Jacob has a cold. Which, according to the laws of mommydom, means that I also have a cold because the first indication that we had that he wasn’t feeling great was when he sneezed. On my face.
At ten months old (and CRAWLING! YAY!!!!!!!), this is our second cold, and this one is milder than the first. No fever, just stuffy with a very runny nose. No biggie and he can still go to daycare. (Although I feel seriously guilty sending him to daycare, both because I know he doesn’t feel great and because wiping snot is disgusting when it’s my OWN kid. I can’t imagine having to do that to someone else’s kid! Gross!)
When he got his first cold, we panicked. Jacob had a slight fever, so I sent hubby to CVS for infant Tylenol. He returned 20 minutes later having spent $70 buying EVERYTHING in the baby care section. He’s not allowed to go to CVS anymore.
We took turns taking the day off of school to stay home with him and rushed him to the pediatrician twice, only to be told both times that it was a cold, that babies get colds, and that he’d be fine. (They DID give us antibiotics for his ears the second time we went, although they said they weren’t infected, they just looked like they COULD get infected as the cold continued. Insane first-time parents like us are probably why everyone is developing antibiotic immunities these days. Honestly, they ought to just give parents pink, bubblegum-flavored sugar water to give babies and tell us it’s medicine so we can feel like we’re doing something to help.)
So this time, in the absence of a fever, we didn’t worry.*
*Okay we worried. But I sent frantic texts to my brother, who is a doctor, instead of rushing Jacob to the pediatrician. Because instead of giving me antibiotics, he tells me I’m an idiot and to stop it, which actually probably does more good than the antibiotics.
And by now, we’re old pros. We have an arsenal of infant Tylenol and Motrin (in case he develops a fever), a good baby thermometer, nasal mist, and a battery-powered aspirator (Sorry Nose Frida fans, that thing is gross. That little blue piece of sponge that they call a filter is NOT enough to convince me that baby snot is not going into my mouth. It’s disgusting. Plus, when I’m sick too, I can’t generate enough suction for it to actually do anything other than freak Jacob out that I’m trying to suck his brains out of his nose.)
The biggest problem when he’s sick (other than my hypochondriac fear that it’s actually RSV, will turn into pneumonia and require hospitalization) is how to keep him hydrated.
I’m prone to horrible post-nasal drip and know that drinking when I’m sick sucks. But I do it, because I know I need to to feel better. While I don’t know yet if Jacob has inherited my sinus problems (and I’m praying he doesn’t!), I do know that he doesn’t feel like taking his bottle and we have not yet mastered this sippy cup situation. And I can tell him that he needs it to feel better until I’m blue in the face, but I might as well be telling the schnauzers to stop barking at the mail lady for all the good it does. (She’s their worst enemy. She attacks our house EVERY DAY and we do nothing to stop it. They are outraged and do their very best to let her know that they’ll murder her if given half the chance. Except for the days when she actually comes to the door, because then she gives them treats and they love her. Seriously, all you’d need to do to rob our house is feed our dogs.)
He normally takes five six-ounce bottles a day and we’re working on trying to add in some water as well on days when he doesn’t finish those. But when he’s sick, it’s a struggle to get three ounces in him. And a quick Google search told me that a baby can dehydrate quickly when sick. (I also found a result that said babies don’t want to eat as much when sick and are fine as long as they’re producing 3-4 wet diapers a day. But we’ll ignore that because dehydration sounds scarier. I also sent my brother a video of him playing and my brother told me he’s fine and that I’m an idiot. We’ll ignore that too.)
So Jacob needs fluids.
I know the current advice is to only offer formula or breastmilk from a bottle and water should come only from a sippy cup, but despite our daily efforts, Jacob thinks the sippy cup is a teething toy. He also enjoys grabbing it by the handles and flinging it off of his high chair onto the poor dogs, who hang out there hoping for Cheerios. But drinking from it? That’s a no go.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. And our parents’ generation gave us water and juice in a bottle and all of us eventually learned how to drink from cups. So Pedialyte in a bottle it is for now. We had some success with that, and then I used an oral syringe to get a little more in him, which he actually liked. I guess it’s pretty hard to drink from a bottle when you can’t breathe through your nose. Poor little guy. But on the plus side, with me pushing fluids like a psycho, at least he’s pooping well!
Am I being ridiculous? Absolutely. And I’m fully aware that when eventual baby #2 gets sick, I’ll probably be like, eh, suck it up, you’re fine. But I guess there’s a reason that first-time parents have a reputation for being nuts.