It's no secret that having a baby/toddler (ok let's include our partners), is exhausting and heartbreaking. Everyone is part of the 'No Sleep' team and it's a given that the dreaded sickness will make the rounds in your household. One gets sick, one comforts them, the other one catches the bug and we are all laying on the couch, whinging about how our elbows hurt (how does that even happen??) and watching episode after episode of Friends (for the 165th time, am I right?)
So here I am, looking after my sick little babe after she was diagnosed with Influenza A (it's the flu but it's a lot more serious in our little humans) and I wanted to share with you guys what I found helpful for my mini during this period of sickness. Let's get started!
#1 BRAUN THERMOSCAN®7 EAR THERMOMETER
Now I've tried a few thermometers since having Willow (I even stole the one they used at the hospital - the stick one, as I didn't even think to have one at home). There has been different brands and styles, anything that would tell me if my babe had a fever or not. I had read that you had to add or subtract a degree on certain thermometers and I thought, this doesn't make sense. Is there nothing that will give me an accurate reading? Stick it under the arm, in the butt (no thanks, I'll pass), hold close to forehead, hold under the chin... each type gave a different reading and I started to think, how can they tell me an accurate temp reading? Isn't a fever something that affects the brain? Well that's exactly what Braun thought as well apparently when they brought out the Thermoscan®7 Ear Thermometer.
Here's why we won't use anything else:
* There is a blood vessel that runs past the ear canal that is the closest, to that in the brain, meaning that you are getting the most accurate temp reading. It will always beep at you when it is in the correct positioning of your babes ear.
* It has an age selection. 0-3 months, 3-36 months, 36+ months. What can be a normal temperature for a 4 year old, could be a fever in a newborn.
* It has a pre-warmed tip meaning the accuracy of the temperature is high, no more readings that are coming from a cold instrument end and giving an inaccurate number.
* It is colour coded for an easier reading. Green for normal, Orange for slight temp and Red for a high fever.
* It holds the last 9 temperature readings in memory for your information (which is important if you need to inform your GP).
We always have spare batteries in the drawer so that we are never caught out with a flat battery. It RRP for about $100AUD but is worth every dollar!
#2 SNOTTY NOSES NASAL ASPIRATOR
GAME CHANGER RIGHT HERE!!! I used the manual mucus sucker for a whole year before I came across this gem of a product! I was so sick of 'trying' to clean the rubber bulb after a good snot sucking and could never get the whole lot out and would end up throwing it out and buying a new one. Time consuming and expensive (and gross!).
QUICK INFO FOR YOU - Newborns and babies are "obligate nasal breathers" which means their natural preference and reflex is to breathe through their nose. If the nasal passage is blocked, it can be dangerous and uncomfortable.
It only had one sized tip which I found hard to really get into the newborn nostril as they are so tiny and delicate. THEN, Snotty Noses came out with this and my whole life changed (towards snot). 3 different sized silicone nozzles (unlike the hard plastic in the manual one I had), so it fits perfectly and comfortably into our little humans nostrils, no matter how old they are. All pieces of the machine pull apart so it is SO easy to clean AND it sucks the 'boogies' with a touch of a button. Having a Saline Spray available as well for maximum snot sucking action, makes a huge difference!
Willow was a bit scared at the beginning but she now uses it on her own and gets a little too excited when she sees what she has produced (so gross!!). It does take batteries so be sure to have some spares in the drawer (oh and it's waterproof also). It RRP for about $50 - $60AUD, but once again...worth every dollar!
#3 HYDRALITE ICE BLOCKS OR GASTROLITE POP TOP DRINKS
There really isn't much to add about this but if you have a little babe that isn't drinking fluids and you are worried abut dehydration (wet nappies are a must), these are your lifesavers. The ice blocks are AMAZING, the little ones love it and little do they know that it is helping them become better and hydrated. With the Pop Tops, I put them in the fridge so they are nice and chilled to drink (not nice as a warm drink - eww).
RRP ranges between $4.99 - $19.99 and it's always good to have some spare in the pantry (especially when hubby gets 'Man Flu' and he too, needs to ice blocks!)
#4 COOL AIR HUMIDIFIER
Ok, this one took me a while to get used to as I was totally uneducated on the power of a quality oil. At first I thought all Humidifiers were the same HOWEVER, after a friend of mine pointed out that a 'Cool Air' humidifier is safer for my babe (warm air can cause burns if touched) but a warm and a cold air humidifier both do the same thing, add moisture to the air to help ease coughing and congestion. I also needed a really amazing oil blend to add to it, whether it be to help her sleep better, breathe better, whatever, it needed to be amazing and actually do something.
I had been sent some oils by The Calm Compound and they were great. On Guard and Easy Air have been our go-to oils for our humidifier. On Guard (a "protective blend,” used to support the immune system and help kill off harmful bacteria and viruses) and Easy Air (It's job is to help heal and sooth your respiratory airways).
We use the Glow Dreaming Humidifier (also to help her sleep) in Willow's room and turn it on about 20-30 minutes before she goes to bed.
In regards to pricing on a humidifier, it will vary on what brand you go for. I know Kmart have some cheap units that I am sure would do the same job as the doTERRA ones however, we opted for the Glow Dreaming Sleeping Aid (it does come with an oil however, I prefer the doTERRA blends) which set us back about $130AUD.
#5 PAIN MEDICATION
Panadol, Nurofen, Ibuprofun, Paracetomol, whatever you want to call it, it needs to be in every medical kit. Being that the most common sicknesses that our babes get are Viral Infections and can't be beaten with antibiotics. All we can do is make sure our minis are hydrated and made comfortable while they go through the sucky stage of being sick.
Newborn, toddlers and all age groups going up, will take the medication in different ways. Most medications will come with a Medicine Syringe of some sort however, if some babes have trouble taking it we need to try other options. We used the Munchkin Medicator, it's a mess free liquid medicine dispenser for our babes that was designed by a pediatrician. It was designed to help bypass our minis taste buds so the chances of spitting are lessened and the medicine goes down more easily.
We found it helped with Willow and the transition to the medicine syringes included in most medicine boxes was so much easier. We also have kept multiple syringes in a little container in the drawer as you are GUARANTEED to lose them over time!
#6 ESSENTIAL OIL BLENDS
I wasn't aware of what oils can do and was super skeptical BUT, when your little one isn't well and you've tried everything to help them feel better, you will give anything a try. There are so many oils and I had no idea what I needed to mix for certain sicknesses.
Here is a little guide to what we use (with thanks to Jazze at The Calm Compound):
Clear Breathing (helps with breathing and respiratory)
6 drops Easy Air
4 drops Frankinsense
3 drops of Lime
Fractionated Coconut Oil
Apply down the spine, on the chest and on the soles of the feet.
1 drop Copaiba
3 drops Lavender
2 drops Frankinsense
1 drop Roman Chamomile
Fractionated Coconut Oil
Apply along the jawline and behind the ear.
Immune (helps to support the immune system)
3 drops On Guard,
3 drops Frankinsense,
3 drops Oregano,
3 drops Lemon,
3 drops Tea Tree
Fractionated Coconut Oil
Apply to the soles of the feet.
Tummy (helps with tummy issues like Gastro or Diarrhea)
7 drops Digestzen,
2 drops Peppermint,
4 drops Wild Orange
Fractionated Coconut Oil
Apply to Tummy and roll on Anti Clockwise.
It is really important to note that no matter what brand you use, which essential oil you are using or how much you are using – it is not safe to use any essential oil on it's own (without a carrier oil or other dilution liquid). All essential oils must be diluted for use on babies and children. I always massage oils into the soles of my babes feet (the pores in the feet are the largest in the body and the oil is absorbed so quickly) and into the chest and back.
These blends are what helped with us and everyone will be different but it's always good to have some in your kit, you never know when you'll be wanting something at 3am when your babe is uncomfortable and you feel you've tried everything!
There is nothing else in the world that makes your babe feel more comfortable, safe or relaxed than that, of a mamas love and cuddles. It is probably the most powerful thing that we can give our little humans and it's free. As much as they can be so confusing (they want to be cuddled but don't want to be touched. They want to be looked at but don't want you to look at them - I know right, I don't know either??) , we are their safe place and one that they can let their guards down, be upset and express their sadness about being sick. All you have to do be that happy place and let them melt into you when they need it.
So there it is, MY must-have guide to what we needed for when Willow was sick. If you ask me, we need all of these plus a gallon of coffee because we know there will be no sleep. Right?
Disclaimer: The information contained on this blog is for information purposes and not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases. The information represents what I have chosen to do to take use for our own health and that of my child. As with anything regarding your health, always consult with your health care professional before using them.