All parents worry about the possibility that their precious little newborn baby will catch a horrible virus and become ill. It’s a perfectly understandable side-effect of being a parent: once you have a baby, you don’t ever stop worrying about them – not even when they are adults!
Unfortunately, we are continually surrounded by coughs, colds and other infectious viruses, and unless you place your child in an isolation tent from day one, there is no fool proof way of keeping them safe from illness. But despite this, there is a lot you can do to reduce the likelihood that your newborn will get sick in the early days and weeks. So here are a few tips to help you keep your baby safe.
Keep Sick People Away from Baby
It is impossible to screen every single person who comes within breathing distance of your child and apart from anything else many illnesses are infectious several days before symptoms appear. However, you should tell friends and family not to visit if they are carrying a cold, cough or other viral infection. It takes a while for a baby’s immune system to develop and until this happens, a baby is more susceptible to bugs than other people.
Wash Hands Often
Washing your hands is the best way to prevent transmission of nasty bugs. Always wash your hands before feeding your baby, after changing their nappy, and before touching them if you have been petting the dog or cleaning out the cat litter tray. It may sound like an obvious thing to do, but as a harassed parent of a newborn, you will probably be distracted at times and forget.
Keep a Sanitary House
A lot of common viruses can be prevented from spreading by thoroughly cleaning your home: wiping down hand rails and door knobs with antibacterial spray, and keeping hard surfaces sterile with a Karcher steam cleaner. This will help to prevent viruses and bacteria from colonising your home and spreading.
Hygiene is also very important in the kitchen. If you are bottle feeding your baby, you need to be fastidious about sterilising bottles and feeding equipment. The same applies when the time comes to start introducing solids – always wash your hands and your baby’s hands before meal times.
More: Baby has a cold?
Have Baby Vaccinated
Vaccinations are very important. Vaccinating your baby protects them from serious illness such as measles, mumps, rubella and whooping cough. Some parents don’t vaccinate their baby because there have been reports over the years about possible side effects of certain vaccinations, but the risks associated with catching any of these diseases are far higher than any side effects. And once you’ve had them vaccinated, make sure you have a flu jab if you are eligible. After all, the last thing you need as a parent is a dose of the flu.
You can’t avoid germs forever, so at some point your baby will fall ill. In most cases they will be perfectly OK after a few days, but if you are worried about their symptoms, or your baby is less than three months old, ask your doctor or health visitor for advice.