Coping with a poorly baby.
Little R has been unwell for the last few days. She has somehow picked up a cold, a cough, conjunctivitis and to top it all off, she has three new teeth coming through. It has been really hard, she has struggled and in turn husband and I have struggled. Routine has completely gone out of the window and we have desperately tried anything to get her to stop screaming. I have been lucky that my husband has been so supportive of both Little R, and me, and has helped so much with her. Calpol has become our new best friend and if the only way Little R will sleep is on our chests, then so be it. It has been a struggle for us all but thankfully it looks as though she is getting better now, and we are all getting some sleep. I have compiled a list of things that have – and haven’t – worked in coping with a poorly baby.
Sharing a bath
Sharing a bath with Little R meant that she had the reassurance of me being there and she still enjoyed her normal bath time. It was the only thing that calmed her down after a long day of crying so we spent an awful lot of time in the bath, cuddling. She even spent half an hour playing with her toys and forgetting that she felt poorly.
Like most babies, when Little R feels under the weather she only wants her dad and I, and she wants to be cuddled all the time. She would fall asleep on our chests which meant that we could have an hour or two nap with her – a life saviour when we had had no sleep the night before. If I am honest, it was quite nice that my baby needed me again, even though I would have done anything to stop her hurting!
Sleeping in our bed
One evening, husband had gone out on a stag do and Little R was unsettled for the whole time he was away. Just as he arrived home, I managed to put her down in her own cot for her to sleep and I went to bed. It turns out, she awoke about an hour later and husband lay on her bedroom floor with her on his chest so that I could catch up on some sleep. When he decided that he had had enough, he brought her into our bed. It was a nightmare. It was clearly the most exciting thing that had ever happened to her and in between her sobs, she managed to pull our hair, point to everything on the shelves and use us both as a climbing frame. It certainly did not work, and so after an hour of trying to cuddle her to sleep, I gave her a bottle of milk and put her back into her own bed, where she spent five minutes crying and then fell asleep.
Little R is down to only two drink of milk a day, because she normally has a huge appetite. When she was ill she was completely off her food, and so she was drinking four or five bottles of milk daily. It was the only thing that she had an appetite for, and at least she was eating something! I even went as far as to buy some chocolate flavoured soya milk so that she wouldn’t get bored of drinking the same thing. I stopped breastfeeding a couple of weeks ago but it would have been much easier if I was able to nurse her whilst she was ill. At least I would have been able to nurse her to sleep, if nothing else!
Normally, if Little R is under the weather at all, leaving the house normally makes her feel better. Unfortunately, it was not the case at all when Little R was feeling poorly. She was so excited by everything that was going on that she wouldn’t sleep, which meant that she became more tired, and cried even more. It helped no one, I became more stressed because Little R was screaming, and Little R became more stressed because I was stressed. It was awful and in hindsight, we should have just stayed in bed all day, sleeping!
Thankfully, Little R is feeling much better now. Her eyes are no longer infected and her sore throat is not as severe as it was before. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do about her teeth that are making an appearance, but everything else seems to have settled down. She is still whingy and tired, but she has started sleeping through the night again – woohoo! I am truly thankful for such an amazing husband, as he was ‘happy’ to help out with poorly Little R as much as I was!