If you’re a first time mom, a sick baby can be scary and overwhelming! As a protective mama, you try to do everything you can to avoid sickness and germs… but chances are a virus will make its way into your home eventually (especially if your little one attends daycare)! Aside from having your Pediatrician’s office on speed dial, I will share with you a few of my favorite Sick Day must-haves when caring for your little one.
For starters, I really do mean it when I say to make sure you have your pediatricians phone number saved into your phone. Having a sick little one at home is no time for Dr. Google- cue the anxiety! I know every clinic practices a little differently, but our clinic has a nurse available by phone 24/7, and trust me when I say I have called them more times than I can count!
Does anyone else gag at the thought of mucus?! I can tolerate poop, puke and blood, but mucus and phlegm just throw me over the edge- and that is exactly why nine times out of ten I put my husband in charge of the Nose Frida. If you have not heard of this, I recommend looking it up, and putting it in your shopping cart ASAP. The concept may seem gross, but it works wonders!
I also always have a traditional bulb aspirator on hand too. It is more convenient if you have to quickly suction, and it only requires one hand to operate.
To make your suction tools more effective, you need to add in saline drops. A quick drop in each nostril before suctioning will do the trick.
This last suggestion isn’t exactly a suction tool, but it works great for grabbing those nasty dried on boogers. (Ps: Just typing this is making me gag- the things we do as moms!) The Oogie Bear may seem like an unnecessary tool, but I actually use it quite frequently. It is also a safer alternative to a Q-tip for cleaning ears.
Before we go any further, please note that I am not a pediatrician. You should contact your child’s doctor before administering any medication to determine proper medication and dosing instructions.
That being said, our family always keeps Children’s Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen on hand. The Target brand works just as good as the name-brand stuff for a fraction of the cost! The last thing you want to do is run to a 24 hour pharmacy in the middle of the night because baby woke up with a fever!
Having the medication on hand, and being able to successfully get the child to take the medication are two different things! One of my babies takes a Nuk, so we had great success using the MediFrida. My other child didn’t take a Nuk, so we had to use a traditional syringe. A tip from one of my nursing friends was to lightly blow on the child’s face after syringing medication into their mouth to get them to swallow. It worked every time!
It is also really smart to keep track of medication doses on a tracking app so you don’t accidentally overdose baby (This may sound silly, but I do see this occasionally when working in the hospital from very well intended parents). We used the Baby Tracker App all the time for the first six months, but it was especially helpful for keeping track of medication doses, wet diapers and ounces consumed when they were sick.
If you don’t already have a thermometer, I suggest picking one up today. We use two different kinds: a traditional one and one that rolls across the forehead. The traditional one is definitely more accurate, but the forehead one is convenient for a quick check, or to check a temp when baby is sleeping. Pro-tip: I have the links direct you to Amazon, but I found the Exergen Thermometer at Costco for under $30!
If your little one has the sniffles, a humidifier in their nursery is a must! I registered for this cute elephant one, but really any cool-mist humidifier will do the trick. My biggest suggestion is to make sure you are cleaning it regularly. I use vinegar and water to clean mine and keep the mildew at bay.
I always have a few bottles of Pedialyte on hand in the pantry. Last winter, both of my kiddos came down with RSV around 9 months of age, and my daughter refused breastmilk and water. Our Pediatrician encouraged us to use Pedialyte to keep her hydrated. Now, I never go without it just in case she gets that sick again!
Okay, so my last suggestion may seem like an unnecessary product- but, you all know how I feel about unnecessary products, so stick with me for a minute! We were gifted Boogie Wipes by a dear friend when we first brought our babies home from the hospital, and I will admit, I thought they were unnecessary. But then, we came down with our first seasonal cold and I remembered them sitting in the back of the closet. Long story short, they are great!!! If you’ve ever been around a sick little one who is not old enough to blow their nose yet, you understand the analogy of their nose being a faucet! Using tissue occasionally is fine, but it eventually makes their little nose red and raw. The Boogie Wipes are gentle and soft and work great on those overnight boogies.
And that is all. You are officially ready to care for your first sick little one! And remember, call your Pediatrician’s office- they are the experts with many years of schooling and experience under their belt…I am just a Mama with a passion for helping others and giving advice.