Desmond with his Grandma at Red Rock Brewing Company for dinner.
I used to constantly wash my hands, make sure that there was no dog hair on his binkie, wash the plastic rings, etc. But now I find that I'm trying to motivate myself to do the aforementioned activities. I know that Desmond's immune system is still very immature, but I figure that as long as I keep breastfeeding, there's not much more that I can do (realistically...OK, OK I'm a lazy bum and could totally rinse off hands, binkies, playthings if I put my heart in it). Breastfeeding provides Desmond with tons of antibodies and, if I'm suffering from a sore throat with a runny nose like I am today, my mammary glands will make antibodies against the infection and Desmond will suck those suckers in.
Des has been exposed to a constant onslaught of germs his whole life. Since Desmond was born vaginally, his first exposure to germs were those that were in/on my vagina (charming, eh?) This early exposure means that he's less likely to develop allergies or asthma. These microbes, Lactobacillus bacteria, those that help to digest lactose, help to extract nutrients from the food and keep the bad germs at bay. After the results from a study showed that babies born from C-Sections were more likely to have immune system problems and have higher risk for allergies and asthma than babies born vaginally. However, as this researcher in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan is quoted as saying:
(Who says that?) I'm not suggesting that if your dear son or daughter were born via C-Section you need to do whatever you can to expose your kid to your vaginal flora! Kids shouldn't be kept in antiseptic bubbles; they need to be exposed to the daily germs that surround us day-to-day in order to keep robust immune systems. (On another but related note, read THIS interesting article from Slate.com about parents who try to be too perfect in order to raise kids that are too perfect).“This isn’t damning the C-section, but it may be important to make sure your child gets a mouthful of vaginal material,” says Huffnagle.
I tend not to use too much hand sanitizer as I'm more worried about creating superbugs than I am about possible exposure to germs. I primarily use it when we go shopping at Smith's and I have to push the cart or when I've handled money that day. I keep a spray in the car and on my bookshelf that's right inside of the doorway at my house. Otherwise, I use basic Dove soap and warm water. So now that he's putting everything in his mouth, I need something that won't leach paint or chemicals into his body and something that is fairly hygienic and could be cleaned easily.
Desmond's mouth is still too small to accommodate a teething ring. Besides, although he can grasp objects with his hands, he has a hard time getting them to his mouth. Does anybody have any ideas for age-appropriate, oral-fixation oriented toys?