sick days

roses that grow along the fence…necessary pretty on dreary sick days

You know you’re alive when you spend the night to-ing and fro-ing between breastfeeding the baby and tending to the sick pre-schooler who just wants her mummy. You also have to smile when you walk, albeit sleepily, into the children’s room come morning and see your beloved partner sound asleep in his daughter’s bed – feet hanging off the side because 6ft3 men aren’t made for single beds.

This is parenthood. And when you can see past the sleep deprivation and snotty tissues, it’s still damn beautiful.

Poet has been snotty for a good month or so now. Last July when she started preschool she succumbed to about six viruses in as many months. It’s the pre-school rite of passage, is it not? You send your beloved child off into a room with twenty other children and you have to accept the fact that she’ll come home with messy plaits, paintings and a plethora of kid germs. Alas, this is childhood and the best path to building a strong immune system.

Over summer Poet was snot-free and didn’t have so much as a snuffle. Daily ocean swims and warm, dry air will do that. But, then autumn arrived and with it came the change-of-season cold; the snuffly nose came back. Poet has a “wet” constitution; when her immune system is compromised she’ll get snotty (Che has the opposite and rarely suffers from colds…he’s more likely to get tummy viruses).┬áUnfortunately for Poet, this means that when her nose is blocked her ears are too. What we once dismissed as selective hearing is actually slight hearing loss from a blocked-up ear passage.

Next fortnight we return to the audiologist to have a hearing test and then it’s onto the ENT for a specialist opinion. I’m content with knowing that a snuffly nose is something that she will probably grow out of and I’m happy for her body to fight these little viruses on its own; she’s energetic, has a fantastic appetite and is happy – medication isn’t necessary right now. But, we need to sort out her ears and I know that ultimately the mucous is to blame. Subsequently, I’ve cut out dairy from her diet and am minimising fruit and “wet” foods to ensure that her body isn’t producing more mucous that what is necessary. I also regularly diffuse oils and rub eucalyptus balm into her feet and chest every night.

But still, in my mama heart I know that I’ll feel much better once a specialist opinion is at hand.

Are your children prone to snotty noses?
What’s your go-to method for colds and coughs?
Do you have a child with a tendency to get sore/blocked ears?

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Showing 15 comments
  • Prudence Clifford

    We are in the same boat with Masters 3 & 2 and Miss 7 months. Our eldest is prone to coughs as well as upset tummy, our middle suffers the stuffy nose and our baby had a combo of all. Since beginning playgroup and kindergym this year it seems we are sick every 2 weeks. Not fun at all but something so special about being able to calm their aches and pains with cuddles and kisses and soothe them through sleeplessness. I haven't found the magic elixr just yet so we ride it out! Hope your darling is better soon!

  • jeshiko

    My middle two both had grommets inserted at 2-3 years of age. They were great though they didn't last long enough. They both still have massive language delays so I wish it had been done sooner. Antibiotics definitely helped them though. I know another little girl who has permanent hearing loss from recurrent infections. Hope Poet can hear better soon!

  • Melissa Wilson-Shaw

    My eldest son had grommets at 2 and they didn't work so he had larger ones inserted only 6 months later. I was well aware he could have hearing issues as myself, my sister and mum all had grommets (I had them when I was 3 and again at 12). Unfortunately my son had almost full hearing loss in his right and 50% hearing loss in his left which has meant severe speech delay. We took him off milk as that is the main culprit and switched him to goat milk for hot chocolates. There is no issue with cheese and he's not a fan of yoghurt but I have reduced dairy altogether for everyone in the house. Hoping you get some answers when Poet attends the Specialist ­čÖé

  • Lucy W

    My eldest was plagued with ear infections and nasal congestion and we were so sick of the antibiotic roundabout that we sought help from an ENT specialist and he had grommets inserted at 12months. Not one ear infection or one round of antibiotics since. Next month he'll be five. Sure he still gets colds, croup and snotty from time to time but it doesn't go to his ears and diet and humidifiers do the job rather than antibiotics. I'm forever grateful to those two little tubes in his ears!

  • letmebefreeblog

    I feel like my kids always full of snot and when you work out how to get them better please let me know! I hope things get better for you,

  • Michelle

    We're going through this with my 9 year old who has ear infections all the time (still!). Her nose is also quite stuffed up even when she doesn't have a cold so she mouth breathes all the time. We've been off dairy for years (helps her eczema but doesn't seen to make a diff to her stuffy nose), and seen an osteo which was great. Because of her mouth breathing she's not breathing deeply so her neck muscles are tight and strained and don't allow the ears to drain. So that's worth looking into. We also did the scratch tests to rule out environmental allergens and nothing showed up there.
    We've finally been referred to an ENT which is great as I suspect enlarged adenoids. Fingers crossed we'll get an answer. We've managed to avoid antibiotics about half the time and the rest of the time we use probiotics and eat sauerkraut and kombucha and stuff like that for gut health.
    Good luck to you I hope you get to the bottom of it, or she grows out of it soon x

  • Vicki Doak

    We have all had colds in this house for the passed 2 months and we can't seem to get on top of them AND it's not even full on winter yet. It's really knocked our morale and energy levels so I'm hoping we can find some relief fast before our new baby arrives in a hand full of weeks.

  • Jesi

    I feel so lucky! My son has never had an icky nose (he's 4) or a bad tummy bug! The first time he's ever needed antibiotics was after a cat bite a few months back/ Don't ask what I'm doing because I have NO idea!

  • Zena

    Hi Jodi, My son was awfully sick the first Winter of Kindy with colds and croup. He had a burst ear drum at Christmas and I did not notice because I just given birth. It was picked up at the doctors and a specialist said if the ear drum didn't heal by itself in a few months that he'd need more anit-biotics and grommits. We live in the snowy mountains and in Winter children have school five days a week and ski school Sundays and Max also had soccer on Saturdays. It's too much! So I basically kept him home a lot during Winter. Anytime he had the sniffles I'd keep him home because children don't remember to blow their nose they just sniff all day! At home I could remind him to blow gently and feed him hot soup and keep him warm. I let his teacher and principal know my preventative health methods. Max is a dairy fiend but for winter I don't have it around and do lots of soup and casseroles with home stocks. Thankfully his ear drum healed so we didn't go have to go down that road. Also every winter we get Max to choose only one extra curricula activity a week. No matter your child's result, I know between you and your specialist you will have good care; conventional and complimentary care and in the end a positive outcome.

  • Saskia

    Yes, 2 out of 3 of ours get snots big time! Its always an unsightly unpleasant experience, ha. The poor things carry on like usual, occasionally Jasper will complain about his ears so I give children's Pamol and a couple of drops of warm olive oil down the troubling ear with a cotton bud ontop. Its not too often that he will complain of ear aches so I am not rushing off to the ENT. My little Pepper has had a great deal of mucous since born, infact one of her eyes was continually blocked with gunk till she was 5 months old, I would have to wipe it with breast-milk every hour! (so annoying!) it cleared on its own, but eyes/ears/throat/nose…its all related isn't it. One thing I struggle with when my kids get sick – I pick up everything they get, usually not as bad, but it surely makes this mama tired! You?

  • Sophia

    Hello Jodi, I remember my little brother having blocked ears due to colds as a child. Sometimes the only thing which would help was an onion. My mother would cut half an onion into little pieces wrapped it in a cloth and than put it on his infected ear. overnight the onion would "suck" the humidity out of the ear and he could hear again ( smelling oniony though) . I guess it`s worth a try. Another thing which I remember from this time is that allot of times he would get frustrated ( and even aggressive at times) because he couldn`t understand people and had a hard time communicating about it, this made us a really loud family as we basically started to scream so he could follow the conversation… Greets, Sophia

  • Miss-B

    I think you will feel much better once Poet has been looked at by the ENT, even if the advice is … she will grow out of it, then at least you know that you did all that you could. It's not easy though is it. I went back to work when my baby was 8 months, she's one next week. She's been in daycare since January and I think I've had to keep her home more often than not. So much money wasted on days she hasn't gone. I'm in a career where long term it's better that I'm back at work now (two days a week) but the GUILT. I am making her sick by sending her … aren't I? She's snotty at the moment. I'm hoping it isn't our new "normal". If there's any recipes or essential oils or something I'm all ears. The vicks vaporisor is working overtime!

    • Jodi

      a few things you can do to help … stop using vicks (it contains a few nasties) and instead use the eucalyptus balm mentioned above (rub it on the soles of her feet – socks over the top – at night and on her chest), minimise dairy and "wet" foods when she's unwell (excess fruit, fried foods, sugar and cold foods), cut an onion and place it beside her bed at night (helps prevent/ease coughing), chicken broth is a fantastic immune booster…if I think of anything else I'll come back and write it here x

  • raupenblau

    In Germany it is common to use 'Zwiebels├Ąckchen' on sore ears – basically what Sophia described above. The essential oils of the onion are anti-bacterial and help to fluidify the mucous. There are three ways to do it: (1) chop an onion, wrap in cotton cloth and place on the ear for 20 minutes. If you warm it a little bit it's nicer on the skin and helps to relax. (2) squeeze an onion and drop juice on a cotton ball, which is placed on the ear (20 minutes). (3) Chop two onions, divide into two cloths, warm them up a bit and place into socks – the socks go on the feet for 30 minutes. Woollen socks or a hot water bag are great for extra warmth. In my experience it works better on the ear, but some kids really loath the smell – then the socks are a good alternative. Hope your little one gets better soon!

  • Sheryl

    My son suffered from weeping eyes and cold and ear infections from the moment he was born. He did suffer from hearing loss during this time and I knew when an ear infection was brewing because his hearing became a lot worse. We had a couple of burst eardrums too which kept us awake at night.we have back and forth to the hospital fir hearing point ends etc. he turned seven last birthday and it was like somebody flicked a switch and all the infections and eye problems just stopped! Cuddles, love and warm things on ears were the things that helped. Also, we never go out on a windy cold day without a hat. It's essential! I hope she feels better soon x

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