The Little Birds, Mr Bird and I are currently dealing with a nasty strain of the flu and conjunctivitis, and so I’ve been inspired to write a quick list of 8 things that often help the kiddos when they’re sick and will, hopefully, be of some use to you and yours too!
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All of my boys, no matter their age, when they’re sick, they sleep. If they don’t, they get cranky & unreasonable (or, you know, more unreasonable than a 3 year old already is…)
I think at this point in our parenting, Mr Bird & I should start earning a commission for every time we recommend this to other parents and, certainly, for the amount of times we’ve used it on our own Little Birds! Specially designed for young children (and babies!), this is gentler than adult VapoRub (which you shouldn’t use on babies, FYI 👌🏻) but works just as well to ease their congestion and help them breathe better (most especially on a night!) These little tubs last for aaaaaages but they’re super easy to misplace, so I always try buy a few at a time!
If you can keep those babies home, do. Don’t drag them around shopping and to parties and to family events etc. First off, you’re spreading their germs to everyone in your circle which, believe me, they won’t thank you for. Secondly, that poor baby just wants to rest and be with you in the comfort and warmth of their own house — it’s an added strain on their immune system and without rest it’s harder for them to recover.
4. CALPOL SOOTHE & CARE VAPOUR PLUG & NIGHTLIGHT
As a family, we use this nightly as a nightlight for the baby and when one of the boys is sick, we stick a lavender and chamomile insert pad in! The pads give off lovely aromatic vapours while your cherubs are sleeping which help to ease and clear their breathing (these work for around 8 hours!) During cold and flu season, or more than likely EVERY SEASON when you have more than one child, we literally cannot do without these!! These are suitable for after your little one turns 3months old and each pack comes with 5 refill pads.
5. BOARD GAMES
When I asked our 7 year old what the best thing we do to make him feel better when he’s sick is, he informed me that board games are his absolute favourite thing. For those slightly older kiddos, they really are perfect! He told me that they help take his mind off of his illness and that they are a great way for us to be together, which is really the thing he wants the most.
Again, a distraction technique. There’s nothing my big guy loves more than reading independently in his bed, snuggled under his duvet with a torch; there’s nothing my littles love more than snuggling up under a duvet and having me read them a story.
7. DO SOMETHING SILLY
Today I spent most of my time with a Celebrations tub on my head which seemed to be the only thing that made my 10 month old smile through his ever-flowing tears. And I did this on approximately 30 minutes sleep, despite my own snotty nose, headache, evil sore throat & frustrated tears.**
Which brings me to my last point.
8. REMEMBER: IT’S NOT ABOUT ME
The thing that makes my kids the most content when they’re poorly? Spending time with me. Even when I really really don’t feel like it. You see, sickness?? That’s something I will do practically anything to avoid. I hate it. I hate getting sick. I hate mopping up sick and wiping streaming noses and cleaning out infected eyes and vomit-stained clothes and shitty bums. Like HATE it.
But it’s not about me.
I didn’t sign up to this parenting lark to have an easy ride, to do what I want day after day & let my little birds live their lives independent of me. No. They are MINE. I made them. I wanted them.
I can’t pick & choose when I am their mum. I can’t clock in & clock out when I’m having a bad day. & when they’re sick — when I’m sick — you bet, 9.5 times out of 10, it’s going to be a bad day.
But I get on with it.
So I pop some Panadol and pray as I venture from bedroom to kitchen to living room back to bedroom again, following them, cleaning them up, my head dizzy and woozy and my eyes blurred, my hands shaking.
And I do this because, it’s not about me. My time to rest is when they are. And if they don’t rest, I don’t.
It’s not about being a martyr, it’s about what the most important thing is in that moment, and when they are ill, it is them and their distress that has to come first. They are children. They don’t understand. In the end, all they require is a bit of TLC and for us to be there for them.
Do you have any tips for being there for your poorly kiddos?? Leave a comment!
(**FYI, Mr Bird is an awesome dad & does a bang up job when he’s home from work, but in this scenarios I’m writing about when he’s not here. He’s been off work for Christmas for 2 weeks & I think every lie-in has been mine in this time period. Yippee. He is a rock star.)