Monday, October 24, 2011

10 Tips For Surviving a Baby's Cold

You might have to excuse any typos in this post as I'm currently writing this after a looong day taking care of a sick baby.

While it's definitely not our first cold, they don't exactly get easier.  However, I have learned a couple of things that make dealing with a sick, cranky baby a little less painful.

1. Relax the Rules.  I'm usually pretty strict about the rules of baby-raising.  Reese naps exclusively in her crib according to her schedule, we don't watch TV when she is awake, etc.  But when she's sick, I try to go with the flow and make her happy.  So, if a ride in the car will get her some rest or a little Sesame Street takes her mind of the river of snot coming out of her nose, I'm not about to be denying her.

2.  Use What You Can.  Medications that is.  Most cold medications are totally not recommended for babies.  Consult with your pediatrician before giving the baby any medication, even Vicks Vaporub (which I was surprised to hear my doctor nix during our first round with Mr. Rhinovirus).  If there is something you get the green light for, use it.

3.  A Spoonful of Juice.  I have a baby who loves medicines.  Seriously, it's like dessert to her.  She;s totally going to be one of those kids faking sick so she can drink the grape cough syrup.  But that attitude is rare, from what I hear around the playground.  If you do get the OK to give the baby a medication and you can't get her to actually swallow it, try mixing it into concord grape juice or into a flavored yogurt.

4.  Tilt-o-Whirl.  Another homestyle remedy is to prop up one side of the crib mattress by placing a folded up blanket under one end.  This angles the mattress so the baby is basically sleeping uphill, forcing congestion down.  At first I worried the baby would roll down to the other side, but she figured it out.

5.  Get Out.  No, seriously.  Get out of the house.  Fresh air is good for everyone involved.  Even if it's just a walk around the block.

6.  The Munchies.  A corollary to Tip No. 1, is that I give the baby all her favorite foods.  I mean, I'm not giving her Poprocks and soda or anything, but bananas, cheese and pretty much anything dipped in hummus are all on offer.  I'm not about to fight the battle over the broccoli at this stage in the game.

7.  It's Not Technically Torture.  Nasal irrigation is the most effective treatment for a stuffed up nose, but it's not exactly the easiest to administer.  My husband and I call it baby waterboarding.  That said, it works.

8. Call for Backup.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I called my mom today to see if she could come over and play with the baby.  She couldn't, but damn...that would have been nice.  Colds make Reese just so fussy, and sometimes you just need a take a little breather.  A new face gives every one a break.

9.  Get Steamy.  Since most decongestants are off the table, go old school.  Turn on the shower on the hottest setting, close the door and hang out.  Steam up the bathroom until the mirrors are fogged and your hair is frizzed.  It should loosen everything up and get the baby breathing better.  You can also (and probably should) invest in a humidifier...we have this adorable elephant and it comes in lots of other animals.

10.  Treat Yo-self.  Didn't anyone watch that Parks and Recreation?  Anyone?  My point is obvious here. Take it easy.  Once the baby goes to bed (if you can get her to sleep) pour yourself a drink, order take out and sit in silence.  Repeat as long as the cold lasts.

What did I miss?  Any favorite cold survival techniques?


  1. Yep, Sesame Street is like baby crack. It's a godsend when Miss L is sick.

  2. I almost died laughing at the baby waterboarding comment - SO TRUE!

  3. Just found this post- treat yo self 2012! Thanks for reminding me to leave the laundry be, eat a brownie & take a nap while LO is sick.


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