Having a baby to take care of when you’re feeling under the weather yourself can be stressful at several levels. Firstly there is the fact that you are not feeling well yourself and would much rather that someone took care of you rather than the other way round. Then there is the fact that as a parent or caregiver you don’t want to pass on what you have to the baby. So it can be tough indeed to have to look after a baby when you’re feeling ill. Here are some tips that could help you get trough what is likely to be a tough time:
Follow the baby-sleeps-I-sleep rule
It is important to get your rest, so at a time like this, you can let a few other things slide around the house. The pile of laundry and the spring cleaning can wait for a bit. When baby sleeps, so should you. When the baby naps, take a bit of down time yourself. You cannot actually sleep, at least lie down and rest your eyes.
So the baby may not get to go to the park for a day or two. That’s OK. You can have some quite time playing with toys at home or quietly reading some picture books. A safe play pen with a few appropriate toys while you’re close by, can also be a great idea.
Look after yourself
There is no point in ignoring yourself. Consult the doctor and take your meds, so that you can recover as soon as possible. If you’re ignoring yourself you’re also protracting your illness and delaying your healing.
Tips to look after baby
If it’s the flu or cold like symptoms you have, be careful about washing your hands frequently and about how to sneeze, cough and blow nose. But while you pay attention to your hygiene, there is no reason why you cannot breast feed. In fact the breast milk may actually contain antibodies that are good for the baby. If you’re in doubt however, you should speak to your doctor about dos and don’ts.
Ask for help
So you have your pride, but don’t let that get in your way. When you really need the help, ask for it. You may be surprised at how willing friends and family may be to help out when you’re genuinely in need. You could also consider day care for a brief time until you feel better – this may be a specially good idea if you have something infectious.