For all the parents out there, making sure their babies are happy and healthy is probably the most important thing in the world. The endless array of germs and viruses the baby’s exposed to every day is terrifying so as a parent, you’ll do anything to try and prevent it become a serious matter.
Truth be told, when you are a kid, getting sick is a part of job description. The baby’s inexperienced immune system is an easy target for all the ongoing series of germs, viruses, and other organisms. This is why most pediatricians consider bouts of flu, six to eight colds, a couple of ear infections per year normal.
But there are things you can do and habits to adopt to give your child's immune system a boost.
1. Include fruits and vegetables in the baby’s nutrition
Fruits and vegetables are the basis to a healthy life, no doubt. Such immunity-boosters like green beans, carrots, strawberries, oranges are great for a person’s immune system, especially baby’s. They are blocking out viruses and can also protect against chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
It would be good for your child to eat up to five servings of fruits and veggies a day. (For toddlers, a serving is about two tablespoons while or older kids, it goes to one cup)
2. Breast-feed your baby
Breast milk contains phenomenal immunity-enhancing antibodies and white blood cells. Nursing protects against allergies, meningitis, diarrhea, urinary-tract infections, pneumonia, ear infections and sudden infant death syndrome.
Breastfeeding is doing wonders for your baby’s health as the doctors agree that breast milk protects against certain forms of cancer later in life, colitis, Crohn's disease, insulin-dependent diabetes while it enhances baby’s brain power.
The thin yellow "premilk" (called colostrum) is rich in disease-fighting antibodies. This is the “liquid” that flows from the breasts during the first few days after birth. Pediatricians recommend that moms breast-feed for a year. Since some mothers don’t have that much breast milk, it is not uncommon for their ability to breastfeed to stop after just couple of months. Doctors say the first two to three months are okay too, as this period will help supplement the immunity your baby received in uterus.
3. Banish secondhand smoke
If you are a smoker or your spouse is, quit. If that’s something you’ve already tried yet you didn’t have enough will power, never smoke in the house. Whenever you want a cigarette, go out in the yard or at the balcony. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 toxins. These toxins are incredibly harmful for the body as they tend to irritate or kill cells in the body.
Cigarettes are harmful for both adults and children. Obviously, they are a bigger threat for kids as their immune system isn’t yet developed enough to process everything coming at it. The harmful effects of secondhand smoke can be a real problem for the baby as at an early age babies breathe at a faster rate; a child's natural detoxification system is also less developed.
Secondhand smoke increases a child's risk of bronchitis, SIDS, asthma, ear infections and asthma. It may also affect neurological development and intelligence.
4. Boost sleep time
Getting enough sleep is crucial for both adults and kids, especially babies. Sleep deprivation leads to bigger susceptibility to illness since it reduces natural killer cells (immune-system weapons that attack cancer cells and microbes).
The same goes for children, claim pediatricians. This sleep deprivation problem particularly goes for children in day as all the activity can make it difficult for them to nap. Naturally, this is not a fixed problem nor it is relatable to all the kids.
At different stages of development, children need different amounts of sleep. While a newborn may need up to 18 hours of sleep a day, toddlers usually require 12 to 13 hours. When it comes to preschoolers, they should round up at about 10 hours.
For babies who are tossing and turning a lot and can’t get proper sleep, swaddle raps are a wonderful option. They will keep the baby warm, fixed and help her calm down and sleep.
For every parent, keeping their baby protected is true challenge. Luckily, there are tips to follow and make the whole process less stressful for both you and the baby so that eventually you can properly enjoy together!