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When Do You Stop Protecting Babies from Germs Like They're President and Youre the Secret Service?

Baby girl

It's hard work being 11-weeks-old; Peony takes a much-needed — and well-guarded — rest

My daughter Peony is 11 weeks old today. So far I’ve made it through her entire life without dropping her once, locking her in the car by herself (by accident, anyway) or causing her long-lasting emotional damage (at least I hope so).

And even though she’s only suffered a slight stuffy nose in the past 77 days, I’m still walking around as if she needs full Secret Service protection from germ warfare, or even regular old germs.

Remind me when I can stop doing that, please?

I mean, I’ll protect her as long as I need to. But it’ll be nice when I can cease jumping through hoops to avoid real and imaginary infections. I know it’s still too early, as she’s only just had her first round of vaccinations, it’s cold and flu season, and her immune system is still in its infancy.

But I won’t lie and say I’m not looking forward to the day when I don’t have to (gently) slap away every grubby little hand that reaches into the car seat when I go to pick up my preschooler in the afternoons. Or when I can stop pulling the cover over the car seat when we stroll through the supermarket, as if germs can’t figure out a way around it.

We’re flying for the first time this Sunday. And while I’m not dreading the flight like I will a year from now, I’m dreading the trapped air inside of the plane. I’ll likely hold Peony in a Baby Björn, and my pediatrician has advised I drape a blanket over her head, which is a nice idea in theory, but it sounds sort of warm for a 3+ hour flight.

I know there isn’t a magic age, milestone, season or vaccination, but without wishing time away, I’m looking forward to my daughter’s immune system taking over the defense against everything evil, or at least everyday and seasonal afflictions. I’ll still take care of guarding her against everything else, of course.

When did you stop guarding your babies against germs like they had a hit out on them?

Image: Meredith Carroll

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