If you have ever had to take care of a sick baby then you already know that it’s overwhelming, exhausting, frustrating, heartbreaking, and overall worse than being sick yourself. Now take all of that and multiply it by 2! After dealing with the second week-long illness for the twins I have learned a few things.
- Be proactive with the fever reducers! It can feel like a few moments of bliss when the fever reducers are doing their thing and the little ones get to sleep for a little bit BUT don’t forget that they will wear off! I did this a couple times and it was torture having to deal with the hour or so in between the last dose wearing off and the new dose taking effect. Consult your doctor for the proper dosage AND proper frequency and piggy-back the doses so that they don’t run out- I did about 30 minutes before the last dose was going to lose its effectiveness but I’M NOT A DOCTOR- so please speak to your pediatrician before doing this. If you have more than one baby try to give them their doses at the same time, the fatigue will make it easy to forget who had what when, and if you need help remembering WRITE IT DOWN.
- Suck out those boogies! They may not like having the bulb aspirator (sucky thing) forcefully extracting their snot from their sensitive little nostrils but it will help them breathe better at least for a few minutes. Saline nose drops are a good way to help loosen-up the snot before sucking it out you just need a couple drops in each nostril. Your pediatrician can help walk you through it if this is something that you aren’t comfortable with because it will P*** YOUR BABY OFF and that can be an awful feeling especially when we are beaten down with exhaustion and emotionally drained from seeing them in a constant state of discontent.
- Bath-time! Who cares if it’s noon and not their typical bath time, if that baby is hot you make sure they have taken their fever reducer and get them into a comfortably lukewarm bath. I typically use the kitchen sink for baths since it’s a lot more forgiving on mommy’s knees and back than kneeling by the tub (especially when you have to give more than one bath in a row) and my babies love the sprayer in the sink. This bath can help bring down their body temperature and make them comfortable.
- Vapor-ANYTHING! We got the baby version of the vapor rub as well as the mentholated strips to put into the humidifier (ours has slots for it, follow manufacturer’s directions) and although not a cure they both seemed to have a soothing effect. The rub isn’t just for the chest, I read somewhere that if you put it on your feet then put socks on over it that it has the same soothing effect as putting it on the chest or back area and reduces the risk that they will be touching it with their fingers and putting it in their mouths.
- Humidify, Humidify, Humidify! If we owned more than one humidifier I would have put one in each room but we only had the one so it remains in the babies’ room. Make sure to empty it every night/day and wipe down the inside so that mold doesn’t develop inside. Keep humidifiers from blowing directly on the babies (or any human for that matter) and keep them at least 4 feet from where they will be laying. I keep ours on the floor but wherever you choose to place it make sure it’s sturdy so that it won’t fall. The instructions on our model said to put a pinch of salt into the water basin if you don’t see vapors; it has something to do with the sodium content in each household’s water supply so read your directions thoroughly. As I stated above we use the vapor pads/strips that fit into the slots of the humidifier and I’m not sure if it made it more effective but the scent was soothing. Most humidifiers have a place to add oils, pads/strips etc. consult your manufacturer’s directions.
- Push the fluids! DUH! This is key for anyone- big or small who is battling a cold/flu/fever, stay hydrated! My babies lost their appetite for most of their sicknesses so I reduced the amount I fed them (mostly to save from wasting most of it) and offered fluids (formula, water, electrolyte drinks) almost hourly. Sometimes they drank it sometimes they did not, but DON’T GIVE UP and DON’T GET DISCOURAGED, JUST KEEP PUSHING- the fluids that is!
To conclude: Read all directions carefully! Consult your pediatrician for everything! And try the tips above!