A new born baby’s fragile immature body system makes her susceptible to infections brought in by sudden change in her environment. She is dependent on the mother’s milk and vaccines to keep her away from infections in the early days of her life.
As the baby grows her body movements and mobility increases, this increases the risk of infections. Adopting proper measures to prevent the baby from infections can help her spend a healthy childhood.
How can you protect your baby from infections?
To prevent your baby from infections you should take care of the following things:
Disease free mother: Preventing the baby from infections begins much before the baby is born. A healthy baby is born to a healthy mother. While pregnant the mother should take care that she remains free of all seasonal and other infections. Many of the mother’s immune factors like, Immunoglobulin are transferred to the baby while she is still in the mother’s womb. So, the mother should take Tetanus Toxoid (TT),flu vaccinations for the proper health of the mother and the baby.
Mother’s milk is important for immunity development: After the baby is born, she should be given breast milk as early as possible. The breast milk in first few days after birth, the colostrum, is rich in immunoglobulin and is essential to build the immunity of the baby and prevent her from many infections. Mother’s milk is a source of immunity boosters and therefore WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a baby’s life and continued till 2 years.
Regular doses of vaccination: Vaccinations are an effective measure for prevention of a wide range of diseases and infections. Vaccines are active or passive antigens injected into babies blood stream. This result in the formation of respective antibody against antigen injected, this antibody produced then prevents the child from any diseases or infections. A baby is given vaccine immediately after her birth to prevent her from potentially life threatening diseases. This first shot of vaccine is vital for the baby’s survival and therefore should not be missed in any case. Timely vaccinations also play a vital role in keeping the baby healthy and free from infections. There are newer vaccinations also which should be discussed with your doctor.
Give your baby proper diet to develop immunity: After 6 months the diet of your baby should be such that it enhances and builds her immunity apart from fulfilling all the other basic needs of the baby. Include curd, fruits, vegetables etc in your baby’s diet. These are immunity boosters and increase her capability to fight against infections. Immunonutrients like vitamin A, C, E, Iron, zinc, copper etc also help to boost her immunity. The sources of such nutrients should be incorporated in the daily diet of the infant. Starting food post 6 months helps the baby to acquire various nutrients and also help fulfill their increasing nutritional needs.
Wash your food before cooking: While cooking, all vegetable, fruits, non-vegetarian food products and other raw ingredients should be thoroughly washed and cleaned.
Introduce hygienic habits to your baby: As the baby grows her mobility increases and this increase the chances of infection. Introduce proper hygienic measures and habits as early as your baby begins to move around. Get her into the habit of washing her hands before and after meals, after a visit to toilet and after returning home from outside shopping or play trip.
Exercise proper hygienic measures in your household as well to prevent presence and growth of any infectious micro-organisms.
Your baby should be educated about what she can put in mouth and what she can’t. Though, when the baby is growing, it is difficult to control her desire to put everything in mouth, but any such activity should be discouraged.
Mother’s milk is very important to develop immunity in your baby. Proper vaccination, hygienic habits and proper diet also help in increasing immunity in your baby. Ensuring proper hygiene, getting the baby vaccinated in time and ensuring a healthy balanced diet can prevent most of the infections and keep her healthy.