Holiday Get Togethers With a Newborn - Germs, Flu, etc??

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Registered: 05-25-2008
Holiday Get Togethers With a Newborn - Germs, Flu, etc??
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 1:21pm

Depending on when I deliver, Isaac could be only a couple weeks old come Christmas. I'm starting to get a little apprehensive about getting together with family. I of course want to visit and spend his first Christmas with family (especially if DH is still overseas), but there are a few young children in our family along with several adults. I don't want to expose him unnecessarily to a cold, flu, whooping cough, etc, but I don't want to be holed up at home by ourselves either. I could have to potentially drive 2 hours each way to get there.

Another consideration is my grandma. She is currently bedridden due to a broken ankle earlier this year. It doesn't look like she's ever going to be be mobile. I'm worried about introducing the baby and visiting for any length of time. I won't go over if she clearly has any kind of contagious ailment, but she's just not in the best of health in general.

What would you do? I do plan on discussing this with our doctors, but I thought I'd ask you all too.

Julie - eagerly awaiting DH's homecoming & the arrival of our first DS, due 11/29/12

Avatar for thesunshinekid
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Registered: 09-22-2001
I agree with Leona - sometimes you just have to wait and see with babies.

We are planning on driving 700 Miles with baby right at Christmas time to spend it with DH's family. His father passed away in June and his mother really needs the support this holiday season. I adore her, so I'm totally willing to do this. Yes, our baby will be smothered and exposed and I'm going to be a freak about blankets and handwashing, but this is just something we need to do for our family.

However, if she happens to be early, or sickly - we will be staying home. And everyone understands that. We have a "plan," but it can and will change in extremes.

We did travel with DD when she was just over three weeks (she was born Dec. 3) and it was doable. We'll stay at MIL's house and she's a neat/clean freak who will probably have the house professionally cleaned before we arrive. Not joking. You really will figure it out as you go along.

When it comes to little children wanting to touch the baby, encourage them to rub the baby's head. The baby can't put it's head in it's mouth and it's easily wiped down. Ask them if they washed hands or need to wipe a nose before hand. This is YOUR BABY. If someone has a problem with the way you want YOUR BABY approached, they really can shove it. Just sayin'!

Jules - Happily married and Momma to DS, DD and expecting our Caboose Baby 11/24/2012

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Registered: 02-24-2012
It is a tricky situation. I had my first just barely a week before dh's grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. I was incredibly nervous to attend the function but I couldn't say no to going especially since the only thing his grandmother wanted was my dd with a bow. Instead I came up with a 'plan' (flexible of course) to try to keep baby handling limited to close family and was not at all shy to withdraw us to a quiet corner or empty room if things / people were getting overwhelming.

The safety goes up dramatically if your baby has had his first round of vaccinations (1 month I believe) but germs / flu's are worrisome. Fyi my first was quite well handled and only ever got sick while teething, my second has only ever had 2 very brief flu's (less than 24 hours) and she gets croup when teething - both were breastfed until they weren't interested (about a year). Babies are incredibly resilient creatures!!!

Go with your gut and trust your instincts - they will tell you what to do. Right now we are all a little crazier than we will be post baby : )
Proud Mom to Annika (4), Jamie (3), and 4 angels. Anxiously awaiting Baby #3!
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Registered: 01-15-2008
With our first baby, we were planning to just have a small celebration with close family for Thanksgiving, but my dad took over planning of the event and invited us over to his house along with 30-35 of our "closest" relatives (people I hadn't seen in years). I said we couldn't come with the baby. That was too much. It made me a bit angry that we basically ended up not enjoying Thanksgiving that much. We went in shifts to the event, alternating staying home with baby and told everyone we just weren't comfortable exposing her to that many people and potential germs all at once and everyone was very understanding though disappointed not to meet her. I basically limited visitors to small crowds of people at a time until she was around 6 weeks old or so, and we never had any illnesses in the first year. It's really up to you, but that's how we do it. I'm sure with this baby, we'll also be careful not to expose him to too many people early on. But some people have large families and feel like they're all close family and trust their hygiene, so they might have a different scenario. My dad is actually the one I trust least with hygiene. He's not a good hand washer, when he washes them and doesn't just rinse with water. I've asked him to get vaccinated for TDAP, but I doubt he will.
Lilypie Maternity tickers
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Registered: 01-18-2008
My last baby was a November baby, born 11/10. I was volunteered to host Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas Eve dinner. The Thanksgiving one wasn't bad for germs- it ended up being just adults, but the Christmas one was a nightmare. I was already nervous about germs because baby was born sick and was in the NICU for 3 days and when we were discharged we were told if she were to get sick she would be back in the ICU. So, all family knew the situation. One family member asked to hold her, so we went through the handwashing routine and I handed baby off to her. She then calls her 3 year old to her whose face was covered in snot and had the baby right in his face and he coughed right in baby's face. I was livid! Luckily, baby didn't catch his cold.

Anyway, that's my experience. I do breastfeed, so I think that helps with germs. If I were you, I wouldn't worry about it right now. I would play it by ear when the time comes. You may not feel like visiting and you may. If there are kiddos, you can check and see if anybody has been sick. You can "wear" baby so noone gets too close, also.

As for doctors, my pediatritions always say to stay home for 6 weeks with baby. And they would know if nasty things are going around at the time, also.

Good luck!
Rachel Mom to five great kiddos and one angel in heaven (MC @ 9 weeks) Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2012

I liked what I read or heard somewhere... it could have been here, I have no clue.  I can't remember. lol  But they suggested to keep a receiving blanket/burp cloth, or whatever you're using, handy and then when baby is being held by someone else, put the blanket up on their shoulder or whatever "just in case baby spits up" as a barrier.  That way it's your baby's blanket and germs that she's on and their shoulder that you don't know where it's been. :smileyhappy: That doesn't really help for people coughing on baby, but I liked the idea for the barrier, not just for holidays but anytime. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2011

It's really a decision that is up to you. You could always split the difference and visit for a short time with a bottle of hand sanitizer nearby. That's what my sister did anyhow. 

Personally, I'm not too fussy about my babies and germs. I teach and they have been exposed to who knows how many germs since they were about five seconds old. In fact, I took my four-week old to school with me out of necessity years ago. He just rode around in the bjorn and I didn't let the kids touch his precious little face. :smileyhappy:

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Registered: 05-25-2008

Thank you all for your input! I've decided not to worry about it quite yet. It's possible I won't even want to travel, so I'll just play it by ear and see how I feel/how the baby is doing. Perhaps I'll have an "open house" of sorts where family can drop by in small groups. We'll see!

Julie - eagerly awaiting DH's homecoming & the arrival of our first DS, due 11/29/12

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-06-2012

My family lives in the next state and DH's family lives in the same city as us. We are going to have Christmas here at our house and invite my family and his to stop by and visit for a little while if they dont want to thats fine. My DH may take out other daughter and go to his parents house to for a little while. My parents may come to visit us, they will more than likely be it. I will be having a big bottle of hand sanitizer and asking everyone to use it if they want to touch the baby. If anyone is sick, they will not be able to come over. I hope that everyone will understand Im not being rude, just watching out for my newborn.