Parenting

Things You Must Do When Your Toddler Is Sick

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get well bearMr. Spring is about to kick it off, with warmer weather and an extra hour of sunlight (oh, sweet Daylight Savings Time!), but, in my family, Ms. Winter and her cold and flu season are overstaying their welcome. Yup, we're still battling sneezes and fevers. Having a sick kiddo is no fun for anybody, but we've rounded up the 10 things you should do when the coughing, aches, and yuckiness visit your home.

  1. Keep your little one hydrated. Keeping fluids in your child is key to her getting better. No need to have her chug a glass of water. Little sips spaced 5 to 10 minutes apart is just fine. Make it a game by setting the microwave timer -- every time it beeps, maybe you have to do a little "drink dance" while she takes a few sips of juice.
  2. Don’t worry about mealtime. Your child won’t suffer if she doesn’t have three big meals a day. Think of little ways to get something in her tummy -- Popsicles, warm soup, or other special treats. If she doesn’t want to sit at the table, set up an indoor picnic on the couch.
  3. Let them veg in front of the TV (with breaks). This is the time to toss the viewing limits out the window, but be careful. Too much of the small screen can give some kids headaches. Be sure to take a break every once and a while.
  4. Keep the lights dimmed. Again, bright overhead lights may hurt a sick kiddo’s eyes. Softer lighting also helps keep the room perfect for napping -- and we know getting sleep and rest is the fastest way to get better.
  5. Break up boredom. Battle boredom by breaking out the coloring books, board games, and stickers to pass the time. Another fabulous idea (that helps you out too): think of any birthdays or holidays coming up and use this time to make homemade cards for everyone.
  6. Switch up the scenery. As much as you want your child to stay bundled in bed, set up a sleeping bag on the couch for a change of pace. When you child moves to another room, air out her bedroom and switch out those germy sheets.
  7. Give her a bath. Don’t worry about hair washing and a full scrub-down, but a good rinse and fresh pjs may make her feel a little bit better.
  8. Give her something special. You know, those birthday gifts you keep on hand for emergencies? Give a special sick gift to the little patient from that stash or have Dad bring home a new coloring book or toy. Doesn’t have to be a big gift -- a new page of stickers can get her mind off of her cough.
  9. Build a magical place. If your kid is cooped up in bed, make that bed fun. Drape blankets, collect extra pillows, and transform her bed into a princess castle or a treetop jungle home or even a space station.
  10. Let other things go. When your child is sick, she mainly needs comfort. That means you. Let the dishes pile up, cancel whatever you can to focus on your sick wee one. The housework and phone calls can wait 'til she’s feeling better. Your number one priority: snuggles.

What's the best remedy in your home when your kiddo is sick?


Image via Teddy Delivery/Flickr

sick days, toddler health, a mom's life