Photo by DaniBabii08
By Jackie Scrivanich, Contributing Writer
My husband and I live about ten hours from my family, so the holidays for us consist of travelling, visiting a lot of people, and just generally a lot of busyness.
During this season there also tends to be more sickness and people do not always heed the caution to stay home and get better. Instead they are out shopping and visiting family. People cannot resist loving on your kids, and if your kids are like mine, they love on other people.
A child’s immune system is naturally lower than ours because it is simply less developed. As they grow, they will encounter various illnesses and their bodies will learn to fight them. This is a normal part of development. We should not be afraid of sickness, but we should also be smart about how our kids are exposed to it.
As we are in the midst of the holiday season, which coincides with the sick season, it is important that we are doing all we can to protect the smallest members of our family.
Here are six simple ways to protect baby from sickness during the holidays:
1. Babywear as often as possible
If you do not own a good carrier, ask for one this holiday season. Join a local babywearing group and try different carriers to figure out which one works best for you and your child.
Babywearing, along with having many other benefits, will keep your baby close to you and most likely will keep people’s hands off the baby. People love babies and they love to touch baby’s hands which eventually end up in the baby’s mouth. Any germs that person had are now in your baby’s mouth.
Babywearing usually causes people to keep their hands to themselves or they touch baby’s feet. Much better for this season.
2. The art of hand washing
This simple, fundamental basic is actually important. Requesting all people wash and thoroughly dry their hands before handling a child will help to eliminate many of the possible germs a person can pass on. Studies show that thoroughly drying hands is an important part of hand washing.
It sometimes feels awkward asking people over and over again to wash hands, but this simple step goes a long way in protecting your babies.
3. Breastfeed on demand
For young babies, frequent kisses on their hands and face and breastfeeding will help your body know which antibodies to make to help them fight any possible illness they have come into contact with.
Even just the smallest amount of breastmilk contains millions of white blood cells, which work to destroy germs. Breastmilk will also change to include antibodies that will fight any possible illness baby is fighting. Many times everyone in the house will get sick but a breastfed baby will not. Breastmilk is the most important thing you can do for your child’s immune system before they have built up their own system, which takes time.
4. Give a daily probiotic
More and more research shows that our gut health and our immune system are linked. About 80% of our immune system relies on our gut health. So if you are taking care of your child’s gut health, their overall health should follow.
A daily probiotic drop is a simple and effective way to ensure gut health is in top working order. We give our children probiotic drops and we choose to use fermented foods and drinks, like kombucha, to get our probiotics.
5. Regular chiropractic care
Our bodies are incredible, with all systems working in tandem to keep us healthy. The nervous system and the immune system work very closely together to keep our bodies healthy. Having regularly chiropractic care has been shown to boost the coordination between these two systems.
Chiropractic care is quick and simple and it allows for your body to be aligned properly so it can work in tandem and keep us healthy. This is as true for us as it is for children.
6. Get adequate rest
The holiday season is filled with so many extras–traveling, shopping, and get-togethers. These things take time away from our already busy schedules and the thing that often suffers the most is sleep for the entire family.
Getting adequate sleep is vital for our baby’s health. Sleep gives the body the time it needs to release the best infection-fighting antibodies. Sleep is also vital when fighting any illness. Make sure that in all the busyness of the season, your kids get enough rest.