Monday, February 22, 2016

Surviving Baby's First Cold

At the end of January, we were struck with our first cold of the season. Though Trevor and I were able to avoid catching it, Hudson fell hard. Of course, it was on the second day of Trevor's six day trip, so I got to handle an angry, sick baby all on my own. It was completely miserable. However, I did figure out a few tricks to make things easier on us. Today, I'm sharing my must haves to help both baby and Mommy survive the first cold.

For baby:

1. Sleep

Do whatever it takes to get the baby to rest - even if you have to hold them through their naps, sleep holding them in a chair at night, or put them in your bed with you. I tried to get Hudson to nap two hours after waking up, and that worked well for us. 

2. Fluids

I offered Hudson a bottle or breast every two hours when he was awake, even if he wasn't acting hungry. These feedings usually resulted in the naps described above. Keeping Hudson hydrated helped him pass mucus, which was really important with this particular virus. Hudson sounded wheezy and sniffly most of the time if I hadn't just cleared out his nose.

When it came to solids, I tried offering him more liquidy favorites I knew he would eat, like pieces of clementines and blueberries. People often forget that food can help with hydration, and the fruits had the added bonus of vitamins and antioxidants to help fight the cold, too.

3. Steam/Mist

I closed the bathroom, left the fan off, and put Hudson in the shower with me each day. By the end, gobs of green snot were streaming out his nose. He was SO much better after that. At bath time, I closed the bath room door and let him breathe in as much moist air as possible. I also ran a humidifier in his room non-stop. I honestly never used the Nose Frieda while Hudson was sick because the steam did such a good job opening up his passageways and getting the mucus to flow on its own. 

4. Hyland's Cold Tiny Tablets

We love the teething tablets for Hudson, so we knew that the cold tablets would probably be amazing, too. Because they dissolve as soon as they hit the tongue, Hudson showed almost immediate signs of relief when he took them.

5. Vick's Babyrub

My friend Erin recommended this, and it helped Hudson oh so much! I rubbed it on his chest and neck at bedtime until he felt better. It's a much more mild version of the VaporRub we're all familiar with. I think it really did help him a lot because he seemed to sleep pretty well when he first went down each night (though he would wake up somewhere between 2 and 4 a.m. each night).

For Mommy:

1. Wine

You'll need to unwind when you finally get that angry kid to sleep. A nice glass of wine definitely helps, and red wine is full of antioxidants, right? ;)

2. Healthy Snacks

It's always good to have something nutritionally-dense on hand that you can eat quickly, but especially so when you've got a sick baby. I basically survived on Lara Bars the week Hudson was sick. They are nut and date based bars, so they are vegan, gluten free, non-GMO, and dairy free. I think Apple Pie and Lemon Bar are my favorites. The Coconut Cream Pie bar almost tastes like an Almond Joy if you roll it in a little unsweetened cacao powder. Not that I've tried that or anything....

3. Amazon Prime Now to deliver medicine and snacks

If you live in the Atlanta metro area or one of the other select cities served by Prime Now, you can order certain necessities for free two hour delivery from Amazon. It's truly a lifesaver. I ordered Hudson's medicine, my Lara bars, and a few other things when he was sick. Three weeks later, Trevor got a stomach bug that was just awful. That day, I ordered saltines, Sprite, Gatorade, Pepto Bismol, and yummy snack for Hudson and me. None of us had to leave the house that weekend. It was so wonderful to not have to worry about anything!

4. Comfy clothes

I lived in my pjs and slippers while Hudson was sick. Cozy was my number one goal. We spent a lot of time napping together either in the rocking chair or my bed, so it didn't make sense to put on anything else.

5. A friend to vent to!

Trevor and my friend Rachel got tons of texts that weekend. I had to complain about it to someone because it was so frustrating to go through the worst of his cold without anyone to help me! But if I hadn't been able to text them, I really think the pressure would have broken me. Raising a kid alone for half a week isn't easy, but it's truly difficult when your kid is sick!

Hopefully, my experience with Hudson's first cold will help you through your kid's first cold. Every kid is different, so use your best judgment, make sure what you choose to use on your child is age appropriate, and consult a doctor when necessary (because I sure as heck don't have a medical degree, so don't take my advice as coming from any sort of expert!).

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