Overprotective? Definitely. Paranoid? Maybe a little. Trying to do what’s best for my baby? Absolutely.
With flu season in full force, it’s hard to feel comfortable going anywhere with an infant. While I try to put on the facade that I’m laid back, I can only hide my true feelings for so long. I have made up excuses to skip playdates, have avoided certain places and people, and still cover the stroller when we go in public. I know I’m not the only one that’s fighting the urge to carry disinfectant in my back pocket. To prove I’m not the only crazy out there, I have a friend who, while waiting for her flu shot at Walgreen’s, bought Lysol and sprayed her surroundings. I can only imagine the looks she got, but to be honest, I can’t say I disagree with her. It’s a scary thought to have a sick child. You spend all day every day doing everything you can to keep your baby safe and when illness strikes, you feel helpless. Babies can’t tell you what hurts, they can’t tell you when they don’t feel well, and they can’t tell you what they want or need in order to feel better.
So what do you do when your baby is sick? First of all, you can say goodbye to your sanity. Having a sick child means you’re pretty much on house arrest, which can drive even the calmest person insane. You have to be prepared to stay in and entertain your little one with what you have in the house. You feel helpless, hopeless and to add to that- completely trapped. It also may mean you need to tell grandparents and friends to hold off on visits, no matter how badly they want to see your baby. You have to put your baby’s health first, even if it means taking a stand. You need to feel comfortable calling your doctor at any point throughout the illness if symptoms change or worsen. This isn’t the time to be prideful. Even if the nurses start to recognize your voice, having a sick child means all bets are off. No guessing games, no referring to WebMD (chances are, your child does not have that incredibly rare disease you just diagnosed him/her with on your own), just ask your doctor. Once you have the diagnosis, prescription and advice from your doctor- stick to it. The illness will pass with time, and when it does- hello house cleaning! Find a safe toy and surface cleaner and go to town! The last thing you want is your child getting reinfecting themselves.
Having a sick baby is the most helpless feeling in the world, so going to extremes to avoid it may not seem so bad.
I’ll meet you in the Lysol aisle. I’ll be the one using hand sanitizer after everything I touch.