You want to do everything you can to protect your newborn against Covid-19, so be extra cautious when introducing your baby to others.
If you had your baby during the lockdown, your friends and family members may not have had the chance to meet the newest member of your family up close and personal.
“During the first six weeks of life, a newborn is most vulnerable. If your baby gets a fever, it could mean a trip to the hospital, which you want to avoid at all costs right now,” says Dr Sharon Nachman, chief of the Division of Paediatric Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. “While we know everyone is super excited to meet your new baby, if you don’t feel comfortable welcoming people into your home yet – you don’t have to. Yes, family members might be disappointed, but that’s okay – you have to be comfortable with the situation, and ensuring your baby is safe is the most important job you have right now.”
COVID-19 is here to stay and so we all need to learn to live with it. Although we can’t keep our babies indoors forever, we can make smart and safe decisions that we are comfortable with.
If you do decide to let family meet your tot, keep these nine safety steps in mind:
- As an alternative to in-person meet and greets, try a virtual option. Zoom or skype visits are a good way to introduce your baby to the world.
- Before inviting friends and family to meet your baby, ask them whether they have been sick or have been around someone who is.
- Request that they do not bring their children unless you are comfortable with them doing so. Remember, it’s your baby and your home, so you have the authority to set the rules – and you don’t have to feel guilty about it.
- Request that they wash or disinfect their hands before entering your house. An easy way of doing this is to have sanitiser at the door.
- Request that they refrain from touching your baby. We understand how tough it is not to want to smooch a gorgeous little newborn, but it’s perfectly acceptable to be a germaphobe and ask relatives and friends not to get too close to your infant – this includes holding your baby.
- Have friends and family members wear masks while around your infant.
- Visits should be held outside.
- It’s better to have the visits outside, if possible.
- Don’t be embarrassed to let people know if you only want them to stay for a short time or to leave early if you’re feeling tired or overwhelmed.