Monday, February 27, 2017

8 Baby Cold Survival Tips

It's time to talk about the dreaded baby cold. The second time we ever went to story time at the local library, Little One came away with a cold. I honestly had no idea what to expect and didn't know that such a small person could produce so much snot.

The cold reared it's ugly head at about 4am on a Friday morning. I could tell the second I heard the cry on the monitored what was happening.

I learned quickly that you feel helpless when your child is sick. They just want you to fix it for them and as a baby, they can't understand why you won't. I don't pretend to have all of the answer but I found the best tips are the ones that help them get more comfortable and get over the cold quicker.

Here are my 8 baby cold survival tips.

1. Lots of baths. Little One took at least two baths everyday. When she woke up in the morning she was so stuffed up she couldn't even really eat. We found that steaming up the bathroom, getting her in the tub and pouring warm water over her head really helped get her unclogged.

2. Use the saline drops and bulb syringe. I wish I had a video of just how much Little One hated these two instruments, she also hates tissues/boogie wipes. But this combination helps so much. The nasal aspirator really helps to clear everything out and the saline drops keeps everything moving. The saline drops were the only "medicine" we ended up using - they're pretty natural and safe so we had no issues with it.

3. Be patient. When you read online that your baby could be sick for 5-10 days, you think there's no way. But Little One cleared up right at the 10 day mark. If it had gone any longer, I probably would have called the pediatrician but really there's nothing they could have done.

4. Make sure you clear their nose before putting them down for a nap or for the night. It makes a huge difference.

5. Don't stray too much from your routine. We're all about our routine, Little One really thrives on it. It was so tempting when she was sick to rock her to sleep or break the routine in our ways. The closer you stick to your routine and schedule, the easier it will be to get back to it after the cold.

That said, you can't deny the baby snuggles when their sick so snuggle on!

6. Be courteous. You can't avoid going to everything but if you're that mom who gets annoyed when sick kids are around your kids, then it's a two way street. We had friends coming over for the Superbowl when Little One was sick. I was very clear with my friend (her son is a week younger than LO) about the situation. They still came over but that way it was their choice and I wasn't forcing my snotty kid on them.

7. Act as a team. Did I mention how much she hated getting her nose de-clogged? Team work was absolutely necessary some times.

8. Offer snuggles. Snuggle as much as possible. Babies can't understand what's going on and they need to be comforted.

Do you have any baby cold survival tips? I'm sure I'll be just as freaked out next time one starts but we learned important lessons with this one.

Tips for Staying Connected to Family That's Far Away promise to be back last month didn't last long. But things are changing so rapidly. With developments with our projects, Little One being harder to wrangle and everything with our families being a roller coaster, it just didn't happen. But I THINK we're back.

Given that both my family and my in-laws are so far away and so much has been happening with them, I thought I give everyone our tips on staying close to with family that's far away.

It's always been hard to be away from family. I've been living away from mine for nearly 13 years and in that time I've had major health concerns with both my parents, lost grandparents, welcomed nieces and nephews and added Little One to our family. While it's important to have your own life, you don't want to feel like your missing everything.

Here are my tips for both sides of the equation - those who moved away and those who stayed put.

For those who moved away:

-Video chat - My first thought on this is: UGH. I actually really don't like video chatting, I try to get out of it with clients and other whenever possible. But despite my dislike of it, I know how important it is. Mostly, now that we have Little One. She changes so much week to week that I have to given to video chats so that grandparents, aunts & uncles and cousins can all see her.

It's becoming more and more challenging, mostly because Little One does not want to sit still so either she's wiggling and whining to get down or she's grabbing the iPad to put in her mouth, press buttons or throw it.

-Send photos often. I can't tell you how much photos mean to everyone who can't be there. My husband is terrible about photos but I try to be as good as possible about sending everything.

-Don't be too picky about the photos. No one really cares what you look like, what baby is wearing or even what they're doing. They just want to see you, the baby and your life. When in doubt, just send it. You can always send the disclaimer to not share it with anyone.

-Remember and share milestones. I try to record, at least in a text message to family, every milestone. Even the small ones. Nothing makes a grandparent happier than hearing about a milestone for baby and it makes them feel really included. Time goes by so fast and it's hard to really recognize the moments you want to share, so just overshare. They'll never get tired of it.

-Don't the little things. This year we picked up Valentine's to send to Little One's cousins, just to show that we were thinking of them. And at Christmas, everyone got photobooks of Little One.

For the other side:

-Ask about baby, parents and life in general. Don't underestimate the value of checking in (a reasonable amount) and asking questions about how baby and the whole family are doing.

-Don't forget the milestones. Especially if this is the family's first baby, every month and new milestone is really exciting for everyone. Don't miss the chance to be involved by remembering baby's 6 month birthday.

-Respond to every picture and text. If you don't respond to the pictures, they might stop being sent. No matter what, take a second and say something about the picture, video or newest update. It will mean a lot.

-Call. As a new parent, it's hard to remember to always call. And putting all of the pressure on someone with a little person isn't quite fair. Even if we don't always pick up the phone at first, seeing that you called will mean a lot.

-Plan trips. Traveling with a little one is hard. We're getting ready for our first cross-country trip (more on that later) and it's a big undertaking. If you have the means, definitely be proactive in planning trips.

-Don't guilt. I can't stress this enough. You might not remember how it was at first or maybe you don't realize how much a lack of sleep plays into remembering to call, share updates, etc. But leave the guilt out of the situation. It's not productive and doesn't strengthen the relationship at all.