Germs! They are at the forefront of a new mother's worry when bringing home a new baby. I remember when I was being wheeled out of the hospital with my first born, his pacifier fell to the floor. The hospital floor. Gah! "Throw it away", I told my husband. He said we could just sanitize it when we got home. "Oh, no. Throw it away", I demanded.
As the influx of visitors began descending on our home, I became hyper-aware of everyone else's germs. I zeroed in on everyone's runny noses or coughs. I was a bit frantic about it, actually. This was my first baby and I had been bitten by the worry bug. I remember when people at the grocery store would try and touch him on his face or hands. I mean what? Didn't they know that their germs were not wanted? Don't get me wrong, I know that people just love babies and there is a pull toward them when we see them in public. But how do I know you have washed your hands recently? How do I know you didn't just sneeze into them? Everywhere I looked I saw germs. Admittedly I really needed to calm down. I was a bit to fanatical about the whole thing. Gotta love those protective mama bear hormones, right?
Eventually I chilled out a bit but that didn't mean that I wasn't taking steps to protect my new baby from germs. Here are some realistic things that you can do to keep your new baby as germ-free as possible in those first few weeks while their immune system strengthens. Ya know, because we can't put them in a bubble, right?
1. Tell family and friends to please stay home if they have any signs of illness.
2. Ask those that do come to visit not to kiss the baby on the face or hands.
3. If possible, breastfeed your child in those first weeks. Your germ fighting anti-bodies will pass to baby and help keep her fight off potential sickness.
4. Wash your hands. A lot.
5. Wash baby's hands, too.
6. Avoid crowed places for the first few weeks. Think malls, carnivals, family reunions etc.
What steps did you take to lesson germ exposure for your new baby?
image © iStock/ Yuri_Arcurs