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Getting to the germ of truth

Is it okay to take your newborn out in public? Should you make your mother-in-law wash her hands before she touches the baby? Here are some useful ideas about babies and germs.
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A newborn’s immune system is vulnerable during her first six weeks. You don’t need to hide away, though — just take some commonsense precautions:

Try to commit to breastfeeding for the first six weeks, or as long as you can.

Keep tissues and hand sanitizer nearby as you pass the baby around to friends, neighbors and family members. Don’t hand your baby over to anyone who’s coughing, sniffling or sneezing.

Avoid traveling on planes, trains or buses for the first six weeks if at all possible. If you must travel, keep your hands washed or sanitized or consider wearing gloves that you take off only to handle the baby, 1950s nanny style. Make sure you have your pediatrician’s number stored in your phone, and when you get to your destination, also store the number and location of the closest pediatric emergency services.

Guard your young baby from kootchie-coo strangers. (Try this line: “I’m sorry, but she has a cold and I don’t want you to catch it!”)

Fevers, feeding problems and dehydration can be life-threatening emergencies for a newborn, so always seek medical attention right away if your baby has a fever or wets fewer than four diapers in a 24-hour period.

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Baby’s First Year. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble.

An article from the HUGGIES® Brand

  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 5reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I made a T-Shirt for my baby saying "No germs allow in this bae'..." It was a "safe funny" way to prevent anyone to touch her. I also hang a mini hand sanitizer between the toys that décor her cart seat. October 25, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I spent over three months on bed rest during my pregnancy so by the time baby arrived, she went EVERYWHERE! We even took her to the local farmers market the day I came home from the hospital and drove to a wedding a couple of states away at three weeks. Given the fact that she has never been sink (not even a cold) and is almost a year, I'd say we were safe about it. July 6, 2012
    Rated 0 out of 5 by i love the tip about keeping "touchy-feely" strangers at bay..that is one of my biggest, not really fear, but i just dont want lots of people (GERMS!!) touching my baby February 7, 2012
    Rated 0 out of 5 i also have 3 mounth year old that loves to suck on his hands and he also has them closed all the time... but i never thought bout buying any i just made sure i would wash his hands but that is a real good tip just thought it would hurt him! August 1, 2011
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