These simple precautions will become second-nature to you as you and your baby grow together:
Keep your baby's immunizations up to date. Take your baby for regular checkups and make sure her immunizations stay on schedule.
Wash your hands. Use friction, running water, and soap for at least 20 seconds to be effective. Ask everyone else to wash their hands before touching, feeding, or holding your baby.
Limit your baby's exposure to illness. If someone is ill, discourage that person from touching your baby or her toys. When going out, the less crowded and more ventilated the space, the healthier it will be.
Carry hand sanitizer. When hand-washing isn't an option use alcohol-based sanitizers. Always remember to sanitize after touching ATMs, gas pumps, escalator handrails, shopping carts, and after signing credit card slips. Hand sanitizer isn't recommended for babies.
Tote disinfectant wipes. If your baby's toy, pacifier, or bottle drops onto the floor, wipe the object off. At a restaurant use the wipes to clean the table or high chair before eating. Make sure the wipes you use are safe for your baby.
Stay away from smoky places. A smoker inhales only 15% of smoke from a cigarette—the remaining 85% becomes secondhand smoke. If someone next to you is smoking, simply move. There's no safe level of exposure for your baby.
Cover surfaces. Always place a changing pad, blanket, or towel between your baby and a public surface such as a high chair or changing table. After use, tie it up in a plastic bag to prevent it from contaminating your baby's other items. If you need to use the pad again before washing, be sure you remember which side stays next to your baby.
Avoid direct sunlight. The sun is most intense from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. When it's warm and sunny, dress your baby in lightweight long sleeves and pants, a large-brimmed hat, and/or sunglasses with 99% sun protection.
Don't overdress your baby. When the weather is cool, dress your baby in one more layer of clothing than you would wear. Babies lose large amounts of heat through their heads, so be sure to remember a hat!
Breastfeed your baby. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastmilk is the ideal source of nutrition and protection for your baby throughout the first year of life. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for your baby because it's easy to digest, helps protect against food allergies, and gives her protective antibodies to help fight off illness.