The change of seasons is a good time for an immunity boost. Especially in the first few months when your baby’s immune system is too immature to fight off common colds & flu, bugs & viruses. Luckily your baby was born with a natural immunity that they inherited from you during pregnancy. In addition, colostrum – the milk your baby gets from the breast in the first three days of life – includes a high dose of antibodies.
These antibodies create a passive immunity – in other words, a gift from you to your baby. But this passive immunity doesn’t last long. Typically just a few weeks or months before your baby needs to develop their own immunity.
As winter comes and seasons change, there are more germs being passed around and therefore more chance of getting sick.
Here are 7 ways to boost your baby’s immunity:
Research has shown that when we get enough sleep, our immunity increases – specifically T-cells, which are the killer cells that attack viruses. So make sure your little one is not sleep deprived. Even toddlers should be asleep by 7:30pm.
The best way to boost your baby’s immunity in the first year is to breastfeed. Even once your baby is on solids, breast milk continues to carry some of your antibodies to your baby.
The food you feed your baby will help them to build their immunity by providing micronutrients. Make sure your baby eats fruit and veggies as well as fish, meat, nuts and whole grains – all of these contain vitamins and micronutrients needed for immunity.
If your baby is breastfed and has a wholesome diet once on solids, you don’t need to supplement their diet with vitamins. However, if they are a fussy eater (especially in the toddler years) it is worth taking a good multivitamin for babies and young children. Make sure it has high levels of Vitamin C and Zinc. Your pharmacist can guide you to the best choice.
Without question the most important boost of your baby’s immunity is inoculations against dangerous childhood illnesses. Follow the government schedule and be a responsible parent. Download Parent Sense app and get automated reminders for when your little one is due for their next vaccination.
6. Avoid germs
Until your little one has had their vaccinations – especially in the first three months – try to avoid sick people and busy places, such as public transport, with your baby.
While we do not want an over sterile world (this increases the risk of allergies), we do want to prevent the spread of germs, especially if we are in contact with sick people. The best way to do this is regularly wash your hands and sterilize your baby’s feeding equipment until 6 months of age.
Follow these 7 guidelines to give your little one a change of seasons immunity boost. For more about building your baby’s immunity, click here.