Teddy picked up a cold when he was seven weeks old, but other than a bit of sniffling and coughing, it was nothing major. Last week he picked up a proper virus and it was a whole new thing; cold, cough, loss of appetite and high fever and it was a new and scary experience! As is usually the case with anything traumatic or dramatic, Teddy handled it ten times better than me, but he was very poorly and it was definitely a learning experience.
I’m lucky to have a baby who sleeps and eats well; he’s not fussy, he naps for 1.5-2 hours a time (twice a day) eats like a little piglet and sleeps consistently through the night for 10-11 hours. I feel extremely lucky to have such a great baby and I do believe that a solid routine is what keeps him secure and happy; I instilled a gentle routine from as early as I could and I recommend it to all new mums if you want to hold on to your sanity! However, when Teddy fell ill, all routine went out of the window and the only focus was doing whatever I could to get him feeling well again. On the first day of his virus, his fever got progressively worse throughout the day which was really scary. It was so obvious he was unwell and he kept trying to be his usually smiley self even though he clearly felt rubbish. It was one of those experiences that really made me feel like a mother – more than anything previously – as I was consumed with a desire to make him healthy again and do whatever I could to get rid of the virus. He’s become quite an independent little dude over the past few months since he’s learned how to move himself around, but that all changed when he was poorly and he would only nap on me; his temperature was so high that the heat emanating from him was so intense and overwhelming, plus I wondered whether it was good for him to be squashed against me with my own body heat warming him even further, but in the end I just wanted to hold him and make him feel secure.
He’s never lost his appetite before, but I barely got any food in him over the space of 48 hours. I upped his formula feeds but I’d say he ate about a third of what he usually does over those two days. The third day he was back to normal and eating like a hungry horse again, so thankfully he made up for it. There’s not a lot you can do when a baby has a virus other than try and find ways to ease the fever, make them comfortable and be there for them. Obviously I took him to the doctor to confirm it wasn’t anything serious, so if you have a poorly baby then you should definitely do that. I made Teddy sleep as much as possible (wasn’t hard) and just kept supplying him with formula and water. I also gave him a couple of doses of Calpol to relieve the fever and I kept a fan near him. Lastly, I used an electronic thermometer to keep an eye on his fever constantly to make sure it was heading in the right direction. The below picture was taken 3 days after he first started showings signs of illness; as you can see, it didn’t take him long to bounce back and thankfully he quickly returned to his happy smiley self. Just thought I’d share my experience of Tedd’ys first proper illness in case you’re a new mum or haven’t experienced a baby bug yet; it’s not as scary as it sounds and in a way it’s rather wonderful as it really made me feel like I fully fledged mum!