Parenting

35 Sweet And Hilarious Photos Of Presidents With Babies

"Baby kissing" in politics goes back to the 1800s.
10/08/2018 05:27pm ET
Bettmann via Getty Images
Jimmy Carter is one of many presidents who engaged in "baby kissing" on the campaign trail. 

Politicians use many tactics to gain the trust and support of potential voters ― including holding and kissing constituents’ babies.

“Baby kissing,” which even has its own Wikipedia entry, is a time-honored political tradition that appears to date back to the days of Andrew Jackson.

According to a story printed in 1888, Jackson took a “dirty-faced infant” from his mother’s arms and declared him “a fine specimen of American childhood” while in New Jersey in 1833. He then reportedly prompted Secretary of War John Eaton to kiss the baby before handing him back to his mother.

Other accounts have suggested that presidents like Abraham Lincoln, Martin Van Buren and Theodore Roosevelt also held and kissed babies. Apparently Grover Cleveland and Richard Nixon were not fans of the tradition, however.

Still, the practice became normalized over time, particularly on the campaign trail. Photographers have also captured images of presidents holding their own kids and grandkids over the years.

We’ve rounded up 35 photos of presidents holding and kissing babies (and a few toddlers) going back to the 19th century. Some were taken before on the campaign train, while others depict president-baby interactions inside the White House. Needless to say, these photos run the gamut from adorable to hilarious to slightly off-putting...

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Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
President Donald Trump holds a baby upon his arrival in Milwaukee on April 18, 2017.
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Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images
Trump, who at the time was the Republican presidential nominee, kisses a baby during a campaign rally in Tampa, Florida, on Nov. 5, 2016.
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Carlo Allegri / Reuters
Trump holds babies at a campaign rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on July 29, 2016.
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JEWEL SAMAD via Getty Images
President Barack Obama cradles a baby at Charcoal Pit restaurant in Wilmington, Delaware, on July 17, 2014, before having lunch with Tanei Benjamin, a single working mother who wrote a letter to him.
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Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
Obama kisses a baby after speaking at a town hall meeting in Ottumwa, Iowa, on April 27, 2010.
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MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images
Obama, at the time the president-elect, holds a baby as his visits volunteers during a National Day of Service Project event on Jan. 19, 2009.
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Mark Wilson via Getty Images
President George W. Bush holds up a baby during a campaign rally at Lancaster Airport in Lititz, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 27, 2004.
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Mark Wilson via Getty Images
Bush kisses a baby after speaking to reporters during a rally in Onalaska, Wisconsin on Oct. 26, 2004.
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David Hume Kennerly via Getty Images
Bush holds a baby at the Naval Station Mayport on Feb. 13, 2003, after speaking to sailors and military personnel in Jacksonville, Florida.
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Darren McCollester via Getty Images
President Bill Clinton holds a toddler on Aug. 4, 2000, after landing for his annual vacation on Martha's Vineyard island.
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Cynthia Johnson via Getty Images
Clinton, then a presidential candidate, holds a baby Oct. 5, 1992, in Florida.
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Ralf-Finn Hestoft via Getty Images
Clinton holds up a baby at the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York.
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Larry Downing via Getty Images
President George H.W. Bush holds a baby during his presidential election campaign in September 1992.
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Dirck Halstead via Getty Images
Bush comforts a crying baby at campaign rally in August 1992.
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Diana Walker via Getty Images
Bush holds a baby with AIDS in 1989.
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PhotoQuest via Getty Images
President Ronald Reagan visits National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1987, where he holds a 14-month-old baby with AIDS.
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PA Images via Getty Images
Reagan and his wife, Nancy, hold a 3-week-old baby during a visit to the O'Farrell pub in the village of Ballyporeen, Ireland, in 1984.
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Taro Yamasaki via Getty Images
Reagan holds Jeffrey Hunt, son of Wall Street Journal editor Al Hunt and CNN journalist Judy Woodruff, in an official White House photo circa 1981.
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Wally McNamee via Getty Images
President Jimmy Carter kisses a baby during a 1979 visit to Elk City, Oklahoma.
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Wally McNamee via Getty Images
Carter poses with a baby in Quincy, Illinois, in 1979, during a summer vacation cruising the Mississippi River.
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Bettmann via Getty Images
Carter, then a Democratic presidential nominee, holds 4-month-old Joseph Sumner of Georgia while exiting Plains Baptist Church in August 1976.
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Historical via Getty Images
President Gerald Ford holds a Vietnamese baby on an Air Force bus after greeting refugees in California in 1975.
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Wally McNamee via Getty Images
Ford carries a Vietnamese baby from a plane in 1975.
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Bettmann via Getty Images
Richard Nixon, who was vice president at the time, holds 3-year-old Colleen Kelly, winner of the "Miss Baby Hawaii" title at the 49th State Fair in Hawaii, during her tour of Washington in August 1953.
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Bettmann via Getty Images
Nixon poses with his wife and two children in Washington after being nominated at the GOP Convention in Chicago as the candidate for the vice presidency in 1952.
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Bettmann via Getty Images
President Lyndon Johnson with his grandson Patrick Lyndon Nugent while traveling to to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a brief holiday on March 2, 1968.
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Bettmann via Getty Images
John F. Kennedy, at the time a senator from Massachusetts, acting as godfather at his niece Victoria Lawford's christening services in November 1958.
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Ed Clark via Getty Images
Kennedy cuddling his baby daughter, Caroline, as her mom, Jackie, watches on March 25, 1958.
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Keystone-France via Getty Images
President Dwight Eisenhower and his granddaughter Mary Jean at the White House in December 1956.
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Bettmann via Getty Images
President Harry S. Truman poses with his two grandchildren in an apartment window in Manhattan circa 1960.
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Bettmann via Getty Images
Truman passes through the town of Barstow in the California desert. Dressed in pajamas and a dressing gown, he stands on the platform of his special train to greet the townspeople and hold babies circa 1948.
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New York Times Co. via Getty Images
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt holding his grandsons Franklin III and John Bettinger Jr. on his lap at the White House on Dec. 25, 1939.
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Underwood Archives via Getty Images
President Woodrow Wilson holds his granddaughter, Ellen Wilson McAdoo, in Washington, D.C., in 1915.
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Oscar White via Getty Images
President Theodore Roosevelt holds a grandchild on his lap in Washington, D.C., circa 1901.
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Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images
Family portrait of Roosevelt, his wife Edith and his five children taken in 1895.
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