Tis the season to be sick

Tis the season!

For illness.

I got the dreaded “your kid is sick” call from daycare yesterday. Again. It’s the second time in a month, I think. Luckily, this time, the call came when I was already on my way to pick her up. She was running a pretty good fever, around 102. Of course the daycare has the “24 hour” rule, ie if a child is sent home sick they cannot come back until they are illness or fever free for 24 hours. This means it’s a Mommy/Baby A day. Hurrah!

Except not really because she’s not feeling well which means I have to try to get her to the doctor, which is no fun. And it’s not like they refund you for not being at daycare that one day, which is also no fun.

Since it’s the time of year where illnesses abound, I thought I’d cover the things I keep stocked for when illnesses arise in my house.

HSM’s Sick Kid Survival Guide:

1. Vicks Pediatric Soothing Vapors Waterless Plug-in

I know a lot of people don’t like Vicks, and that’s fine, but I love it. I don’t care if it makes me and my house smell like menthol, I think the stuff is amazing. And this thing? A godsend. A has had a wicked cough since it got cold up here. I got this as a last resort, and it works. Last night she was having coughing fits, which as you may know are usually worse when you lay down, but she didn’t cough once all night. I didn’t even hear her raspy breath or little wheeze like I sometimes do when she has a cold.

2. Dye free infant acetaminophen drops (grape flavor)

This stuff is kind of all the same, brand wise, but I prefer the Target brand because it’s A) dye free, which is awesome if baby dribbles some (have you tried to get that sticky red stuff out clothes?) and B) Grape is a superior flavor. I mean, this is just a fact. Even A agrees. She will suck the grape flavored stuff down, but will refuse the berry flavor, every single time.

In the interest of honesty, I would buy infant Advil, because I think it works better, but as of right now, they don’t have a suspension liquid bottle, which is way easier to get the right dosage. And the Target brand isn’t dye free. C’mon Advil. Get it together. I guess it’s true when they say you can’t have it all *sigh*.

3. The Snot Sucker

Look, this thing is gross. I know it, you know it, the world knows it. And I’ve never met a baby who enjoys having what I am sure feels like their brains being sucked out. But it works so much better than the bulb syringe. Now that A is bigger and stronger, suctioning her nose is definitely a two person job though. One person to hold her down, the other to do the dirty work. I tried to do it myself last night and got kicked in the face. Thanks, kid.

4. Fruit juice/Pedialyte

I never give A juice. Ever. One normal days, it’s milk or water only. But when she isn’t feeling well, I give her juice diluted with water. Like, way diluted. One ounce juice to six or seven ounces of water. It just gives it a little bit of flavor. A lot of times when she isn’t feeling well, eating and drinking aren’t things she wants to do, and I find this little bit of sweetness entices her to drink more water, and thus she stays hydrated, which is uber important when it comes to treating colds. You could also use Pedialyte, and if your kid is puking or having diarrhea, that’s probably preferred. Luckily we haven’t had those issues yet this year (knock on wood).

5. Zarbee’s All Natural Baby Cough Syrup

Disclaimer: This is one of those things that you should probably ask your pediatrician about before using. Mine basically said “Well, it won’t hurt her,” which pretty much means who knows if it will help (I got the same reaction when I asked about Gripe Water when we were suffering from colic. It’s almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think it will work it does). Look, I can’t say how well it works on coughs, but for what it’s worth, it does seem to help soothe irritated throats that are irritated from coughing. It’s pretty much the baby safe alternative of a spoon full of honey.

6. Sick kid foods

A is usually ravenous all the time, but when she isn’t feeling well she usually doesn’t eat as much. I try not to make meal times a chore for her so she will eat more. Her sick diet usually consists of yogurt (fed by Mama), applesauce in pouches, toast, bananas (again fed by Mama), and pasta or rice.

7. A few of your child’s favorite things

When all else fails, distraction wins. Right now A is obsessed with Sesame Street and Elmo. I got her a couple new Elmo books from the dollar section at Target, and last night, when nothing was making my normally bubbly baby smile, the little red monster on the TV did. Let’s save the argument about toddlers and TV for another time.

What can’t you (or your kid) live without when your child is sick?

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