Right from the beginning, germs become something you worry about when a premature baby is born. The NICU requires hands to be washed before even coming through the unit's doors. Then you have to use hand sanitizer before you can go into the baby's room. This hyper-vigilance becomes so hardwired in your brain that you begin to see germs in an entirely new light.
I know anytime a new baby is born, visitors are encouraged to wash their hands. This process is even more important for a baby whose immune system is not developed. When both of our children were in the NICU we were very strict with who was able to visit them and when. It wasn't easy to allow visitors as you never know if someone is sick and doesn't know it yet. Everyone seems like they are germ infested vessels, like ticking time bombs. I have gone as far as bringing my own disinfectant wipes and cleaning the NICU room myself. No, I am not kidding.
At home I disinfect everything. All of the time. I am constantly doing laundry. If a blanket touches the floor, it gets washed. This is how vigilant I have become. I keep babyganics wipes on the counter at easy reach. I am constantly cleaning my iphone, the keys on the laptop keyboard, the handles on the cabinets in the kitchen. Everything. Constantly.
When I go out, I have hand sanitizer at the ready. Actually, I have two. Just in case one of them runs out. If someone touches my baby I use the sanitizer on him almost instantly (it's babyganics sanitizer so it's safe). I do try to wait until the "toucher" is not looking to avoid offending them. I also have sanitizing wipes. When I go through the pharmacy drive thru, I literally disinfect my credit card, my steering wheel and my hands after touching the pen to sign. This is my reality. My job is to protect this tiny baby who is relying on me to keep him safe and healthy. How I think and react to everyday situations may seem extreme, but truthfully I'd rather people think I am weird than to put my baby at risk.
This also brings up the notion of breastfeeding to aid in immunity. I will do anything for this kiddo. I mean that wholeheartedly. I will do whatever it takes to keep him healthy. Even if I appear to be a lunatic during that process!