Yep, it's that time again. The "R" is back in the month, and it will stay that way for a while. The temperatures are dropping and the days are getting shorter. And we're complaining more. But okay, sometimes that is justified because during these months a lot of people are bothered by a nasty cold or flu. Now, all that sniffling and coughing is no fun, but there is a reason for it. During these months you have a lower resistance than normal, making you more susceptible to viruses.
Speaking of babies, they have lower resistance anyway, autumn or not. It was wonderful being in mom's tummy, but now it is time for the little body to build up its resistance and get a stronger immune system. Especially in the first year of life, you will notice that your mini regularly catches a virus. All that cuddling makes it very likely that your mini will pass on this virus to you. Because as a brand new mom you will notice that your resistance is not what it should be, also thanks to those (very) short nights of sleep. Of course, you don't throw in the towel, but do everything you can to increase the resistance of your baby and yourself. How do you do that? Read on!
- Drink enough (mom and baby)
Getting enough fluids is very important for both you and your baby. Try to make sure you drink at least one and a half liters a day. For your mini, from 6 months on, it is important to drink at least half a liter a day in addition to breast or artificial milk. Is your baby having trouble with that? Then try to make those drinking moments extra fun by using a bottle or cup with a cute little pattern! You know, as a sort of distraction strategy ;)
- Healthy and varied food (mom and baby)
Getting vitamins is extra important for everyone in the months with the "R". Try to alternate fruits and vegetables and eat as much variety as possible. Not every piece of fruit and vegetable contains the same type of vitamins and antioxidants, which is why variety is important. You will probably find this easier than your mini, but it is still important to make regular attempts to get your baby used to fruits and vegetables. For example, prepare several fruit and vegetable snacks for your mini, then freeze most of them for the following days. And maybe making airplane and train noises will help you get those snacks down!
- Extra vitamins (mom and baby)
In addition to the vitamins you get through food, it never hurts to provide yourself and your mini with extra vitamins. You could give your mini multivitamins from Davitamon, which boost resistance and are also good for bone growth. You yourself could make a friend of vitamins C, D, A, B6, or E in the fall, to boost your resistance a bit. Do realize that these extra vitamins are not a substitute for healthy food, but simply a supplement.
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- Outdoors (mom and baby)
Don't feel like leaving the house? Try taking a short walk anyway, as fresh air is important for your health. This also applies to your baby, who comes into contact with both good and bad substances in the outdoors. It may sound crazy that it is good for your baby to also come in contact with bad substances, but this only helps the immune system learn when to fight a virus.
- Good ventilation (mom and baby)
Just like getting fresh air outside, good ventilation in the home is also important. This way you enjoy fresh air inside as well. Make it a habit to open windows ajar (if possible). If the weather permits - which is always in question here in the Netherlands - you can open a window fully for an hour. You will immediately notice that that fresh air does you good!
- Keep moving (mom and baby)
That staying in motion is good for us we already knew, of course. That's old news. But did you know that exercise is also good for your immune system? This is because exercise promotes the circulation of immune cells and also reduces inflammatory factors. So yes, it seems that the list of reasons to exercise is getting longer, while the list of excuses not to exercise is getting shorter. Even when it is raining outside or very cold, you can do a fun workout with your mini inside. As long as you keep moving!
- Get a good night's sleep (mom and baby)
Is your sleep not exactly optimal? Then you've probably already found the culprit causing poor immunity in you! When we sleep deeply at night, our body is hard at work: it produces substances that restore our immune system. When you sleep badly and do not reach that deep sleep, your body does not get a chance to repair the immune system. So the result is a weaker resistance. Therefore, it is important to clear your head completely before going to bed and create an evening ritual for both you and your baby. And after that: off to dreamland!
- Putting things in your mouth (baby)
As a mom who wants to protect her mini from all the danger in the world, it might be hard to accept this tip. But it really is true that touching things and even putting them in the mouth can help build good resistance. This is because your baby's body learns about new substances that, in turn, are good for strengthening resistance. Of course, keep an eye out to prevent your mini from putting anything dangerous in his or her mouth. But that should probably work because watching your baby is what you prefer to do all day ;)
- Hand hygiene (mom and baby)
Yes, it is definitely true that it is good for babies to touch things and sometimes even put them in their mouths. But at the same time, it is still important - even for mom - to maintain good hand hygiene. This prevents bacteria from having a party and spreading so numerous. Did you get out and about? Wash your mini's hands with soap when you get home, and then of course wash your own.
- Reduce your intake of products high in sugar (mom and baby)
Sugar is unhealthy. No surprise there. Thus, it also has a bad impact on your immune system. This is because digesting sugar requires a lot of vitamins and minerals, which the body actually needs to build antibodies. Of course, this is not to say that you should completely avoid sugar. But when you have to choose between sugar or resistance, make your choice more often in favor of your resistance by giving up sugary foods for a while. The same goes for your child, of course. Because yes, learned young is done old ;)
- Crawling (baby)
Soon enough you will see that your baby is eager to discover the world, and prefers crawling. What a good thing for the immune system. Don't worry if the floor hasn't been vacuumed and mopped recently, because that will strengthen your baby's immune system. So let your baby crawl. And you run after it ;)
- Touching animals (baby)
This probably shouldn't be that hard (lol). After all, what child doesn't love furry four-legged friends? Wonderful to cuddle with - provided the four-legged ones like it too, of course, because they sometimes do enjoy the peace and quiet. Touching animals also does its part in developing a strong resistance, as these furry friends are accompanied by microorganisms. Again, this helps your baby's immune system to come into contact with new substances. Just make sure the animal does not get irritated at the touch of your mini. After all, cats don't really appreciate tail pulling ;)