When you’re a first time mommy or daddy, you find yourself willing to do everything to protect your precious new baby from anything that could harm him or her. Some parents claim that this heightened sense of protection begins to diminish with the 2nd and 3rd babies, but that first one really brings out the precautionary side in all new parents.
New parents often have questions about who they should allow to hold their baby. Specifically, they wonder if they should allow other small children, like nieces and nephews, to handle the baby and if so, how long and how often.
First of all, we want to let new parents know that it is perfectly natural and okay for you to experience this feeling of protection. This is actually one of the many wonderful experiences of having a baby. Don’t let anyone guilt you into thinking that you are being too protective – enjoy this feeling as long as you can.
Here’s why you are having that desire to protect your child: for the first two months of your baby’s life, they may have very little resistance to germs. Any type of infection that comes along can be serious. Not only do you want to protect your baby, but also yourselves from contact with anyone who has a contagious disease or illness.
Secondly, children in general tend to carry contagious germs at a higher rate than adults do. That’s why you may feel a natural hesitation to let kids hold your baby. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t let any child hold your baby, but it is important to be very careful. Even your favorite nephew or niece, who lives with your very clean and healthy sibling, may come in contact with other children at school who are sick.
It’s always a good idea to have a standing rule that anyone who wants to hold your new baby first washes his or her hands thoroughly. This should be more than just a quick rinse. Be sure that hands and wrists are washed, rinsed and dried well with a clean towel. If a person has a runny nose, cough, tummy ache or fever, it’s best to ask them to wait until they are feeling better before they hold your baby.
If you do choose to allow a child to hold your baby, be sure that they are seated and are closely supervised. Small children may not easily recognize the importance of supporting a newborn’s head and neck. Be sure that they keep their fingers away from the baby’s face and mouth as a precaution.
Ultimately, it is the parent’s decision as to who should hold their baby and for how long. Trust your feelings – you’ll know what to do.
AllKids Urgent Care hopes you enjoy every minute with your newborn. If you suspect that your little one is sick or is showing signs of a cold or the flu, be sure to bring him or her to AllKids Urgent Care or visit your regular pediatrician as soon as you can. AllKids Urgent Care is an East Valley pediatric urgent care with offices in Mesa and Gilbert and open from noon to 10 pm every day.