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It’s that time of year: coughing, sneezing, and germs galore. So I have been taking every precaution possible (washing my hands, Lysoling EVERYTHING, staying away from crowded areas or places where sick people might go, etc.) to keep Little from getting sick. However, Life, as it always does, still happens, and we found ourselves face to face with Roman’s first cold. It started with just a dry, infrequent cough and I thought, “I can handle this!” Then before we knew it, his innocent cough turned into RSV with an ear infection.
For a whole week, Roman would not sleep well, waking every hour and a half or so, and sometimes waking at 4 a.m. and not wanting to go back to sleep at all. To top all of this, both Ivan and myself ended up with head colds as well. So now not only did we have a sick baby who wouldn’t sleep, but we ourselves were sick, and sleep deprived. I thought for sure we would not survive this.
We brought Roman in to see his pediatrician when we noticed his cough had become more than just a cough. Unfortunately for us, RSV is viral and just has to run its course. Being the nurse that I am, I understood this about viruses, but hated that I couldn’t treat this! I also was at a loss for how to make Roman more comfortable through the hoarse, congested cough and runny nose he was now experiencing. But I have learned a few things over this past week that made the ride out at least more bearable.
1) Buy a Vaporizer or Humidifier
Do NOT underestimate the power of a little warm steam in your bedroom or nursery while you and the little one sleep. I know I sure did. I waited a WHOLE WEEK before I broke down and bought one, and when I finally did, we got our first decent night’s sleep. It was literally night and day when Roman, Ivan, and I were trying to sleep while sick. I had been waking up multiple times a night because my nose and throat were so dry it hurt to even breathe, and I imagine that’s why Roman was up constantly too. Once we got the vaporizer, we only awoke to feed Roman (twice throughout the whole night!) Not only does the warm steam put humidity back into the air so that your poor nasal passages are re-hydrated, but you can also put essential oils, like eucalyptus, or medicated inhalants in the machine so that they will be dispersed into the room. This is heavenly, especially when you and Little are sick. We put a little eucalyptus oil in ours and my nose was clear the ENTIRE night. And the scent is really soothing for bedtime.
2) Vick’s Baby Chest Rub
Vick’s Chest Rub was a staple in my mom’s medicine cabinet. I remember being sick and congested, and having this rubbed on my chest, and getting instant, temporary relief from the congestion and cough. Tried, and true, Vick’s works. There is no exception when it comes to babies. I stumbled upon this baby-safe version, Vick’s Baby Rub, that is made with only eucalyptus oil, rosemary, and petroleum. I snatched it up for Roman and I wasn’t disappointed. You can rub it on baby’s chest, neck, and back to ease congestion and cough. It works well if rubbed on the feet underneath socks too. Also, I think the scent helps baby sleep. Again, that eucalyptus is very soothing (can you tell I’m a fan of eucalytpus?). And here’s a little mom hack: if you spoon out a little of the Vick’s Baby Rub and put it in a wax warmer you get room-wide relief!
3) Zarbee’s Baby Cough Syrup
I mentioned this in one of my other posts, 6 Baby Products that are Underrated, too. Zarbee’s Baby Cough Syrup was formulated by a father and pediatrician looking for safe, chemical-free alternatives for young babies who are sick. This particular cough syrup advertises that it is safe in infants 2+ months. It consists of thyme and organic agave syrup that coat the throat to help with soreness and cough. Now, make sure that you but the BABY cough syrup and not the children’s…the children’s has honey in it and honey is not safe in infants under 1 year of age. The baby cough syrup does not have honey in it for this reason. I was able to give this to Roman every 4 hours. And I noticed a huge difference. One night he fell asleep before I could give him the cough syrup and woke up only an hour later coughing. I then gave him the cough syrup and he did not cough for the rest of the night!
4) Saline Nasal Drops
Little Remedies Saline Nasal Drops are perfect for that stubborn congestion in babies. A few drops in the nose help to lubricate the mucus, and airway, and soften up all that junk so that it can be suctioned out with a bulb syringe. Not much more to say about that!
) Stock up on Meds for Yourself
Just go ahead and get on this one when you notice Little is sick. Because more than likely, you will get sick too. I didn’t think Roman having a cough would affect me, or at least I was so focused on making him feel better that I didn’t think about myself catching it too. Needless to say, I was very unprepared when I woke up sniffling and congested. So take some Vitamin C, or Zinc, and stock up on the DayQuil. Because you don’t want to be making a late night trip to the pharmacy when both you AND the baby are sick. Besides, you have to take care of yourself in order to take care of your little one.
) Take Care of Yourself Too!
This leads me to my next point. It should go without saying, but as moms we forget to take care of ourselves as we take care of our babies. But do not forget the little things that you need too in order to be healthy, i.e. eat, take a shower, get some rest, etc. You know, the basics. I recognize this is easier said than done, especially when the little one is sick. However, don’t forget about yourself. Even if you can’t take a full shower, wash your hair and face quickly under the faucet (been there, done that!) You’d be surprised at how much better you feel when your hair and face feel clean and fresh. And ask for help! Ask Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle, Friend, or whoever you trust to help you by watching the baby while you nap, eat, shower, etc. After all, it really does take a village to raise a baby! Especially a sick one. If you and your partner are both sick, like Ivan and I were, we took shifts. When one was at their weakest the other stepped up, and vice versa. We took naps in shifts if Roman wasn’t sleeping well.
These are the biggest things that helped us all survive baby’s first cold. If you have any tips or products that helped you and your little feel free to leave a comment!