5 Ways to Make Sick Days Better For Little Ones

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I received product and compensation from Mead Johnson Nutrition to create this post written by me. All experiences and opinions expressed in this post are my own and not those of Mead Johnson Nutrition. You can contact Mead Johnson Nutrition with product related questions or comments toll free at 1-888-777-3395.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I went to a movie for our first date night in many months. Our daughter Essley had a slight cold (mainly just some sneezing) but was active and playing, so we left her and her brother with my mom and headed out. Guess what? We made it through about half the movie before we were back in the car on our way home. Essley had started vomiting from coughing (all it takes to make this child throw up is the mention of something that grosses her out, so when she’s even a little bit sick, you can pretty much guarantee there’s going to be some barf), and was weeping that she wanted her mommy. A few hours and a couple more barf sessions later, she spiked a fever. She woke up throughout the night, and despite my best efforts, refused any fluids. This continued into the next morning, and by early afternoon she was beginning to get dehydrated.

Thankfully, by late afternoon, Essley was starting to feel more like herself again. And as awful as it is (for the little ones and the parents) when your kid is ill, I’m actually grateful we’ve been through it enough times that we now know what works to make ours feel better – including how to make those sick days a little more enjoyable in general. With the school year back underway (aka the time my kids seem to be sick more often than they’re not) and cold/flu season quickly approaching, I thought I’d share some of the ways we get through our sick days as pleasantly as possible. (Please note: there are my personal tips that work with my own kids when they’ve got non-serious illnesses like colds. None of this should be taken as medical advice. If your little one is sick, you should consult your pediatrician.)

1. Find ways to make rest fun. My kids like to be active pretty much all the time. Even when they’re sick, they usually want to be up and doing something. Rest is important for healing, but getting them to relax is a challenge – so we try to find ways to make it fun. We do story times where they can pick out books and we sit in a chair across from them to read to them (think story hour at the library), so it feels like a special event. Or we have movie “marathons” where they can choose two movies to watch in a row, as long as they stay sitting or lying down. (They’ll never argue with extra screen time!) Sometimes we even have contests to see who can rest the longest. If resting doesn’t seem boring to them, they’re more likely to do it longer.

2. Make cuddling a priority.  This might seem like an obvious one, but I wanted to include it because sometimes I personally need the reminder. My kids and I (and their dad) are very affectionate in general, but sometimes if they’ve been sick for a few days and I feel like I’ve fallen behind on work or things around the house, I start to stress and become so focused on getting that stuff done that I forget how healing it can be just to snuggle with my kids. It helps keep them calm so they’ll rest, and it’s also emotionally and mentally good for them to know their parents are focused on taking care of them. On the other side, some people actually advise against this because it increases your chances of getting whatever your child has, but I’m telling you guys – there is nothing my kids want more than to be held when they aren’t feeling well.

3. Restore and/or maintain hydration. As I mentioned earlier, Essley tends to throw up even with colds, and that combined with the fact that she has very little interest in eating or drinking when she doesn’t feel well can quickly lead to dehydration. Being dehydrated not only makes kids feel worse, it can also escalate an illness to something more serious very quickly. When Essley was sick a couple of weeks ago, the first thing I did to help her stay hydrated was give her some Enfamil® Enfalyte® oral electrolyte solution. It  didn’t take long for her to feel better and become well hydrated again. We’re big fans of Enfalyte because it’s a clear formulation with no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners, and it (quickly!) replaces electrolytes and water that can be lost if your little one is vomiting or having diarrhea (or even exercising or playing on a hot day). When Essley had to go to the ER for flu over the winter, the hospital recommended it (and it’s been used by hospitals for over 25 years), so that was enough for us to always keep some on hand. And the flavors (Cherry Splash or Mixed Fruit) are mild, which Essley prefers to strong tasting drinks, especially when she’s ill. One major thing I’ve learned since becoming a parent is how much a sick day can take a turn for the better when your child’s hydration is restored. (Again, always consult with your pediatrician if you are concerned about illness or dehydration. Here are some great resources as well: Is My Child Dehydrated? and Maintaining Hydration. There is also a handy infographic at the end of this post.)

4. Play doctor/hospital.  If your kids are older they probably won’t go for this, but for my 1.5 and 3.5 year olds, this is the first thing they want to do when they’re not feeling well. Essley always picks one of her stuffed animals or dolls to be sick alongside her, and she takes care of it while I take care of her. (When she was sick a couple of weeks ago, she took Happy Dog’s temperature, kept him hydrated with Enfalyte, and covered him in bandages.) I think it makes her feel less alone in her illness, and also makes her feel like she’s doing something important. It’s one of our “go-to’s” on sick days.

5. Break the rules. When the kids are sick, we let things like strict bedtimes and other “rules” (no treats before meals, must clean up current mess before moving on to other toys, limited screen time, etc.) slide. Our number one goal is to get them better as quickly as possible with as little misery as possible, and loosening up schedules and rules a little during those days makes them easier on everyone.

How to recognize dehydration in toddlers

I hope the small things we find helpful when our kids aren’t feeling well prove helpful for you as well! How do you make sick days better experiences for your kids?


This is sponsored by Enfamil® Enfalyte® Oral Electrolyte Solution. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible.

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Is the Virginia opossum the only marsupial native to North America?

yapok

The yapok or water opossum is a marsupial that ranges into Mexico and Central America.

Americans are an unusually insular sort of people. We fail at geography big time. Don’t ask the average American what the capital of Canada is.  Don’t tell tell us that Mexico City is the largest city on the continent.

“Because Mexico ain’t on our continent!”

That attitude even affects how we view nature.

When I was a little boy, I accepted without any question that North America’s only marsupial is the Virginia opossum.

It seems this claim is so widely-accepted that it is usually mentioned within the first sentence of any description of the species.

There is, of course, a big problem with this description. North America isn’t just the US and Canada.

This is North America:

North America

Yes. All that territory from Mexico to Panama is part of North America, and in those countries, there are multiple species of marsupials. Central America has 11 species. Mexico alone has has 8!

It is correct to say that the only marsupial in the US and Canada is the Virginia opossum, but it is geographical ignorance that only an American could conjure that says the Virginia opossum is the only marsupial found on the continent.

So when you see someone saying that Virginia opossums are the sole representatives of marsupials on this continent, realize that this person hasn’t thought through what he or she is actually saying.

Or is totally unaware that there isn’t continent between “North America” and South America.

There is also a subconscious racism at work, which sees only a community with Anglo-America as the true North America and casts aside that which lies to our south as being the other.

It may all be a silly little thing, but it grinds my gears.

And when we write about nature, we need to be more careful with our language.

 

 

 

 

 


Natural History

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What I’m Wearing Now: October

Fall Wardrobe Staples
1. Loveland Wrap in Cargo Green, prAna  //  2. Tassel Hoop Earrings, Madewell   //  3. Silver Hoop Earrings Set, H&M  //  4.  Classic Date Black Watch, Lord Timepieces (take 10% off with code BEAN)  //  5. Bell Sleeve Shift Dress, Nordstrom  //   6. Skinny Low Jeans in Black, H&M  //  7. Lily Tore Diaper Bag, Newlie  //  8Splash Gabi Sneakers, Minnetonka  //  9. Chuck Taylor All Star Low Tops, Converse  //  10. Beaded Chain Bracelet, Madewell  //  11. Madison Boots, Trask  //  12. Linen V-neck Top, H&M 

Despite a wonderfully warm fall season so far, my summertime wardrobe has officially finally gone into hibernation. And I’m cool with this, because, to be fair, I’ve gotten to wear my beloved summer dresses and cut offs and kimonos far beyond the time I normally do. Besides, even summer girls can appreciate layers for a while. (Give me a month or two though and I’ll be crying my eyes out for a good sundress and some flip flops.)

I’ve been living in black jeans, sweaters, and Converse this month, but I’ve actually ventured outside of my casual boho-WAHM-hybrid comfort zone too. I got this dress (#5 above) from Nordstrom for a wedding but have already worn it three times this month. You’ll won’t believe how inexpensive it was because it looks quite pricey in person. It’s so flattering and actually comfortable too. (The stilettos I paired it with for the wedding, not so much.)

All good things must come to an end, and I’ll put a solid bet on the fact that next month’s post will include a winter coat. Sigh. The sunshine was good while it lasted, Chicago.

(P.S. You can see other my other monthly post from the past couple of years right here.) 

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Community Foster Group for Northern California Wildfire-Affected Animals

If you are in northern California (specifically near the Tubbs fire), please consider fostering displaced animals. And if you have an animal that needs to be fostered due to the fire, you now have a new resource to turn to. There is a Facebook page dedicated to those animals affected by the Tubbs fire. You […]


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How To Really Love a Child

How To Really Love a Child

I wanted to share this today. I know it’s not the usual type of thing we post on here on Bubby and Bean, and maybe it doesn’t really match our visual style or feel cohesive with the type of photos we normally share, and maybe that breaks of the rules of a design-focused blog – but that’s okay because it’s important. My friend Alyson shared it on her Instagram Stories last week, and it was such a great reminder for me. Whether you have children or not, I feel like it’s a positive thing to read and remember. The author/artist, SARK, actually helped me through a very dark time in my life several years ago. It was right before I started this blog, actually. My mom had a bunch of her books, and I borrowed all of them, and read them, night after night. I needed the positivity and I needed the creative inspiration. I haven’t read anything of her’s in years, but the reminder you see above came at exactly the right time.

Being a parent is hard. Emmett just turned 21 months and is fully in the terrible 2′s already, and it can be very, very difficult when he has tantrums. And Essley, who will be 4 in 3 months, has been going through a burst of independence where she challenges everything. Life has been full around here over this past month on top of that – we are in the middle of buying a house and also helping my mom move out of her home that she shared with my stepdad who passed away earlier this year, my stepmom just had major surgery for ovarian cancer, my workload has been much greater than I’m used to, and the world in general has been heavy. Lately I’ve caught myself snapping at my kids and losing patience easily. Sometimes I forget that they’re just kids you guys. I really do. But they are just kids. They’re little people with rapidly developing brains and poor emotional control who are trying to navigate a huge world. There are so many rules – for both the kids and their parents. I think it’s good to remember to relax a little, and just love them. Really love them.

Even if you aren’t a parent, do these things anyway! Do them with a child you care about, or yourself, or a friend, or a pet. Fun and lightheartedness and love are always good ideas. Thanks for letting me pop in like this and just share my thoughts sometimes. You guys are the best.

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