7 things I learned from my baby's first cold

Tips for dealing with your baby's first cold and staying healthy in the process.

Photo: iStockphoto
Photo: iStockphoto

They warn you about teething. They warn you about sleepless nights. They warn you about your baby’s first cold. But all three at the same time? Now that’s just nature being cruel! And poor baby, too.

Read more: How to survive your baby’s first illness>

Unfortunately, it’s been our reality for the past month. Tyler started showing signs of teething. The red cheeks, constant drooling and everything that was going on in his mouth were the dead giveaways. As soon as the first tooth popped out, we decided to sleep train because he was already at the four-to-six-month range, which is apparently ideal for sleep training. But then tooth No.2 emerged, followed by baby’s first cold—so we all know what happened to sleep training… Out the window it went, replaced instead by boxes of tissue paper, lots of snuggles and more sleepless nights.

Here’s what I learned from my little one’s first cold:

1. Stock up
Buy medicine ahead of time. The last thing you want to do when your baby is stuffed up and feverish is make a stop at the local drug store only to learn 10 other parents beat you to the punch and now they’re out of the cherry flavoured Tempra (the only flavor, by the way, he’s even willing to consider swallowing because, now that he’s on solids, he knows how to spit things out).

Read more: Alternative medicine: Is it safe for your kids?>

2. Protect yourself
Don’t forget to pick up some cold medication for yourself. When you’re the primary caregiver, there’s no doubt those germs will find their way into your system. Preventative medication is also not a bad idea if you believe it works for you. A proactive mom is a healthy mom, and a healthy mom is better equipped to take care of her family.

3. Make chicken soup
There’s no doubt Tyler’s germs found their way into my system in less than two days; my symptoms were identical to his. But, the way he was coughing, sneezing and drooling all over me (did I mention he’s teething?)—coupled with a lack of proper sleep and a nighttime emergency pharmacy run sans scarf—I expected it would be worse. I think the fact I had a bowl of chicken soup for breakfast and dinner helped me keep my immune system stronger.

Read more: Cold and flu cheat sheet>

4. Purchase a good thermometre
Do yourself a favor and get a reliable thermometre. I purchased what I thought was a state of the art piece of equipment, but there are times I just don’t trust it and it’s not worth the anxiety.

Read more: 5 things first-time moms shouldn’t worry about>

5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Keep baby and yourself well hydrated. My son’s pediatrician said not to worry about feeding him solids at this time but make sure he’s getting lots of breastmilk or formula, depending on what you give him.

6. Rest up
Rest when you can, which is usually when he’s resting. Even though he was exhausted, Tyler was up at night every one to two hours because he’d cough himself awake.

7. Give yourself some credit
I don’t know about you, but in my childless days, I used to be a suck when it came to being sick, even with the slightest cold. Now, I’m just grateful it wasn’t worse because the prospect of developing a really bad cold WHILE taking care of a baby is more than this mama can handle.

Read more: Mommy needs a sick day>

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