Lots of new babies arrive in the spring … and in the summer and the fall, and in the ‘just-in-time-to-be-our-tax-deduction’ winter season. Regardless of when that newborn in your life might arrive, we thought it might be a good time to tell you about a stay-healthy tradition we love in our pediatrician office. It’s called The Kisses Box!
If you are expecting a new baby, one of the things many parents worry about is how to keep an infant away from folks who may be coming down with an illness … especially siblings and family members. From that very first day in the hospital, visitors are washing hands and trying not to bring any germs around a new baby. But big brothers and sisters struggle mightily with this idea.
That’s why we invented the Kisses Box. We ask our Soon-To-Be Big Brothers and Sisters to make one before the new baby arrives. It’s a simple box (shoe boxes work really well) and it’s decorated in whatever way suits your youngster. Here’s a picture of one made by one of our patients.
The idea is that you can save all your kisses for the new baby until she’s big enough to appreciate them. Recognizing that it’s SO hard for a young child not to snuggle with a new baby, it’s also important to remember the value of offering hugs and kisses. We just ask siblings to put all their affection for the new baby in a Kisses Box! One family used ‘kissable’ cotton balls and literally filled their box!
We suggest that families have a party after a hundred days or so and celebrate the many transitions that happen during that time. A Hundred Days Party becomes the perfect time to open the Kisses Box and give each and every one to the new baby. (You can read more about the Hundred Days Party here.)
It’s important to remember that most germs are ‘droplet spread.’ From the uncovered cough and the unexpected sneeze to all those balled up tissues sitting around… these are a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. Avoiding them is never easy but it’s definitely important to try. In the mean time, a Kisses Box makes the whole process a memorable and fun experience.
Gayle Schrier Smith, MD
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