A baby’s immune system is weak and is not strong enough to fight off every germ and virus on its own. You have to help keep your little one healthy. Instill healthy habits to help boost your baby’s immune system and keep him from getting sick.
Germs can lead to illness, and while you’d love to keep your baby in a plastic bubble to prevent her from coming in contact with any germs, it’s just not realistic. How can you protect your baby from getting sick? Follow these germ-fighting practices.
There’s no easier or more effective way to keep germs away than by washing your hands. Especially with newborns and during cold and flu season, you should be regularly washing your hands with soap and hot water. Wash them after you get home from work, before you make dinner and after wiping your baby’s runny nose. And it’s not just you. Anyone who is around your baby—family, friends, older siblings and babysitters—need to be regularly washing their hands as well.
After an afternoon at Target or grandma’s house, don’t stop at just washing your hands. You need to wash your baby’s hands after going on outings, after playing with toys another kid has played with and before he eats, especially if he is eating solids.
Along with hands, wash anything that might go into your baby’s mouth, such as pacifiers, teething rings, toys and baby spoons. Also be vigilant about keeping other things away from your baby that you know are dirty so they don’t end up in her mouth.
You can’t stay inside forever, but if you have a baby who is less than 2 months old, it’s best to keep your baby away from the outside world where germs are everywhere. Many viruses are airborne, so if your baby simply breathes within a few feet of someone who is sick, he can easily get sick. During those first few months of life, try to keep your baby home. Have your partner run to the grocery store or stay home with the baby so you can leave the house. If you have to venture out, try to visit stores or the doctor’s office when they’re not busy and keep your baby close to you. Wear your baby in a carrier or keep your baby in his car seat and set it on a baby cart hammock while you shop. And if you know someone is sick, politely ask them to stay away until they’re healthy again.
It takes time for a baby’s immune system to fully develop. So as your baby is growing and her immune system is developing, help protect her by naturally boosting her immune system. Here are three easy ways to start.
A lack of sleep will make your baby more prone to illness. How much sleep does your baby need? If you have a newborn up to a 4 month old, he needs 16-18 hours of sleep a day. Babies between 4-12 months need 12-16 hours of sleep.
Breast milk contains proteins, sugars, fats, probiotics, white blood cells and antibodies, all of which help support your baby’s developing immune system. A mother also develops antibodies to germs she comes in contact with, and these germ-fighting antibodies are passed onto the baby through her breast milk. If breastfeeding, you can also help boost your baby’s immune system by taking a supplement with Vitamins A and C and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables.
If your baby is eating solids, naturally boost her immune system through vitamin-rich foods. A healthy immune system starts with a healthy diet. So help strengthen your baby’s immune system by feeding her avocados, blueberries, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, oranges and other fruits and vegetables.
No matter how vigilant you are, at some point your baby will get sick. When that happens, remember to take good care of your baby and continue practicing healthy habits.