It's no secret that colder weather can affect your newborn. While it may seem like a daunting challenge to keep your baby healthy throughout the colder months, there are many things you can do to combat the cold and its accompanying illnesses. Below are six ways to keep your newborn healthy this winter.
1. Wash your hands.
Frequent hand washing is one of the simplest and most effective ways to eliminate germs. Not only should you be washing your hands, but you should be washing your child's hands as well. Keep hand sanitizer handy, in case you are expecting visitors who want to hold your baby. It never hurts to wash and then sanitize.
2. Be up-to-date on vaccinations.
This is not only important for your baby (and your other children), but for you, and any other adult caregivers or visitors you may have. Get a flu shot, and make sure you've had a whooping cough booster. Make it clear to family and friends who are visiting or helping with childcare that you expect them to be properly immunized before coming in contact with your baby. This might seem like a drastic step, but it is really important.
3. Keep baby covered in public places.
Keeping baby covered in public places is an effective way to protect her from airborne germs, and cold air. Baby wearing is a great way to keep your newborn close and appropriately covered, and these nursing/car seat covers are a great option when you're carrying and infant seat around or using said seat with a stroller. You can also use it as a barrier when you're breastfeeding in public, to protect baby from the cold.
During the last trimester, antibodies from the mother are passed to her unborn child through the placenta, which gives the baby passive immunity. Once the baby is born, this immunity begins to dwindle. Breast milk, especially colostrum, contains antibodies that will bolster your child's passive immunity for the first few months. This immunity fades after the first few months, which is why it's vital to ensure your child receives her immunizations on time. So, if you are willing and able, breastfeeding is another way to keep your baby healthy.
5. Use a humidifier.
One benefit of using a humidifier for your baby during the winter is that it provides protection against dry air. Heating your home during the colder months naturally dries the air, which can become an irritant to your newborn's throat and sinuses. It also helps keep baby's skin from getting too dry. A humidifier also provides white noise that can help soothe your baby.
6. Limit exposure to germs.
The best way you can keep your newborn healthy during the winter is to limit public outings, whenever possible. It's also okay to say no to visitors if they're feeling ill. Don't be afraid to listen to your parental instinct and say no to people or places if you feel that the environment would be less than desirable for your child.