3 Signs Your Baby May Be Sick
Sugar Land Parenting Classes
FIVE hours until bedtime. Two fevers. Two children under two years old. One mom. The sun is going down and it's pouring rain outside. Have you ever felt like you just wanted to crawl back into bed and disappear underneath the warmth of a great blanket, even though it's the middle of the day? This was one of those days for me. Not because I don't want to take care of my kids and definitely not because they are sick; but because of the dreary mood of outside and the calm before the storm brewing on the inside. I already knew what kind of day AND night this was going to be. Hard and heartbreaking. Lots of crying and twice as much cuddling. It's hard when your babies are sick. Between comforting and medicating, carrying kids on your hip and checking symptoms, the emotional pull on MOM is enormous.
You put one down to pick one up. One will slurp down medicine like its candy and the other develops superhuman strength to fight you off like the Incredible Hulk. My favorite part is after you finally get the medicine in, how a sneeze or a cough mid-swallow helps it land right all over your fresh shirt. Yep...the one you JUST changed into after the other dropped their peanut butter and jelly sandwich on you as they sat in your lap and whined from the discomfort of chills.
The millionth episode of Signing Time plays on the tv screen while I wipe noses and give baths. Their big, glossy, sick eyes longing for Mommy, for feeling better and to play! I know I can't be the only one who feels this moment is bittersweet. I love the quiet the illness brings. No one is playing Superman off of the couch or being gymnast in the kitchen, twirling and flipping so their reflection dances across the stove. I'm not yelling at anyone to "get down" or "leave your brother alone." It's just soft whimpers and coughing and sniffling. The toys aren't singing their batteries down and the bounce house is empty. But this is also the bitter part...the joy and laughter and never-ending energy is subdued. Just when I think, "I love this peace and cuddle time," they both climb into my lap and look at me with restless eyes and tired bodies. I immediately want them to be well again. So we climb into bed together, warm underneath the blanket I longed for earlier in the day, and our night begins...
I've always felt like being a nurse helped when my babies were sick. Knowing what to look for and how to draw up their medicine and having a few tricks up my sleeves were a bonus. Assessing symptoms and implementing a plan of care for the day were natural instincts for me. But on this day, I'm not just a nurse; I'm Mommy. No matter our career backgrounds, they need us to know how to be there for them. How to care for them and advocate for them.
I know some of us are new to this and are adjusting to the idea of caring for a small person, so I have made a quick list of 3 signs that your baby might be sick in no particular order. Please remember that this list is only a few of the many signs but are very important to pick up on. Awareness and early intervention are essential to saving our little loves from a longer sick time and possibly a worse condition.
Sick Baby: 3 Signs Your Baby May Be Sick
1.) Decreased intake
Whether you are nursing, formula feeding or both, or your baby is eating baby food, this is a very good indicator. You may notice that your baby may eat less and less throughout the day or even have a considerable drop in the amount they take in. At times you may see that they have a desire to eat but due to an illness such as an ear infection or teething, may not want to suck, swallow, and/or chew. Take note throughout the day as you become aware of any changes. Tracking the amount of time on the breast, the number of ounces from a bottle consumed or if they are eating the amount of food still remaining is helpful when visiting your doctor.
Some babies when they are sick will whine or cry for no apparent reason. It may seem that you have done everything from feeding them, to changing their diaper and nothing helps. You may console them and they just don't seem to quiet. Learn the cues your baby gives you and use them when you notice changes. Are they no longer falling asleep after that nursing session or bottle? Did they wake from a nap but seem unreasonably unhappy? This could be their message to you that they just don't feel well!
Your baby has awakened from a nap as mentioned above and appears to still want to go back to sleep. There are also moments where your baby may appear to go from wanting to be held to wanting to play. They may start off to sleep then awake and cry to be put to sleep and continue to go between sleep and awake. This alternating pattern is a sign that they may be experiencing some pain or discomfort.
I hope these 3 signs are helpful to you and your family. Stay tuned to the Adventures of Nurse Mommy because coming soon on the blog is Nurse Jacque's Favorite Things!