I am writing this post from underneath my covers. I have tissue stuck in my nose and I smell like Vick’s Vapor Rub. I can say that the only thing more difficult than losing sleep with a restless baby is when your baby is sound asleep at 2:30am and you are up struggling to breath out of one nostril.
Playing ‘tag you’re it’ with a cold is a game that neither my daughter Dionne nor I could afford. So at the first sign of a scratchy throat, I began my strategy of gathering all the Lysol, hand sanitizer and medicine I could get my hands on.
The first night I was being proactive and full of hope, standing in the bathroom mirror gargling with a warm salt water-apple cider vinegar-black pepper mix, while Dionne sits in her bouncer blowing spit bubbles. Cue the Law and Order sound effect, to the fourth night to me dragging myself back to the bathroom, downing a half bottle of Day Quil (just kidding, stick to the recommended doses folks).
Being sick with an infant attached to your hip is very different from your old sick days. Staying in the bed for days in the same pajamas is a thing of the past. You may have to change your clothes twice or three times a day. All the sneezing and coughing you do inside your shirt collar instead of in your hands can still get your mini-me sick.
If your little one has been claiming stake to your bed, now may be the best time for the bedtime-break up. You don’t want them rolling around in your germs do you? Because forget having the energy to change the sheets at all. You may have to resort to spraying everything including the bed sheets with Lysol.
Diaper changes and feedings can proceed as usual, especially if you are breastfeeding. Many medications are safe to take while breastfeeding. The most important thing to remember is that your body is producing antibodies that will help your little one either fight off the same cold or prevent them from getting sick altogether. I would suggest making a day’s worth of bottles for formula-fed babies, it really cuts down on the time you have to spend on your feet.
While getting rest when you can is a key factor in getting better. The secret weapon is as many bowls of hearty soup as you can handle, and some on-the-floor playtime with your little one.
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