“If your newborn get’s sick, there is a high chance of them getting a spinal tap,” is the only words that echoed in my head after leaving the hospital last Spring, with baby number 2. Having a newborn with a cold or flu seemed like a stressful event that I wanted to avoid at all costs.
It was just my luck that last Spring was a rather long and horrible cold and flu season too. It was so bad that parents were not allowed to have their other children come to the hospital to meet their new siblings.
Yes, We all know that one of the first challenges with bringing home a new baby is keeping them safe and healthy. With this in mind, we strongly wanted to avoid having a newborn with a cold or flu.
I’m sure I probably got a bit carried away, but I was able to avoid having a newborn with a cold until well over six months of age. So this year, the flu and cold virus is again rampant. I wanted to offer some help to other new moms to help prevent their newborns from getting sick.
How do I prevent having a newborn with a cold?
Sometimes with other kids around, it’s just inevitable. But here are a few ways to help reduce the chances of your newborn getting sick.
Use a little soap to keep your newborn healthy
First and foremost, wash your hands. There will be those individuals out there that swear that all they need to do is wash their hands when they use the bathroom, and they’ll have clean hands all day.
Please! Don’t let people that get annoyed when you tell them to wash their hands touch your baby.
Washing your hands can tremendously cut down on the number of germs that is shared with your baby. I’m a nurse, so I’m extra OCD when it comes to hand washing. I also make sure that everyone who touches my baby has seen some soap and water!
Limit guests or visitors
Notably, a new baby can bring family from far and wide to come visit to take a peek at little Cindy Lou. But if your baby has arrived during flu season, then be extra cautious about visitors. It’s not for everyone, but some parents do have a house full of guests after having a new baby.
In some cultures, women are taken care of head to toe, by other women after having a baby. If you’re part of something like this, be sure to have the sick caregivers stay home.
Indeed, it’s good to remember that a baby’s immune system is still developing, so having a lot of visitors over during the first few weeks may not be ideal. Especially if it’s flu season.
Take care of yourself to avoid having a newborn with a cold
You are the main lifeline for your baby. Make sure that you are sleeping, eating, staying hydrated, and getting your vitamins.
Indeed it is hard with a new baby to have time to eat, let alone sleep. However, try to stay as healthy as possible. Having extra help from a non-sick family member can get you some much-needed rest.
If you’re washing your hands, avoiding crowds and staying on top of your own health, this should help reduce your baby’s chances of getting sick.
Keep your other kids healthy
Moreover, if you’re a parent of more than one child, you may already know that if one kid gets sick, it usually goes through the whole family. Therefore, to maintain a healthy environment for your newborn, you must try to keep your other kids healthy.
As much as I tried to keep my toddler away from putting his icky hands on his sister’s face or coughing in her face, it’s challenging.
You can only do the best you can. But make sure to have your toddler learn how to cover their mouths with coughing and use hand sanitizer for juicy sneezes.
When my toddler would reach for the baby with icky hands, I thought it was beneficial for me to give the baby a voice. So I would pretend to talk as the baby and say, ” please wash your hands before we play to keep me happy and healthy.” My toddler loved this and was more inclined to wash his hands, cause his little sister asks him too.
Avoid sick playmates
The first few days of being home with a new baby can be joyful, yet miserable. It’s especially challenging if you have another child at home to entertain. You may feel the need to send your child to play at a trusted friend’s house so you can get some much-needed rest.
I urge you to make sure you always question if everyone is feeling healthy in the home and that there aren’t any signs that someone is coming down with something.
Similarly, having playmates over for your older kids is a fun distraction for them, but don’t let them come to visit ill.
Avoid large crowds to keep baby healthy
Another way to keep your newborn healthy after birth is too avoid large crowds. Large groups will, for sure, consist of a few sick people. Coupled with people that are fighting something but remain in denial about their status.
New babies attract people like a magnet. So you’ll be getting a lot of people wanting to peek at your baby and stroke their cheek. I’m not sure about you, but I was annoyed with this.
The number of strangers who tried to touch my baby’s face during the flu season was overwhelming. So be aware, babies attract strangers like crazy. You’ll definitely want to read my next tip to help with this.
As a matter of fact, I would avoid plane travel if your baby is only a couple of weeks old. Besides, you might end up next to someone that coughs and doesn’t cover their mouth.
While traveling internationally during the coronavirus, we were on edge about this. As it appeared everyone on the damn plane seem to be coughing and very few covered their mouths. Maybe I’m just extreme, but hey, this is how you keep your newborn from getting sick this season.
Babywear to keep newborn from getting cold
I love babywearing. I do it everywhere I go. There are so many excellent benefits to babywearing your baby. One, in particular, is that it helps to keep your baby safe from getting sick. So if you’re a busy mom and you need a way to prevent having a newborn with a cold, then this is a good way.
How does it do that?
Well easy. For example, for parties or events, It would prevent the “pass the baby game” and reduce the number of people touching baby.
Unfortunately, you might still get those insistent people that don’t care. They will want to hold your baby despite baby being in carrier asleep. This has happened to me! And yes, I’m rolling my eyes just thinking about it.
Breastfeeding your baby to avoid having a newborn with a cold
Want to keep your newborn healthy this season, then give them that good old breastmilk! Well, hopefully, not too old.
It’s magic! Well not exact, it’s more so just biology! But a mama can get excited.
Breastmilk is some incredible stuff that does wonders. Did you know that when your baby is sick, your breastmilk automatically changes in form to give your baby what they need? Cool huh?
Breastfeeding is such a fantastic way to keep your baby healthy during flu and cold season. Besides, it’s super easy to whip out the girls, where you are, and nurse. If your a traveler like me, I don’t bring bottles, don’t need them. Just pop out the ladies and breastfeed baby from the tap.
Want some help choosing the best breastfeeding essentials? I have a list of my favorites. You can find it right here!
Having a newborn with a cold or flu can be very stressful as a new mom. These recommendations are an excellent way to reduce the chances of your new baby getting a cold or flu in their first weeks of life.