Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, parents were “cocooning” their babies in their homes. “Cocooning” simply means protecting a newborn baby from illnesses and diseases at their most vulnerable stage.
There are both extreme and relaxed ways to isolate a baby throughout this process.
Grandparents, close family, and friends should avoid visiting the baby in keeping with pandemic rules. However, at a later date, when the pandemic calms down, here are some precautions to keep in mind.
What are the ways of Infant Cocooning?
1. Get a Flu Shot While Pregnant
Contracting the flu while pregnant will not only affect the mother. A terrible case of flu can cause complications or even preterm labour. Research shows that babies whose mothers received the flu shot while they were pregnant can experience a kind of immunity for months. A flu shot greatly aids the health of both mother and baby.
2. Breastfeeding Your Baby helps the “Cocooning” process
While there are many reasons a baby can’t be breastfed or fed breastmilk from another source, it helps the “cocooning” process. A newborn’s immune system gets a healthy boost from breastmilk. Breastfeeding can prevent minor issues and complications but is not a substitute for medicine or vaccines. Don’t worry if you can’t breastfeed, though. There are always other options.
3. Everyone Who Visits is Vaccinated
Babies are especially vulnerable in their first couple of months of life. They are too young to be vaccinated themselves and thus require everyone around them to take on that responsibility. Everyone should be up to date on their shots, including for whooping cough. These diseases can kill young babies and should be avoided at all costs. Essential vaccination now includes the Covid-19 vaccine. Once a baby is old enough, ensure they get their vaccines as well.
4. Create Boundaries
“Cocooning” is not just about disease. It is also about creating a loving family environment. Parents use this time to bond with their babies. Creating boundaries means determining when people come over and how long people stay. Setting these boundaries helps new parents figure out what they need during this stressful time, especially for first-time parents.
5. Avoid Crowded Places
It is common to want to go for walks or short outings with your new baby. Staying inside is not great for mental health. However, it’s essential to choose the right environment for your baby. Crowds of strangers, especially during the pandemic, are good to avoid because people may be sick. Your baby will be better off getting fresh air while not being exposed to illness. Avoiding crowds can give you some peace of mind.
Some experts say complete isolation in normal times can be detrimental to the mental health of new parents. It can be beneficial to have family and friends around, especially if they have had children of their own. Advice and support are invaluable, but so is independent bonding time. As with all things to do with parenting, there is no right answer for every family.
Written by: Gabrielle Goldson
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