When you’re a new parent and your infant is sick, it’s a scary experience. Because baby is so young, an illness can, in extreme cases, be life threatening. Common symptoms like a fever can be particularly dangerous for an infant. It’s easy to panic when your baby is obviously miserable: screaming, crying, not sleeping and you can’t take their pain away. Instead of freaking out when baby is sick, here are some tips to stay calm and focus on getting your little one better.
How To Stay Calm With A Sick Baby
Try meditation techniques
There are several techniques that you can do that are quick and don’t require practice or movement.
Deep breathing is a great way to relax even when you are holding baby or taking their temperature. Simply breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth a few times.
Mantra meditation, where you repeat a calming word or phrase is also easy to do, even when baby is upset.
Visual meditation, where you visualize in detail a place that relaxes you, works well when you are seated and rocking baby so you can close your eyes for a few moments.
Give a pep talk
…to yourself. Remind yourself that tomorrow baby will feel a little bit better and better still the next day. Rest and a little time are all baby needs to get better in most cases, plus doctor recommended medicine if you feel comfortable giving it to your infant.
Babies are very resilient. They will not remember the pain or discomfort they feel, but they will remember that you held them and took care of them, remaining calm even if they cried for hours on end.
Go to the doctor
If you are a first time parent, you’re worried about everything. You’re not sure about the rash on baby’s stomach or if their fever is due to sickness or teething. Is the struggle to breathe because of a stuffed up nose or something else?
It’s easy to always assume the worst, especially when you try to research you sick baby’s symptoms online. Just go to the doctor.
Most pediatricians will at least see your baby the following day so you don’t have to spend too much time worrying. They will ask for you to describe baby’s symptoms over the phone and if it sounds serious, should make time for you to come in that day.
If all else fails, visit an urgent care center. Your peace of mind is worth it. Even if it’s only the common cold, you’ll feel relieved instead panicked if you had waited and it ended up being something more serious.
Ask for help
If you’ve been home with a sick baby for the day, or even for a few hours, you know how difficult it is to maintain your composure when you’ve tried everything to make baby feel better but nothing is working. Don’t be afraid to ask your spouse, other family members, or a friend to watch the baby, even for just an hour.
Don’t beat yourself up about taking a break. You’re little one doesn’t need you every second and maybe another person can get baby to sleep for a little bit. I firmly believe that even infants can tell when you’re stressed out and that doesn’t help them to get the rest they need during an illness.
Catherine Jones is the proud mother of an active toddler. She is also a freelance writer, adjunct college professor, and full-time English teacher. She hasn’t slept since 2014.