One of the worst experiences for new parents is when their little one becomes unwell. Especially during the colder months of the year, there is an increased risk of infection, cold and fever. Since babies have weaker immunity until they are a year old, they are prone to frequent bouts of runny noses or chest congestion.
If anybody in the family is down with a virus such as the common cold, the infection can spread to baby even before the symptoms are seen. When you come in close contact with baby while cuddling, playing, bathing him, or putting him to sleep, you could be transferring the infection. Sneezing, crankiness, sleeplessness, and inconsolable crying are the first signs that your baby is unwell. Practice these four precautionary measures to help baby stay happy and well throughout the year.
1. Breast milk is the best antibiotic.
The first and best thing to improve your baby’s immunity is to continue breastfeeding, even while you are sick. Breast milk doesn’t spread the infection; instead, it is packed with antibodies that provide your baby with the much-needed nutrition to fight illness.
2. Ensure hand hygiene.
Infections spread through touch, so it is important to sanitize your hands before you take baby in your arms. When you are outside your home, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer handy, so that you can ask others to use it before they lift baby. This is an effective way of preventing the spread of germs and infections to your baby.
3. Sterilize your baby’s clothes, toys, and her environment.
Right from the cradle to your baby’s chewy toy or pacifier, everything needs to be disinfected. Germs spread through unhygienic surfaces. Wash your baby’s clothes and mop the floor with a natural antiseptic cleanser; vinegar diluted in water is a natural option for cleaning surfaces. You could also rinse your baby’s toys in hot water before letting her play with them.
4. Use disposable wipes to clean your baby.
When you have a cold, using a cloth towel or hanky could increase the spread of infection from you to baby. Using disposable wipes helps ensure that baby gets a clean wipe every time.
These precautionary steps can help protect your baby from some common infections. In case you need to take medication for your illness while breastfeeding, then consult a doctor to be sure that it is safe for baby.