Dear Dr. Bill,
I’m a new mother of a 4-month-old. I worry constantly about my baby’s health and well being, and I have a great fear of her getting sick. I insist on my family & friends washing their hands before they touch her. I also refuse to let her visit anybody who is sick.
However, my husband’s family is VERY laid back, and they don’t agree with my concerns. In fact, my husband thinks I’m trying to put our baby “in a bubble” and that we can’t protect her from everything. I disagree and this is a big issue with us…what should we do?
You and your husband should meet in the middle on this issue. You need to relax and he and his family needs to be more sensitive your concerns. Most new moms are a bit anxious about their baby’s health.
I can speak from personal experience. My wife Lisa was very cautious with our first child, Joseph. She kept anyone with a cold a full football field length away from him when he was an infant. She was a lot more relaxed with Anna, our second child.
If you are nursing, you’ll be happy to learn that your baby is more immune to contracting infections due to the antibodies in breast milk. But even if your baby is receiving formula, the fact is that a four-month-old baby should be able to weather a cold just fine.
The major concern is the possibility of contracting an ear infection along with a cold, but most ear infections can be easily treated with antibiotics. The flu can be more problematic, and pediatricians recommend that babies over 6 months of age receive a flu shot.
In order to calm your fears, I would suggest you order Focus on the Family’s “Complete Book of Baby and Child Care.” It’s a wonderful resource written by top pediatricians and family doctors.
Thanks for writing Jeannie. If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.
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