Mother says loved ones don't have right to hug baby with no consent

‘Woke’ mother who refuses to let family members hug her one-year-old daughter without the toddler giving her ‘consent’ is slammed by This Morning viewers for teaching her child ‘utter rubbish’

  • Brittany Baxter, from Melbourne, teaches one-year-old daughter about consent
  • Says one-year-old doesn’t have to cuddle family members if she doesn’t want to
  • Appeared on This Morning where she said she was teaching essential life skills 
  • However viewers branded the idea of teaching a baby consent ‘utter rubbish’ 

A mother who says her baby daughter must consent to cuddles says she’s teaching her one-year-old ‘necessary skills’ for the rest of her life. 

Brittany Baxter, from Melbourne, Australia, sparked debate after taking to TikTok to slam adults for ‘guilt tripping’ cuddles out of babies and saying that she’s been teaching her own daughter about consent since the day she was born. 

Appearing on This Morning today, she said that while her family members struggled initially at her ‘challenging social norms’ by not allowing them unlimited cuddles,  they soon began to accept they were ‘helping their grandchild’. 

However viewers branded the idea ‘utter rubbish’, with several questioning how a newborn baby is able to consent to cuddles. 

Brittany Baxter, from Melbourne, Australia – who says her baby daughter must consent to cuddles – says she’s teaching her one-year-old ‘necessary skills’ for the rest of her life

The Australian mum took to TikTok to slam adults for denying toddlers their right to consent by  ‘guilt tripping’ cuddles out of them

Speaking of her parents, Brittany said: ‘I think they may have struggle with it initially and I kind of get that. 

‘I’m challenging social norms and even potentially beliefs that we have around children and children knowing what they want. 

‘But once I explained the importance of it they really got on board with it and saw it as an opportunity to help their grandchild to develop really necessary skills she is going to need for her entire life. ‘   

Brittany said that while children are unable to talk, they’re ‘observational learners’ and will be able to pick up on how people around them act when it comes to consent. 

However viewers branded the idea ‘utter rubbish’, with several questioning how a newborn baby is able to consent to cuddles

‘So I think it can sound a little bit strange, I want to put it into context’, she said. ‘Children before they can even speak are observational learners and so are taking in the way you are with them, the way you behave with other people, strangers and so fourth. 

‘So my husband and I, before my daughter was born we just got really clear on how we modelled consent in our relationship, how we practiced it, how we did with strangers and family members. 

‘So that is essentially what I mean when I say teaching her and modelling consent to her from day dot.’ 

What does Brittany teach her baby about consent? 

Brittany says she has been teaching her daughter about consent her whole life.

She says no one has the right to hug or kiss her daughter without asking.

Loved ones have been told this rule and that they must asked for a hug or kiss.

If they are told no, then they must not force the issue, act sad or complain out loud that the child doesn’t love them.   

Her and her husband also abide by these rules. 

If people forget or don’t pay attention to the rules she reminds them and says standing firm is key.

She also explained taking time away from people who don’t abide by the rules can help. 

The mother has a degree in psychology and used to run a body image coaching business where ‘topics around consent and bodily autonomy’ where spoken about frequently. 

She added: ‘Prior to giving birth I did a lot of research to parenting styles and which had the best results and the topic of consent came up a lot and that’s where I got it from and why I started practicing it essentially.’ 

Hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary questioned Brittany on whether her baby would have to consent to having her nappy changed or eating her vegetables. 

‘As a mum I hold really firm boundaries around safety and basic hygiene and food, however there is a way in which you can approach that where it is still modelling respect’, she replied. 

‘I don’t give her a choice in when I change her nappy, because that can lead to a whole host of negative health outcomes if she’s sitting in a dirty nappy. 

‘So I state the boundary, but the way I model respect for that is talking her through the process of what I’m doing and also teaching her the correct names for her private parts 

‘I guess relate that to going to the doctor and them saying, “I’m going to take your temperature, i’m going to put the thermometer in your ear or your mouth”. 

‘So you kind of feel empowered in what they’re doing, that’s sort of the same principle I apply to my daughter around nappy changes and bath time.’ 

But viewers still weren’t convinced by the idea, with one writing: ‘How does a newborn express consent? This is utter rubbish’. 

Another said: ‘When did This Morning become so woke and out of touch. They’re discussing a woman who asks her baby for consent to cuddle. What is this bulls**t’. 

A third agreed: ‘How does a baby consent when it’s crying when they can’t even talk yet??’ 

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