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Old 07-25-2012, 06:55 PM   #1
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Tips for keeping newborn safe from toddler germs?

I have a new, 2-week-old daughter who is getting over a cold she caught from her big brother! My son is two and a half and attends school two mornings each week, and there are colds and germs passed around there constantly. In the first week after my daughter was born, we tried to give my son opportunities to bond with his new sister while still limiting her exposure to his breath, etc. But she still caught a cold from him. (Or maybe from my husband and I -- we were exposed, too.) It hasn't been fun. The poor little thing has been congested for a week and had a low-grade fever for two days. Our pediatrician is watching it closely and we have every reason to hope that she'll get over it soon, but we definitely want to make sure she doesn't catch another one.

I just hate this situation. My son has so many books showing toddlers helping with baby siblings, holding them, etc. He adores his new sister and wants so much to help, but we're constantly trying to (sensitively!) keep up the barriers. Has anyone dealt with this before? Any ideas for keeping a newborn germ-free while making a toddler feel like an important part of the team?

We're already cleaning hands constantly, breastfeeding as much as possible, and limiting the time my daughter and son are in proximity (though they'll be together a lot more in a couple of weeks, when DH goes back to work and I'll be the only caregiver during the day). My son has only "held" his sister once -- we try to just let him hold her feet and sometimes pat her tummy and the top of her head. We've considered taking him out of school for a little while, but he LOVES it there and I work from home, so it would be a set-back for all of us if he were out of school.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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Old 07-25-2012, 07:29 PM   #2
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Siblings are going to share every germ no matter what. Let him enjoy being a big brother. Forming that sibling bond is way more important to me than trying in vain to keep the little one from getting sick.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:40 PM   #3
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Re: Tips for keeping newborn safe from toddler germs?

Honestly i don't think there is anything you can do. just take normal precautions like hand washing often and let them bond like normal siblings. they are going to share every germ no matter what
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:00 PM   #4
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Re: Tips for keeping newborn safe from toddler germs?

Par for the course with two. Just wait til you have 3! Siblings catch everything from their older sibling. My mom pulled me out of preschool for 2 months one winter because my preemie brother had gotten so many colds and ear infections from things I brought home. She wanted to get everyone well for awhile.
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:18 PM   #5
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Could you keep him home the next week or two? Any germs in your house are their regardless, you, DH or DS. I'd say it's the extra germs from other kids your son brings home that the baby doesn't need. You'd also have your hands full all day with a baby and a toddler, but it's something to think about.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:15 AM   #6
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Re: Tips for keeping newborn safe from toddler germs?

I don't worry about it...unless the 2 yr old or older kids had whopping cough or something. builds their immune system. my 2 yr old holds and kisses his brother all the day long, even when he has a cold.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:27 AM   #7
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Re: Tips for keeping newborn safe from toddler germs?

I am sorry your LO has a cold! I had that attitude before DD2 was born. When DD2 was 3 weeks old DD1 got a high fever... over 103. I called the pedi and asked what I should do...I would normally give it a couple of days to run it's course. They wanted to see DD1 because DD2 was so little. They determined it was probably viral and would run its course. Then non-chalantly told me if DD2 developed a fever over 100.4F before she was 2 months old I was to take her to the emergency room where they would admit her to the hospital, give her a lumbar puncture and put her on prophylactic antibiotics by IV until the CSF culture came back A few days later DD1 got a rash and it was clear she had roseola. Thank God the baby never got a fever. Needless to say I will always be paranoid when there is a newbie around.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:50 AM   #8
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Re: Tips for keeping newborn safe from toddler germs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickel+3 View Post
Siblings are going to share every germ no matter what. Let him enjoy being a big brother. Forming that sibling bond is way more important to me than trying in vain to keep the little one from getting sick.
Yup to the above. I have 5 going on 6 kids including 2 sets of twins. There is just no way to really keep the germs away. If another child is obviously sick, of course they should keep their distance. Other than that, I don't worry about it. With 5 newborns so far, I have had newborns with colds. It does make me sad, but you can't really keep them protected all the time and it isn't worth not allowing that sibling bond to develop. Just my

Definitely not trying to be rude, but it made me sad to read your toddler doesn't get to spend much time with the baby. That bond is so sweet. I always let my toddlers hold and "help" with the baby as much as was reasonable.

Of course every family and every mom is different. I'm sure it will work out no matter what you decide. Sorry your newborn is sick.

And, congratulations on your new addition to the family!
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:14 AM   #9
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Re: Tips for keeping newborn safe from toddler germs?

Other than washing hands when he gets home, I doubt there is much you can do. I told my son (He's 9) to not touch her hands and no kisses on the face ...Forehead okay but not cheeks or mouth. (Not that he wanted to put his mouth anywhere near the spit up and drool!) Kids in school get sick... they bring junk home.
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:20 PM   #10
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Re: Tips for keeping newborn safe from toddler germs?

i agree with everyone else. not much you can do. if they're living in the same house, do you really think it matters if he breaths in her face or across the room from her? and by that point, the kissing just doesn't even matter..... the germs spread. believe me, i feel your pain though. i have a 7 week old dd and my ds is the same age as your older one. he got a horrible cough when she was just a couple weeks old. which he passed to her she got over it though and was fine. although, as of this week we are onto round 2 with both of them having colds again. JOY. they also just started daycare, the baby too. so that is also doing it. not much to be done about it. it's just a cold. get a nose frida. i didn't have one for ds but someone bought me one as a gift this time around. coolest.baby.gadget.ever. so nasty when you see all the chunks of snot sucked up into it. who knew someone so small could have so much snot in them?! but i actually felt like a couple rounds of that and she would breath much better for the rest of the day.
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