Poor Sophie Woph has been sick. It’s been an absolutely miserable week in our household. She had a couple of days of just being grumpy & whingy (very odd for Soph – her smile usually lights up the house), and I thought she may have been teething. Pulling her ears, cranky, dribbling, etc.

I thought she was teething, until she started coughing through the night. In the morning, her nose was like a faucet. Seriously, green trails running down her nose constantly. By the end of the first day, her poor little nose was red from being wiped so often.

When baby is sick, you just feel helpless. I could see she was miserable and in pain, her coughing woke her up through the night, her happy little nature was on hold. But she doesn’t understand it – She would look at me with eyes that seemed to say “Fix me! Help me!” – and I couldn’t. Sure, I gave her a couple of doses of paracetamol to get her through the day, and I knew that would help a little, but she doesn’t know that. She did get heaps & heaps of snuggles at least.

Nothing got done in my house. I tried to sit down at the computer to write an article, and she would follow me over and cry at my feet until I picked her up. Babywearing did help to get a few jobs done, but really, she just wanted to be snuggled in my arms with her head on my chest.

Sophie being sick presented another challenge, that until now, I’d not had to deal with. She is booked into daycare 2 days a week – but obviously can’t attend when she’s sick. Unfortunately, I was rostered on to work both days that she was supposed to be in care. Stew also had to work. The first day was ok, as I knew my Mum had the day off – she happily looked after Soph for me. After that though, I didn’t know what her roster was like – I was flipping through my own roster to see if there was someone that would be able to cover my shift, before resigning myself to calling in sick so I could be home with Soph. But Mum saved the day again, as luck would have it, as she had both days off. So Sophie got some much needed Granny cuddles.

I spoke too soon the other day when I wrote about Sophie’s changing sleep patterns, too. Since being sick, she’s gone back to needing cuddles & boob & snuggles & bouncing & patting & rocking (repeat) to sleep. She’s feeling a lot better now (is back at daycare today!), and is finally back to her old happy self.

I’m lucky, too, that I didn’t get sick while Sophie was sick. It sucks soooooo bad when you’re sick, and still have to look after and play with your baby. I’ve only been sick once since having Soph, and it was awful. I kinda just lied down on the floor with my head on a cushion, and let her crawl on me & pull my hair, haha. When Stew got home from work, I’d go lay down in bed.

I was confident that Soph just had a nasty cold, which while miserable, was not life-threatening or likely to make her very sick. A common cold will USUALLY sort itself out without any medical intervention. However, there are times when it is appropriate to take baby to a doctor, or to the emergency department. For example: baby won’t drink fluids; vomits frequently; pale and sleepy; complains of a severe headache (older children); has a high fever not relieved by paracetamol; or has difficulty breathing. Honestly though, parents know their baby best, and if you’re worried, don’t hesitate to seek help. I have taken her to the doctor before, when she had a cough that just wouldn’t go away. After 10 days of coughing and fevers, off we went to the doctor. Another time, when her reflux seemed to get worse (more on infant reflux later…).

Most children will get a cold, often several times in one year, as their little bodies haven’t developed immunity to all the viruses that can cause colds. When it’s a viral infection, there’s not much you can do to treat it, other than keep your child well hydrated and comfortable. In most cases, prevention is better than a cure. Washing your hands & babies hands after sneezing or coughing into them, washing their hands before eating, and teaching “cough etiquette” as they get older (cough/sneeze into elbow or arm, rather than openly or into hands). A healthy lifestyle also provides some benefit in preventing viral illnesses.

Here’s hoping no more cold viruses find their way into my house, or into yours

Bianca & Sophie