"The appearance of a disease is swift as an arrow; its disappearance slow, like a thread." ~Chinese Proverb
When your little one falls sick it sometimes takes a tool on the whole household doesn't it? Well if anyone in the house falls sick it does affect the smooth running of the household but it can still be managed to some extend. But when your toddler is sick it kind of rips your heart, mind and body.
So how do we deal with a sick toddler? How to care for him/her and how to keep ourselves sane doing it?
It is never easy to deal with a sick toddler....so if you are feeling frustrated and upset and sad and angry and guilty then you are just being a mom. It is quite normal to feel some or all of the above mentioned emotions when your bundle of joy is sick. But what you need to keep in mind is that it is not your fault that he/she is sick. No matter how much you care for your toddler they are bound to fall ill sometime or the other. The chances of toddlers falling sick is more common than babies because now toddlers are more mobile.
Have you noticed that the frequency of illness increases as your baby starts to crawl. The reason is that now they are exploring their surroundings more (they can't be restricted to their crib for long) and they tend to mouth things that they come in contact with. Mouthing is a way of getting to know things. And it is a way they learn about their environment. Check what "www.parents.com" has to say about this.
I am not an expert so along with my suggestions I will direct you to sources that helped me to deal with some of the questions I had when my little one was sick. Just click on the question and it will take you to the web page dealing with the related topic.
What I do: I have a digital thermometer at home and I place that under his arm to take his temperature. I usually +0.5 degree C to my taken temperature as the reading may not be accurate when you have a squirming toddler fighting to be released. If your child is shivering or if his body is hot (forehead, hand and feet) then it is sign of fever. I use both these as ques to know how my son is doing.
Q. When should I keep my child at home from day care?
What I do: If you are a stay-at-home mom or a work-at-home mom this question might not be relevant to you. But when you are a full time working mother then you will have to consider when to keep your child home. If I can take a day off on days my son has even a slight uneasiness I take that as an excuse and stay home with him. But on days I can't my DH stays home....we usually take alternate days off if he is too sick or if he takes longer to cure.
Q. Sick baby? No need to panic.....When to seek medical attention?
What I do: I take my toddler to show his pediatrician on the day or the next day of his sickness (depending on her availability).
It is a good idea to ask for your pediatrician's personal telephone number (if she doesn't mind handing it over to you) so you can call her in-case your toddler's sickness makes you panic. But if it can wait till his pediatrician can check him then no need to even call and disturb her.
Knowing when to go to the Emergency room will help you be calm and composed. Know your child's symptoms and keep an eye on him...... and always rely on the mother's instinct!!
Q. How to keep your sick toddler hydrated?
What I do: I try all ways but if none of that works (which is usually the case when your toddler has a throat infection) then I resort to a 'Medication Syringe' and forcefully hydrate him.
If you ever have to do this to a toddler who kicks and pushes you off....I suggest you take a bed sheet or a towel and swaddle him in it like you used to do when he was a baby. (Click here : How to swaddle?)
Now all you have to do his control his head movements. And be careful to direct the flow of the liquid towards him cheeks pointing downwards or under his tongue and not directly his throat so that he won't choke and puke out all you just managed to feed him.
If required take breaks and cuddle your little one and talk to him saying that you understand it hurts but you have to do it to keep him strong and well. This constant rambling will help him be calmer when you proceed to do it the next time (or hopefully the 10th time) and it will make you feel better (less frustrated) too.
Q. How to entertain a sick toddler?
What I do:
~ I look at picture books with my son.
~ Sometimes we cuddle and watch cartoons. He is not much of a cartoon person (unlike me) so I just keep up a running commentary of what TOM & JERRY are doing while we are watching it....this helps to keep his interest.
~ I recite nursery rhymes which he likes....like Incy-Wincy spider, Humpty Dumpty and so on with some actions and ticking.
~ Play cooking with him. Bring out some of my Tupperware and spoons and use his toy vegetables and fruits to cook up delicious meals. He loves this.
All of the above are done by me mainly to restrict his movements so that he can rest a while.
Q. How to care for your sick toddler and keep sane? (some simple and practical tips from a mom).
What I do: After a while I have realized that taking care of a sick toddler is not an easy task and it can take a tool on you if you don't take care of yourself.
So I take breaks and alternate taking days off from work with my DH. We (me and DH) take breaks when we feel "I can't take this any more"....one of us steps out and the other one steps in. We take this break time to refuel our body, mind or spirit by having some food, a long shower or a walk outside (whichever is convenient and needed at that time). Sometimes we just pack up our sick toddler and go for a drive..... this cheers him and us up.
So there my friends.....I have shared with you some of the concerns that you may have when your little one is sick and how I deal with it with some good reference articles to help you through those dreaded days.
P.S: The best medicine that you can give your little one is your love, time, patience and lots and lots of cuddles. They will get better with time as their immune system gets stronger and they grow older but till then just hang in there.