There's no doubt about it: Caring for a baby is hard enough when you’re feeling 100%, but when you’re battling health issues it can seem overwhelming. We know this because we've been there ourselves. That's why we want to share our tips and tricks for keeping your newborn well looked after while battling an illness yourself.
Whether it's the recovery room post-birth, the draining days of a stomach bug, or any other kind of sickness that has shown up unexpectedly, we have some advice to help make life easier. Read on to discover our top suggestions on how to successfully care for your newborn while battling an illness yourself.
Preparing for Taking Care of a Newborn While Sick
Taking care of a newborn can be physically demanding even when you're feeling your best. But when you're ill, the challenge can feel overwhelming. With a little extra preparation and planning, however, you can make taking care of both your little one and yourself a tad bit easier.
One important step is to build out your support network. Having people around to lend an extra hand with the baby or just listen to your worries can be a lifesaver. Reach out to family, friends, neighbors or even local support groups to see who may be able to help you out from time to time.
If you need medical help for yourself, schedule your doctor's appointment when someone else is around. This could be during nap time. It's also smart to consider telehealth appointments that may enable you to have a remote doctor's consultation from the comfort of your home.
Lastly, stock up on groceries and household supplies so that shopping trips are kept at a minimum. Ordering online from grocery stores in your area might also help ease some of the burden.
Tips for Managing Basic Care for Baby
First, create a comfort station for your baby. Keep all of the necessary items in one area—a changing station for diapering, a clean outfit to put on after bathtime, any medication needed for the baby—so your hubby, partner, or a babysitter know where to look when you're not feeling well.
Second, keep track of essential activities such as feeding times, diaper changes and sleeping habits. Note-taking is extremely important so that other caregivers (like your partner or family member) know what's most important for your baby's needs at any given moment.
Medication Options for the Sick Parent
First and foremost, use only OTC medications if you've discussed your ailments with your doctor. This is especially important if you're breastfeeding. Generally, OTC medicines that were prescribed to you during pregnancy are safe to use while breastfeeding as well. But keep in mind that it's always best to consult a healthcare provider first before taking any medicine, just to make sure it’s safe.
If you're feeling up for it, try some non-medication options such as hot or cold compresses to reduce inflammation or steam therapy if you're dealing with congestion from a cold. Light exercise like mild stretching or walking can also help get rid of aches and pains associated with the flu or common colds. It can also help relieve nasal congestion.
Getting Help From the Family and Medical Professionals
Although feeling unwell and taking care of a newborn can be physically and emotionally draining, help is always available. If you are battling an illness while looking after a newborn, it is essential to reach out to those close by who can give you help and support.
The same goes for seeking medical advice. It's important to stay in contact with your healthcare professional throughout your illness to ensure that both you and the baby remain healthy. Plus, it's also a good idea to keep your pediatrician informed so they can monitor the baby's wellbeing as well and give you advice on how to take care of your baby while you're ill.
Get Emotional Support From Your Family And Friends
No one expects you to manage everything on your own; having someone with experience offering support will make a big difference. This could be family members or friends who have had children recently or those who have gone through similar experiences with their own illnesses in the past. Ask them for their advice on how they coped in similar situations and get input on how best to manage everything during this difficult time.
Ask For Help With Housework And Errands
It is okay to ask for help from family or friends when it comes to completing day-to-day tasks such as housework, laundry, shopping and errands while looking after a newborn while sick. It would be beneficial to find someone to take over the daily errands while you take some time off so that you can slowly start getting back into routine when you feel better.
Ways to Avoid Getting Your Newborn Sick
As a new parent, it’s natural to worry about passing on your illness to your newborn. The good news is that it’s possible to avoid getting your baby sick. Here’s what you need to know:
Wash Your Hands
Making sure to keep your hands clean is the first step in preventing the spread of germs. Wash your hands often and make sure that anyone who handles the baby also washes their hands before and after doing so.
Clean Anything You Share
If you do need to share something with your baby, like a toy or blanket, make sure you clean it before they touch it. Wipe down toys and other items with a baby-safe disinfectant cloth as an extra precaution.
Avoid Contact with Others as Much as Possible
If you’re sick, try not to bring people over or allow visitors near the baby until you feel better. If there are any close family members around them, make sure they don't have any infection symptoms themselves.
Wear a Mask and Gloves if Necessary
If you absolutely have to take care of your baby all by yourself because no one else is available, consider wearing a face mask and gloves whenever you're around your little one.
Taking care of a new baby while battling an illness is a tough situation and it can seem overwhelming. However, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to make it a bit easier. Make sure to ask for help from family and friends if you need it and prioritize rest during this time. Additionally, focus on simple activities such as taking a walk in the fresh air and practicing self-care. Finally, remember to practice good hygiene and be sure to ask your doctor any questions you have.