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Keep Your Newborn at Home

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Thank goodness it’s Friday!! The office is getting busy as weather gets colder and I get a lot of questions now about taking newborns “out” during their first months of infancy. My answer to that at this time of year is to keep that precious newborn away from crowds, indoor areas and lots of sick people, which means just about everywhere you go. I encourage new parents to take their babies for walks outside. Even if it is cold outside, but clear, bundle up the your-baby in all of those cute new buntings and take a walk in the neighborhood or park but not the mall or Target and Toys R Us!! Most of the germs during this time of year are airborne and despite everyone’s best efforts to cover their mouths there are lots of coughs and sneezes out there. Babies that are within several feet of these sneezes may then be exposed to the latest virus which may be more serious in an infant.

My recommendation is to keep your infant as germ free as possible during these winter months. Once they are little older they will handle the viruses better and by next winter they will become a toddler who will then “get everything”. That time comes soon enough, so don’t rush their exposure this winter.

What a great excuse to enjoy “nesting” at home this holiday season. My pediatrician says “we shouldn’t bring the your-baby to the mall for Christmas pictures with Santa.” A four-week-old your-baby does not need to stand in line with all of those cute, but coughing toddlers and be exposed. Better to delay the picture for a year, dress that sweet your-baby up in Christmas clothes at home and take a picture, and stay out of the hospital! Spring is only four months away.

I am sure we will revisit this topic as winter progresses, but I am protective of infants, plenty of time to get sick later on.

That’s your daily dose for today, we’ll chat again soon.

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