Your newborn baby is exactly that…new! A fresh bundle of joy who has spent the last 9 months all cozy and safe in the womb. When they finally enter the world, they are exposed to all sorts of germs and illnesses. Not only is your baby new but their immune system is too and still in the process of developing. Therefore, this means babies can get sick very easily. As parents our first thoughts are protect, protect, protect! Even though some exposure to germs can be healthy to build up their immune system, we still need to take some preventative measures to make sure we keep them within a safe range. Here are some advice to ensure your baby will have a happy and healthy first year.
1. No Sick Guests Allowed…..
I’m sure all your friends and family want to come rushing round to see your little one, and it’s completely understandable. However, it’s time to be a mama bear and limit the number of people in and out of your house. Yes, it sounds harsh and may offend some people but it needs to be done! Your baby is your number one priority and you don’t know what kind of germs or infections your visitors may be carrying. A strict ‘no sick guests’ allowed policy must be enforced and anyone who is sick or in recovery needs to stay away. This should extend to kids too as they usually carry more colds. If you have a toddler or a child at home, regularly wash their hands and faces to keep germs in check.
2. Breast is Best…..
The human body is such a marvelous thing, did you know that breastmilk is filled with antibodies, white blood cells, enzymes and all sorts of other factors that boost a baby’s immune system? Yep that’s right, antibodies and other good stuff are transported through your breast milk to give your little one an extra line of defense. They literally coat your baby’s intestine and keep bad bacteria out of the body. Breastfeeding your baby strengthens their immune system and gives your baby probiotics, the good bacteria that helps keep us healthy! However, if you are unable to breastfeed, don’t worry, I repeat do not worry! There are several other things you can do to protect your baby that we will cover.
3. Sanitizer is Your Friend…..
Hand sanitizer is a must have product for parents of newborns, if you’re unable to wash your hands, a little hand sanitizer can go a long way. It’s also a good idea to carry disinfecting wipes to clean surfaces or handles when out and about with your baby. It sounds extreme but germs can live up to five hours on common objects so make it a habit to wipe things down. I know it sounds excessive but remember you’re trying to limit the number of germs your baby encounters as their immune system is not ready for it.
4. Vaccination is Vital…..
To create the safest environment for your baby all caregivers and immediate family members should be vaccinated. We cannot stress how important this is. If a caregiver or close family member gets influenza or the whooping cough, they can easily pass it onto the baby. This can be life threatening as the first few months of your baby’s life are so precious. Therefore, get vaccinated ASAP. Mothers are usually vaccinated whilst pregnant and babies get their shots at around two months. Please talk to your caregiver for further information if you have any worries or questions.
5.Stay-In and Avoid crowds…..
The world is a wonderful place, but it’s also filled with germs and bacteria. The best way to protect your newborn is by staying in, especially in the first few weeks. We understand that getting fresh air can be great for you and your baby, however, avoid going to places with large crowds. This can cut the risk of your baby getting a common infection. As we mentioned before, your baby’s immune system is still developing and most pediatricians recommend keeping your infant away from crowds for at least the first couple of months of life. If you do go out, best practice is to keep your baby covered when in public places. Remember do not go out too soon and too often, the best way to protect your baby is to limit their exposure to germs and bacteria.
6. Visit the Doctor…..
Most of us avoid going to the doctors until we really need to go. However, this attitude should not be transferred to your baby! Make sure you attend all scheduled appointments to ensure your baby is healthy and on the right track. Furthermore, be on the lookout for any changes in your baby e.g. high temperatures or sleeping too much…. If anything worries you, go visit your pediatrician. Remember prevention is key and swift medical attention can stop something minute developing into something big.
7. Wash your hands…..
People touch a number of things public door handles, keys, books etc. All of which have germs which transfers to hand and then to your nose, mouth and eyes. This is the fastest way you catch colds which in turn can be passed onto your baby. Therefore, always ask people to wash their hands before touching or holding your baby. It’s completely in your rights and what is the absolute best for your baby. Remember, you’re trying to minimize the number of germs your baby comes into contact with so don’t be afraid to speak up!
We sincerely hope our tips will make you feel more prepared! They should be easy to implement into your daily life and it is really only most necessary for the first few months of your baby’s life, as by the fourth month, your child’s immune system will already be much stronger. You don’t have to live in a germ-free world forever, just a short while! If you have any hints or tips, we would love to hear from you, feel free to comment below!