7 Tips To Help Improve Your Baby’s Immune System
Your baby’s health is the top priority of every parent. Even after every single instruction given by their doctor, parents remain concerned and worried about their baby’s health – “Are we doing enough? Have we done the right thing?”
For young children, it’s very easy and common to get the flu, a cough or any infection or allergy-related problem due to not having a strong immune system. If not taken care of at this stage, a small problem such as common cold can kickstart a chain of health issues. It could start at a cold, to getting a cough, then a congested nose to getting a fever and headaches, then suddenly your baby has pneumonia.
Getting sick and recovering is the common routine that babies follow, but developing a stronger immune system can help them recover faster and fall sick less often.
Every child is different, but parents can help boost their baby’s immune system with the following simple tips.
Tip #1: Proper Nutrition – Add more vegetables and fruits to bub’s diet
A healthy diet is the key to a strong immunity. Try to give your baby all required nutrients, which includes fruits and vegetables, to improve baby’s immunity system naturally. Your baby requires Vitamin C and antioxidants to fight with any virus or disease.
Fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, rockmelon, guava and grapefruit are great immunity-boosting agents. Vegetables, especially green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach and others with green leaves, can help flush out the waste from the body as they are fibre rich. Tomatoes and potatoes also very good for your baby.
Try to mix and match different vegetables and fruits so that your child can develop a taste for them. You can also try different forms and texture as per your baby’s liking, such as fruit and veggie smoothies. Try carrot and grapefruit juices. Babies like the taste, and enjoy sipping them during their meals.
You can also try a cup of yogurt with some mixed berries. Babies will enjoy different coloured vegetables and fruits.
Always give your baby plenty of fresh, clean water – this will help them digest their food and dispose of their waste from the body.
Tip #2: Breastfeeding
As suggested by health practitioners around the world, breastfeeding has countless health benefits for the baby. A baby should ideally be fed their mother’s milk to at least six months of age. The number one benefit is boosting the immunity system.
Mother’s milk contains antibodies that can protect babies from a large number of health issues such as allergies, infections, diarrhoea, pneumonia, SIDS, meningitis and so on, derived from the mother’s own immunity system.
Mother’s milk can also strengthen bub’s brain and bones. It is generally seen that babies who are given breastmilk fall ill less than babies who are given formula milk.
Tip #3: Encouraging physical activity
Physical activity that includes any play or exercise can help boost your baby’s immunity system. The one shown in the photo above is a bit too extreme (in my opinion 🙂 ).
Try to get your baby engaged into some family activities to develop lifelong fitness habits. This could include swimming, athletics, dance, gymnastics, or team sports such as football, or cricket.
Rather than giving them a screen to entertain themselves, encourage your child to mingle and play with other kids outside the house or in parks, either with organised playgroups or just heading down to see who you can find.
Physically active babies are healthy babies, and are able to fight off germs and bacteria. Such babies do not fall ill as frequently.
Tip #4: Help baby sleep well
It’s generally observed that babies who do not get a proper sleep tend to fall ill and show irritable behaviour. This is because sleep deprivation makes your baby susceptible to diseases and infections. Therefore, it is important for you to help them take proper naps during the day, as well as get sound sleep during the night. It is important to know how much sleep your baby needs age-wise.
For example, up to 16-18 hours of sleep per day is required by a newborn baby. As babies grow they sleep less and stay more awake and active. A 12-month-old baby will need around 13-15 hours of sleep per day. Make a proper schedule as per baby’s sleep needs.
Give your baby a proper environment to complete their sleep needs, to regain their lost energy and boost their immune system. White noise can help babies get sound sleep without any interruptions. Proper sleep also helps baby enhance their brain power. Babies who sleep well stay healthy and happy throughout the day.
Tip #5: Provide a germ-free environment
A clean environment will protect your baby’s immune system from risk of getting attacked by germs and bacteria while it is developing. Keep baby’s surroundings clean, as well as wash your baby’s hands and feet often. Babies at this age put everything in their mouth, which lets germs enter your baby’s body very easily.
Tip #6: Protect your baby from smoke
Smoking is injurious to everyone, but for your children it is particularly hazardous. It can not only damage their health by attacking their respiratory system, but smoke toxins also weaken the baby’s immune system. Smoke attacks baby’s breathing system more easily as it’s not as well developed at this stage.
Your baby can become an easy target of ear infections, breathing difficulties or asthma, as well as bronchitis. SIDs also becomes a higher risk. Therefore, it is highly important that parents do not smoke in the house, as well as try to avoid taking your baby to places where there are chances of people smoking in public.
Tip #7: Try avoid giving antibiotics frequently
Antibiotics are a very strong medicine, and are especially not beneficial for your baby at this very young age. Generally, doctors try to not to prescribe any antibiotic to babies under the age of two years, but in some conditions, it becomes essential to write one.
If you feel your baby can fight the mild infection on their own, then try to avoid giving them antibiotics, as your baby’s body will naturally develop antibodies against the disease and recover. This makes your baby’s immune system stronger.
Giving antibiotics unnecessarily can make bacteria in your baby’s body become resistant to such medicines, and in the future, it will make it difficult for your baby to recover with or without using antibiotics.
Other Helpful Tips(s)
Your doctor can suggest to you with more specificity regarding what steps you should take to boost your baby’s immune system.
Take your baby for regular full body check-ups, and always get baby vaccinated at the scheduled time.
This helps keep your baby’s body protected from attacks of dangerous diseases and infections.