How to Keep Your Head When your Baby has a Cold – My Top 5 Tips

Miss EEE being poorly is an anxiety nightmare for me and this got me thinking about what advice I would offer other anxious mums to help them look after their overactive Mama mind as much as their baba’s little nose! Read on for what I do to try and keep my head together when my precious little girlie is all bunged up.Having just had a blissful 4 and a half months without Miss EEE picking up a cold, this week the inevitable happened when she started nursery and we are now in full on baby TLC mode. Despite being exclusively breast fed, Miss EEE was very susceptible to every germ going in her first 6 months of life and I was always full of the green eyed monster as, throughout this time, other new mums in my circle would come to me for advice to deal with their little’s first cold when Miss EEE was on her third or fourth.

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I’ve compiled my top 5 tips below for keeping your head when your anxiety is triggered by your Baba being poorly.

1. Preparation is everything

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Before your little one even has any symptoms I would stock up on some essentials. I made the mistake the first time round of not having the meds and remedies at hand. Carting Miss EEE around our local pharmacy when she was fractious and full of Cold was enough to send the most mentally stable person into a spin. Let alone being greeted with a host of decisions to make on suction snot pumps! It really tipped me over the edge. 

If you have left it until your baby is full of cold then just make sure you go with a shopping list and don’t deliberate too much over the brands available. I have found that quite often the pharmacy’s own brand does the same for half the price!

My suggestions of over the counter baby cold remedies to have in your store-cupboard are:

  • Vapour rub
  • Vapour Plug Ins
  • Saline nasal drops
  • Baby Ibuprofen
  • Baby Paracetamol

Make sure you check the packaging and instructions carefully for the age range before you use anything.

2. If something isn’t working, let it go

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I trawled the internet when Miss EEE had her first cold and was convinced I needed a snot sucker outer. Everyone raved about them.

I got my little snot monkey home and set to work trying to catch some bogies! But alas, all I ended up with was an irate baby with a sore nose and an empty bogie catcher. I was even more stressed out and worried than when I started. I should have just let it go when it didn’t work the first time but I convinced myself I must be doing something wrong and vowed to try again.

The next day I gave it another ago and ended up with a screaming baby again which only added to my racing heart and feelings of despair at not being able to make her better.

What was it Albert Einstein said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”? Yep, that was me. Luckily in the end I accidentally melted the damn thing in the microwave steriliser so I couldn’t try anymore. By the time her next cold came around I decided to stick to what I did find to work instead of stressing myself out about not being the perfect snot sucking Mum that the internet and world at large seemed to think I should be.

Moral of the story – find what works for YOU and your baby. There isn’t a rule book and if it’s cuddles in front of cartoons that helps then go for it.

3. Wash your hands LOTS

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On top of already feeling stressed and anxious that your little one is poorly the last thing you need is to catch the cold yourself.

Perhaps it’s delaying the inevitable but my advice is to wash your hands as often as possible until you’re out of the danger zone. It’s always harder to function and look after yourself when your head’s clouded with illness let alone take care of a baby who can only express their pain through crying.

If you do get poorly yourself, let others help you if they offer. Better still ask for help. Nobody expects you to do it all. The washing can wait and the bills will still be there tomorrow. You can’t pour from an empty cup so concentrate on getting yourself and little one better first.

4. Accept that no one is going to get much sleep

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This is the hardest element of keeping my head when Miss EEE has a cold or is under the weather generally. Getting enough sleep is so important for our Mama minds but we all know it’s in short supply at the best of times let alone when your Baba is full of cold.

We tried everything to get Miss EEE to sleep through her colds but ultimately had to accept that she was going to be restless and need lots of nighttime TLC for a couple of days. I realised trying to fight it just wound me up more and my anxiety was through the roof. Instead, what I try and remember now is that this is only a temporary situation and will pass.

It’s important to try and get your sleep when you can so get in your ‘jamas soon after you’ve got your little one off to bed. Most importantly, accept that you will probably be woken up and that it’s fine. That way it’s easier to drift off yourself. When Baba naps during the day make sure you get forty winks too if you can or at the very least take ten mins out to do some meditation or put your feet up with a cuppa.

5. Don’t blame yourself

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According to the NHS it is normal for a child to have 8 or more colds a year. I don’t tell you this to depress you, I tell you it because I know how easy it is to replay on a loop in your mind every event that led up to your baby getting their cold. I’ve been there, asking myself…who was she last in contact with that had a cold? Should I have sterilised the toys she was sharing? Maybe I didn’t wash my hands frequently enough when preparing her food? STOP. It is not your fault. It is completely normal. The NHS says it in black and white.

With the best will in the world you won’t avoid the germs getting your baby forever. We may have super powers as Mothers but we ain’t that good! So stop beating yourself up and concentrate on pouring all that energy into TLC for your little bundle of bogies instead!

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