Being little is hard enough, through a cold or flu in there and everything feels like it falls apart! Especially for a first time parent, I remember always feeling like I was panicking. At the end of the day, if I was ever overly worried I always made a trip to the doctor... Better safe than sorry! Plus every time I went I did end up learning something, so I took it as a win. Below at the most common red flags when to go into the doctor.
When to see your doctor:
Any signs of trouble breathing
Not feeding or drinking liquids (not peeing regularly every 4 hours)
Fever of 40C or higher
Bad cough (to check for whooping cough)
Red or Black Stool (this is indicative of blood, which can be caused from giving ibuprofen/Advil on an empty stomach... if the color is very dark stop with the medications and see your doctor immediately)
A cold that doesn't go away (viral infections generally last 10-14 days, after this it's likely to be bacterial and require antibiotics)
Remember follow your gut! If you think you should see a doctor, bring your baby in, you always learn something every visit...
Managing the Illness
Hydration: The most important thing to keep in mind for a sick child is hydration. Get any fluids into them they will take! If they don't want to eat solids, don't force them. Give them extra formula or milk, and just try to keep them comfortable. As children get older they also enjoy freezies!
Fever: For fevers our household lived by Tylenol, especially making sure to give a full dose before bed. Track your doses and follow the guidelines. If the fever does not break or continues to increase with Tylenol see your doctor.
Congestion: Bottles help clear their nose, another reason to offer bottles as much as possible. Don't forget to spray their nose regularly too to keep things lose and encourage them to sneeze! The nasal aspirator worked for us at times, but I found nothing beat a good sneeze. Something else I also learned one doctor's visit is that Tylenol is also a decongestant believe it or not! So if your child is super congested, fever or not, a small does of Tylenol can go a long way!
Sleep: Last but not least, if they are tired let them sleep. If they are sleeping longer than usual, let them sleep! Never wake a sleeping baby, unless there are health concerns. The best way for the body to fight an illness is sleep!
Sore Throat Pops
Blend: 2 ripe bananas, 1/2 avocado, 2 tbps coco powder, 1/4 cup almond milk. Freeze and serve!
What Else Should I Expect?
Unfortunately illnesses are part of life, and important to create a healthy immune system. The more your child is exposed to other children (especially in a daycare/dayhome setting) the more often they will be sick. This is something to keep in mind when going back to work... If you can start to transition your child into childcare early at least you can be home with them worry free. The rule of thumb is it takes 3 months for them to start to really build immunity in a child prevalent setting. On a side note, this is how I lost all my baby weight! I've never been so sick as of my child's first two months of daycare.
The other thing I think that's worth making note of are the sicknesses "all children" get according to my doctor. Every time I went in and she said "oh yes, check that one off the list" I just thought to myself how many of these are there?! Below is a list of the common illnesses we came across between 12 to 18 months.
Hand Foot and Mouth: This generally starts with a fever for 2-3 days of 40 - 41.5C. Then the rash breaks out... The rash really varies, but the major tell tale sign to my doctor was my daughter's mouth sores! I had no idea why she refused to eat, then my doctor told me her mouth was covered in them! Older children or adults who experience this say it feels like their throat is closing. It's generally not as extreme for small children, but our life saver was home made chocolate pops and frozen blueberries cut in half. Which was all my child ate, along with room temperature bottles, for almost a week!
Baby Measles: This generally starts with a fever for 4-4 days of 40 - 41C, and a child who appears completely fine. We actually thought our child had heat stroke and took her into the children's emergency because we couldn't get her temperature down. They gave her Tylenol and her fever broke, from there they said this looks viral to them. Later after 3 days of continued fever I took her to my doctor, she said I think this is baby measles, if a rash doesn't break out in 2 days come back. This is the one type of measles we don't vaccinate for because it's benign in children, just expect a rash for a week (it's not itchy) and a bit of a grouch.