If you’ve ever held a newborn, there’s a good chance that you’ve been tempted to plant a big smooch right on their soft little head. After all, babies are adorable and we instinctively want to show them affection. But despite the cuteness overload, is it actually safe to kiss newborns or could it pose some risks?
The Risks Of Kissing Newborns
As irresistible as newborn snuggles may be, there are some potential risks associated with kissing them. Here are some reasons why:
Weak Immune Systems
Newborns have underdeveloped immune systems that aren’t yet capable of fighting off infections like adults can. This puts them at an increased risk for contracting illnesses from germs that may not cause problems for older children or adults.
Viruses And Bacteria
When you kiss a baby, you’re introducing your own virus and bacteria into their environment which they might not have the tools to fight off. Viruses like cold sores and bacteria such as Streptococcus salivarius that live in our mouths can be harmful to babies.
Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and can be spread through kissing or touching something contaminated by infected saliva. In rare cases, complications from HSV-1 infection in newborns can lead to meningitis or encephalitis – both serious conditions.
Respiratory syncytial virus is a common viral infection in infants and young children which causes mild symptoms similar to those of the common cold but which could still be quite deadly due to poor immunity among kids leading sometimes hospitalization especially for premature babies
It isn’t weird anyway because how do you know where mouth has been?
The bottom line being ; while many people who love babies will notice and feel close to the cute infants, their immunity isn’t strong enough to resist whatever illness that may be lurking germs from people who have kissed or touched them.
The Benefits Of Kissing Newborns
Despite the risks, kissing newborns does have some benefits. Here are a few reasons why:
Kissing is a way to show affection and establish emotional bonds between parents and babies. Closeness encourages feelings of attachment leading to better development for the child
Emotional Comfort And Security
Babies crave physical contact with their caregivers as it offers sense of protection that expands their world, promoting safety in themselves
Our saliva carries millions of microorganisms. When we kiss someone, we swap different kinds of bacterial colonies which helps baby develop an immune response on how best they can deal opportune infections
Tips On How To Safely Show Affection To Newborns
If you’re going to be around newborns but don’t want to risk spreading germs through kisses all over the infant’s head, here are some safe alternatives:
- Somewhat common nowadays though they look ridiculous- wearing a mask
- Wash your hands before holding the baby where possible
- Place boundaries with visitors thereby limiting skin-to-skin contact especially given potential infectiosities.
- Avoid kissing them if you’re sick or recently had symptoms like fever blisters etcetera
– Give them comforting hugs keeping faces apart such expressions often come handy ;
What’s not there? A kissy emoji? Please respect yourself!
By following these tips across will encourage every person desiring bonding time with germaphobes’ good practices that will actually help them grow because once caught an infection it could lead to worse outcomes.
Q: At what age can I start kissing my baby on the lips?
A: You should wait until your child’s immune system has matured to decrease already existing risk of infection which is typically around three months but could be more depending with neonatal or perinatal disease situations.
Q: Can family members still kiss the ba
by even without symptoms of cold sores or illness?
A: It’s safer to avoid closed mouthed kisses as we can always pass on any kind of bacteria through exchange of fluids in our saliva.
Kissing newborns may feel like a natural form of affection, but it carries some potential risks. With weaker immune systems, infants need protection from any infections while they develop as such blanket acceptance by all visitors isn’t ideal. However, other forms of affection and bonding are effective alternatives such that nobody will miss out on exploring their connection with an infant while keeping them out of harm’s way.