Babies are not famed for their rock hard immune systems, so you may be wondering what steps you can take to keep your baby healthy during cold and flu season. Looking after a poorly baby isn’t much fun, babies get pretty miserable when they’re suffering from stuffy noses, weepy eyes and fevers. A poorly baby may struggle to sleep well and probably won’t want to be put down, meaning you’ll be feeling touched out and exhausted. To try and avoid that, there are a few things you can do to try and keep your baby healthy:
- Stay away from poorly people
This one sounds easy enough, but during the winter months, poorly people are everywhere. If you want to reduce the risk of your baby getting ill, be upfront with potential visitors that you’d rather not expose your baby to germs and viruses. This should encourage poorly people to stay away. You can also request that people wash their hands before touching or holding the baby as a way of limiting the spread of germs.
- Teach your older child about handwashing
If you have any older child who attends school or nursery, they’re likely to be a walking petri-dish of germs. If you want to try and prevent your baby from getting sick, you’ll need to educate your older child about how important it is to wash your hands before touching the baby. You’ll also have to stress the importance of not coughing or sneezing around the baby. With older children around, trying to keep your baby germ-free will be even more of a challenge.
- Keep breastfeeding
Young babies don’t have much in the way of immune systems, but breastfeeding is a great way to help keep your baby healthy. Through breastfeeding, your baby will receive some of your immunities which may help to protect her from some of the viruses going around at the moment. Also, and prepare to be amazed by the genius of your body here, your breast milk contains antibodies to any germs your baby may have picked up. Scientists think that at each feed, a small amount of your baby’s saliva is absorbed into your body, if any bacteria or viruses are discovered, your body will start producing the necessary antibodies and these will be delivered to your baby via breast milk. Pretty impressive, right?
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle
People function best when they’re eating healthy foods, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep. Ensuring your baby is enjoying all of these components of a healthy lifestyle could go some way to boosting their immune system. When your baby is old enough to start on solid foods, make sure you offer a healthy, balanced diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and greens.
The above tips may help to keep your baby healthy, but in reality, your baby is likely to encounter a few sniffles along the way. Your baby has an immature immune system and is at an increased risk of catching any bugs going round. You can follow the steps above to try and keep your baby healthy, but remember it’s not possible to completely eradicate the risk of your baby catching a cold.
Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.