Cold and flu season is upon us and it can be a scary time for parents. The last thing that anyone wants is a sick infant, especially if they’re a newborn. Germs are lingering all around us so it can be overwhelming to think about protecting little ones.
There are several steps parents can take to help build up their baby’s immune system. From washing hands often to shielding the baby from sick visitors, these tips will set your family up for success.
10 Wash Your Hands
When it comes to keeping your family healthy during cold and flu season, one of the most effective things you can do ward off illness is to wash your hands often. This may be common knowledge but it’s so important that we had to add it to this list.
Germs are often spread when we touch everyday items like doorknobs or grocery carts. This means that we carry all sorts of bacteria into our houses. Encourage your children to wash their hands with warm soap and water throughout the day, especially after they get home from school as they are exposed to so many germs.
9 Avoid Crowded Places
There is nothing more challenging than trying to stay healthy when you have a sick child. That’s why it’s crucial that you take precautions to keep your family feeling well. If you have a newborn or a baby that is under 2-months-old then you would be smart to avoid crowded places during cold and flu season.
We’re not saying to hide out at home in fear but public places like malls and grocery stores can be a danger zone for babies. It would be wise to not take your baby to these places until they can build their immune system.
8 Wear Your Baby
An unexpected way that you can protect your little one from getting sick is to wear them in a baby carrier when you’re in public places. There are so many advantages to wearing your baby. From comforting a crying kid to initiating infant and mom bonding.
Not only does it keep your baby warm in cold weather but it can put a barrier between them and germs. You can add an extra layer of protection and drape a blanket over them to serve as a filter. Just be sure that they have plenty of ventilation so that they can breathe safely.
7 Use Disinfecting Wipes
Germs linger everywhere so you’d be wise to invest in disinfecting wipes. They are so handy for wiping off countertops and remote controls. Be sure to put a “to go” pack in your diaper bag so you can sanitize grocery carts and other items that are often covered in bacteria.
Hand sanitizer also comes in handy while you’re out-and-about. It’s perfect for cleaning little hands when you can’t get to a sink to wash up. Make it a point to have a tube in your purse. This simple tip can keep everybody clean and healthy during the cold and flu season.
6 Car Seat Cover
Another simple step that moms and dads can take to ensure that their baby avoids getting sick is to purchase an infant car seat cover. This amazing accessory wraps your baby up in their car seat and serves as a great shield from cold temperatures in winter.
It won’t just keep your baby snug and warm while you travel but it can also serve as a functional barrier during cold and flu season. The material works as a shield from nasty germs, which is so important when it comes to keeping your little one healthy. This simple trick is so easy and convenient.
5 No Sick Zone
This next suggestion may ruffle a few feathers among your friends and family. Make your house a “no sick” zone and don’t allow visitors who are ill to visit with the baby. This may not win you any popularity contests but it really is a big step towards keeping your family healthy.
I would take it a step further and say that sick people can’t be around the baby at all until they are symptom-free. It may seem a bit paranoid to go this far but your little one’s health is worth it. People who really care about your family will understand.
4 Breastfeed If You Can
One of the most effective ways that you can shield your baby from illness doesn’t cost any money. Doctors and professionals suggest that babies are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months of their life. The nutrients that a baby gets from breastfeeding helps to build their immune system and can set them up to stay healthy through cold and flu season.
Not every mom is able to breastfeed so don’t worry if you bottle-feed your baby. Don’t be too hard on yourself. They will still flourish and thrive if they are fed formula. The important thing is that they get nutrients.
3 Flu Vaccinations
This next tip stirs up quite a debate but we think that it’s important to discuss. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children age 6 months or older should be given a flu shot. It would also be wise to vaccinate yourself as well.
Although these shots don’t stop you from getting the flu, it can shorten the duration of your illness. This is a positive step you and your family can take towards keeping the flu bug away. Child vaccinations are a personal choice so be sure to discuss all of your options with your child’s pediatrician.
2 Get Plenty Of Rest
Parenting while you’re sick is a miserable experience so it’s crucial that you take care of yourself. One way that you can set yourself up for success is to make sure that you’re getting plenty of sleep. This will help strengthen your immune system so your body can fight off any nasty germs that you may have been exposed to.
It’s all-to-easy to suffer parental burnout and paying attention to your sleep schedule is important. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night and nap while your baby naps. Lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your health.
1 Practice Healthy Habits
This final tip may seem like common sense but the absolute best way that you can keep your family safe during cold and flu season is to make sure that everybody practices healthy habits. This means that everyone covers their mouth when they sneeze or cough to keep from spreading germs.
Another habit you should teach your children is to not touch their face or ears. Bacteria typically enters the body when your fingers find their way into your nose, eyes, or mouth. By keeping everyone’s hands clean and clear from their faces, the flu will more than likely stay away.