Creating A Healthy Environment For Your Baby
After waiting 9 long months, viewing your baby for the first time as they enter the world is thrilling and awe-inspiring. Your protective instincts are also stronger than ever, now that your baby is vulnerable to the outside world.
Starting from when they first exit the womb, and throughout their journey until toddlerhood, babies are wondrous, tiny humans who are always learning as they soak in the world around them. As a responsible parent, you schedule wellness visits and get them checked out when they are ill, but what else can you be doing to take care of their health needs?
Learn about the different ways to create healthy surroundings for your baby so that you can relax and enjoy this precious time together.
Remember, too, the importance of worrying about your own health. Make sure to utilize your resources to recharge your batteries. You may not even realize how much you can use a long shower or a luxurious nap. Take a look at www.mommyauthority.com for ways you can make time for yourself.
You’ll be amazed at how much more you can appreciate this magical time with your baby once you’ve made time for yourself.
So, keep both your baby and yourself at your optimal health by using these 7 ways to create a healthy environment in your home.
1. Kangaroo Care
Also known as skin-to-skin contact, kangaroo care gets its name from the way a baby kangaroo sits securely in his mom’s pouch. Studies have been done on the important benefits this has for preterm babies. There is also research to show how it impacts all babies, specifically if done in the immediate hours after birth.
Kangaroo Care has been shown to help newborns regulate their internal body temperature, improve their sleep and more long term developmental benefits are currently being researched. In addition, skin-to-skin contact is an excellent facilitator for bonding between mom and her newborn.
2. Exposure To Pets
A 2017 study from Microbiome investigated the health benefits to expose pre- and post-natal babies to furry pets. Depending on how they were born (either vaginally or via cesarean section), babies were shown to clearly benefit from exposure to hairy pets. These benefits were exhibited as they got older and included being less prone to hypersensitive allergies as well as a exhibiting a decrease in obesity from their peers in the study.
3. Keeping Germs At Bay
As soon as a baby is born, everyone feels the need to touch her! This can make parents, especially first time parents, nervous. They’re right to be concerned. For the first 3-6 months, babies need extra protection. While breastfed babies are receiving their mom’s antibodies, it’s still not a good idea to expose them to sick people.
Here are some tips to help keep your home clear of germs from outsiders:
- Keep a bottle of antibacterial soap near every sink in your home.
- Babywearing makes it easier for strangers not to touch your baby’s head.
- Open windows and make sure your baby is breathing fresh air.
- Try to avoid bringing a large number of small children into your home.
Rest assured, you will not have to defend your child from germs for her whole life. Research shows the importance of coming in contact with germs in order to bolster healthy immune systems.
4. Smoke Free Environment
Public smoking laws have changed over the years as more and more people are aware of the devastating effects of second-hand smoking. For a baby with brand new lungs, it is especially important to keep your home a smoke free environment.
6. Dressing Your Baby
Check the back of your baby’s neck as an indicator if she is hot or cold. Until your baby thermoregulates (can regulate his own temperature) - it usually takes about 3 months - you will need to dress her with extra care. After that, a good rule of thumb is that if you are cold so is she, and vice versa.
5. Optimal Room Temperature
Grandparents may have a tendency to crank up the heat and assume the baby needs a sauna, like they do. However, optimal room temperature for a baby is 68–72°F (20–22.2°C). Buy an inexpensive wall thermometer for the baby’s room in order to put your mind at ease.
7. Bath Temperature
A good trick for testing bath water in order to ensure that it’s neither too hot or too cold, is to use your elbow. Feeling bath water using your fingers can be unreliable as the nerves in your fingers may not be as sensitive to heat as your elbows are.
Use these tips to create a healthy environment for your baby. The more time you spend with your baby, the more you will know his likes and dislikes in order to keep him at his optimal health and comfort level.