Tis the season for runny noses and fevers. Winter can be an anxious season for parents with newborns. That first cough or sneeze can lead to a week of stress and suffering or even a trip to the doctor. Protecting your child from the spread of germs can seem daunting, but surviving your baby’s first cold can be easier with these helpful tips.
Beware of the first two months
Before your baby gets her first vaccines, she is the most vulnerable to infection. Young babies don't yet have the antibodies to fight most colds and infections, so they are at an increased risk of acquiring illnesses. Limit the number of visitors or caretakers handling the baby. When you do go out, take precautions like encouraging people to wash their hands before coming near the baby. This will guard your child against the spread of germs during cold and flu season.
Get supplies before that first cold hits so that you're not racing to the drug store when the sniffling starts. Having a thermometer, humidifier, saline drops and the right dosage of medication for your child already on hand may save you anxiety when your child starts coming down with something. Consult with your pediatrician for the right medicine for your child.
Wash your hands
Keeping yourself clean also means preventing the spread of germs to your child. When washing your hands, sing your ABCs or Happy Birthday twice so that you wash for at least 20 seconds to practice proper hand hygiene. Be sure to wash your hands frequently, especially before eating, before touching your child and after changing diapers. Don't forget to keep your baby's hands clean so he doesn't contract germs when he puts them in his mouth.
Keeping your baby hydrated during cold and flu season is vital to protecting their health. Increase your baby’s nursing sessions or bottles. If your child starts to get fussy, smaller, more frequent sessions may be the solution to squeezing in some more hydration. Remember to consult your doctor before changing your feeding routine.
Keep baby close
Venturing outdoors and throughout the community increases the risk of acquiring germs. Stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing and be sure to keep your baby in a carrier or stroller and covered in a light blanket so that he or she will be less likely to be touched on their hands and face by strangers with viruses and germs.
Staying up to date with your child's vaccinations will help to not only protect their health, but also yours. As the primary caregiver, there's a high possibility that your little one's germs will find their way into your system. Remember to take care of yourself, as it will protect you and your family members in the long run.
When the temperature drops and the snow begins to fall, cold and flu symptoms may be near. Keep your family and the little one safe this season by using these tips for surviving baby's first cold.
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About Pediatric Services
Doylestown Health is committed to providing family-centered children's services to Bucks and Montgomery County communities. The Carol and Louis Della Penna Pediatric Center offers expert inpatient care to all ages including infants, children and teens. Della Penna Pediatric Center Services extend beyond the hospital setting to include health and wellness education, nutrition services and other support services.