What Is Immune System?
We are all familiar with the term immune system, but do you really know what it means? Well, if you do, good for you. But if you don’t, you are in the right place. To explain it in the easiest way possible, the immune system is the body’s defense mechanism against infections. The cells and the organs in our body work together to keep us safe. White blood cells (WBC), also known as leukocytes play an important role. Some types of leukocytes help kill the infection, while others help our body remember the invaders.
When our body senses antigens, the immune system receives the signal and starts the work to get rid of it. Humans have three types of immunities.
- Innate immunity is the one we are born with
- Adaptive immunity is the one that develops with time
- Passive immunity is temporary
When Does a Newborn’s Immune System Develop?
Before knowing how to boost baby’s immune system, you must know when does a newborn’s immune system develops. While the baby is in your womb, your baby is protected by your immune system. When your baby is born, the antibodies that you share with your baby through the placenta continue to protect them. But after a while, your baby’s body needs to learn how to protect itself from germs and bacteria. Well, it is important to know that your baby’s immune system doesn’t mature until they are three to four months old.
So until your baby is at least three months old, you need to be careful about your baby’s health. A few ways to reduce the risk of infection in an infant are to restrict outside exposure, regularly check your baby’s body temperature, and make sure all your baby’s vaccines are given on time.
How to Increase Immunity in Babies?
You can follow the tips mentioned below if you want to know how to build a baby’s immune system.
- Breastfeed your baby
For the first few months, the only thing your baby should drink is breastmilk. But rest assured that it is extremely beneficial when it comes to boosting your baby’s immune system. Breast milk contains Colostrum which is said to be key to building immunity. According to studies, children who are breastfed for the first six months are less susceptible to infections and allergies.
- Sticking to the immunization schedule is important
For your child’s adaptive immunity to be perfect, you need to make sure that you stick to the immunization schedule. Ask your baby’s doctor for advice regarding the same.
- Make sure your baby gets enough sleep
A baby needs up to 14 hours of sleep per day. When your child sleeps well, only then will they be able to energize themselves. A well-rested baby is more efficient at keeping infections at bay.
Immunity-Boosting Foods for Toddlers
Toddlers are more prone to catching infections because they tend to be around so many kids all day. So if you want to know how to boost the immune system in toddlers, know that the best way to do it is via a healthy diet. Mentioned below are some immunity-boosting foods to incorporate into your child’s diet.
- Berries contain antioxidants and are a favorite among kids
- Vitamin C is essential for a strong immune system. And the best source of Vitamin C is citrus fruits.
- Green leafy vegetables contain essential nutrients and carotenoids.
- Root vegetables are essential for a better respiratory system
- Nuts and seeds contain Vitamin E. Vitamin E is vital for a strong immune system
- Yogurt contains probiotics or good bacteria that are essential for gut health
About Premature Baby’s Immune System
Premature babies are more susceptible to infections because their immune system is underdeveloped. If there is any evidence of infection post-birth, the doctor will instantly spot it and shift your baby into the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Units), where they will be tested and treated. However, once it is safe to bring the baby home, you will still need to be a bit careful for the first few months until the baby is old and strong enough. Make sure you wash your hands and sanitize them before you handle the baby. Also, limit the number of visitors for the first few months.
We hope this article will prove helpful.