Newborn care

Should I make people wash their hands before holding my baby?

Should you make you friends and family wash their hands when they come for a visit with your newborn baby? Dr. Dina has the answer.

I’ve heard it can be very serious when a newborn gets sick, so I’ve been asking visitors to wash their hands before holding my new baby. Am I going overboard?

   Woman holding a newborn baby, 13 things you should never do when visiting a newborn    
   13 things you should never do when you’re visiting a newborn
It’s terrible when your baby gets sick. An illness in a baby’s first two months of life can be serious, but after that, it’s mostly just a miserable nuisance. Of course, it’s a good idea to wash your hands after using the washroom, and before and after eating—and to ensure your guests do the same—but there’s no need to be extreme.

If you’re worried about visitors bringing in germs, leave an alcohol-based hand sanitizer by the entrance as a reminder when people arrive. Many viruses are contagious before symptoms are present, so you can’t always tell who might make your baby sick. Still, if someone is coughing and sneezing, you might want to suggest they hold off on cuddling with your new baby.

Read more:
Germaphobe parents: Will your baby be OK?
The first four weeks: what caring for a newborn is really like