Boosting your baby’s immune system
- by Petra Jelinkova
With winter coming and two toddlers attending germ heaven (aka daycare) I’m doing everything I can to boost my toddler’s immune system and ward off nasty chest infections, earaches and the common cold.
What can you do to boost your baby or toddler’s immune system?
For me, boosting my toddler’s immune system starts with a good diet. Carrots, green beans, oranges and strawberries all have immune system boosting phytonutrients such as vitamin C. Phytonutrients may increase your toddler’s chance of fighting an infection.
Know what foods your toddler has an allergic reaction to (if any). When a toddler has a food allergy their digestion processes go into overdrive and inflammation is ramped up. This means the body has nothing left to fight off viruses and bacteria, making infection much more likely. The body has the same response to having to digest too many additives and preservatives.
Part of keeping your toddler well is feeding them plenty of fresh veggies and whole fruits, keeping an eye on their additives and sugar and finding out which foods are allergens.
- Maintain your toddler’s good bacteria
Giving your toddler a probiotic in their milk is a great way maintain the friendly, good bacteria which occur naturally in our gut. This bacteria helps to digest food and clear toxins away as well as giving some protection against invading viruses and bacteria. When there isn’t enough of this good bacteria in your toddler’s body it may be harder for them to fight off infections.
- Stress less
Today with all of the activities we want our toddlers to be involved in it is easy to over-schedule our days and weeks. But like us, if our toddlers have too much going on in their lives their immune system suffers. Build in time for creative play and rest into your toddler’s day. Busy bodies need to take a break for their immune systems to work well.
- Make sure they’re getting enough sleep
The amount of sleep your toddler needs changes with age, but it is somewhere between 10 to 14 hours a day. Not getting enough sleep can lower their immune systems because their bodies don’t get enough time to heal and recover from the day. If your toddler is in daycare and doesn’t get enough of a daytime nap (or not one at all) try putting them to sleep earlier at night.
- Wash hands
Make sure you wash your toddler’s hands often. We wash our hands with a soap substitute which better for eczema as soon as we get home from daycare, before and after we eat, after using the bathroom, and after playing outside. I carry disposable wipes in my bag permanently which are a must to use after playing at the park. And an itchy baby co. bath soak at the end of the day to clean away any left over germs.
Another washing tip is if one of my toddlers has been sick I throw out their toothbrush right away. Not because they can get the same infection again from their own toothbrush, but because germs can hop onto the next toothbrush which is resting close by ready to infect the next person in the family.
These tips really help boost my toddler’s immune system at my house.
This post was brought to you and your baby with love from Julia and the Itchy Baby Co. team x
Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional.