Fall is here, which means cold and flu season is right around the corner. What can you do to protect your little one and keep her healthy this autumn?
Ask visitors to wash hands
You’ve just brought your baby home from the hospital and anxious friends and family are wondering if they’ve given you enough nesting time before popping in to say hi. While their visits may be welcome, their germs certainly are not. Make it a habit to ask people to wash their hands upon entering your home. Is antibacterial soap necessary? Absolutely not….in fact, such soaps can perpetuate the growth of antibiotic resistant bugs. We recommend a natural, pure and simple hand soap without harsh chemicals that could irritate baby’s skin.
Take baby for walks
Although your instinct may be to keep baby protected and sheltered inside the home, getting out in the fresh air is actually good for his immune system….and yours! Fresh air invigorates the body and there is no better way to enjoy the crisp fall air than by taking a stroll with your new bundle. Being cloistered inside can lead to cabin fever for everyone, and you’ll be amazed at how good you feel after just one lap around the block. Of course, bundle baby up if there’s a chill in the air, but not too much! And don’t forget to bring your camera….you’ll want to capture all of your little one’s beaming smiles!
How soon can my baby go outside for walks?
As soon as you feel up to it! There is no set age at which it is acceptable to leave the house with your newborn. Whenever you feel strong enough and the weather is inviting, head on out! If you’ve had a Csection, just take care to listen to your body and walk at a slow pace in the beginning. You may think you are ready for more physical activity than your body actually is….be patient and take it easy!
Get the flu shot
If you haven’t had a flu shot, you may want to go ahead and get immunized. This is a personal choice and by no means necessary, but the flu shot can protect against certain strains that can be harmful to those with immature immune systems. Babies don’t have the same immunity that adults do, so a virus that causes mild symptoms in mom or dad could be severe for baby and lead to hospitalization. Premature babies are the most vulnerable, so if your child was born early, make sure and immunize all the members of your family against the flu.
OJ and tea
Oranges and other citrus fruits are full of Vitamin C that fights off colds and flu all year round. Freshly squeezed is best, so if you have a juicer put it to use! (we know they’re a pain to clean, but your body will be grateful). Green or black tea is also a great beverage of choice, as it’s brimming with antioxidants that support immunity. Watch the caffeine if breastfeeding though~ choose decaffeinated when possible and mix it up with herbal teas as well. Adding lemon, fresh ginger, and honey gives an extra health boost and yummy flavor!
Limit shopping trips
While it can feel great to be out and about with your newborn at the mall, you may want to avoid public places like these for the first few weeks. The same goes for grocery stores and other enclosed spaces with lots of people around. If you have a partner or other family member who can do the shopping, nominate them for this task. Best for you and baby to stick with nature walks in the great outdoors!