This flu season has been a doozy for our household. While it could always be worse, the flu didn’t leave anyone alone this year. It spread right through my hubby, my daughter, and me. And, when you’re a work-at-home-mama, the worst thing you can be is sick and trying to take care of a little one. I’ve realized that when my little one gets sick, I have to adjust the pace of our lives and embrace the process of getting her well again. Here are some of the basics that we employ.
Whether my little one has a fever or not, giving her a bath always seems to soothe her and get her calmed down. Often times, it also prepares her to lie down and rest. If she wasn’t ready before, after a bath she is often ready to sleep. Plus, when your little one needs an activity change and one that doesn’t consume too much energy, it’s a good alternative to popping in another movie.
Nurse, Nurse, Nurse
If your little one is still nursing, it can be great to put him to the breast as much as possible. Not only will your little one be getting the antibodies that you’re producing, but it’s another way to soothe and calm him. He may be stuffy and struggling to nurse, but the more of mama’s milk he can get, the better! Plus, he’ll also be snuggled in the comfort of your warm arms.
My little one has been bogged down by a mucus-y cough and plugged nose, and one of the things that has seemed to really help is steam showers. I don’t put her in the shower, but I’ll run the shower, close the bathroom door, turn off the lights, and play some relaxing music on the ipad. I’ll sit on the bathroom floor and rock her or play with her in my lap to the glow of the ipad, while she breathes in the warm steam. Turning the light off changes the environment to be more relaxing and often times she’ll fall asleep. I don’t make the room overly hot, like a sauna, but turn the water on warm enough that the room is still comfortable and so there’s enough steam that she benefits from it.
If my little one gets sick, I make sure to clear our schedule. Sure, I could take her out and about and we could run errands, but more than likely that will just run her little body down even more. When we’re out, her sleep schedule is usually off, and during the flu, more than ever, she needs her regular amount of sleep and more. I try to create an environment that promotes sleep, free of a lot of activity or loud noise. I usually always play soft piano music or slow-paced music and try to keep the house free of chaos, so she isn’t too distracted or busied.
Oh my goodness, do I need patience when my baby is sick! Most little ones are fussier than usual when they’re not feeling well, and rightfully so. I know I can be a bit of a grump when I’m sick, but we tend to forget that. Sometimes, I have to dig down really deep, muster up a gentle tone, and swoop her up into my arms, but that’s exactly what she needs. I try to set my work and the non-major items on my to-do list aside and give more hugs, cuddles, kisses, and rock-a-byes.
Our little ones trust us with their lives. When they’re sick, it’s no different. They trust us to help them feel better, and while we can’t take away the sickness, we can help mitigate some of their symptoms. When my daughter is sick, I tell her over and over again that I’m going to “love her back to health,” and that’s what we need to do, that’s really all we mamas can do.
By Holly M.