I believe in exposing my child to germs. I believe it will strengthen her immune system and have read that it will lessen her likelihood of developing asthma. Of course, when she was a newborn, I was careful not to expose her to too much, asking people to wash their hands before holding her and rinsing her pacifier in scalding hot water if it ever fell on the floor.
But now that she is bigger and stronger, Michael and I are trying to introduce more pathogens into her life. If her toys or pacifier fall on the floor in our house or either of our parents' houses, we pick them up, remove any dog hairs from them, and return them to Isla. So far, this hasn't seemed to really effect her. She does have the occasional bout of diarrhea, but she did that before we took this more relaxed stance to germs.
Some people in our extended family are not too supportive of this approach. Michael's grandmother almost smacked my hand on Sunday when she saw me return Isla's fallen pacifier to her mouth. I am not too concerned though. Very soon, Isla will be crawling, and then I will have little say in what she puts in her mouth.