For the past week, we’ve gone through a fever, a runny nose, sore throat and cough with my baby. It’s the first time; she’s been this sick. She only had a mild cold previously, and it was a walk in the park compared to this time. I’m just relieved that she is almost back to her normal self now, apart from a little cough she still has. But let me tell you, caring for a sick baby is no fun.

When you are trying to figure out why they are crying for two hours straight at night, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Is it something serious? Is she in pain? Should we call an emergency? All these alarming thoughts go through your mind that you completely overlook the simple symptoms of a blocked nose. So, when the light bulb finally went off, I sent my partner to a late night pharmacy to get a nasal spray. No, I didn’t have one at home, as my doctor advised against using them on small babies. But this time, as my baby is almost one and was crying inconsolably, we decided to try one of those saline nasal sprays for babies.

Within a minute of applying it, the crying stopped. In fact, the little one looked fascinated by the bottle and so happy all of a sudden. Ufff, relief at last.

But then, trying to clear baby’s stuffy nose few times a day and then administer a nasal spray on top of that can easily send your little one to a full blown crying fit. No kidding. Every time my baby saw a nasal decongester in my hands, she knew what’s coming. I tried to do the job as quick as possible, but that did little to console my baby.

When she struggled to breathe at night, it made me even more worried than I already was. The breathing difficulties and coughing meant waking up more often than usually, which meant less sleep for mama too.

Thermometer became my new BFF in the first few days of this nasty episode. I was checking my baby’s temperature at least zillion times a day. My partner was reassuring (he’s been through these things with his children from a previous relationship), as was the doctor when I called her to make an appointment for my daughter. She asked questions about her condition, after which she concluded it’s not a chest infection. With that, there would be other more serious symptoms, which my daughter didn’t have, luckily. So, no appointment was made, I was told it’s not necessary unless the symptoms got worse.

Thinking about the way medical issues are dealt with in the UK and how it’s different in Slovakia makes me wonder which way is better. In Slovakia, you would go straight to see a GP when your baby is unwell. There are no appointments like in the UK. The baby would properly be examined and prescribed some medication other than the one that’s generally used to treat cold and fever. When I called a GP in the UK, I was told to use a baby Paracetamol. Oh, the good old Paracetamol, the answer to most illnesses here in the UK.

While I agree to some extent with practices in the UK and avoiding maybe unnecessary medication, it’s still a mystery to me how they can determine a medical condition over the phone with such a certainty, and without even seeing the patient.

I also think that a gut instinct and common sense plays a big part in caring for a sick baby. My baby was slowly getting better with each day, but if her condition worsened, I would be raising my concerns.

So, you have this conflicting advice and treatment of the same conditions in two different countries on top of your feelings of concern and worry.

Seeing your baby sick is heartbreaking because there isn’t a lot you can do to help ease the pain and discomfort. All you can do is to give her lots of cuddles and kisses and hope that it will be over soon.

The first few days when she had a fever, she was very clingy and lethargic. As soon as I put her down on the floor, she started to cry. To say that I was exhausted by the end of the day is a massive understatement. In the morning it was a different story as well. While normally she wakes up, gets up and is ready to explore the world, this time she would just lie there and eventually fall back asleep for a short while. Yes, it gave me the extra half an hour or so in bed, which I so desperately needed, but I couldn’t help it but feel quite down seeing her like this. In the usual scenario, I would thank heavens for that but at that moment, I would happily swap that extra time in bed for her usual cheerful, bubbly and carefree demeanour.

Seeing her in distress makes you want to swap places with your baby. I hated seeing her so upset. I just wanted to take all the discomfort away from her and bring it on myself. And as the saying goes be careful what you wish for, my wish really did come true. As my baby was getting better, it’s now the parents who struggle with a cold.

But hey, as long as our baby is happy and healthy, parents are happy too.

What are your feelings when you have to comfort a sick child? Do you experience something similar? What is your array of emotions in this situation?


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