How can you keep your newborn from getting sick?
Well, it’s complicated.
Germs are in the air and on surfaces like toys.
Other children and adults could infect your child, too.
It’s enough to make a new parent paranoid.
So, let’s address this problem in baby steps.
4 easy ways to keep your baby from becoming ill
Her immune system is still developing, and she’s prone to illness (1).
But there are four ways you can protect her.
First, keep her away from others that are sick.
I realize that’s difficult when it’s someone in your own household.
Second, train family members on hygiene. Teach them to use disposable tissues or the crook of their elbow when they sneeze or cough.
Third, ask others to wash their hands before they touch or hold the baby. Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer in your diaper bag if you need it.
There’s no shame in defending your child’s health.
Fourth, take the time to disinfect toys.
These practices drastically cut down on the number of germs that your child is exposed to.
It may seem like overreacting in the beginning, but if it avoids the problem, it’s worth the effort.
What to do if your newborn gets a cold?
Even with all the effort you’ve made to keep her well, sometimes she’ll catch a cold.
It happens – it doesn’t mean you’re a terrible parent.
We can’t see germs. They are a an enemy that’s hard to battle.
But now it’s time to make sure you have the supplies you need on hand.
If you don’t already have one, I recommend a baby first-aid kit.
This goes beyond Band-Aids and alcohol wipes.
I’m talking tools like bulb syringes for sucking out snot and a thermometer for monitoring her temperature.
Babies breathe through their noses; therefore, congestion makes it very hard for them to breathe.
That may be the first sign you have that she’s ill. She’ll have a stuffy or runny nose.
She may also develop a fever, become irritable, and eat less.
If she’s a newborn, contact your doctor as soon as you notice the symptoms.
Any time a baby has a temperature over 100°, has difficulty breathing, or other severe symptoms, contact a doctor (or 911 if needed) immediately.
Otherwise, if she’s just a little congested, you might have success with a baby room humidifier to help her breathe.
Measure the humidity in your home. If it’s under 30%, some moisture will improve the baby’s comfort.
However, keep in mind that you need to keep the humidifier clean. Clean and disinfect the tank to avoid spreading mold spores or bacteria through the air.
What to do if you become ill and need to take care of your child
I have always admired moms and dads who still take care of their children even though they are under the weather.
With that said, you still need to think twice.
If your baby isn’t sick, but you are, you need to be vigilant.
If you can have a different caregiver take care of things for a while, that’s better. You can recover faster, and the baby stays insulated from the infection.
Of course, that’s not always possible. And that’s where proper handwashing and other hygiene practices come in handy.
The latest viral outbreak is all over the news right now. We’re being bombarded with information about how to avoid falling ill.
It’s the same stuff you’ve been practicing for your baby’s sake.
Wash your hands, stay away from sick people, disinfect surfaces.
If you are ill, you could wear a face mask when it’s time to feed the baby or change her diaper. That’s because putting a mask on her is impractical as she’ll probably just pull it off.
Get advice from your doctor regarding other tips to follow.
Lastly, if you don’t have paid sick leave or family leave, it’s time to advocate for changes. You’re raising the next generation after all.
- https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold-in-babies/symptoms-causes/syc-20351651 accessed March 11, 2020