When babies get sick, do all you can
To make them well; cancel your plans
Soothe their bellies, get a pail
Lower their fevers and bathe them well
Find your home remedies, Tell them it’s ok
Boost those immune systems; to God, you will surely pray
– Robyn Cooper
Though this post is going to focus less on remedies and more on symptoms, I want you to think about what you do when your kids get sick. Do you run to medicine right away? When your kids get a fever, do you try to lower it immediately, or stop their runny noses?
Since becoming a mother, I do far more research about health and wellness than I used to do. In my family, we look to essential oils, vinegars, herbs, probiotics, healthy herbal chicken stocks, tepid baths, mixtures to put into the bath, laughter, and getting more rest and sleep. We also encourage nursing more often and say our prayers and thanksgiving.
Believe me, there is a time and place for over the counter or prescription medicine, but the body is amazing and wants to heal itself, so I only use these in dire situations. Our bodies function the way we do for a reason.
How the Body Communicates through Symptoms and Moods
I’ve come to realize how the human body communicates. Just like we communicate our feelings and thoughts through words, sounds, and body language, the body communicates how it’s feeling through its sensory system, desire for input, output, and it communicates with your mind and spirit too.
The body communicates through its sensory system (how you physically feel):
- energy levels
- body temperature
- muscle aches
- how your throat feels
- chest/ organ pain
The body communicates through input:
- hearing loss or sensitivity
- sensitivity or loss of smell
- the way food tastes, or the type of food cravings you have
- how much sleep or quiet time you need
The body communicates through output:
- mucous membranes
- swollen lymph nodes
- skin (rashes, pimples, dryness, oiliness, ailments, tone, paleness)
- eye brightness or dullness
- the color of your gums
The body communicates with your mind and spirit:
- your instincts
Surely, you can think of other ways the body communicates. If so, please comment below.
Early Indicators in Babies and Toddlers
It’s easy for most people to tell when they are getting sick. It’s harder to tell when babies are getting sick though. For babies and toddlers, some of the early indicators tend to seem more subtle because kids either don’t talk yet, or they are too young to isolate what’s really bothering them. If you learn what your child’s early indicators are, you can start addressing the body’s needs earlier with immune boosting remedies. Some of the early indicators include:
- wanting to nurse more often
- changes in sleeping patterns
- changes in appetite
- changes in the stool’s consistency, color and/ or odor (I know… gross!)
Some of the later indicators in child illnesses, when you’re in the height of a common virus, include the obvious: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, sweat, crying, skin rashes and more. Since babies and toddlers have a difficult time communicating that their heads or tummies hurt, you have to play ‘health detective’ and try to stay ahead of their illness.
I keep a health log for my son. I know how often he tends to get ill, how high a typical fever runs, how long a typical virus lasts and what his other symptoms are. I can tell the pediatrician what and how he’s been doing down to the half hour. What might be even more important, is I know exactly how he is when he’s well.
If you haven’t yet, start a health log for your children.
You can use the notepad in your phone, for example, and keep a separate note for each child. Write the date, and what symptoms you notice. Keep your notes short and simple. My notes look like this:
- 9/26 doc kute confirmed hand foot mouth disease – said this was the height of the illness and he can be w/others Monday (9/29) but wait longer. Said only possible to get 1 virus at a time. 28.6 pounds.
- 9/25 rash on body and bottom of foot, mouth blister back of throat, no fever
- 9/24 saw blisters on his bum, no fever
- 9/23 no fever
- 9/22 101.4 fever 9am throw up 3 times till 10:30a
- 102.3 at 12:30p
- 103.3 at 3:30p
- 102.4 at 5:30p throw up once
- 102.0 at 8:30p
Keep doctor’s records in a binder at home, or scan a digital copy into a computer, just to keep organized.
Finally, log what medications he’s been prescribed and given. Basically, just try your best to remove as much of the guesswork as possible.
Play health detective for your family, learn about natural remedies, and be proactive about learning about common illnesses and symptoms. Everyone will remain healthier this way.
If you have any tips or tricks for good health, please share them.
Thanks and love,