Protect your newborn from sick family members.

How to Keep a Newborn Well When the Family Is Sick

by Heather Montgomery

When you bring a newborn home, your life is soon consumed with the extra care your new bundle of joy requires. If a family member is sick or comes down with an illness while you are in the throes of caring for your newborn, there are some extra precautions you need to take to minimize the risk of your newborn becoming sick. Newborns are particularly susceptible to illness -- and infections in infants can become quite serious, notes Pediatrician Tanya Remer Altmann in a WebMD article. This is why taking proper sanitary measures when you have a newborn in the house is essential.

1 Quarantine the sick family members in a separate room of the home where you and your newborn will not be present. This might be a playroom, bedroom or basement. If quarantine is not possible, keep your newborn separate by staying with him in his room or your room as often as possible. If you are sick, designate another well adult to care for your newborn.

2 Wash your hands frequently with antibacterial soap and encourage other family members to do the same. It is especially important to wash your hands before and after preparing bottles, changing diapers, handling your newborn, eating and using the restroom.

3 Disinfect common surfaces like counters, doorknobs, toilets, sinks, remotes, wipes containers and phones frequently with a disinfectant spray using a new paper towel. Sanitize bottles, nipples, pacifiers and toys with warm, soapy water before giving the item to your newborn.

4 Keep the bathroom hygienic, particularly if family members share a bathroom. Launder and replace the towels frequently -- or consider using disposable paper towels until everyone is well. Always use paper cups for brushing your teeth and discard them after each use.

5 Wear a facemask if you are sick and need to be in contact with your newborn to feed or change her. You should continue to breastfeed even when ill, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Breast milk contains important antibodies that might help prevent your newborn from contracting the illness, according to the AskDrSears website.

6 Keep sick family members away from your newborn until they are symptom-free for at least 24 hours.

Items you will need

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Disinfectant
  • Paper towels
  • Facemasks

Warning

  • If you suspect that your newborn contracted the illness, contact your pediatrician immediately.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision/Digital Vision/Getty Images