I feel like I know this topic all too well and I'm not quite sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Either way, I'm here to help you get through those rough days or even weeks of taking care of a sick baby and also taking care of yourself.
We've been to the hospital and urgent care a lot. Yep, I'm that Mom! Recently, we went to the hospital twice after Johanna got a fever that I couldn't bring down on my own and a rash that seemed odd. Of course I called her pediatrician beforehand to get advice over the phone but that was the decision we made together, to take her to the hospital. Nonetheless it was a scary and stressful two days. All I wanted to do was take her pain away somehow someway. It felt like an eternity of terribleness (I'm not sure if that's a word but I'm using it). After a chest x-ray and some other tests, the doctors said she had a virus and that I would just have to let it pass. That conclusion kind of felt like a stab to the stomach. No medicine would take the illness away, just time.
So if you're ever in that boat, I've got some tips that may help you get through it!
1. Don't ever let anyone tell you you're being dramatic!
Listen, I can be a bit of a helicopter Mom but no one knows your baby better than you do. If you think there is something off then there is probably something off. Don't feel like you're being dramatic by calling the doctor or taking your baby to the hospital or urgent care! The last thing you want to do is wait until they get worse and worse.
Obviously, if it's something small like a fever or cold and you can handle on your own then do that! However, if you're not sure what do you have to lose by reaching out to the doctor? Nothing! You will never regret taking them in but you might regret not.
2. There is no such thing as too much TLC!
When Johanna is sick, I go the whole nine yards. I call off of work, she sleeps in the bed with me and we pretty much cuddle all day long. First, when she's sick I want to be with her. I don't want to leave her when she isn't feeling herself. I also don't want someone else to be responsible for taking care of a sick baby because it can be a lot of work. I've gone days without showering because I want to make sure she is taken care of and cuddled (I told you I can be a helicopter). I barely sleep sometimes because I watch her like a hawk. Especially when she is throwing up. It's okay to interrupt their regular routine by spoiling the crap out of them. Trust me! It's okay! There is nothing wrong with letting them sleep in the bed with you and you'll likely sleep better by doing that. Also, I'm not sure about your baby's but when Johanna is sick she is super clingy. Giving her TLC is no problem whatsoever!
3. Humidifier, Vaporizer, Oil Diffuser
Use all three at the same time! It's okay to have all of these things going at the same time and I've actually found that it works! Typically, I use the humidifier everyday and I continue using it when she's sick. I add the vicks vaporizer on top of that if she has a cold or is congested in anyway. I also use the essential oil diffuser. You can use whichever oils help with whatever illness they may have at the time. Peppermint is good for colds, lavender for soothing, tea tree for infections, chamomile for cold and flu and eucalyptus for fevers!
4. Forget about your routine and let them sleep.
This tip is short. Let them sleep as much as they want.
5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
When your baby is sick, it's not really the best idea to give them dairy products. I'd stay away from too much milk and give them mainly water and pedialyte. There is really no such thing as too much water or pedialyte. You can give them as much as they will drink. Usually, I mix the water and pedialyte but you can give it however you want!
6. Give a warm bath and massage!
Warm bath's do wonders for sick babies. Use this to your advantage because it could be playtime too! When Johanna is sick she's not really into too much playtime but bath time is always fun for her even when she is sick. The warm water can also reduce fever and help with rashes caused by viruses. A good massage after their bath is a great idea for soothing. It can also take those aches and pains away that we all get when we are sick!
7. Follow the doctor's instructions.
I whole heartedly trust our pediatrician and I do everything they tell me to do when Johanna is sick. During the last time she was sick, I was giving her tylenol and motrin. The doctor's instructions were to give the medications every 4 hours, switching back and forth. I set my alarm and wrote down whichever I gave last so I would remember what to give next. It's important that you follow your doctors instructions! I have family members and friends that I often reach out to for advice and this is perfectly fine and really great but listen to your babies doctor!
8. Take care of yourself too!
It can be difficult to remember to take care of yourself while you're taking care of your sick baby! Go back to that newborn phase even if it's just for a few days. Sleep when they sleep, have someone cook for you or just order out for a few days, shower when they are sleeping (you can even bring their chair or something in the bathroom with you while they sleep and you shower), etc. That old saying is true, "you can't take care of your baby if you're not taking care of yourself." Here's another thing, have Grandma or Grandpa watch them for a bit when you are ready to and sleep, sleep, sleep or just catch up on what you couldn't do.
That's all I have for you! Babies get sick, it's just something that happens. As much as we want to prevent it or take it away, we can't. All we can do is take the best care of them possible. I hope you find my tips helpful and remember you're doing a great job!