It's bound to happen sooner or later. Baby's first cold. As a new momma it can be terrifying. Around four weeks old Little Owl had a smidgen of a cold. I thought that was a hurdle to cross. I was wrong. It was nothing. Just sniffles and lethargy.
A week ago today the winter weather brought out the big guns. Our first real cold. Two days of utter hell. It was exhausting, at times frightening, and a definite learning experience. But, we survived and (hopefully) are stronger because of it. Looking back I want to share with you a few tips I learned through my experience.
Two Ways I Am a Materialist
I definitely strive not to be a materialist, but this sickness taught me gratitude for two items in my house that I feel I would not have survived without. The first is my trusty Ergo Baby which in case you haven't already figured out I am in love with.
Because little baby girl was incredibly congested she couldn't sleep lying down--either on her belly (yes... she sleeps on her belly...) or on her back. She needed to be upright.
There are a lot of baby carriers out there. This is the one I swear by and would recommend to any momma because of how easy it is to take on and off and adjust. (Plus, with a little maneuvering you can nurse in it!) It was truly a life-saver. Little Owl did not sleep very soundly over those two nights of her cold, but what little sleep she got was because she could be upright.
The second way I am a materialist is because of this chair.
If Little Owl got what sleep she did because of the Ergo, I got what little sleep I did because of this chair. We slept together on it--her attached to me in the baby carrier and me slightly reclined in this makeshift chair turned "bed". It wasn't much sleep but it was something. And at least I didn't have to be standing all night...
And the Three Other Things
Maybe this goes without saying, but for me it was a big deal and a realization. With Little Owl sick I was basically incapacitated during the day due to my lack of sleep at night. I essentially gave up all responsibilities during the day--including cooking. Typically, I try not to eat out for health reasons as well as budget reasons. This time I made an exception. But, most importantly, I didn't feel guilty. Not one bit.
I also gave up commitments to friends during those two days. Usually, I would have felt guilty about that, too. I often hold myself to standards even when they become unrealistic. I have a hard time letting go of responsibilities This was a good lesson for me that you can say no to commitments. You can say, "actually, I can't do that even though I said I would". And guess what? No one minded.
I learned about this through Doctor turned Herbalist Aviva Jill Romm. They were so wonderful for my congested baby girl and I could visibly see her relax and breathe easier. What do you do? Romm recommends closing your bathroom door, turning on the shower head on full blast on as high heat as it will go and just sitting in the bathroom. What I did was turn the heat on full blast on the shower, but collected the water with the bathtub plugged so we took a "steam bath" and a bath at the same time. It was bliss. We did this at least two times a day. I know it is not an "eco-friendly" choice but I really didn't care. Again, I don't feel guilty. It made such a difference.
I am blessed to live with my parents (we can talk about why more later...) but for those of you who don't, I recommend calling in back-up. My husband had to work all day so having my parents be able to take Little Owl during the day for a few hours so I could sleep was incredibly helpful.
That's it. Those are my tips/things I learned. It's done (Thanks God!) but I know we will have another cold at some point down the road, but at least I have a few learned tricks up my sleeve.
Be well! But when your're not, maybe these tips will help.
What are your tips for surviving colds this season?