HOW TO: Deal with a newborn cold when you’re ill too

I have a cold again.  I feel terrible – coughing, sneezing, my nose has turned into a broken tap.  My other half was gently (yeah right) nudging me all of last night, because the noise that was coming out of me while sleeping was comparable to a pneumatic drill.  I almost didn’t write this post because I feel so ill.  Woe is me.

Being ill isn’t fun, but what’s worse is when your newborn/infant is ill too.  Gone are the duvet days where you could camp out on the sofa and binge on box sets with snotty tissues surrounding you.  Now you can’t fit on the sofa with your little one, they’re not allowed to watch TV and those snotty tissues present a suffocation / choking hazard.

This is the second cold me and little dude have had together, and with the cold season rearing its ugly head, I’ve got tips for powering through it.

Take all the drugs

Yes, you heard me ALL the drugs.  Obviously not the illegal ones, ones you can’t take when you’re breastfeeding, and the ones that do nothing for a cold – but take as much as possible to get over it.  I am dosed up on vitamin water, paracetamol, which I take every 4 hours,and vitamin tablets. Your primary objective is to get over the cold as fast as possible – drugs help with this.

Clear their nose

One of the things with little babies when they have colds they find it extremely difficult to breathe, as they haven’t quite figured out how to breathe through their mouths.  So do your best at clearing their nose.  Nasal drops / spray (Calpol nasal spray worked best for us), that weird snot sucker thing that’s strangely satisfying to use, put on the shower and sit with your baby in the bathroom to help clear the congestion, or maybe wafting some Vicks from far away. Incidentally, this also helps to clear your nose but steer clear of using the snot sucker thing on you.

Sleep when the baby sleeps (that oldie but goldie)

You hear this one A LOT whether you’re ill or not. Sometimes this is near impossible, but when you’re ill, do it.  That rest will help you look after your little one when they wake up.

Keep hydrated

Make sure both you and your baby are drinking lots of water / milk / breastmilk (obviously your baby is drinking the milk…I mean if you want to try breastmilk then go for it… can’t hurt). This is also key to getting over a cold quickly.

When in doubt – go to doctors

If you’re worried at all about your baby – go to the doctors. Don’t worry about acting like a protective mum. We ended up with little dude at the docs when he had a cold at 8 weeks and I thought he might die (yes yes, overreaction but the protective mum instinct came into play, and if they’re under 3 months you are advised to take them for a cold).  Doctor gave great tips on how to look after him, things to look out for and reassured me that little dude was not dying.

Don’t be a martyr – get help

Do not suffer alone.  Grandparents, other halves, friends – take them up on the offer to look after the baby for a few hours.  If they haven’t offered, ask them why they haven’t!  Seriously, the couple of hours you can get to have a hot shower or bath, and have a nap really make a difference.

Last thoughts

It is rubbish you both having a cold.  Don’t worry, I know it doesn’t seem like it now, you will both get through it and your little person is on the journey to build up their immune system.

Here’s some other articles that can help you survive the cold season and offer some practical advice:

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