The current pandemic is a source of anxiety and worry for all of us. Parents, however, will be feeling the stress and the strain even more keenly than most. To be a parent is to live in a constant stage of worry that you could and should be doing more to safeguard your child’s health and wellbeing. Even if you’re doing everything in your power, you still likely have a nagging sense that you’ve missed something. It’s just part and parcel of parenthood. When you have a baby or toddler, however, your worries are amplified-especially if this is your first child. You may worry about not just about how to keep your baby safe from the virus itself but how to ensure that they’re healthy and happy while you’re under lockdown.
With that in mind, here are some practical tips for keeping your infants safe from all aspects of the coronavirus…
Breastfeed if you can… but if you can’t, choose your formula wisely
Breastfeeding is always the better choice when it comes to your child’s health- especially when protecting them from infections. Your breastmilk is chock full of natural antibodies as well as all the nutrition your baby needs. Nonetheless, if you can’t breastfeed (or need to mixed feed because you don’t express much milk) take the time to research the safest organic baby formula on the market. Remember also that it’s not viable to reheat baby formula. Not only are key nutrients lost, there’s more possibility for bacteria to build up in the formula.
Keep washing your hands and sterilizing your equipment
The same rules of coronavirus common sense apply to safeguarding your baby. For instance, always make sure you’ve washed your hands properly (for at least 20 seconds) before picking up, feeding or handling your baby. Make sure that all equipment like bottles or breast pumps is properly sterilized and make sure that formula is heated to the right temperature to kill any germs that may be within the powder.
Can I still breastfeed my baby if I have coronavirus?
Yes, absolutely. If you have coronavirus (or suspect you may have coronavirus) you can still breastfeed your baby whether you’re symptomatic or not. Current evidence suggests that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the risks of them contracting the virus as symptoms are generally much milder in infants. Be sure to wash your hands and sterilize any equipment prior to feeding and, as much as possible, try to avoid coughing or sneezing on your baby.
Carry on with your normal routine, just remember the importance of social distancing
For mothers of babies, the coronavirus routine is actually likely to be similar to that of normal maternity leave. You should still take the time to play with your baby, talk to them, sing to them and take them out for walks. Just be mindful of proximity to strangers and practice social distancing as much as possible.
Try and stay upbeat… You have a seriously compelling reason to!
The lockdown and the sense of uncertainty and worry can be almost as damaging as the virus. While you may feel as though the world is a cold and unfriendly place you owe it to your little one to show them a positive, happy and upbeat face.