Monday, November 12, 2012

13 Ways to Keep Your Newborn Cold and Flu Free this Winter

With the Holidays often come colds and flues.  The last thing you want to deal with is an ill newborn or infant. Consider these 13 tips to keep your newborn healthy. After all you birthed your baby at home to avoid exposure to hospital super bugs lets keep her healthy.

1. Exclusively breastfeed. Hint: exclusively means only milk no solid food. Exclusively breastfeed for a minimum of 6 months and continue nursing into your babies toddlerhood. The same antibodies and amazing nutrients your breastmilk has when your baby is a newborn is still helpful when your baby is 13 months old. Breastfeeding is also insurance through an illness that your baby is still getting some good qulaity nutrition even if they are vomiting or don't have much of an appetite.

2. Wear your baby. Keeping your baby close to you limits other people exposing their germs to your baby. A person is also much less likely to touch your baby if your baby's head it two inches away from your breast. 

3. Keep your baby dressed warmly but not too warmly. Overheating is as difficult on your babies immunity and physical well being and being too cold. Your newborn and young infant will be comfortable in one more layer than you are. So if you are wearing long sleeves and pants consider putting the same on your baby plus a little hat or socks as well.

4.Wash your hands. No one touches your baby more than you do. Wash your hands frequently and if your child is old enough to touch anything wash their hands as well.

5.Avoid public places. Sounds cliche but most people do not know they are sick until it is too late. Restaurants and Christmas parties and germ cities. Keep your baby away from others at parties and if someone feels they absolutely must touch your baby have them touch their toes not their faces or hands.

6. Avoid letting baby touch these 6 germ magnets 

* Bed linens of someone who is ill
* Bathtubs
* Shopping cart handles
* Playgrounds
* Carpets
* Kitchen Sink

6. Go outside away from recirculated air and allow the sun to hit their skin. Vitamin D from sunlight is a top immunity booster.

10. Ditch the pacifier. I never encourage the use of pacifiers but if your baby needs one consider stopping after 6 months when the babies biological need to suck goes down significantly. As hard as we try it is difficult to keep pacifiers clean and free from germs.

12. Avoid well baby visits. If you are planning on not immunizing and don't have any exact concerns you want the doctor to address avoid well baby visits because it exposes the baby to an entire room of sick children.

13. Say no to antibiotics- most illnesses are viruses and antibiotics does no good. Consider using probiotics to build your baby's immunity instead by filling his gut with germ fighting positive bacteria. Breastmilk naturally contains probiotics but you can also give your baby additional powdered probiotics.

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