Mommies, it is always worrying whenever babies get sick. When my Lil One caught the cold or had a fever, how i wished that I rather had it. It is never an easy situation, and you are always on your guard.
For one, they can not speak yet and tell you what ails them or how you can comfort them. Thousand questions and guesswork run through your mind.
‘Is the cough hard, prolonged, or just a scratchy throat?’
‘How on earth did she catch a fever? It must be the cold bath i gave her yesterday, oh i’m such a careless mom.’
And then starts a downward spiral of worries, guilt, and blaming. Stop! You have to stop whining and diligently watch her symptoms. Be in the present, mommies!
The following are what I consider as my survival guide for a sick baby:
1. Always, always, always keep in touch with your pediatrician
No matter how hard you google or ask neighbors about baby’s symptoms, it is always best to get your pediatrician’s opinion whether it is through text or personal checkups by going to the clinic. I hope you find a pediatrician who can tend to you 24/7.
Ours is Dr. Cricket Chen from St. Luke’s Hospital who answers our questions patiently even at three o’clock in the morning, and offers to go to our house when our circumstance do not allow us to go to her clinic. If you live around Metro Manila, I highly recommend her.
2. Baby has fever? Keep calm and remember #1.
Yes, it is frightening and worrying for moms when babies suddenly gets fever. ‘
Should i bring her to the hospital?’
‘Oh dang, i have no paracetamol in stock.’
And the worries continue. Calm down mommy. It is good to remember that fever is one of our body’s defenses to fight an infection in order to kill the virus or bacteria causing it, and it may not necessarily warrant a hospital or clinic visit.
But there are things you need to do during your child’s fever like:
- checking on her temperature every few minutes or so
- giving her paracetamol
- keeping her hydrated
- making sure your baby gets much rest so his or her body will have the energy to fight the infection
- making her comfortable
- put kool-gel on her forehead
- give your baby lotsa lotsa TLC
It’s better if you keep watch on her 24/7, yup just don’t sleep at night as much as you can so you can keep watch on her. I am not a medical professional so better ask your doctor on the other routinaries. Always remember #1.
And if your gut is telling you that something is not right, please listen to it. So instead, do #1.
3. Be strong mommies, take care of yourself, and get all the help you can get
Definitely, you will be sleep-deprived when your baby gets sick. So yes, aside from taking care of baby, take care of yourself too by drinking water regularly, eating your meals, and taking breaks. Your baby will need you to be strong and healthy at times when he or she isn’t.
No matter how much we are made of strong will, having a sick baby can shatter it a bit. I for one exclaimed, ‘I can’t do this!’ I’m very fortunate that I can turn to my mother as my helping hand and my substitute for strength while I try to regain my own. So get all the help you can get mommies!
4. It would be very helpful to always have the following items in your medicine cabinet:
- Tempra (Paracetamol)
- Droppers, oral syringe, or medicine paicifier
- Vicks Babyrub
- Aceite de manzanilla
- Petroleum jelly
- Saline drops
- Oral rehydration salts or Pedialyte
Note: I scratched Alcamforado because I don’t want to recommend it. I tried to use it myself by applying a little amount on my chest and I got palpitations a few minutes after. What more to baby? I would suggest that you test products first on yourself before giving to your child so that you can have peace of mind of whatever effects these products may have.
Being a common and famous product in the Philippines, Alcamforado may have different effects on some people thus they continue to use it. I, for one, discontinued using it.
5. Track your baby’s progress using the Baby Daybook Daily Tracker app
Whenever baby has fever, I immediately turn to the Baby Daybook app to track baby’s number of hours of sleep, time of medicine intake, fluids consumed, solid foods eaten, behaviours or conditions at certain times of the day, which hour she vomitted (huhu!), what her poop looks like, number of diaper change, and so on. With all the worries and guessworks that go around your head, it is sometimes easy to forget when was the last time you gave her paracetamol, which should be at least four hours apart, by the way. So having an app to remind you is very very very convenient.
What I would love to be added to the app’s feature is a reminder with alarm though. But in general, in all the apps I have tried, this is the one I have preferred using because it is simple, straightforward, and user-friendly. I do not mind the fancy features and fancy GUIs in some app, but if there’s something else that is simple and solves problems easily, then I’m for it.
6. Keep watch on humidity
The humidifer is something i swear by. I believe this one saved the day, or should i say, a lot of days!
Every morning, the Lil One used to wake up with runny nose and cough with phlegm, which eventually led to her bronchiolitis. It was an on and off sickness that brought us to a few clinic visits, using a nebulizer, and our Lil One having discomforts *sad face*. Then a mom friend shared that since buying a humidifier, her kids never had achoo moments again every time they wake up at morning. The paranoid mother in me quickly bought one online at Lazada. And yes, it worked on the very first day that we used it.
I recommend that you try using it too, perhaps it can also solve your house’s humidity issues. Make sure to choose the ultrasonic type because it doesn’t make noise. Also, choose the cold mist type over the hot mist type to avoid the danger of being burned by the hot water if the humidifier tank spilled on you.
7. And of course, prayers
This, of course, is the ultimate best practice of all time. We can extract every bit of effort to create the cleanest environment and healthiest lifestyle for our child, but still there will be external factors we cannot control. And that control we can let go of to Him!
How about you, mommies? What is your survival guide for a sick baby?