10 April 2011

When you really know you're a parent

This week I had a moment when I really knew I was a parent. There are many things in my life that have changed over the past year. Most of them revolve around my needs no longer being central to existence. However, this week I had a sick little girl and it brought to mind just how much changes when your children are sick and how much they need their Mum. My once vibrant, energetic, independent and happy little girl was turned into a sad, teary, clingy, sleepy and dependant baby who needed her Mummy so much more than normal. It seems that my 'food poisoning ' from dodgy take away was actually gastro. I hear from friends that it is making its way around and so far my Mum, sister, Layla and I have all fallen victim. Now that both Layla and I are over the worst, it got me thinking about dealing with a sick baby and what I had learnt this year. I'm very lucky that Layla has not been very sick in her first year however there have been a few illnesses that have thrown us both.

Here are some tips that I thought I'd share with you:
  • Changing bed linen in the middle of the night due to a sick child is not an enjoyable experience. Having a spare mattress protector, sleeping bag, sheets and comforter are all a must. In order to reduce the amount of washing (and purchases), placing a Huggies disposable change mat between the cot sheet and mattress protector ensures if the sheets need to be changed, the whole bed does not need to be remade and washed. The change mats are cheap, large and super handy;
  • Giving panadol to a sick baby is not one of my favourite tasks. Layla often vomits or becomes very distressed when the panadol comes out. We have been able to avoid this drama by using Panadol Baby Suppositories. They are easily and quickly inserted, are more easily absorbed and provide fever relief quickly. The suppositories can be purchased from your local chemist;
  • Keep a baby medical kit in your baby's room for easy, middle of the night access. I've used a large plastic container with lockable sides that contains medicines, thermometer and measuring cups. Having everything in Layla's room means that medication can be administered quickly when needed. Very helpful when I am tired and called into action in the middle of the night;
  • There are a number of brands on the market but I have found having an infrared thermometer really helpful. These gadgets read temperatures in a few seconds by being pointed/held against the baby's head. Great when you need to know if your baby has a fever;
  • I make all of Layla's food and generally don't buy foods. However when she is sick I often give her Heinz Fruit Gels. They are made with fruit juice and vegetable gums and are a fun way to get fluids and sugars (natural no added sugar) into a little one who is off their food. Keep a few spares in the cupboard as an emergency;
  • Keep them close, give plenty of hugs and know that tomorrow is another day!
Sorry folks.....no photos of sick babies for this post.

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