Everybody wants to hold, hug, kiss, and love a new baby! But Dr. Mehmet Oz says parents should be a bit cautious. The cardiac surgeon and author, whose latest book You: Raising Your Child (The Owner's Manual From First Breath to First Grade) ($14) is a must read, speaks from experience, as he is also a father of four!
LilSugar: Are there some general guidelines for protecting a newborn from germs?
Dr. Oz: I would not take the child out. There's no reason to expose the child to illnesses which they can easily weather as they get older. Infants are not small adults, they have very immature immune systems and are primarily protected by your breast milk (and if it doesn't come in normally then there are some gaps in their immune system) so why take a chance? In the first couple weeks, I'd limit visitation to very close relatives who are healthy and people can come and look at the child, but they just should avoid touching the child.
LilSugar: At what point is it appropriate to let people hold the baby?
Dr. Oz: I think a month is a pretty rational time period. It allows the child to work through some of the early problems with jaundice, breastfeeding issues, the umbilical cord would have fallen off. You know for six months they are a different species and when we learn about children in med school, we learn about the first six months and then the rest. For that first month, they are really fragile. Then you can loosen up a little. I'd still be cautious about having people come over who aren't feeling well. The child will be exposed enough to their siblings who are sick. The older the child is, the more I would expose them because you do want them picking up things that are out there and overcoming them, because it strengthens their immune system and helps them practice for life.
Check back for more from our interview with Dr. Oz tomorrow! If you missed yesterday's portion read it here!