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Katy England Katy England
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Sick and tired

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The kids got sick. Cold-type sick, with the goopy nose, fever and general fussiness that comes with being sick. And I hate it.

It's like I have been transported back in time to when the kids were waking up every two hours throughout the night, but instead of changing them and feeding them all I can do is wipe faces and cuddle them for as long as they can stand it. At least when they were newborns they could get some comfort from being fed. Now, eating is a chore, sleeping is a chore, and their whole face is gross.

Really gross. I spent far too much time combing boogers out of people's hair.

We had been been lucky. I mean super-duper, divine providence lucky when it comes to our kids' health. But you don't know how good you have it until the kiddos get sick. And then your husband gets sick. And I'm feeling deep sympathy with the cheese that stands alone, while I'm trying to wash bottles, wipe noses and make garlic ginger chicken soup for everyone involved.

While doing my internet searches on what to do, I learned that most infants and toddlers have six colds in their first year. Six. The mere thought of having to do this six times a year filled me with dread. But it also made me oddly thankful that day care for three children costs more than my mortgage payment. Because if they had been in day care, it would have been six times.

We have a crash course in helping kids who are too young to take cold medicine. Here are some things you will want on hand to tackle the sniffles until they are old enough to blow their own nose (which, I learned, isn't until they are around 4 years old).

A humidifier: This helps keeps their poor nasal passages moist. If you have this year round, it can also help prevent colds, since when the nose dries out is when the virus has a better chance of getting access to your baby.

Saline drops: Loosen those boogers!

Bulb syringe: Suck out all the mucus! You want to be careful with your use of the bulb syringe and only use it with the aforementioned saline drops, as it can irritate their mucus membranes in their nose and generally make things worse.

Sit in a steamy bathroom: This can help clear their nose and help them breathe.

Stick them in a car seat: Since they're too young for pillows (suffocation danger), letting them nap or sleep in their car seat can help the poor blighters breathe since they are in a more upright position. This can also let mom and dad get some much needed zzzs.

If any of your friends have newborns or are expecting newborns and you're sick, stay away. The last thing any parent needs is a sick kid. Yes, I'm aware they need to build up their immune system and they will. But they don't need help doing that.

To anyone who ever said, 'You know, they have to get sick sometime' - bite me.


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