Day 156: Dirty germs

Lo-Lo has met dogs before. On Saturday however she met next door’s whippet. I brought her down to ground level meet it and… it licked her fingers. Here’s me thinking, ‘ooo, not too hygienic, I should make sure she doesn’t…’ and before I even get to finish the thought she’s put those fingers in her mouth.

Erm. Not sure how to feel about this.

Part of me is thinking a bit of dirt is good, this is one way to build up her immune system. I know once she starts crawling it will be game-over for me trying to control her and what she licks… I hear from other mums that floors, shoes etc are all on the menu. Turns my stomach personally but then a young baby has no concept of what is supposed to be eaten and what is not. I guess they get a better idea once they have had a chance to lick everything. On the other hand I don’t want her to catch anything nasty, after all she is only little and still building her immunity up.

Having a read around the consensus seems to be;

  • Germs are everywhere and they are part of growing up
  • Exposure to them however does build up a baby’s immune system. Once the body is infected by a specific virus, it learns how to make antibodies to fight it.
  • Keep the home clean but not too clean a house (no danger of that happening in my case); some studies have linked the development of allergies and asthma with kids who were raised in homes that were too antiseptic. Without some exposure to antigens as babies, the body may become hypersensitive to them later — resulting in allergies and asthma.
  • Good basic precautions for baby include simply washing their hands and making sure they get their jobs.
  • You might get perturbed if you baby starts eating the dog poop but some Drs say even that probably won’t effect them too badly, the real dangers in the home are the choking hazards, cleaning products, poisons and medicines.

Clearly I’m not going to be encouraging her to get a mouthful of used kitty litter. However this knowledge does make me feel a little less anxious about germs.

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