Providing a Safe Environment for your Newborn Baby
Congratulations on becoming a New Parent! I know you don’t have much time – so I’ll get straight to the point…….
Be prepared – as much as is possible – this will include accepting help from your partner – the Dad’s participation at this stage is crucial. This is a time for team work – the new Mum has just started a 24hr day job, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – FULLTIME. This is the time for Mum and Dad to share household chores – like vacuuming, preparing meals, doing the washing and ironing – Dad, if this does not appeal to you, and your budget allows for it – get paid help, but be aware that the new Mum is not going to have much “spare time” for doing the things she used to do. Please be aware, this is a time when Mum needs extra help. There are lots of things you can do to help with caring for your newborn baby – changing nappies/diapers, “winding or burping” your baby, “settling your baby”, bathing your baby, infant massage etc. (I’ll explain as we go).
Obviously you will want your home to be clean – newborn babies are still developing their immune system so they have little resistance to infection. The environment must be hygienically clean – provide somewhere for people to wash their hands with soap and water, and to dry their hands on a clean towel, before handling your newborn baby. If you have “pushy” relatives, prepare them in advance, and say that you will require everyone to wash their hands before handling your new baby. If someone has a contagious disease, eg cold, or flu, don’t let them hold your baby – and if possible, keep them out of the same room. For your baby’s sake – it is better that they see the baby when they are no longer contagious. If someone has a cold sore, (herpes simples) including you or your partner, make sure they do not kiss your newborn baby, or let the baby come in any contact with the “cold sore” – this can be very dangerous to a new born baby.
Little children love to kiss and touch new babies – make sure they wash their hands before doing so, and be aware that young children (creche and child-care ages) do carry lots of germs. Always include brothers or sisters, and make your own choice as to whether you want other children touching your new baby.
Remember to wash your hands after going to the bathroom/using the toilet, blowing your nose, and before preparing food or equipment for yourselves or your baby. Your baby will very quickly become accustomed to your natural micro-organisms (germs that live on your body).