If you are already prone to germaphobic tendencies like me, having a newborn exacerbates them. However, having a crawler and then a toddler makes you get over them pretty quickly. Especially one with a propensity towards putting everything in her mouth. I’d been a germaphobe for a good solid 8 years or so before E was born. (Though let’s face it, it probably started way before that; apparently, I would refuse to go to sleep in my crib if there were “ahckies” [hairs] in it.) I studied public health. I am pretty “exacting” about my space (as a friend politely once put it), both in terms of organization and cleanliness. So when E came along, everything I thought she might even glance at was sanitized. I made everyone who came over and wanted to touch her wash their hands first. I even had a little bottle of hand sanitizer as a permanent fixture in our living room. If her pacifier *might* have touched the couch cushion, it was to the sink for a wash with it. (We actually developed a system that if the nubbin was touching the table, that pacifier was “out,” but if the nubbin was up, it was still in play.) The dog was not allowed anywhere near her.