Before he even hit a month old, Bear, Bug, Josh and I were all diagnosed with the flu. Not the GI bug, but the actual influenza; complete with fevers, chills, muscle aches and throats that felt on fire. We were exhausted and sore but by far the saddest one was Bear. He couldn’t tell us what hurt, he couldn’t ask for a drink if his throat hurt-all he could do was cry. It was a heartbreaking thing to experience. Thank the good Lord we got him on the Tamiflu right away and he healed up faster than the rest of us.
We did a few things to help get Bear through this miserable time and I just wanted to share my soothing tips and tricks for newborns, especially those sick ones, to all the other parents out there!
I am not a doctor, just a mama of 6. Please always contact your doctor if your child is showing any signs of sickness.
What We Do!
- The forearm rest. Bear and Bug both love this move. It’s so simple. You lay the baby across your forearm, head near your elbow crook, and bounce with them a tiny bit. It worked so well with Bug that Josh continued to do it until he was almost 18 months old…and he still will fall asleep if he does this. If you’re a smaller lady like me, you can also wrap the arm the head isn’t resting on for extra support. Josh can do it one handed…I can’t after about two months! I also love to pat backs when they’re in this position to help any leftover gas get out. Just be careful-you may get some spit up down your arm and not realize it!
Bicycle legs. This was introduced to me to help alleviate gas, which may be why it brings my babes comfort, though it helps even when they don’t pass any afterwards. Imagine your baby is on a bicycle and slowly move their legs in the pattern of them cycling on a bike. This helps us so much! Bear quiets down right after I start moving them. When he was sick, I would do this almost hourly and he always ended up smiling up at me.
- Belly rubs. At some point, I read on Pinterest or Facebook or something that rubbing a stomach helps with constipation. I started doing it with Bug after a few days of no poops when he began real food and it became automatic. I did it as an afterthought while sitting up late at night with the flu ridden babe and he fell in love. I personally put my hand on the belly and move it in a counter clockwise circle.
- Skin on Skin. The science behind immediate skin to skin after birth shows that the skin to skin helps regulate a baby’s temperature, possibly even better than the warming pods. When Bear’s temperature dropped super low, they brought him to the warming area for only a few minutes before suggesting I help his body warm up by laying him on my chest…and it worked! While Bear was running low fevers, I did full on skin to skin, just like those first days, and I fully believe that helped regulate his body and core temperature to a lower one. I have no science to back this up or prove it, but it honestly worked well for us when his fever was at about 100 and they had told me to just wait it out unless it went higher. It also brought comfort to him to be against skin instead of clothing.
Nice Warm Shower or “Steam Room” Guys, I swear by the “steam room.” It’s the first thing I suggest to everyone who tells me their child doesn’t feel well. We turn the shower up as hot as possible and sit in the bathroom, soaking in the steam. It clears the stuffy nose and helps with a sore throat. We also love to take a nice shower, which helps with a little of steam(do not turn it up as high as possible with a baby in the shower!), provides some skin to skin, and the water soothes!
- Nurse. Nursing while sick is so important. It will help ensure that he isn’t becoming dehydrated and it will provide important antibodies to heal him faster. Even if he’s not nursing and getting milk, sometimes it brings comfort to dry nurse. Enter the commentary now about how he’s nursing for comfort and watch me roll my eyes. I’m totally okay with my baby nursing for comfort. Anything that brings my sick, feverish, miserable little guy comfort is fine with me. And mamas, when you nurse, it releases feel good hormones as well! So this actually helped with my pain as much as it did his own.
Other parents out there, what have you used to help soothe your sick little ones? Any tips and tricks I missed?