As every parent out there, I hate when my babies are sick. Marcel and Xavier have just come through a chest infection/cold. Fever, runny noses, coughs. Hearing your little ones laboured breathing and coughing is the worst. I just want to do anything I can to make them better.
I’ve learnt a lot about how to deal with kiddies sickness over the last 3 years. I’ve learnt that if they don’t eat for a few days its ok and nothing to worry about, as long as they keep their fluids up. The worst thing to do is try to force them to eat. I’ve learnt that all rules are out the window. If they want to be fed at night, feed them. If they want to fall asleep on you, let them. If they want to watch TV for most of the day, fine. It’s all about keeping them as comfortable as possible and their minds off feeling sick. Medicate them. Putting off giving a baby ibuprofen or paracetamol makes no sense to me as it lowers their fever and gives them the chance to get into a deep and restful sleep. If they have a really high fever wearing one less layer makes sense, but taking any further layers off or lowering the air conditioning just gives them chills and will make them sicker. If they are asleep don’t wake them for any reason, their body is trying to heal.
My boys handle sickness in completely different ways. Xavier, even at 3, will wake multiple times during the night and needs a lot of comforting. He always wants his daddy when he is sick. He will go off food for ages. Marcel sleeps and sleeps and sleeps. Yesterday I think he slept 18 hours of the day. He wants mummy and no one else. Sitting him in his baby bike and wheeling him around the house cheers him up.
I’ve found that blowing bubbles and baths are amazing distractions for both boys. Playing music. Icy poles and watermelon are two things they will always eat, and give them a little energy. I know now that a great way to lure them back into food is to cook their favourite things (even if they aren’t the most nutritious), and if they only eat 2 bites it’s a win and they are on the way to recovery.
And importantly, make sure to (try) to take care of yourself. The hardest thing is if you are sick concurrently with your kiddies. The best defence is to eat well, drink lots of water and sleep when you can. You will need your energy.
We are off to Sydney and Tasmania this weekend for a holiday and friend’s wedding. It couldn’t come soon enough.
My Neo Life