My Baby Is Sick!
One of the hardest things for a new mom to go through is watching her baby get sick and not being able to do anything to make it go away. Whether it is a simple cold, or something more serious it is very hard to watch your baby feel bad, cough, sneeze or run a fever and be able to do little to make him feel better. It is not easy to look in a face that clearly doesn’t understand WHY he feels so bad and sit idly by. So how do you know when your baby has just a little bug, or it is something more serious and you need to take him to the doctor.
When in doubt it is never wrong to call up your baby’s pediatrician to ask for advice. Sometimes a simple call may help you feel more relaxed, or the nurse may have a hint to help relieve your baby’s discomfort. In the end it is important to remember that your doctor is not only there for well-checks, but also for sick baby calls.
Little coughs, a hardly heard sneeze, watery eyes and a runny nose can hit your baby as hard as it hits you. There are several different things you can try to do to help relieve your baby’s discomfort. First, ask your doctors what medicines you can give your baby. There are several items on the market made specifically for babies. Make sure you ask your pediatrician first however, and follow dosing instructions precisely. Second, invest in a humidifier. Often changing the air around your baby can help clear his head and chest. Third, make use of the “bulb” you are given in the hospital that they use to suction out your baby’s nose. They are too young at this point to understand how to blow their nose, so the only way to help them clear their sinuses is the bulb. As much as your baby may hate it and cry, it is a great tool for you.
When is your baby’s fever too high? There is no “right” answer to this question. A lot of it depends on your baby’s health since birth. Was he full term or premature? Has he been sick a lot or healthy for the most part? At your baby’s next well-check be sure to ask your pediatrician what degree of temperature he would suggest you call his office about. Some doctors will say 100 degrees, others may say to wait till it is a minimum of 102 degrees or slightly above. It is best to find out the answer to this question before you need it. Also, be sure to ask your pediatrician what medications he thinks is ok for you to give your baby when he spikes a fever.
Occasionally your baby will get an illness that will cause him to be hospitalized for anywhere from a few hours to possibly several days. This is hardest on parents especially if there are IVs and tubes involved. It is best to remember during this time to ask a lot of questions and not to be afraid to ask for a second opinion. In most cases a hospital will allow at least one parent to spend the night at the hospital with your baby. If your baby is breastfed or you co-sleep with him, don’t be afraid to ask the hospital to get you a real hospital bed so that you can curl up next to your baby and help him get the most rest possible. Babies are very intuitive and yours will know when you are upset, scared, sad or happy. Try not to panic in front of your baby. Keeping a calm hospital room will help your baby stay calm and relaxed as well.
Remember, your baby getting sick is a part of life. He will have many more healthy days than he does sick days, but the sick days will come. Try to keep your wits about you, don’t be afraid to call the doctors, and give your baby some extra cuddles while they get better. Luckily, your baby is too young to remember being sick and will forget about it much sooner than you will.
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