Surviving With A Sick Toddler.
You know what's exhausting? Carrying another human being around while simultaneously trying to do literally everything else. You would think... ok, so put her down... but then comes the incessant crying and a toddler sized koala attached to your leg; which for reference, is equally as hard to get shit done!
I feel for her though, I do; it's her first time being sick and she has zero clue as to why she feels so yucky. She didn't want anyone to come near her, talk to her, or touch her... she couldn't eat, sleep or even smile; all she wanted was to be held by Mom.
Through four Christmases, three towns, two provinces, and countless stops in between, the needing to be held was constant. To make matters worse everyone wanted a piece of her. Only a few would listen and respect her space, some would push it and make my job that much harder - because you know, she would have a full on meltdown. I can't blame them for their desire to hold a cute baby, we all know what that's like; but if Mom or Dad explicitly tells you baby is sick and doesn't want to interact than you should respect their wishes, right?
Getting through the holidays was just that, getting through them. There was no time to enjoy them, no time to relax. We usually stretch ourselves thin every year making sure to visit all of our family and friends, but this holiday season was just too much! Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with family and friends, but the pressure we put on ourselves to visit every single one of them in a week span is just ridiculous - and doing it with a sick toddler, just plain crazy!
We managed to survive the holidays with a sick toddler but it wasn't without a little aid!
The following are some of the things that helped us make it out alive, with our sanity still somewhat intact!
1. Vicks BabyRub - My number one product while Maddie is sick! It's non-medicated and contains fragrances of eucalyptus, rosemary, and lavender. We put the rub on her feet and covered them with socks. It helped with her cough and the tightness in her chest. She loved it so much that when it came time to take the socks off, she would cry. Not to be confused with Adult VaporRub; the menthol in the adults version can be dangerous for little ones for it's highly medicated properties.
2. Danino Yogurt - Maddie refused every ounce of food; one of the only things she would consume was Danino Yogurt. Danino thankfully is loaded with Vitamin D and Calcium. It kept her nutrients up, at a time when it seemed she wouldn't ever have any again.
3. Baby Gourmet Food Pouches - The only other thing she would eat. I've loved these pouches even before she was sick! While some organic products can be misleading in their ingredients, Baby Gourmet only includes the basics and the best! The ingredient list is almost nonexistent by how little they truly add to their food.
4. Aleva Naturals Bamboo Baby Nose n' Blows Wipes - Even as adults we know the struggle of blowing your nose constantly; the skin around your nose and lip get so sensitive from the constant wiping. With their natural saline solution, Aleva Wipes are formulated to be gentle on the skin and tough on congestion!
5. Otrivin Saline Sea Water for Babies Nasal Care - While the wipes are great for runny noses, sea water spray is great for stuffy noses. It is a 100% natural, preservative free, isotonic sea water solution that helps clean their little noses, especially when congested by colds, allergies and upper respiratory infections.
6. Stodal Honey | Dry and Wet Cough - Stodal is a honey-based syrup with nine homeopathic ingredients. While children under one aren't able to have honey, this is a great product for those over one. Orginally I had been giving Maddie tylenol, but with every dose I was feeling yuckier about it; so much unnecessary ingredients and harmful properties. We switched to Stodal and she was less drowsy and "drunk" looking. Her cough has since subsided!
7. Water - Sounds obvious and straight forward, but so easy to forget about. I always have one or two sippy cups filled with water, sitting on the floor where she has access to it anytime she is thirsty. When she is sick, every time I see that sippy cup I make her take a drink; if she refuses, I insist while chanting for her to chug - makes her get excited and feels less like a chore. Our favourite brand is Munchkin!
We are one week through this teething/cold/flu thing and she is almost back to her old self! I know that not all of these products are responsible for that, but they sure do help! Paying attention to every little cue her body is giving me, is my way as her parent of making sure she is getting everything she needs to get better. Getting thrown up on in the middle of the night sucks, but throwing up for the very first time in your life sucks even more!
I know it's so hard to have the patience they deserve, especially when they need you tenfold after becoming sick - I am going through it right now! But I just keep reminding myself of how she must be feeling; I try to remind myself the aches and pains of being sick so that when my patience is running thin, I can let my empathy take over. I remind myself not to feel bad if I have to tell people to back off and give her space; it's my job to speak for her when she can't communicate with words herself. Lastly, I remind myself that soon she will be better again, the constant need will slow down, and life will resume, but how I treated her during those times will have a lasting effect in her memory!