11 Ways to Protect Your Baby from the Flu
How to protect your baby from the flu
The flu (aka influenza) is a respiratory virus that is really pretty horrible. The flu “season” generally runs from October through May, with the peak of the season between December and March (although it can change depending on the year).
It can be scary when you have a young baby during this time of year. There is no guarantee that your baby won’t catch the flu, but there are several ways that you can protect your baby from the flu!
If you are pregnant and reading this, it is important for you to get your flu shot. You not only protect yourself from the flu, but your body produces antibodies that you pass on to your baby (cool huh?!). These antibodies provide some protection from the flu once your baby is born.
Check out Does Your Child Have a Cold or the Flu? for more information about cold and flu symptoms!
11 ways that you can protect your baby from the flu.
- Be sure all caregivers have received a flu shot. Additionally, all children in the home, over the age of 6 months, should have a flu shot.
- If your baby is over 6 months old get her vaccinated from the flu!!!
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water or use hand sanitizer. Be sure anyone who is touching your baby is also washing their hands!
- During high flu activity, avoid bringing your baby into public or around groups of people whenever possible. This might even mean postponing things like baby showers.
- If you need to bring your baby in public, carry her in a front pack or sling so she is not exposed. This will keep her out of the reach of anyone who feels the need to look at or touch your baby. I love, love, love slings for this reason alone!
- Breastfeed your baby. Antibodies from you will protect and build your baby’s immune system. If you are new to breastfeeding and need some tips, check out Eight Essential Breastfeeding Tips For New Moms!
- Do not allow anyone who is ill close your baby (even grandma and grandpa!). Keep sick siblings away too!
- Do not share your baby’s toys, bottles, pacifiers, or utensils with other children and wash them frequently in hot, soapy water, or better yet, in the dishwasher.
- Avoid bringing your baby to the doctor or hospital unless necessary. If you have a wellness check scheduled, check to see if there is a “healthy” waiting area. Waiting areas during cold and flu season are a breeding ground for viruses! If you must go, bring your own toys for your child to play with. And if your baby is very young, I would suggest carrying her in a front pack!
- Frequently wipe down all surfaces with disinfectants. Don’t forget doorknobs, phones, tablets, tables, toilets, sink handles, and light switches.
- Teach your older children to cough and sneeze into their sleeve or a tissue (and then to throw away the tissue!). Don’t forget to have them wash their hands!
If you know that other kids in daycare have been ill, find alternative childcare if at all possible!
The TOP 3 ways to protect your baby from the flu are to have all caregivers and children in the home vaccinated for the flu, wash your hands often, and avoid public places during peak flu time!
Use these tips to keep your little ones safe. If you ever have any questions always err on the side of caution and call your baby’s health care provider!
For more information about the flu, check out the CDC’s flu website here.
If you have questions or ideas for upcoming posts I would love to hear from you! You can comment below or contact me by email!