What You Need to Know About Keeping Baby Safe Before They Can Get Their Shots
When babies are born, they transition from the safety of their mother's womb to a world full of scary germs. While the thought of your little one getting sick is scary, it’s important to know that there is a lot you can do to keep them safe, including making sure they get the vaccines that their doctor recommends. Most babies start getting their vaccine shots around two months of age. Until then, here’s what you need to know about keeping them safe!
Sick people are not always symptomatic
When you think of a sick person you probably think of someone who is actively coughing, wheezing, or sick to their stomach. In reality, though, many sick people begin to pass along germs before they even feel sick themselves. Knowing this is important because you don’t want your baby around kids or adults who may be sick but not yet appear sick. If illness is going around your area, if your friends and family aren't up to date on vaccines, or you're just feeling unsure about taking your little one to a crowded place, it's okay to follow your gut and keep them home.
Breastfeeding makes a difference
While breastfeeding isn't for everyone, there’s lots of evidence that breastfeeding can help keep a baby healthy until they get their shots (and much longer!) Babies have immature immune systems but, their moms, who’ve been living and building their immune system since their own birth, can pass down all the great antibodies they’ve collected through their breast milk. In addition to helping boost their baby's immune system through the passing on of antibodies, the milk that moms make is responsive to their baby and can often help head off illness once the mother's body detects it.
Avoiding crowded places can help
While you don’t need to shut yourself and baby in the house until they get their shots, avoiding crowded indoor places like airplanes and shopping malls can help keep them healthy. Often, crowded indoor places have surfaces that are covered in germs and are full of people who may or may not be sick. If you do need to go somewhere like this it's totally okay to keep your baby in a carrier or seat to avoid contact with others and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly and often.
It’s okay to hold your ground when it comes to vaccines
While some people might be frustrated that you won’t them hold your baby without getting a flu shot or a whooping cough booster, it’s important to know that you’re well within your rights to hold your ground. Your job as a parent is to keep your baby safe and healthy. And anyone who requests that you make an exception to your rules for them really does not have your baby’s best interests at heart.