6 Ways To Prevent Spreading A Cold To Your Baby

Maternal instinct needs no introduction. We’ve seen it firsthand with our mothers, our grandmothers, our sisters, friends – you get the drift. The very sight of your baby can spark a protective fire you didn’t know could exist. The wrinkled fragile limbs, stubby toes, abnormally tender skin, and innocence beyond compare – all of it makes you want to do all you can to ensure your little one is safe from all harm.

And then you catch a cold!

You feel like you now need to protect your little one from yourself. Don’t panic. And it’s best you don’t skedaddle.

The common cold and influenza are airborne. This is why intimate encounters like nursing, changing diapers, and rocking your baby to sleep don’t help your cause. While there are high chances of your baby contracting your highly contagious viral infection, there are ways to minimize the possibility of such an occurrence as well as ways to ensure your baby has it easier than you.

1. Wash Your Hands As Often As You Can

Wash Your Hands: Prevent Spreading A
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This cannot be stressed enough. And it’s actually the most effective advice anyone can give you. Before you touch your baby or your baby’s things (blankets, clothes, toys, towels, etc.), wash your hands thoroughly with a reliable antiseptic soap.

If you find this too strenuous and detrimental to your own condition, keep a good hand sanitizer or a pack of antiseptic wipes within reach at all times and make good use of them. Also, remember to discard your used tissues promptly (preferably after a single use) so they’re in no proximity to your baby. It is also a good practice to keep your dustbins covered.

2. Follow Coughing And Sneezing Etiquette

Follow Etiquette: Prevent Spreading A Cold To Your Baby

Ponder about how contagious a cold is and you won’t need much convincing. Put your baby down each time you feel a cough or sneeze coming on. It is

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but common sense also not to cough or sneeze in your baby’s direction, covering your mouth while doing so. Wearing a face mask is helpful. Also, avoid breathing directly into your baby’s face to reduce transmission risks further.

3. Cut Down On Kisses

Cut Down On Kisses: Prevent Spreading A Cold To Your Baby

Most cold and flu viral infections are spread through direct contact with respiratory droplets expelled each time you cough, sneeze, or simply exhale. This means you are putting your child at a greater risk of contracting your infection each time you kiss them. As offended as your maternal instincts may feel, it’s best you refrain from showering your child with kisses – just till you’re better!

4. Continue Breastfeeding

Continue Breastfeeding: Prevent Spreading A Cold To Your Baby

Contrary to rumors spread by the less informed, common illnesses (like the

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common cold and flu) cannot be transmitted through breast milk. To your advantage, breast milk is loaded with antibodies that your immune system produces to fight off your infection. Your baby’s underdeveloped immune system can benefit from this free supply of turbocharged antibodies, being more prepared if and when Junior catches your infection. It may even be enough to shield your baby completely.

Place a blanket between you and your baby as a physical barrier to minimize airborne transmission.

It is not advised to breastfeed if you also have untreated medical conditions like tuberculosis, human T-cell lymphotropic virus, and HIV/AIDS. It is also discouraged if you are undergoing chemotherapy.

5. Ask For Help

Ask For Help: Prevent Spreading A Cold To Your Baby

As difficult as it may be, minimize direct contact with your child. This is where family and trusted friends can step in, at least till your condition improves. You may delegate less self-dependent tasks to them like changing diapers or rocking your

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baby to sleep. You may even pump your breast milk into a bottle and ask someone to feed it to your baby.

6. Indulge In Self-Care

Indulge In Self-Care: Prevent Spreading A Cold To Your Baby

This is probably the most important advice on this list. The sooner you recover, the better for you and baby. Eat healthy, drink plenty of fluids (so your milk supply doesn’t take a hit), and use safe OTC medication to manage your symptoms. It is also a good idea to ventilate your home to get some sunlight in. It will help kill some germs while helping you feel better.

If you don’t see any improvement in your condition within a week, call your doctor to find out if you require alternative treatments.

As a precautionary measure, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests an easy, effective solution to this problem – the flu shot. As a stitch in time saves nine, unfailingly ensure your baby gets their flu shots as

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scheduled. Babies over 6 months are eligible for this shot. It is also strongly recommended that all pregnant women get this shot.

Despite all these measures, if your baby does catch your cold or flu, don’t be disheartened. On the bright side, this will help your child develop a stronger immunity, reducing the frequency of illness later in life.