Infection poses a real risk to babies, both before and after they are born. Premature babies are at particular risk of infection, because their immune systems are still developing. It is worth taking care to maintain high standards of hygiene during the early months and years.
How to prevent infection in your baby
- Wash your hands with soap and water after changing nappies, preparing food or going to the toilet. You should also wash your hands often if you have a cold.
- Ask visitors to wash their hands when they enter your home.
- Try to restrict the number of other people who hold your baby in the early months, as far as possible.
- In the early weeks, keep your baby away from overcrowded areas, such as shops and restaurants.
- Try to visit public spaces such as GP surgeries or baby clinics at quiet times when your baby will come into contact with fewer people.
- Try to avoid situations with lots of young children, such as playgroups or schools.
- If you have pets, try to keep them away from your baby during the first few weeks.
At times you will have to balance practicality with the ideal situation. These tips sound straightforward, but everyone's situation is different. For example, if you have older children, it is harder to avoid playgroups or schools. If you have lots of pets, it may be difficult to prevent them from having any contact at all with your baby. Talk to the healthcare team about how far you need to go to protect your baby from infection.
As your baby gets stronger, you will need to worry about infection less.
The following organisations can give you more information about the topics covered in this section.
If your premature baby is unwell or is suffering from discomfort such as constipation, colic or reflux it's important to seek expert advice.
The early days at home with your premature baby can be a steep learning curve, especially if he still needs support with breathing or feeding. We answer some of your questions.
Premature babies are more susceptible to certain health problems than term babies, so your healthcare team will take special care when assessing your child's development.
Premature birth can affect the way your child develops. Assessments from your healthcare team are crucial in ensuring that your baby gets the right care.
Most babies have to fight colds and tummy bugs. The good news is that each infection your baby gets will strengthen his immunity.
If your baby had severe problems with his gut, he may have had a colostomy or ileostomy while he was in hospital.
ℹLast reviewed on April 1st, 2012. Next review date April 1st, 2015.
By Anonymous (not verified) on 6 Oct 2017 - 19:16
It was very interesting and helpful