Cold and flu season is not fun. Dad brings it home from work, the kids bring it home from school- there is no escaping it. The good news is that there are ways to try to protect the family during this time of year. Out of everyone in your family members, the baby can end up dealing with the most.
Health issues impact their little bodies sometimes more than ours. Their immune system is so fragile in those early months, and its our job as parents to try to keep them healthy.
We have compiled a list of 25 ways that mom can protect the baby during flu and cold season. Some of these suggestions will be surprising while some of them will be a no-brainer. These suggestions not only help baby, but will help the whole family. We have also added in a few products that can help keep your baby from getting sick during this upcoming cold and flu season. These products are super easy to find and will be a lifesaver! Of course there is no way to eliminate getting sick that is 100% effective, but it is always worth trying. Here best of the best ways to protect the baby.
20 Get Your Flu Shot
CDC states that getting a yearly flu vaccine is the best way to protect against the flu. If your child is six months or older, they should get the flu vaccine each year.
It is important for members of the household to get the flu shot to not only keep themselves healthy, but to make sure they don’t pass sickness to the baby. The flu can really affect a baby, so it is important to keep baby safe. It may be inconvenient for many to get to the doctor for a flu shot, but it is worth the trip.
19 Keep Baby Clean
It is important to make sure that your baby stays clean, no matter what season we are in, but cold and flu season is not the time to get lazy with baths. It is important to not over bathe your little one, but it is important to keep your baby healthy and clean.
A bath helps get baby clean and wash away any unwanted yucky germs off her sweet skin. We know that bathing a baby too often can lead to rashes and dry skin, so sticking to three to four times a week is perfect.
18 Keep Sick Guests Away
People are going to be itching to see your new bundle of joy, but it is best to have a “no visiting if sick rule”. This should apply even a little sniffle. Babies immune systems are so much weaker than ours, so that low grade fever Uncle Tim has could cost your baby a hospital trip.
This may annoy or offend some family members, but the most important thing is that your baby is healthy. Reassure these family members and friends that once they are healthy that they are more than welcome to come see the new bundle of joy!
17 Keep Up With Well Visits
It is very important to make sure that you keep up with your baby’s doctors’ appointments. Just because you think baby looks okay, does not mean she is. The doc knows more about your babies’ body than you do, so trust the professional. Keeping up with her well visits ensures that her health is monitored closely. It is also important to get your baby vaccinated when she is supposed to be.
According to the CDC, without vaccines, your child is at risk for several health issues. To keep your baby safe from catching anything, it is best to keep up with the doctors appointments.
16 Breastfeed If Possible
If you are a breastfeeding mama, you are in luck during cold and flu season! HealthyWomen states that studies show that babies who are breastfed for six months are less likely than formula fed babies to get colds. Antibodies from your body are transmitted through your breastmilk, which gives baby extra defense during cold and flu season.
BreastFeedingUsa states that as baby and mama are exposed to viruses and bacteria, milk includes antibodies specific to those antigens and a other will pass antibodies to her baby through her milk.
15 Avoid Crowds
It is best to try to avoid public places during cold and flu season the best you can. Of course, this is not 100% possible if you have other kiddo’s or you have errands to run. Taking your new baby to Chuck-E-Cheese every weekend may be asking for a cold or the flu.
Not only are you at risk for everyone trying to kiss and love on your baby, but there is also the risk of airborne germs. Malls, play places, restaurants, parties and even the grocery store could be risky to a little baby. Of course, as babies get older, their immune system builds, but it is better to eliminate babies time out and about.
14 Avoid Daycare
Of course it is not possible for every parent to stay home with their child, but if the option is there, it is a good idea to consider doing so due to the possibilities of getting sick at daycare. If being hone with your little guy is not an option, it could be worth your while looking into hiring a babysitter.
Although it is someone else watching your child, it is not located in a busy daycare where there are tons of other sick kids. It is common for waves of the cold, lice, stomach bug, and even the flu to go around a daycare or child care center.
13 Minimize Contact With Family Members Who Have It
Earlier we touched on keeping sick guests away, but what if big sister or dad is sick? If members of the family are sick, it is best to try to minimize the spread of the illness. A tip is to have that family member steer clear of baby, as hard as that may be for them.
Another tip is to disinfect surfaces so that germs do not continue to spread. If big sister still comes in your room in the middle of the night, it is best to try to put a halt to that so that her and baby are not cuddling or playing together.
12 Limit Kissing Baby On The Mouth
We know that it is hard to resist kissing that cute little face, but trust us, it is a good idea if you do. According to YouAreMom, it is possible to transmit many things through kissing that can range from the flu to mononucleosis.
We often lick our lips to moisturize and lubricate them, and when we do so, it has the potential to transmit bacteria and viruses carried by adults to that sweet little baby. It is best to eliminate kissing baby on the mouth, but especially when you are feeling ill. Most if not all doctors will advise you avoid kissing the baby’s lips.
11 Wash Your Hands
DebGroup states that hand washing with soap can reduce the number of people catching colds by 45%. Having your family make it a habit to wash their hands often throughout the day can help keep baby from getting sick. Mom and Dad can pick up sick germs from work, while the other kids can pick them up from school, play dates and even gymnastics class.
Washing hands when coming home and handling baby are great ways to keep from getting baby sick. Babies love putting their hands in their mouths, so when your hands touch her hands, she easily transmits the yucky germs into her mouth.
10 Disinfecting Surfaces
You cannot eliminate every single bad germ out there, but you can surely try! It is important to try to disinfect surfaces daily, but especially when people in the home are sick. This includes wiping down counter tops and even toys.
It is also beneficial to take a disinfecting wipe and clean off the remote control and the door handles if you remember. This all may seem silly, but sicknesses can rest on the most obvious of surfaces. It is also important to wash the bedding on a hot cycle, but especially when family is sick.
9 Keep Baby Covered
It is important to keep your baby covered while out in public. As they get older, this can become increasingly difficult due to their curiosity. It is best to keep baby in a baby carrier or even in a stroller with a canopy on it.
This protects baby from other people trying to touch them with their germy hands and (with the canopy) tries to protect them from airborne illnesses. Your tiny baby’s immune system is not prepared for this big world, so it is best to keep her as safe as possible when you take her out in it.
8 Wear A Mask If Needed
It may seem silly but wearing a face mask could keep baby from getting sick from you, dad, or big brother! Face masks work well in home settings where infected individuals are living in close proximity to uninfected family members, according to MedicalDaily. You can get masks like this online or in just about any pharmacy or Walmart.
MedicalDaily states that a 2008 study found that when masks were used correctly, those living with a sick family member were 80% less likely to be diagnosed with the illness. It may be hard to keep these on your other kiddos, but it may be helpful to simply explain that it is to keep little sister healthy.
7 Cough Into Your Elbow
It is important to cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow because when you cough into your hands, it is easier to spread to it surfaces. When you cough onto your hand, then touch your baby or touch surfaces your baby touches, you are transmitting your icky germs to your baby.
This is a tip that is important to not only remember yourself, but to give to other people inside the home and visitors who come see the baby. VeryWellHealth states that respiratory illnesses such as the common cold and flu are spread when you sneeze and cough or when you touch your face and then touch other objects.
6 Make Siblings Change Their Clothes
If you have other kiddos, it is best to encourage them to wash their hands and change into fresh clean clothes once they come home from school. Kids pick up a lot of yucky germs at school, and it is best to have kiddos change into clean clothing that have not come into contact with the germs of school.
Even if your kiddo isn’t sick, it is best to have your children around the baby if they are wearing fresh clothing. Germs are also airborne and can stick to surfaces and survive there long enough to be introduced to baby.
5 Johnson Hand And Face Wipes
According to BuyBuyBaby, these hand and face wipes help to eliminate 95% of germs and dirt on your sweetie’s face. The good news is that they are disposable, won’t irritate baby’s eyes and they are alcohol free! These are great for baby so that he is not putting icky germs into his mouth from touching things around him.
These can be used on big sister as well! Throw them in the diaper bag, one in each car, and even keep one on each floor of the house. The good news is that these wipes are easy, cost effective, and super handy!
4 Immune Support Vitamins For Baby
According to IHerb, these vitamins are perfect because they have no artificial flavors, no dyes, no alcohol and they are gluten free. This natural supplement has a special blend of agave, zinc and vitamins to help support your little sweetheart’s fragile immune system. This is a product that you can find on Amazon.com or even at your local Target, pharmacy or Walmart.
This product may come in handy if you have other kiddos who are bringing sicknesses home from daycare or school! Of course, before trying something like this, it is best to make sure to get the okay from your pediatrician, since they know your baby’s body best.
3 Car Seat Cover
A car seat cover is a great way for protecting baby from getting sick. When you have your baby out and about, people often feel tempted to touch their sweet little cheeks and hold their hand. This is a surefire way to spread germs to your baby. Keeping him in a car seat with a cover can aid in helping keeping unwanted visitors out.
The car seat cover also helps shield out unwanted weather conditions such as shining sun, snow, rain, or a chill in the air. You can buy a car seat cover or canopy from Amazon, Target, Walmart, Buy Buy Baby, Etsy and just about anywhere where baby stuff is sold.
2 Baby Friendly Cleaning Products
A baby’s body and brain are most vulnerable to the toxic effects of pesticides, so it is smart to shop pesticide-free. BabyGantics is a line of household products that were designed with children in mind. BuyBuyBaby states that BabyGantics line of products are non-toxic, fragrance free, made of natural ingredients and are free of ammonia, bleach, phosphates and sulfates.
This good news here is not only do these products help disinfect your home of the bad germs, but they are also safe for you and your whole family! You can find this line of products at your local BuyBuyBaby, Target, Walmart, Kroger, and even Shop Rite!
1 Hand sanitizer
We know that it is not always possible to wash your hands as much as you should. That is why hand sanitizer is perfect! You can buy hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works, Target or even the dollar store. Throw one in your car, the diaper bag and even your purse.
You can attach small hand sanitizers like shown above to your key lanyard or bag with a hand sanitizer holder. You can even make it fun with getting fun scents and pretty containers. Hand sanitizer will help to get rid of some of the yucky germs you pick up during the day.
Sources: Very Well Health, Breast Feeding USA, You Are Mom, Medical Daily, Buy Buy Baby, Healthy Women,