Preview: Tips for baby cold and flu prevention to get you through the icky winter flu season with a healthy little one!
Even as an adult, you want to run and hide during cold and flu season! So many germs to avoid. Throw an innocent baby into the mix and mom’s protective instinct goes into overdrive. Preventing cold and flu in baby becomes first priority! Keep your baby healthy and safe during cold and flu season because an ounce of prevention of cold and flu (especially in babies!) is worth a pound of cure and remedies!
Oh, winter babies! I had two of them. As if being a new parent isn’t stressful enough, adding “flu germs” to the list of things to constantly worry about is more than a mom should have to handle!
Babies’ immune systems are still developing so it is extra important that we take every precaution to keep them healthy. They can commence eating dirt when they are toddlers but while they are infants, we have to keep them healthy and safe.
Since we moms still need to live our lives and run our households during flu season, we just need to make a few adjustments for baby’s sake. These few easy tips can help keep baby as germ free as possible this cold and flu season!
Always consult a medical professional for advice and questions about your baby’s health and safety. I am sharing some tips that have worked for my family but this is no way intended to be medical advice.
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Best tips for baby cold and flu prevention
1.Wash, wash, wash your hands- I know it is cliche but it is the most important thing. Since you are the one touching the baby the most, keeping your hands washed and clean is baby’s first line of defense against germs. Don’t forget babies hands either! Obviously, hand sanitizer is not for babies but using a baby wipe or similar to wipe down baby’s hands is also important. I love these baby wipes because they are all natural water based and they won’t sting if baby puts his hands near his eyes.
2. Boil/replace pacifiers- If your baby uses a pacifier, be sure it is kept as clean as possible. I have always carried pacifier wipes with me because two of my kids LOVED their “pacis”. It also helps to have a pacifier case to keep away germs. Always sanitize pacifiers (I boil them but always follow manufacturers instructions for cleaning and sanitizing). If you are still concerned about germs/bacteria or have been around someone who is sick, it is probably best to throw out and replace the pacifier.
I also love this pacifier ; it has a cover attached that closes when you drop it:
3. Carrier covers– Keeping baby covered is an excellent way to protect your little one from nasty airborne germs. I used a breathable car seat cover while my infants were small enough to be in a carrier. I’m sure it is obvious but I have to say it: never cover your baby’s face.
4. Self-mixing bottles– One item I found indispensable for formula feeding in public- fix now, mix later bottles. If you use formula or supplement with it, you know how unsanitary mixing formula and water in a baby bottle can be when you are out of the controlled setting of your kitchen. I used these bottles that allowed me to pre-fill at home with water and measured formula then mix later with only a push of a button. Nothing to unscrew and juggle while trying not to touch any parts of the bottle. Just push the button to release the formula into the water and shake to mix.
5. “Don’t touch the baby” sign – It may sound a bit over the top but in the middle of one of the worst flu seasons in history- it may be necessary. If your baby has underlying medical problems, a week immune system, or the sniffles then you want all the protection you can get. Strangers touching your baby is just icky anyways but during flu season, it can be downright dangerous. Do not feel embarrassed about keeping your baby safe.
These ones have cute sayings to make it a more friendly warning:
6. Baby mittens- Cover baby’s hands to prevent them from getting germs on their hands then putting their little hands in their mouth! Simple but effective solution! If you don’t have any on hand, you can use baby’s extra socks to cover his hands.
7. Run errands without taking baby to the store- Don’t feel bad for wanting to keep your baby all to yourself in your house and away from all the germs of flu season. You can still get your stamps, prescriptions, and even groceries without dragging baby into the cold, virus-filled stores. Get some ideas in this article about how to run errands without having to take your kids to the store.
8. Just say NO- There are sometimes when you just have to say no. “No, we can’t make it to the party”. “No, I’m sorry you can’t hold the baby. He has a bit of a sniffle and I don’t want to spread germs”. Don’t feel like you have to make any excuses. “No” will do just fine. It is your baby and your responsibility to protect his health. Friends/family should understand that.
oh, and one more important thing-
9. Keep yourself healthy!- The hustle and bustle of motherhood makes it all too easy to forget about yourself. Keeping yourself healthy is an important part of keeping hour baby healthy! Eating healthy, practicing hand washing, building your immune system and, oh yeah, adequate SLEEP – should be just as much as a priority for mom as it is for baby!
Mom knows best when it comes to keeping baby safe and healthy! Always talk to your pediatrician about concerns, but using a few easy tricks, baby cold and flu prevention can be one less thing for mom to worry about!