Being a mom, it’s a very hard for us to see our little ones suffering from illnesses like the flu, cough, and colds. If only it’s possible for me to take that sickness instead of my baby, I’ll do it. But that’s not the case. I remember one time, when I was just a new mom and my firstborn had flu, I panicked. I didn’t know what to do. My daughter was crying, and she’s having a hard time breathing. Thankfully, I was able ask my mom for advice. Now, after two daughters and a son, it’s not driving me too crazy anymore. But there’s still a bit of uneasiness.
To the first-time moms who shares the same predicament that I’ve been to, let me share with you the same advices that I got from my mom:
- “Now that you’re a mom, you’ve got to take extra care of yourself.” – This makes a lot of sense because our babies spend a lot of time with us, if not all the time—especially when you breastfeed. This is rule #1 she shared to me. Babies generally don’t have a fully developed immune system, like us adults. Keep yourself healthy by eating healthy, washing your hands, drink plenty of fluids, try to sleep a full eight hours, and stay away from stressful situations. You don’t want to be the transmitter of germs to your lovely baby.
- “Breastfeed.” – Experts say: it’s advisable to breastfeed your baby up to 2 years. The reason behind this is: breast milk is more than just a primary source of nutrients for your baby. Beyond the basic nutrition your baby needs, breast milk is composed of immunity boosting antibodies that your baby needs to protect them from illnesses.
- “Get your baby a flu shot.” – Anyone six months old and above should get a flu shot. Vaccines will help them become more resilient to illnesses like the flu. The flu vaccine cuts your risk of catching influenza by about 60 percent. Be sure your child’s caregivers along with your partner and older children line up for the vaccine too, so they won’t transmit the virus to your baby. Also, vaccination during pregnancy helps pass immunity from a mom to her baby.
- “Maintain a clean home.” – This is probably the most obvious tip among all the tips here. Bugs, germs, and viruses won’t stand a chance against a home that’s being maintained for cleanliness every single time.
- “Sterilize your baby’s items.” – Items that your baby come in contact with the most like bottles, pacifiers, teethers, and baby toys needs to be sterilized all the time. This is the most effective way to protect your baby against germs. Just make sure that you’re doing it the right way so you won’t have to buy new baby items time and time again.
- “Always keep your baby’s pediatric/hospital records.” – When you consult with pediatricians, it’s almost always a certainty that they’ll give you a record book for your baby. This will help them monitor your baby’s health until your young one grows up. If possible, stick to one pediatrician, so your doctor can keep an eye on your baby and provide better care.
While you can do every single tip to a fault, know that your baby can still get sick. The most important thing is: don’t be too hard on yourself. For example, a flu shot is an excellent line of defense, but it doesn’t protect against every strain of the flu out there. So just do your best, hope for the best, and give the best tender loving care to your very lovely baby.
About the Author
Born and raised in the Philippines, Joanna has been living in Dubai with her family for the past 10 years. Her journey to parenthood inspired her in spearheading Afterschool.ae, the best parent’s planning platform for after school kids activities in UAE.