Q. We just brought our newborn home and I’m worried about him getting sick. Should visitors wear a mask? Should we try and limit visitors?

A. No–unless a visitor has a known infectious condition, or flu or cold symptoms such as fever, cough, and runny nose, you don’t have to worry about exposing your baby to some “normal” germs. Newborns do not usually get sick because they have a boost of maternal immunities, so simply ask all visitors to wash hands with soap and water prior to touching your baby and avoid kissing on the face.

It is best for a newborn to stay close to his parents as much as possible for the first few weeks–this provides a stable foundation based on bonding, comfort, and familiarity. Of course, those who love you will likely be eager to come over and offer help, and you should embrace that if you feel you need it! Again, it’s not a problem to let healthy visitors  hold your newborn for a short time but I would keep constant passing around to a minimum. In addition to increased germ exposure, the movement may be too stimulating for your days-old baby. In a month or so you won’t need to be so careful.

This time is such a joyous one for you and for your close friends and family but it’s perfectly fine to set limits. If you feel uncomfortable communicating any of your wishes to visitors, put your sleeping baby in a bassinet while you have company. People will be less likely to pick him up if he’s sleeping soundly. Consider planning a time of day to receive guests so you don’t have a steady stream of people coming in and out of the house all day. If you schedule visiting times you’ll be able to manage sleeping and feeding times more comfortably–which is in the best interest of you and your baby. No matter how you feel about or choose to approach it,  remember to relax and enjoy this period with your newborn. It goes by quicker than you might think!

For more Baby Nurse Tips and answers to pregnancy, birth and newborn-related questions, enter this week’s giveaway of The Baby Nurse Bible: Secrets Only a Baby Nurse Can Tell you About Having and Caring for Your Baby! Just leave a comment below to enter. This contest will run until next Friday March 25 when we’ll select a winner using random.org and notify the winner via email.

*Congratulations to Catherine, who won last week’s book Giveaway!!