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The Dreaded First Daycare Cold

by Meghann on January 28, 2016

It is upon us, the dreaded first daycare cold. I knew she would be more prone to illnesses in daycare, but I didn’t realize it would happen this quickly. Not even a week into our new routine and she’s already throwing us for a loop.

Annalynn developed a stuffy nose over the weekend and it really intensified on Monday.  A sick baby isn’t something I would wish on my worst enemy. It breaks my heart every time I hear her struggle to breathe properly through her nose and there’s really nothing I can do for it. I’ve googled my little heart out, spoke with her doctor, garnered all the advice from fellow mommas,  bought a humidifier, sucked her little nose with a Nose Frieda, used saline drops, etc. but nothing makes it all better. As my doctor said, really the only thing we can do is let it run its course, which kills me.

Despite the terrible congestion, she’s still our happy go-lucky baby during the day. She smiles, I smile, and I forget that she scared me 10 seconds before with a cough that brought me to tears. The nights are terrible, especially the first. The only way she would sleep was propped in our arms, so both Derek and I were up all night with her. We were able to prop her mattress the next night, which helped a lot. She’s still getting up more than usual, but at least we’re able to get her back down after she’s up.

I know this is building her immune system. I know it could be way, way worse. I know it’s harder on me than it is on her. But this momma would walk to the end of the earth and back if it meant my little girl never has a stuffy nose again.

This too shall pass, until then I’m going to comfort my little girl any way I can.

1 Lindsey Lou January 28, 2016 at 12:13 pm

Oh Meghanne… I promise it is NOT that dramatic for her and I hope desperately that going forward you are able to not have so much anxiety over a sniffle. Saying that letting a cold “run its course” “kills you” is not healthy.

2 Laura January 29, 2016 at 1:43 pm

Wow that was harsh. Of course it’s terrible for her to see her baby not feeling well. Sheesh! If you don’t have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all!

3 Lindsey Lou January 29, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Not harsh at all… I have a 20 month old and she is in daycare as I work full time,therefore, she’s sick all the time! It happens! The fact that she is having enough anxiety to warrant an ENTIRE blog post is not healthy. All I was saying is that it sucks, but it’s LIFE and it will happen ALOT!

4 Linda January 31, 2016 at 5:04 pm

100% agree.

5 Cara January 28, 2016 at 12:44 pm

Hugs mama, it’s so hard to watch your little be sick. Have you ever diffused oils? I use Young Living oils and swear by Thieves and RC oils for colds!

You just go ahead and feel whatever you want, despite what people feel the need to post…*sigh…
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6 Maggie January 28, 2016 at 1:09 pm

Thieves is not generally considered to be baby safe. Lemon and lavender are great options for similar effects though!

7 Jill January 28, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Strange first comment… I definitely remember the first day care colds in both of my boys. Nights were SO hard and seeing them struggling to sleep, WANTING to sleep, but not being able to breathe just breaks your heart. Funny thing that worked wonders for my second – we had him sleep in his infant bath tub. I know it sounds crazy, but it was the kind of tub that is angled, and it was JUST the right angle that it magically cleared him up and he could breathe!! Hate to tell you this, but he pretty much had a cold all through the first winter (but you are in Florida so maybe not so bad?!) and he slept in that tub the whole winter! Should also mention he was no where near rolling, so we felt fine doing it, and also had the tub sitting in his crib so if he did roll out, it was a short distance onto his mattress (and he never did that).

8 JenG January 29, 2016 at 2:58 pm

ah…that genius! glad to hear isn’t the right wording, maybe glad we aren’t the only ones??? with a sick kid all winter. It’s been one cold after another for us..colds…ear infections..hand foot mouth, every virus known to man has come through our daycare these past few months. I helps to hear other kids get all of this too…i’m glad i read your comment!

9 Lisa @ Lisa the Vegetarian January 28, 2016 at 1:12 pm

I hope Annalynn feels better very soon! It must be scary to see your baby sick.
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10 Sarah January 28, 2016 at 1:23 pm

OILS! I feel like I am diffusing oils 24/7 right now with all the sick that is going around. It helps my baby breathe so much better! And I’ve been putting the honest co “vicks” on her feet every morning and night. Hang in there and lots of cuddles!

11 Stephanie @ My Freckled Life January 28, 2016 at 1:25 pm

Oh man, we’ve had such a problem with colds from daycare this winter! And it truly is so hard to see them feeling so sick and knowing that there is nothing you can do about it!! It’s especially hard when you’re becoming sleep deprived in the process too (hello all the emotions and hormones!) Just hang in there – I keep reminding myself that hopefully by the time he gets to kindergarten, he’s going to have an immune system of steal!
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12 Karen January 28, 2016 at 3:57 pm

We borrowed a Fisher-Price Rock and Play Sleeper when my babies were little and it helped them sleep when they had colds. Along with baby Vicks (rubbed on their feet), a cold air humidifer, nosefrieda, and TIME…get your arsenal ready…this is only the first of many colds she’ll get from day care!! (and it will get easier as time goes on!)

13 Liz January 28, 2016 at 3:58 pm

Ugh, baby illnesses are the worst! My little one thankfully didn’t get sick until she was 9 months old, but then got a stomach flu (so awful) and 2 colds within 2 months, all of which she passed to me! I hope at least you are able to stay healthy!!

14 Belinda January 29, 2016 at 12:00 am

Dude, your baby is probably going to have “the sniffles” more often than not during her first year and the following 5+. You’ll get over it.

15 Melissa January 29, 2016 at 7:34 am

I also put Vicks on my daughters feet and chest before bed. I used to put a tiny bit on her upper lip before bed but she is older now and wont let me. Now that she is 2 1/2 she will ask for “medicine on my feet” when she is stuffy. I know your daughter is still so so young but we taught our daughter how to blow her nose pretty early on and its been a saving grace! I do recommend in a year or so, try teaching her how to properly blow her nose, its a life saver (and daycare will be pretty impressed!).

16 Lee January 29, 2016 at 11:15 am
17 Melissa January 29, 2016 at 11:18 am

Hmm..good to know.

18 Lee January 29, 2016 at 11:21 am

Sorry, posted before I finished. The link above strongly advises against the use of Vicks Vaporub on infants (even the baby kind).

19 Melissa January 29, 2016 at 8:40 am

Oh yuck that’s no fun! My daughter got an ear infection around 5 months old and that was definitely rough. And I didn’t know that’s what she had at first so I felt total mom guilt about it. I think it gets slightly easier when they’re sick as they get older, just because they aren’t so “helpless,” if that makes sense. Ellie is 15 months now and had a cold around Christmas and while I hated it, it was easier to tell myself that it was just a cold, she’d be fine, than it would have been a year earlier.
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20 whitney January 29, 2016 at 9:44 am

Been there and i feel for you. On day four of school, my LO got his first daycare illness. I could have written this post myself back then. A couple weeks from now, this will be a distant memory and you will have your baby back 😉 Honestly, my son got used to having a cold. with each, it was easier on him. That doesn’t help now, but it does get easier.

21 JenG January 29, 2016 at 2:54 pm

So we are going through the same thing. No one ever told me how sick everyone would get from Daycare. i knew drake would get colds, but i never knew so many that would lead to ear infections, that would lead to tubes at almost 5 mths and lead to me getting sick constantly. Sorry…hoping I don’t scare you but i wish i was warned about this. Granted i’ll take it now when he’s happy..giggles…doesn’t complain…and doesn’t miss school when it counts.And it truly does get easier…still sucks big time to have a sick little one and it’s sad but i think Drake is almost used to it at this point. He rarely wakes up when he’s sick now…tubes helped that a lot. I just keep telling myself that this will make us all healthier in the long run. The only other thing we did was let him sleep in his rock and play when he was sick. I was worried it would be a hard habit to break but he did fine going back to his crib.
Good Luck…it’s hard but our kids won’t be missing much kindergarten 🙂

22 Katie January 29, 2016 at 6:52 pm

Just a tiny voice in this career-focused world to say…it’s OK to stay home with your baby. It’s actually wonderful (for me), and biologically, with still breastfeeding our 15-month old, it just seems to make sense (pumps are amazing options, I’m just saying I truly felt my body was telling me I needed my baby close by me most of the time in her early life). I see so often, on mom blogs or mom’s groups, how much it tugs on our heart strings to leave our babies all day long in someone else’s care. I just wanted to put this out there for you, Meghann, or anyone else reading, that there are many ways to make your desired family life possible. I would encourage you to do a monthly budget. Take a look at your family income and *necessary* expenses. What if you only ate in and drove old model cars? Bought clothes only at thrift shops (or just wore what’s already in the closet?). Maybe it’s not a reality tomorrow, but in time for the 2nd child? I’m in no way saying that staying at home is for everyone, but I do believe that cutting down on lifestyle could make it possible for many more families! Dave Ramsey has a fantastic financial plan that is basically boiled down to the least common denominator to work for everyone. I would suggest that as a great resource for making your financial and family goals possible.

23 Meg January 30, 2016 at 1:19 pm

Some women like to work. I can be sad (heartbroken even, some days) to leave my kid in childcare and still genuinely enjoy my job and not want to stay home full time.

24 Kate January 30, 2016 at 6:08 pm

THIS! Thank you! I see with so many couples, it seems to important to have the big house and new cars, and then mothers who bemoan that they can’t stay home with their babies.

25 Shauna January 30, 2016 at 9:11 pm

Eh, I would give Meghann the benefit of the doubt that if it were feasible to stay home with her daughter, she would be doing it.. Nothing wrong with someone who goes to work and pumps, in fact, it’s a little refreshing to see. I appreciate the real-ness and can relate to this blog because like you said, not everyone can stay at home.

26 Kathy January 29, 2016 at 8:49 pm

What about families in which mom is the breadwinner and the higher pay and excellent medical benefits come from mom’s job? It may be true that there are ways to live off of one salary but it’s not always the dad’s…

27 Vicki January 30, 2016 at 7:44 pm

It’s awful seeing your baby sick! I just read a post on your instagram from a follower recommending you let Annalynn sleep in her car seat because of the angle.. I’m sure you know this already but I felt like I had to comment in case you didn’t. Please don’t ever let her sleep in her car seat unless she’s in the car. It is incredibly unsafe because babies’ heads are so heavy compared to the rest of their bodies and they can’t hold it up well enough. A number of infants have asphyxiated this way. But I’m sure you know this!

28 Shauna January 30, 2016 at 9:07 pm

Oof, this is hard to read when knowing so many people who deal with really, really hard health problems with their children. I’ve never been one for the pain Olympics (someone will always have it harder, but no reason for that to diminish your problems!) but this really is just a stuffy nose/cold. You’re breastfeeding, so she’s getting the best tools to fight this, I hope moving forward you can get a little more at ease with the much larger problems life will throw!

29 Linda January 31, 2016 at 5:02 pm

Whoa gurlfrahn! Yes, she is your first so you are being hypervigilant, but Imma need you to calm yourself. I’m glad you acknowledge it could be worse, because it could be A LOT worse. Just love on your kid and save the dramatics. Also, why is everyone saying “this momma”? Is it ok to use third person if you are a parent? Like, you can’t say, “this runner” but you can say “this momma”? It sounds silly. Be yourself stop copying what other IGers say – it sounds dumb.

30 Lisa February 1, 2016 at 10:31 am

My niece has had a cold basically since she started daycare. Babies get sick and pass the cold back and forth, that’s what happens. And please, don’t think using essential oils will do anything to help your child get over a cold. They are a pseudoscience, and unless you believe strongly in the placebo effect, don’t work.

31 Becky February 1, 2016 at 7:28 pm

Have you heard of the homeopathic medicine Zarbees? Even if it is pseudoscience/placebo effect/etc, it helps tame my son’s cough/runny nose. They have an infant brand safe for babies 2 months-12 months and a children’s version for 12m+. Just an option to keep in the back of your mind! Obviously, do what works for you 🙂

32 amyt February 3, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Hang in there….I completely understand – it’s hard when your little one’s are sick – especially babies – they can’t tell you where they hurt. It still “kills’ me when my kiddos are sick – it’s being a mom…we wish we could take it away. Not sure why people are basically saying suck it up – you’re a hurting parent … we want to take all the hurts away, to me it’s our job to want to do that…it’s caring and in our nature. Hope she feels better soon 🙂

33 Laurie February 27, 2016 at 2:29 pm

I know it can be hard to see your child sick. However, it is almost inevitable for one to get sick if they are surrounded by others that are sick. That is typically why illness spreads through a household. As your child gets older make sure to teach them proper hygiene practices – washing hands, proper sneezing and coughing practices, etc. Thanks for sharing, and be well.

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