Transitioning a new baby from the hospital to the home can be both a happy and scary time. Because babies don't have the aquired immunities that we adults have, taking a few extra precautions in the home in preparation for a new baby's arrival can never be a bad idea. Here are just a few tips to help you keep you, your household and your baby healthy and happy:
1. Keep yourself healthy. Bringing home a new baby can mean less sleep, tired bodies and lowered immune systems. Getting in a few extra hours of sleep, keeping a nutritious, balanced diet, and getting some sunlight and exercise to keep yourself healthy also helps your family stay healthy as well.
2. Keep clean surfaces in the house. Keeping frequently used surfaces clean using disinfectants is a great way to stop the spread of germs. Clean kitchen counters (where baby food and bottles are prepared), the nursery, bathrooms, and other rooms regularly.
3. Use baby safe cleansers and other household items. Choose items that are effective against germs but that are also safe for babies. Check bottles & product info pages on websites for more information.
4. Wash hands frequently. Washing hands is another great way to minimize the spread of germs. Wash hands before and after chores.
5. Regular doctor visits. Be sure to get regular check ups for the new baby and also for yourself! Doctor visits can provide immunizations, weight measurements, vision and hearing checks + more as well as provide answers to any current questions you might have about your babies progress.
6. Be wary of the information you find online! There are a lot of forums, blogs & other websites dedicated to parenting and babies, often with conflicting information. Make sure to read up as much as you can and if you have a serious question, please seek professional advice.
7. Do your research on pets and visitors. Visitors and pets should probably be kept to a minimum around a newborn, but as the child gets older and their immune system gets stronger more and more visitors certainly can come in to see and hold the baby.
8. Keep the house clutter free. Clutter will make the home less easy to navigate, more easier to trip in, and a haven for dust and germs. Cutting down on "junk" can help make household cleaning easier & more baby friendly.
9. Keep toys & bottles clean. Clean baby toys and bottles regularly to prevent babies from coming into contact with potentially dangerous germs.
10. Recruit help! Recruit family (husband, kids, etc) and friends to help out around the house, with meals, etc. Having help is a great way to rest your body & also to be able to spend some quality time with the new baby!
Taking a few easy steps can make a huge difference in keeping your family & yourself healthy and happy. While there often seems to be a fine line between harming and boosting immunity, asking your doctor about any concerns you have is always your best line of defense. Do you have any other tips for bringing a baby home? Feel free to share them in the comments below!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Lysol® Wee Wisdom blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.