CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Welcoming a new baby is an exciting time. New parents are eager to introduce their bundle of joy to family and friends, but what precautions should we be taking?

Gina Robinson, MD, pediatrician for Cleveland Clinic, said it’s still a good idea to wear a mask around a newborn.

“Even though the numbers are better, fingers crossed, we’re going in the right direction. We still have some concerns, and of course, our newborns are a little bit more vulnerable, so we always want to make sure we take that extra precaution for their safety,” said Dr. Robinson. “So even people who have been vaccinated, I would recommend that they still wear a mask.”

Dr. Robinson explains that a baby’s immune system is still developing and it takes time to recognize what’s a threat and how to respond.

She said some respiratory viruses like COVID-19, the flu and pertussis, also known as whopping cough, are more dangerous and be harmful to newborns. That’s why it’s important to add extra layers of protection as a baby’s immune system and lungs mature.

Pandemic or not, she recommends limiting the number of people visiting your newborn. And if someone has cold symptoms, it’s best they visit another time.

“We just want to make sure we layer it up like we do. I always talk about that sandwich that you’re stacking the cheese on, so you’re wearing a mask. You’re washing your hands. You’re vaccinated. Each one of those things is an extra layer of protection,” she said.

Dr. Robinson encourages everyone who plans to be around a newborn to get vaccinated against COVID-19, influenza and pertussis.