The weather has barely warmed up, but the kids are out in full force ready to play in the sun. I love seeing Sawyer out playing with his friends but inevitable it means I am left with a house full of sick kids. Since my children don’t go to daycare or school yet there are usually very healthy, but the second Sawyer starts going out to play with his friends somebody get sick, and the everybody gets sick. Right now both twins are sick, and I don’t feel so great myself.
While prevention is always better than a cure, realistically with three littles it’s going to happen and there isn’t much I can do about it. So today I am going to share some of the tips I use when dealing with sick kids to try to make things more bearable (in no particular order).
1. Get everyone involved. When you have multiple children, the others can be jealous or frustrated that you are giving extra attention to their sick sibling. So instead get everyone involved in their care. I get Sawyer to play doctor with his doctor’s bag (one of my purses with some empty vitamin bottles and Band-Aids) and help take care of his sisters.
2. Divide and conquer. If you are lucky enough to have two parents around have one parent take care of the sick child(ren) and the other parent the healthy ones. Not only will this help germs from spreading, it will ensure everyone gets the attention and care they need.
3. Always be prepared. Sickness can strike at anytime and you don’t want to have to rush out at 4am when you child has a fever. Keep a well stocked medicine cabinet with anything you might need like Tempra, cough syrup, Vicks etc.
4. Have a plan B. If the kids are really sick you may need to miss work to take care of them so if you know they are coming down with something make plans at work just in case. Try not to schedule any meetings or appointments the next couple of days or bring things home with you so you can work from home if needed (just the emergency stuff, you need to take care of the littles).
5. Have a pyjama party. Keep your sick kids as comfortable as possible by keeping them in lightweight cotton pjs. Not only will this make them feel special, by making it a pajama party it can be fun for the healthy siblings as well.
6. Push the fluids. Sick kids usually don’t want to eat, and you don’t want to force them. But make sure they stay hydrated. Pedialyte is great for replenishing electrolytes, and juice has plenty of vitamins (I opt for the low sugar kinds). If you children are older popsicles are great because they help their throats feel better and cool them down. Did you know they actually make pedialyte and sport type popsicles with vitamins and electrolytes to help replenish their bodies?
7. Showers and baths are great. A nice bath can have several benefits. If you kids love bath time (mine will dive in with all their clothes on if given the chance) then this will help take their mind off the cold. If they have a fever a cool bath can help bring down their temperature. Plus, who wouldn’t feel better just getting to wash off all the vomit and dried up mucous?
If you have a baby showers can be great. Run the shower really hot and steam up the bathroom and then sit in there with the baby and let the steam clear out their nose. When Sawyer was sick as a baby the only time he could nurse was after the shower sessions because his nose was so clogged he needed his mouth to breathe and wouldn’t breastfeed.
8. Get help. If you are on your own and you have kids to take care of see if a friend or family member can come over for a while and give you a hand by throwing in a load of laundry or playing with the healthy children while you tend to the sick ones. Perhaps they can do a grocery/drug store run for you if you need supplies and don’t want to drag a sick family to the store.
9. Take care of yourself. The last thing you need is to be sick too so try to stay positive, rest and eat properly even during an outbreak. Also always remember to wash your hands and disinfect areas whenever possible (those Lysol wipes are great for that). Sick kids do tend to sleep more so use that time to take a break yourself and have a nap or read a bit from a book to mentally rejuvenate.
10. Stay positive. remember that although it feels like you have been living in puddles of vomit and everything you touch is sticky with snot, this will pass. Plus, your kids need you to be present for them and not dwelling on the situation. Worry just makes things worse so just take it one day (even one hour) and a time.
Now I will go back to taking care of my babies and let you have a turn. What tips would you give to a mom (or dad) with a bunch of sick kids?