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sick

I don’t drink coffee, but, some days I certainly understand the inclination. The standard early school year cooties are making their rounds around our house. It is currently Anna’s turn and this one has hit her pretty hard. It takes a lot to get My little sunshine down so I know when she spends all day whining and looks miserable that she really isn’t feeling well at all.

Yesterday all she wanted to do was sit on my lap. Napping was a challenge since she couldn’t breath so she was tired and sick all day long.

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But, if I thought yesterday was bad it has nothing on today. Anna was up every hour last night crying. It really irritates her when her sleep is disrupted, especially by a stuffy nose. This morning she woke with a fever and has no desire to be put down. A little Tylenol has helped bring the fever down and my ERGO baby carrier has been a godsend.

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A day like today calls for coffee but since I don’t drink coffee I had a salted caramel hot chocolate instead…mmmmm.

Today I am thankful for baby wearing, Starbuck’s on every corner and the small relief offered my sweet girl by children’s tylenol. Tomorrow will hopefully find us better rested and healthier.

Last night, well actually in the wee hours of this morning if you want to get specific, I found myself curled up with Maya in her toddler bed.  I quickly discovered that although they may be perfectly comfortable if you are a mere 3 feet tall and weigh only 25lbs or so, for a 5’7″ 125lb adult they are definitely not comfortable, far from it in fact.

So, just how did I find myself in this most uncomfortable position at 2:30am this morning?  Well let me tell you…

Tuesday Maya started coming down with a bit of a cold.  She was getting sniffly and was a bit irritable.  Then yesterday she woke up with a raging fever, her body was definitely in full battle mode.  We spent the day quietly at home, resting.  It seemed to do the trick and by the time she got up from her nap her fever seemed to be gone and she was in a much better mood.  I thought we were out of the woods.  That was until the fever kicked back in just before bed.

When I put Maya to bed last night I knew there was a possibility that the night would be a rough one since she was going to sleep with a fever and really stuffy.  Sure enough at 2:00am I woke to the sounds of her crying.  I went to her room and she told me she had to pee.  As I reached down to help her out of bed I could feel the heat radiating from her.  I knew before I touched her that her fever had kicked into high gear.  When I touched her skin the heat was unbelievable.  I took her to the bathroom so she could pee and I could take her temperature.  I gasped when I saw the number flash up on the screen, 104.2, holy cow.  That is by far the highest fever she has ever had, EVER.  I was scared, and worried and just wanted to make her feel better.  After rubbing her down with a cool wet cloth and dosing her with Tylenol again we headed back to her bedroom.

I tucked her in, kissed her and started to leave the room when I heard a tiny little whisper “Mommy sleep with me little bit”.  It broke my heart and I couldn’t say no.  I mean who could resist such a request in the middle of the night, not to mention my fried nerves and worried heart needed the reassurance of laying there next to her.  So, I crawled into her bed, one leg still on the floor and rubbed her arm as she fell asleep.  I listened to her sniffle and whimper and just wished her temperature would go down and she could get some rest.  Slowly the sniffles turned into the soft rhythmic breathing of sleep.

I stayed with her for about half an hour, curled up in that way too small bed in the most uncomfortable position possible because I knew she needed me there, and because I needed to be there.  I needed to feel the temperature of her body begin to cool, I need to hear her soft breathing to reassure myself that everything was okay.

Toddler beds may not be comfortable but sometimes the comfort of our heart is more important than the comfort of our body.

thermometer

All it takes it one trip to the thermometer section of your local store to see how endless the options are.  There are so many different ways to take your child‘s temperature, so many different types of devices, just so many choices.  When faced with all these options it can be difficult to make a decision on what thermometer is the right thermometer for you.  As I’ve learned with my own daughter you often have to try a few different types before you find one that best meets your family’s needs.

As you stand in the thermometer aisle and stare at all the available options how do you make a choice, how do you pick just one (or even 2) thermometer to bring home with you?  It all boils down to what you are looking for, what type of thermometer you want, how you want to take your child’s temperature and how accurate you want the reading to be.  To help boil down the basics I’ve listed the various available options below including what part of the body they read the temperature from, how accurate they are and a few pros and cons.

Rectal Thermometers: Rectal thermometers will give you the most accurate reading of your child’s temperature.  However, rectal thermometers are not for everyone. Older children will not appreciate having their temperature taken this way and many parents are comfortable using them.  They work best on smaller children, particularly babies.  If you are looking for the most accurate reading and don’t mind taking your child’s temperature rectally than this is the option for you.

Oral Thermometers: Oral thermometers are probably some of the most common, this is how my mom always took our temperature as children.  The accuracy of the oral thermometers is good, if used correctly (meaning your child keeps it below their tongue the whole time).  The oral thermometers offer convenience, you don’t have to take their clothing off to get a reading, and they are often quick (especially the newer varieties).  However, young children, especially babies and toddlers, may have trouble using them as they need to be able to keep the thermometer under their tongue.  If you are looking for fairly good accuracy, convenience and your child is old enough to keep the thermometer under their tongue than this may be the right choice for you.

Armpit Thermometers: Armpit thermometers are convenient and do provide fairly accurate readings, however, it is easy to get a false reading if the room is too cold or your child doesn’t keep their arm down until the reading is complete.  If you have a small child and you aren’t comfortable with the rectal thermometer than armpit thermometers are a good alternative, just remember that the accuracy isn’t going to be as good.  Many doctors recommend adding 1 degree to the reading to get a better idea of what your child’s temperature is.

Ear Thermometers: Ear thermometers offer a very quick, convenient way to measure your child’s temperature, however, their accuracy isn’t the greatest.  With small children it can be difficult to get the ear piece situated properly to get an accurate reading.  That being said it is a great way to tell if your child is running a fever and you can always use another type of thermometer later if you need a more accurate reading.   This is the type of thermometer I use with my daughter because it allows me to get a reading of her temperature quickly without upsetting her too much.

Forehead Thermometers: Forehead thermometers, like the ear thermometer mentioned above, offer a very quick, comfortable, convenient way to take your child’s temperature.  Their readings, again like the ear thermometers, are not incredibly accurate.  The biggest downside to the forehead thermometers is the price.  They cost significantly more than the other options out there.

As you can see your options are endless.  Not only are their at least 5 different types of thermometers but there will be endless options within each type.  Your best bet is to decide where on the body you are most comfortable taking your child’s temperature (and which option they are old enough to use) and go from there.  You will likely end up with several different types.  I have 3 different thermometers at my house, an ear thermometer, one that does both oral and underarm readings and another that does just oral readings.

If you have questions about which type thermometer you should purchase try talking to your child’s pediatrician to see what they recommend, you could also talk with your pharmacist or your friends and family with children to get their opinions as well.

Happy thermometer shopping :)

It can be so frustrating when your toddler has a cough and you don’t know what you can do for them. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 3 years of age not be given any over-the-counter cold or cough medications. The common cold often causes a cough in toddlers as the mucus builds up in their throat. They don’t know how to blow their nose yet so it is made that much worse by the mucus build up in their nasal passages. A cough is often most severe at night when they are lying down and the mucus builds up even more.

My daughter just recently had a cold with a bad cough. I felt so bad for her, she was so tired from not sleeping well because of the cough. I wanted to do something for her to make her feel a little better so I did a little research on natural cough remedies for toddlers.

If you find yourself with a toddler who has a stubborn cold and cough here are a few remedies you can try:

  • Elevate their mattress by placing a couple (or so) pillows under one end of the mattress. This will keep them a little bit upright while they sleep and help prevent so much mucus from pooling in their throat causing them to cough.
  • Use a humidifier or cold-mist vaporizer in their room to help keep the air moist. Moist air is helpful for congestion and coughing.
  • Use a vapor rub. Look for one that is safe for toddlers. I’ve heard it is a good idea to rub it on their feet and put socks on them. That way they get the benefit of the vapor rub without the risk of putting it in their mouth.
  • A spoonful of honey. Honey has been shown to be very effective in relieving a cough. You child must be over 1 year of age before they can have honey so this remedy won’t work for babies. If you child is over a year old give him or her 1/2 a teaspoon of honey.
  • A warm bath in a warm/moist room. Run the shower in the bathroom with the door closed for a few minutes to heat up the room and make the air very moist. Then run a bath and let your little one play in the bath for a little while. This will help break up the mucus and is very relaxing for them.
  • Use a bulb syringe and saline solution to clear out their nasal passages. Most toddlers won’t cooperate, but if they do; tilt their head back a bit, put 10-15 drops of saline solution into each nostril, use the bulb syringe to remove the mucus and saline. Don’t fit your toddler, if they don’t cooperate with this one try something else.
  • Give them lots of fluids. This will help keep them hydrated during their cold and will also help break up the mucus in their throat that is causing the cough.

A stubborn cough can be so frustrating, especially when it interferes with your child’s ability to sleep. Try a few things to see what works best for your child. My daughter liked the honey (it tasted good and seemed to work well at alleviating her cough so she could fall asleep). I also find the warm bath in the warm, moist bathroom works well to.

Talk to your doctor if you are worried about your child’s cough at all, or if it persists longer than their cold symptoms.

Do you have any tried and true home remedies that have worked for your little one’s cough? Please share them.