Caring for a sick baby can be one of the most stressful, overwhelming experiences for new parents. As a parent, you just want to take away their pain and make them feel comfortable. It's hard to know what to do or what is best for your little one as they struggle with an illness. But it is important to remember that you are not alone in this experience; many other new parents have gone through (or are going through) similar situations.
One of the most important things that you can do is pay close attention to your baby’s symptoms. Take note of any changes in their temperature, behavior, appetite, or sleeping patterns—these can all be indications that something isn't quite right with them. Knowing how to spot the signs will help you decide when medical attention is needed. To help make caring for your sick baby at home more manageable, here are some tips on providing calm and comfort.
Get a humidifier. A humidifier will help add moisture to the air, which can help soothe your baby's throat and nasal passages. Make sure to clean the humidifier regularly to prevent mold or bacteria from growing in it.
Prop your baby up. If your baby is having trouble breathing, prop them up on a pillow or wedge so that they are slightly elevated. This will help clear their airway and make it easier for them to breathe.
- Use saline drops. Saline drops can help thin out mucus and make it easier for your baby to breathe. Put a few drops in each nostril, then suction out the mucus with a bulb syringe. If they’re a toddler, you can also use the saline mist to help loosen the mucus.
Keep them hydrated. It's important to keep your baby hydrated when they are sick. Offer breast milk or formula often, and if they are old enough, water or diluted juice as well.
Offer soothing foods. If your baby is old enough to eat solids, offer them foods that are easy to digest and won't irritate their throat, such as mashed bananas or apple sauce. Avoid spicy or acidic foods, as these can aggravate an already irritated throat. You’ve heard this a million times, but the B.R.A.T dies does help calm tummies that are unwell (bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast).
Take breaks often. If you're breastfeeding, take breaks every few minutes to let your baby catch their breath and relax between feedings. This will help prevent them from getting too overwhelmed or frustrated.
Use a cool-mist vaporizer. A cool-mist vaporizer can help add moisture to the air and soothe your baby's throat and nasal passages. Make sure to clean the vaporizer regularly to prevent mold or bacteria from growing in it.
Dress them in layers. It's important to dress your baby in layers when they are sick so that you can easily adjust their temperature as needed. If they seem cold, add a layer of clothing, but if they seem hot, remove a layer.
Be patient. It's important to be patient when your baby is sick. They may be fussy and want to be held more often than usual but try to be understanding. They'll get better soon.
- Create a calm environment. When caring for a sick baby, it's important to create an environment that’s optimal for healing, where they feel comfortable and secure. Keep things as stress-free as possible by keeping noise levels low and ensuring the temperature remains at a comfortable level. Establishing routines like regular feedings and naps will also help ease anxiety during these times while allowing them plenty of rest and recovery time.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If your baby's symptoms worsen or if you think they need medical help, don't hesitate to call their doctor, or take them to the emergency room. This may seem like a daunting task but keep in mind that nothing is more important than your baby’s wellbeing and health. If you're worried about taking them out into public during this time, many hospitals have virtual options available so that you can receive care from the comfort and safety of your home.
Caring for a sick baby can be an incredibly intimidating and challenging experience, and many parents might feel overwhelmed by the unknown and uncertain. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to lend support and comfort to your little one during this trying time, even if you don't feel like your usual self. But know that it’s more than OK to get the help you need from doctors, family members or other caregivers who can assist in providing strong emotional support even during trying times. As hard as it may be, we all possess the inner strength and capability needed to effectively care for our babies when they need us the most! So don't forget that you have exactly what it takes to provide tenderness and reassurance during a difficult time.
Lastly, cuddles and snuggles go a long way towards helping babies feel safe during these moments—so don't forget to show lots of love!
Hopefully these tips will help you both feel better soon. Try these tips next time your little one is under the weather.