We all have our fair share of tips, low downs, from our mom, grandmas and others, about quick cures for our sick child; And to add to that, our own experiences teach us loads.
The thumb rule is that if your baby falls ill, the foremost thing to do is to drop everything and focus ONLY on her. Some ‘old fashioned’ mother’s love and care has healed many an ailments. Some parents feel that the baby will, invariably, be fine and think that fussing over her is not a good idea; that fighting illnesses (read infections) naturally, strengthen the baby’s immune system. But I, as a mum to a 6 year old, beg to differ.
Then again, a few of us tend to rush to our paediatrician, at the hint of a sneeze; not a good idea, either. As parents, we need to be able to identify an emergency and act accordingly. Taking care of our sick baby can be exhausting, but it is not impossible (no rocket science!). We need to project and see how we would like to be looked after, when unwell and BINGO! We know what needs to be done.
Now, here is an action plan that I have always adhered to, whenever my bundle of joy is under the weather:
1. The easiest and most effective remedy is REST, complete and uncompromising. God made our babies active, so when unwell, parental intervention is required, to slow them down (quite a task, at least with my son)
2. Build up on your database of illnesses, to understand their individual severity. But then again, quite a bit of this knowledge is acquired over time. Understand cues. Older kids can express themselves, but it is a tough task with babies. So, watch out for signs, like frantic leg movements, cringing (maybe a tummy problem); Howls, screams and incessant crying. There might be irregular bowel movement, vomiting, aversion to food.
3. There is noticeable disturbance in the sleep pattern.
4. Never force feed; an empty stomach accelerates recovery ( keyword: rest)
5. Keep the baby hydrated, at all times. Breast milk worked beautifully for my son. (Consult your paediatrician).
6. Have a competent paediatrician a phone call away and do call her if the fever spikes.
7. Important items of use should be easily accessible, for e.g. diapers, extra clothes, thermometer, medicines and blankets.
8. If you are a working parent, talk to your supervisor; try to take a couple of days off; work from home if possible.
9. If you have a partner, share responsibilities; divide the chores, try and go to office alternately- whatever works best for you.
10. Most importantly, do not fear these times. Looking after your baby also means a lot of bonding time. Please put all your ‘cannot be postponed chores’ aside and just be with your baby.
Last but not the least, the baby is yours, follow your instincts and take steps accordingly. I know my baby and I believe that you know yours, too. ☺
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