!

  106. Anonymous says...

    I don’t remember ever kissing my parents on the lips. I am very affectionate with my children and they will come up to me and tell me they need a hug and we always kiss on the lips even though my daughter is now 11 and son 9. There is nothing better! Before I had children I would not of thought it would be appropriate. Being a mother changes everything.

  107. So, just last night I was having a lovely little snooze and was woken to some passionate kissing. I thought how nice my husband was home from his shift work but when I finally woke a little more I realised that it was not my husband but in fact our 15 month old trying to get his cheeky tongue in my mouth! bahhaha.

    I think it’s impossible to resist kissing little ones on the mouth. IMPOSSIBLE.

  108. My oldest, Ada, is 7 years old & to this day, she kisses me on the lips. Sometimes, she wants a very passionate kiss, holding my lips close to hers, & I laugh because she’s so open with her affection. I do wonder what others think, but I never push he away. It’s a natural feeling to kiss my daughter, & it’s natural for her to kiss me. Amelie (our 13 mnth. old) kisses her papa on the lips (more like put her lips to her dads and smile) & we find it a beautiful gesture. I always think of what Leo Buscaglia said in his book “LOVE”, that if we show a child it’s good to be expressive, that’s what he’ll know, but if we tell him it’s wrong, it’s changed the way he thinks about his emotions. suddenly it’s not ok to feel love & show it.

    Our children our blood, & body. They were one with us for a small duration. When I see my daughters, I see myself.

    <3

  109. Sarah (from above) and I must be sisters. I too have always kissed my parents on the lips, my sister and her kiddos too. It’s a sweet, normal greeting / farewell and show of affection. I can see how others, especially anyone not raised that way, might be uncomfortable with it. But I’m certainly not, so one day if I get to have babies…pucker up my darlings!! :)

  110. I always have kissed my Mom on the lips. We’re very close and I’m quite affectionate so I kiss/hug/say “I love you” all the time. I have 2 little boys and I kiss them on the lips all the time, drool and all. If they’ll let me, I’ll continue to do so until the day I die. If as they get older it makes them uncomfortable then I will respect their need for boundaries and stop.

  111. I’m 31 years old and I still give my parents a quick peck on the lips every time I see them.

  112. Anonymous says...

    Dear Joanna,
    I am french and I would like to specify one point. It is highly unappropriate to kiss children on the lips in France. Not only is it considered discusting, and sounds like something a pedophile would do, but it would not even come to the mind of a french mother!
    Please do not think it is a habit because you saw it in some weird movie.
    Les français sont ouverts et sensuels, mais ils ne sont pas incestueux!

  113. Anonymous says...

    I’ve kissed my 3 year old boy everywhere on his face and hands and feet since he was born. On the lips everyday too. :)

    I have never kissed my parents though (we’re a traditional chinese family). And I never want to stop kissing my boy, not even when he’s grown up! :) I think if you make it a habit from young, it’ll never seem weird to them.

  114. Anonymous says...

    I doubt there is anything sweeter in life than my daughters sloppy wet perfect lips on mine! Lip locking rules

  115. So I’m kind of late to this conversation but I love it!

    We grew up kissing our parents on the lips and as we got older they became cheek kisses. Hugs and kisses fir everyone after family prayer.

    And I totally kiss my baby on the mouth. How can I not? His mouth is so sweet. And he thinks it’s funny. I’ll do anything for that smile.

    I asked my husband if he kisses the little one on the lips and looked at me like I was crazy and said “of course I do”. So there you have it. We are pro mouth kissing in our family.

  116. I can’t help but kiss my 11 mo old baby boy, even on the mouth.

  117. I am so accustomed to kissing my family on the mouth (especially when departing) that when I left for winter break, I kissed my roommate on the lips just out of habit! We were both pretty shocked.

  118. i kiss my baby niece on the mouth all the time! i would assume i’ll probably stop when she gets older because i’ve never kissed any other family member on the mouth besides my husband. but i LOVED on Eat Pray Love when the Brazilian man kisses his son on the mouth, it is so sweet.

  119. Anonymous says...

    It seriously creeps me out to even think of hugging my Mum and Dad, let alone kissing! I remember doing it as a child, but it felt very stiff and awkward.

    When I have my own family, though, things will be different. I love to hug and kiss my partners family, and my godfamily – slobbery baby mouth kisses, in-law grandparent pecks, you name it!

  120. I haven’t read through all the comments so someone might have pointed this out already, but at least here in Finland (and at least in the rest of the Scandinavian countries) parents are strongly recommended not to kiss their kids on the lips because of the baby’s oral hygiene. A kiss on the mouth or sharing utensils can transmit bacteria. (Just Google it if you want to find out more.) And most parents over here are pretty careful about it, including me. I’d love to kiss my baby on the lips, and there is nothing weird about it, really, what could be sweeter? But… I also don’t want to spread any cavity-causing bacteria.

    Don’t mean to point any fingers, just wanted to let you know. :)

  121. mouth-kisser all the way! I love kissing both my 4 and 6 year old on the mouth, although it happens mostly at bedtime. the rest of the time I do my best to try and catch them and kiss them on the nose/forehead/arm or whatever body part I can grab hold of!

  122. Wow so many comments! I love this post and feel so strongly about it. When I was really small (about two years old) I used to love kissing my parents on the lips, and as I got older I would make a game of it where I would count to twenty(or more) kisses. Also with my brothers and sisters. But as I got older I would not kiss my brothers and sisters or father on the lips anymore. I still kiss my mother on the lips because she’s my mommy and it makes me feel like her baby again. I do not think that kissing your family on the lips is innapropriate and I think there is no cutoff age either.

  123. Nora Nuno says...

    Ooo..no I don’t like kissing on lips it’s weird. Plus my son knows that kissing on lips means something different than on cheek or forehead or whatever so that wouldn’t work out.

  124. I remember, as a small child, seeing people kiss romantically in movies. I thought you kissed everyone that way. I remember trying to kiss my parents on the lips, trying to make it last forever. I did not understand when and when not that was appropriate.
    That said, I would kiss my parents on the mouth as a small child. I don’t know when it stopped, but it did. We just slowly started pecking and moving away from the lips as we got older.
    I kiss my 9-month-old baby girl on the lips, and all over her little face. She slobbers all over me with lip kisses, and I love it. But now that I think about it, my husband seems to kiss her more on the head. I will have to have him try.

  125. Julie says...

    Hi,
    It is funny that you talked about this French mother in the film. In my whole French life (^^) I never even saw nor did kiss any member of my family on the mouth. Before your post I did not think people did that, it must a cultural difference :)
    Xoxo

  126. I love this post!

    My family isn’t big on kissing. And neither is my husband’s family. BUT me and my husband are big on kissing our son on the mouth. It seemed very natural to us, even though we weren’t raised that way.
    -crystal

  127. hi! i just found your blog and i love it. your posts on breastfeeding have made me cry with joy and sentimentality – i feel the exact same way about nursing my little monkey.
    my baby is six months old now and i fully kiss her on the mouth as much as i can. her little bow lips and her toothless grin are irresistible. my husband kisses her on the lips too, but we are the only ones. it feels like a special parent privilege, i think. i still kiss my mom on the lips sometimes, but fell out of the habit with my dad sometime in mid-childhood when my sense of gender identity was activated, i guess?

  128. I’m with your grandpa – I’ve always thought it was weird when parents kissed their children on the lips. But to each his own :)

  129. i grew up giving lip kisses to family members, but stopped as a teenager. i hadn’t kissed my own little one on the mouth until recently…i was worried about mama germs! but he’s almost 22 months now and mama germs are nothing compared to what he encounters on nyc playgrounds :) he decided to start giving lip smooches and i’m thrilled. it’s adorable and so gross in the best way.

  130. when i see other people kiss their kids on the lips, i think “aw, so sweet and intimate and european!” it doesn’t really gross me out at all, i think it’s very innocent and sweet. but then again, this is coming from someone who kind of makes out with her dog…. :)

  131. HAHAHA!!! Great subject! My hubby thinks it’s weird to kiss his son on the lips, I on the other hand can’t help it. It is instinctual for me. Those soft, drooly lips, yummi!!! xoxo
    alma

  132. Nice topic!

    I love to kiss kids on the lips but my family is more cheek kissing. we don’t hug a lot we’re modest…i’m the brat of the family and love kissing and hugging so somtime to annoy them i even like them on the cheek ( they act like they don’t like it but i know the do héhé) now that my big sister got a baby girl i somtime kiss her on the lips but i’m scared to disturb my sister… i’m defenetly on kiss on the lips team!

  133. Breena says...

    My FAVORITE part to kiss my babies is right where their lip, cheek and chin meet. It’s so scooshy!!!!
    I tell my babies, “Oh, I just want to suck your face off!” Hannibal-like? Maybe…but I can’t stinkin’ help it!
    My oldest son is five and I still can’t get enough of his lippers. He’ll just have to deal! He’ll be my hunk of burnin’ love for a LOOOON time ;)

  134. Isabelle says...

    I’m French and that may explain my reaction ;-) Actually, kissing any member of my family or any child for that matter on the lips seems to me very inappropriate. But I guess it is a European way of seeing things (God, I seem to have something in common with a British old man ;-))
    Neither in France nor in Italy, where I’ve lived for some time, have I ever seen any of my friends kiss their parents or children on the lips ! Kissing on the lips is very sensual and I reserve it to my boyfriend, I really wouldn’t feel comfortable kissing a child there ;-(
    Highly cultural difference I see !!
    Very enjoyable and instructive post and comments anyway !!

  135. Anonymous says...

    I kiss my ten and 7 year old children on the lips and my parents on the cheek – don’t know why. India

  136. Sheri Rowe says...

    Oh gosh, I come from a family full of “mouth kissers”! In fact, the first time my husband was about to meet my family I had to prepare him for it. Even as adult’s I kiss my brother’s on the lips (certainly not in an Angelina-Jolie-Oscar-Winning-Night sort of way however).
    Now as a mother of a two month old with perfectly kissable little lips, I think it’s the most natural, and wonderful, thing in the world!

  137. smoochies all the way!
    funny Q to put to everyone…it’s good to read the answers :-)
    my son (4) and i smooch a lot…my husband is japapanese and i don’t think he ever remembers any kissing at all growing up….yet,now he kisses our son nearly as much as me :-)

  138. baby mouth kisses are the best!

    it’s funny, my husband comes from a long line of mouth kissers, and even to this day he kisses his mum and sister on the mouth. when i first became part of his family, i found it a bit confronting, coming from a family of cheek kissers (or cheek swipers in some cases!) to be kissed on the lips by sparky’s brother, cousins and mum (not his dad thankfully – i do think that would be weird) was just…different. even now i have to remind myself that it’s a lovely gesture, where his family is saying, “we love you as one of our own kids/siblings.”

    now, as a mum, i kiss my 6-month-old toby on the mouth all the time, as well as isla, our two year old. it feels natural and close and beautiful and i love it.

    my husband does too. when toby was born he asked if it was ok for him to kiss his son on the mouth and i told him of course it was and that little boys need to grow up knowing that open displays of affection are acceptable and encouraged and beautiful. he hasn’t looked back since!

  139. jane says...

    Ha – this makes me laugh. I’m a total lip kisser from a family of lip kissers, but my husband isn’t. He still tells a story of when he told my dad that he was going to propose my dad practically french kissed him. I lip kiss all three of my kids (when they’ll let me) but I still only see him kiss them on the cheek and he’ll only let them kiss him on his cheek. Ah, what he’s missing….

  140. I kiss my mom and little sister on the mouth, but i kiss my dad on the corner of his mouth…if i kiss any of my brothers or older sisters it is usually on the cheek…all my nephews i kiss on the mouth because they are still too little to care! when they get older, i will let them decide about kissing their aunt!

  141. My fiance kisses our little one on the mouth, the same as me, and it makes me very happy to see.

    His family is very affectionate, the father especially! Josh’s father refers to both him and our baby as “my son.” I think it is so sweet! How odd that people think it’s WEIRD to kiss their children on the mouths! ):

  142. i was a cheek kisser until i had my own children. there’s something about kissing those sweet little lips that i just can’t resist.

  143. What a cute topic! I love kissing my son’s goobery little toddler mouth, and cheeks, and head, and elbows! I can’t imagine not giving him kisses, they are just the sweetest. His dad kisses him on the lips too. I assume that will stop one day, but I’m interested to see when. I’ve always kissed my dad on the lips, but not my mom. I’m sure I kissed my mom on the lips when I was little, but I’m not sure at what age it stopped. I’ve never been bothered giving my dad a peck while saying goodbye, even in front of my partner, but I think my sister stopped kissing my dad when she got engaged or married.

  144. I have to say I love this post!! I Dont think it’s inapropriate to kiss your son on the mouth, not at all!!! My son is 7yrs old and I still give him a kiss on his mouth and so does his father!! It’s sweet and so natural, I also so
    sometimes kiss my mom on the mouth as well ;) You rock and baby sloberry kisses are the best!!!! xo

  145. first of all, i loved this post.
    now, i have a funny one for you. while i kiss my own kids on the mouth like crazy, especially my babies and, of course, my husband, that is it. other than them i am a cheek kisser on all accounts. however… i kiss my husband’s grandfather on the lips! or, rather, he kisses me. he is a lip kisser with everyone, so why not, i guess. i thought i was really funny the first time i met him when i was only in high school and he went straight for a kiss! now i understand it is just his thing and, honestly, i think the world would be a better place if we wouldn’t all be afraid to kiss those we love on the lips. more germ-y, though, maybe…