It's the time when the meaning of happiness shifts and you feel that happiness is when your child is sound asleep or gives you the cutest of smiles. When happiness is when your child doesn't struggle to breathe. And when happiness is when your child only cries when he or she is hungry, and not because something else is wrong with your tiny little human.
Not sure if it's me, as by this time I have almost recovered from the cold I caught while still in the hospital or the other members of the household who also got affected with varieties of colds, but my child got ill. While apparently it's normal for babies to have as many as eight colds per year, having a three-week old baby with a cold for a first time mum isn't fun at all. To make it even more acute towards the end of the cold my child got conjunctivitis. Which ideally requires antibiotic drops, but guess what?! Unless your child is 3 months old there is hardly any medicine available to the rescue... so up until your baby grows up to three months it's pretty much you, your sick child and nature.
And here are my tips for helping your little one to overcome their cold:
• GPs are very very helpful when it comes to babies.
No matter what's wrong, call your GP and get the same day emergency appointment for your child. Better yet, pack your child and head to a GP practice at once. On arrival state how old is your child and your main concerns, such as difficulty to breathe, rash, high temperature or something else. No GP should turn you away. I went twice like this and both times we've been seen by a doctor within forty minutes or so.
Tip: Make sure your GP practice is baby friendly. A good sign is if the practice has what they call 'baby clinic'. If not, do your research and change your practice. I've been with the same practice for almost all of my life, but felt I wasn't getting the desired level of attention during my last month of pregnancy and changed my GP practice just a week before I gave birth. So do shop around if need be.
• Don't leave home without a changing bag.
Whatever you do, whatever the emergency, make sure your changing bag goes wherever your baby goes. You may end up waiting for a GP's appointment for longer then anticipated. You may even get caught up on the way there or back. I had my little one poop all over herself only an hour after I last changed her nappy, and I only realised it because she wouldn't calm down and refused a bottle.
Tip: The key items to have in your nappy changing bag -
- 3 nappies
- 3 disposable bags for dirty nappies
- 2 spare outfits
- changing mat or something to put your baby on top when changing a nappy
- a bottle of milk
- a muslin or two, for burps, vomit or else
• Your little one's medical emergencies.
While there is hardly any medicine available for your little one, here are a couple of items that will be handy at one point or another, so get them asap:
- Sterimar Nasal spray - helps to unblock your little one's nose
- Infant Colic Drops - read the label carefully as usually you are meant to give a few drops before the feed
- Sudocream - this one helped me dealing with the nappy rash. Some prefer Bepanthen.
Tip: Ask your GP if anything else can help. In my case I was allowed to use Olbas for children for over 3 months. I put a few drops in a diffuser in the baby's room.
• Healing with breastmilk.
Just to be clear, I am not a new age hippy. That is the advice that I got during one of visits to a GP when he discovered my child has conjunctivitis. Apparently breastmilk has many antibacterial and other healing properties. In my case I've been told to use breastmilk to help with conjunctivitis. As suspicious as I was, it did work. The eye cleared up within 3 days!
Tip: Make sure your GP is ok with this and also, get an idea of time frame for how long you can do it. In my case, I've been told to do it for 48 hours and if it doesn't help, I should go back to a GP for antibiotic drops.