How to Take Care of Your Baby When You’re Sick

I got sick recently. Like, really sick. I had no idea how I was going to take care of my baby when I didn’t feel well!

I felt very overwhelmed by the idea of being home alone with my baby while my husband was at work.

My husband got sick the day after Christmas.

Then my daughter got sick the next week (hello first ear infection).

I smugly thought I would escape the germs, with “good immune system” and Emergen-C.

I was wrong.

On a Friday morning I felt a little lazy and tired.

By Friday night I was sneezing and snotting and aching and feverish.

We all repeatedly tested negative for Covid, flu and strep.

It was so frustrating to get what I’m calling an “old fashioned” sickness. I think one of the hardest parts was not being so sick for so long!

My husband was so helpful that weekend. He took care of all the cooking and cleaning and child care for our 14-month-old.

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I was dreading him going back to work and having to take care of my daughter alone.

It felt like she needed so much and I was feeling so beyond sick.

Since my approach of chugging hot tea and loading up on Dayquil wasn’t exactly working, I knew I needed a plan for the week.

I wrote down a few of the things I was doing in my notes so that I could share it here once I was feeling better!

Make a List of the Things You HAVE to Do

Make a list of the things you have to do and then go through it with a red pen and par it down again. There really are so few things that are urgent and important. For me, that list looked like

  • Brushing my teeth
  • Feeding the cat
  • Feeding/changing/bathing my child
  • Eating
  • Showering

That’s it. I didn’t really need to do anything else, although it was easy to feel like I should have been doing more.

Automate Groceries

Using a service like Instacart is a great way to limit your contact with the outside world and shop from the comfort of your bed, if you can afford the extra fee! Another easy option is curbside pickup, which most retailers now offer. I ordered lots of prepared food when I was sick, so I wouldn’t have to cook. I also wouldn’t want a sick person cooking my food, even if it was my spouse.

Takeout is another easy option to limit stress so you can focus on getting better!

Sleep When the Baby Sleeps

If you’re like me, you haven’t done this in awhile. Aside from the occasional power nap, I no longer sleep when my baby is sleeping. I treasure nap time – it’s my glorified lunch break during the day where I get to work or read or do whatever I want.Well, when I was sick I passed out every moment I could. I napped every time she napped and sometimes I even napped again when my husband came home from work.

Prep Your Child’s Meals

I did this one every night when I had a little burst of energy and my husband was with the baby. I took some Post-Its and wrote down each of her snack and meal slots and decided what she was going to eat beforehand. Props to you if you’re already a person who does this!

It alleviated a lot of stress I was having about the next day.

Keep Entertainment Simple

Your kid doesn’t need to be constantly entertained by you, sick or not. Let them be bored! When I was sick, there was no park or library or adventures into the real world, and that’s okay! I wasn’t the mom I usually am or want to be when I was sick because I needed to focus on getting better. We all survived!

I spent most of the day curled up in a blanket, pillow on the nursery floor, keeping one eye peeled to make sure my daughter didn’t hurt herself. 

Ask for Help

This one should go without saying, but delegate what you can. When friends offer to drop off soup or do your shopping, let them. I know I couldn’t have anyone physically come and help because I was probably contagious, but if I could have I would have let someone in to watch my daughter for a few hours.

Go to the Doctor if You Need to

My old fashioned sickness lasted a full week, which felt like forever. I had forgotten how when you’re sick it seems like you’ll feel that way forever. I’m still sniffling ten days later and I am kicking myself for not going to the doctor and getting on antibiotics. Next time, I won’t let pride get in the way of getting better!

I think as moms we can put ourselves on the back burner and think that we don’t need or deserve help.

So, those were the things I did to successfully take care of my baby and myself while I was sick.

What do you do when you’re sick and still have to take care of your responsibilities? Do you do anything on this list?Let me know below!

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  1. I like this a lot! I also feel this so much. As a mom with little kiddos it can be really hard to care for them when you’re down and out. Thank you 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I never considered how hard it would be to take care of a little one when I was sick before I had kids!

  2. A brilliant post! Taking care of kids when you are sick is so hard – and I love the way you’ve approached it. I’m sorry you are still feeling the sniffles but glad you are feeling better!

  3. The part of where you talk about letting your daughter be bored resonated with me. I was a mom at 25 and at 45, with a 20 year old difference. It never hit me that I was very unbothered if my first three kids were bored, but with my now 10 year old little dude he thinks I part-time with Disney (as an fun time all the time). Excellent article!

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