Close up of a mother with her baby boy sleeping in her arms.
Photographed with a Canon 5D Mark II and developed from raw file.
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Preparing for flu season with a newborn

You’ve lived through fall and winter every year of your life, and you may not have given it much thought. However, when you have a new baby with a developing immune system- every cough, every doorknob, every touch from a stranger just hits differently. You may feel that you should be preparing for flu season with your newborn.

In this article we’ll go over what to have on hand to feel prepared for the inevitable! [And we’ll touch over what to avoid too.]

Preparing for flu season with a newborn:

1 -Motorola Care Non-Contact Smart Thermometer

One essential you won’t want to forget about is a baby thermometer. While this may seem like a relatively simple purchase, it can quickly become overwhelming. You’ll have all sorts of options to choose from – some units have loads of features, others are extremely basic. One unit that we personally love is the Motorola Care thermometer. This non-contact thermometer is truly a game-changer. You can read temperatures from 1 inch away from the forehead. This means you don’t have to physically touch your baby. This is incredibly useful during the night, since you won’t have to wake up your child to take their temperature. Some of the Motorola Care’s main features include being able to switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit, being able to turn on night mode, which removes all beeping tones and being able to record temperatures for multiple users. When pairing the Motorola Care with the Hubble app, you’ll be able to store readings, track the progression of a fever, add in notes like which medication has been given when and so much more. [We are suckers for organized data].If you have to choose just one thermometer, we highly suggest the Motorola Care Powered by Hubble. Available at Hubble Connected.

2- Dye Free Tylenol

Nobody wants to have to use this, but you want to have it on hand for a fever emergency. If your baby is under 3 months of age and has a fever over 100.5 take them to the emergency department. If your baby is over 3 months and has a fever over 100.5 call their pediatrician- they may or may not recommend a visit and/or giving the fever reducer.

Always measure out the appropriate amount of the medication by weight. Do not offer under 3 months without medical supervision.

3- Fridababy Nosefrida

It seems strange now, but you’ll thank us later when your baby can’t breathe with a stuffy nose! This contraption allows parents to gently clear their baby’s nasal passages. The plastic bulb syringes can exert unnecessary pressure, and also they are notoriously difficult to keep sanitary. Fridababy’s Snotsucker [their words, not ours] is a parent favorite because it’s easy to use and easy to clean.

4- Humidifier

This is actually great to use for prevention in the drier months. This may be your baby’s first time ever dealing with dry, hot air! Sometimes in addition to their little airways getting dry, their lips and skin can become dry as well. A cool-mist humidifier running continuously on low in their sleeping area can help combat this. Just be sure to clean it regularly to avoid mildew buildup.

5- Prevention

  • Always, always, always have people was their hands before holding the baby.
  • If you use public diapering areas- don’t assume that others cleaned the area first! Wipe it down with disinfecting wipes or put down a changing pad
  • Keep yourself healthy! Probiotics, lots of water, and a diet low in sugar have all been proven to help boost the immune system. Anecdotally we find that garlic can blast germs away if you feel yourself coming down with something! Sleep is huge for the immune system to function properly, let us know if you need some.

6- Knowledge

Talk to your pediatrician in advance about what you should do in certain situations. Have a plan in place if a nanny notices that the baby has a cough or grandma feels the baby and he is hot.  A general fever rule is to watch the baby and not the number- a fever of 101 and a lethargic baby that won’t eat is more of a concern than a baby with a 102,5 fever that is still playing and acting normal. Teething can cause mild fevers and a change in bowel movements but anything above 100.5 should be assumed something other than just teething.

And what to avoid:

  • Essential oils: Essential oils actually have lots of evidence behind them….but that doesn’t make them safe for babies! A good rule of thumb is no oils on or around babies until at least 2 years of age.
  • Oral remedies before 6 months: There are lots of fun potions out there, but try to stick to formula and breastmilk until 6 months of age.
  • Bad advice: Almost all of the time the only thing that will help your baby is rest and time, but that is for a medical professional to decide, not your mommy Facebook group. If you are concerned- always call and ask for a medical opinion. And if you don’t feel comfortable with their advice, it is always okay to ask for a second opinion! Not all doctors and nurses are created equally and all have different experiences, backgrounds and biases.

We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.

Karina McCarthy

A Rhode Island native who has babies in her blood. A mom to a beautiful daughter and a lover of yoga and long naps.