Cold and flu season always makes me a bit twitchy, but having a baby in the house raises the stakes, especially with all the reports in the news this year about older kids having fatal complications from the flu. It’s enough to make you want to stay inside all winter.
Since hibernating isn’t an option though, there are some easy ways to protect your baby from the flu.
Wash your hands every time you come home. If you have older kids in the house, especially if they are school-aged or involved in outside activities, germs are rampant this time of year. You can limit the germs you bring into your home by requiring everyone to wash their hands with soap as soon as they come in the door. It’s a good habit to get into whether you have a baby in the house or not.
Take off your shoes in the house. So many germs come into our homes on the bottom of your shoes, and crawling babies spend a lot of time on the floor where those germs are going to hang out.
Keep baby covered in crowded places. I’ve never been one to stay home all winter, even when I have a younger baby, but it is important to be cautious if you are in a crowd. People love to get handsy with babies but I’ve found that if I have a blanket over the carseat, stroller, or draped over the top of baby in an infant carrier people are a lot less likely to grab her hands or touch her face.
Wash your baby’s hands often. With all that hand washing you are doing, it may not occur to you to wash your baby’s hands as well. Babies touch everything and we all know where those hands go – right in their mouth. Make it a habit of washing your baby’s hands several times a day with a mild soap and you’ll help baby stay away from harmful germs.
Eat a diet rich in fruits and veggies. If you are breastfeeding those extra nutrients will go straight to baby. If you aren’t, baby will still benefit because you’ll likely stay healthier as well and won’t share any bugs. Once baby starts solids, focus on feeding nutrient dense foods like sweet potato and avocado to keep baby healthy.
What do you do to protect your baby during cold and flu season?