8 healthy baby tips
Want a healthier baby? Check out these immunity boosting tips.
By Scott Dunlop
When expectant parents are asked whether they’d prefer a boy or a girl, the answer is frequently “We don’t care, as long as it’s healthy”. Some babies are born with particular ongoing health challenges, and others will get sick from time to time. Here are some tips for helping your baby to be as healthy as possible:
Article originally in Parent24
If you have taken drugs or drunk alcohol excessively, hopefully you stopped while you were pregnant. If you're tempted to start those habits again, don’t! Your baby will benefit from your own health and the energy you have from avoiding an addictive lifestyle. If you suspect you’ll need help in order to do this, chat to your doctor so that you can find recovery options. One of our readers has an inspirational story of her own recovery as a drug addicted parent.
Where there’s smoke…
The effects of second-hand smoke, even on the breath of a smoker, are known to be detrimental to babies. Exposing your baby to smoke may also introduce the risks of asthma, lung and heart disease and cancer. Many smokers smoke to relieve stress, and giving up can introduce more stress, so, again, chat to your doctor or pharmacist about cessation aid options. Find out more about the risks of smoking around babies.
If at all possible, it’s best to breastfeed, and our experts recommend doing so on demand, waiting up until 6 months to introduce solids. Breast milk contains (healthy) fat, vitamins, protein and more. You can read all about the ingredients of breastmilk and immunological benefits of breastfeeding.
Solid as a rock
When your baby is on solid foods, introduce fruits and yellow vegetables first (not citrus fruits, though), and then other food. Try and stick to healthy, wholesome food, avoid excess fat and protein, and avoid harmful additives. Foods known to promote resistance to disease are coconut, dates, pure honey and nuts. There's plenty of information on boosting your baby's immunity via nutrition.
Exercise is great for your body as well as your mind, and is proven to reduce stress. Sharing nature with your baby will keep both healthier and happier. Try and schedule daily walks and develop a routine which works for you, such as yoga or a home-workout. Many mom and baby exercise classes are designed to incorporate young babies, too.
Caution, not paranoia
Use your judgment when it comes to visitors- Ask them to wash their hands before holding your baby, and, if they are obviously sick (they’re coughing or have a runny nose) gently suggest an alternative day for a visit. Encourage lots of hand washing and general good hygiene in the household, especially if your baby has small children as siblings.
Rather than ask your doctor or paediatrician to prescribe antibiotics, ask if the antibiotic is necessary- many times, anxious parents ask the doctor to prescribe unnecessary antibiotics, and this can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Sleep is essential when it comes to boosting immunity and fighting off infections. Babies need plenty of sleep, and so do their parents, so make sure you’re all getting as many naps as you can, and that you don’t skip sleep at night. Some parents don’t get enough sleep as it is with a newborn, but don’t compound the problem by staying up too late.
No matter how many precautions you take, though, your baby will inevitably get sick. Ask amongst your friends or community for a trusted paediatrician who will be available to provide the best advice and care for your child.
Do you make a conscious effort to safeguard your baby’s health?