We all know someone like this, or are someone like this: Before you're allowed to so much as glance at her baby, you'd better provide a doctor's note clearing you and your immediate family of all communicable diseases, as well as low-grade colds.
On the other hand, we also know the free-wheeling mom who feels the more germs her baby is exposed to, the better. In fact, she'll probably be the cause of most of your own household illnesses this winter.
So who's right? The overly cautious worrier, or the earth mama who hosts chicken pox parties?
It could be both, just at different times in baby's development -- and depending on your ability to tolerate the family cold.
Dr. Mehmet Oz says no one needs to touch the baby during his first month of life (in my house, the baby's older sister didn't get that memo) when the immune system is least able to fight off germs. Post-one month, the baby gets stronger but Dr. Oz still recommends keeping sick people away until baby is old enough to benefit from fighting off germs and building his immune system.
WebMD says after three months babies are strong enough to get out and about without a germ-a-phobe mom totally freaking out, but still recommend the dynamic duo that will keep your baby well: vigilant hand-washing and keeping up-to-date on vaccines. Anything else, is overkill. Or as the WebMD doc says, “You could put your kids in a plastic bubble and they’d never get sick. But if you want to live in the real world, and enjoy it, you have to put up with germs and the occasional illness.”
Which mom are you?
Image via wyzik/Flickr