Frequent Colds & Daycare/Preschool
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Frequent Colds & Daycare/Preschool
My daughter has been attending a daycare with a 4-5:1 ratio
of adults to children since October. The kids are 2-6 years
old and my daughter is 2. I've been happy with everything
about the daycare except for the fact that my daughter and I
have had colds and flus for the entire season (I rarely got
sick last year or the year before.) There are also some
kids who come afterschool (who I suspect bring viruses home
from OUSD.) Am I crazy to think that I might not be so sick
if there was a higher ratio of adults:children to help
enforce the handwashing and cleaning the toys at night and
keep an eye on the little ones. Or are the persistent
seasonal colds inevitable? What experience do other BPN
community members have with their children in preschool or
daycare? Would our exposure to germs be reduced if she
attended a preschool with no after school program? My
husband tells me that I'm crazy and that she'd just pick up
the germs elsewhere (YMCA, playground, Habitot.)
Becoming a germophobe
Every human being has to build an immunity system. Kids in daycare have the
(to my mind) distinct advantage of doing it early. Yes, they come down with
everything and bring all of it home, and their grown-ups catch whatever they
bring home. It is a drag. On the other hand, the kids in my daughter's preschool
and kindergarten who were home with nannies during the daycare and/or
preschool years got to go through the whole immunity-building process at a
At my daughter's daycare they kept everything scrupulously clean, washed
hands, etc. Same at her preschool. This is just something to live through.
Glad we built her immune system early
My children are now 3, 5, and 7, and have been in nanny
shares, preschools, and now OUSD. What I have observed is
two things: First, this has been a particularly difficult
cold/flu season relative to years past, with our whole
family more sick than usual - my daughter had pneumonia
over the holidays and my son is just finishing up his
third ear infection in as many months. In prior years,
they have had just one cold each, if at all. Second, I
have observed that absent a cold/flu season like we've had
this year, the frequency of colds abates over time as the
kids are exposed to germs and develop their immunities.
Since my kids started early in nanny shares (4 months
old), they started getting exposure right away. Yes,
there were colds when they started preschool, and again in
OUSD kindergarten, but I did notice that they were not as
sick as kids who were just entering ''group'' environments
for the first time in each of those scenarios. So, I
don't think having a higher ratio of teachers is going to
change this issue dramatically. I just hope that next
year is a little milder!
Mother of 3
The ratio at your child's school is very good. I think your husband is right when
he says your child could pick up germs from just about any place.
I am a mother of two older children and have worked in preschool for over 20
years. My experience is that some children are more prone than others to
getting sick the first years of school. In my opinion and from experience, it is
''better'' in a way that they get sick in the early years while in preschool than
when they are older, attending elementary school. My first child never went to
preschool therefore she was sick a lot from k through 2nd grade which affected
his education somewhat for having to miss school so much. In the other hand
my younger child was practically born in a daycare and has been hardly sick
since kindergarten. She got her immune system built up at the early age after
getting all the colds and flus she was exposed to. I's a trade off.
mother of two
My son started day care (private home, 14 kids, 3
''teachers'') when he was 6-months-old and within the first
WEEK got his first of only 2 fevers he's ever had (and he's
6 now). That first year in day care, he was sick all the
time and I got them too: the worst colds I had ever had. I
felt incredibly guilty and wondered the same thing.
But, first, it's impossible for any day care or preschool to
control germ spreading totally. They slobber and crawl
around and touch each other. It's natural.
In the long run, after that first year, the colds reduced
and by the time he got to preschool, he was rarely sick and
this year in kindergarten he has NEVER been sick.
I think the colds are good for building immunity. Just work
through it and you'll build resistance as well (I am rarely
sick as well...and I got sicker more often when i worked in
an office because the grown ups never took sick leave when
they were contagious).
I'd say just be careful and try to avoid ear infections or
bronchitis. Keep your baby home if they run a fever or are
vomiting and follow the day care rules and just work through
it and hopefully you'll emerge with you and your baby having
a killer immune system.
My kids are both rarely sick and they run around barefoot,
never really had a sterile environment. I think they're
better off. They eat sugar sometimes. Watch tv. Are very
active. I also didn't breast feed or do any of the things
that supposedly boost the immune system so if you look at me
on paper, my kid should be a developmentally delayed
diabetic kid with lots of ear infections. He's none of those
and neither is my daughter.
antibodies of steel
A higher ratio of adults won't do a thing (and that's a
pretty good ratio to start). What's their policy for kids
who come after school? Are the kids required to wash their
hands? I'd just keep asking about those policies, and if
they can't keep up on it, you might want to switch away
from what sounds like a family day care to a real
preschool, where hand washing is almost a religion. That
said, there's a good chance you're just getting used to all
the viruses out there... (did you and your baby get your
swine flu and regular flu shots?)
I hear your frustration. It's terrible being sick all the
time! Really takes a toll. This is so common. Daycares are
germ factories, there's no way around it. This is your
first year, right? It will be MUCH better next year, I
promise. You'll all have much better immunities. We were
going crazy last year with my daughter's daycare. We were
sick all the time and I was like you becoming germophobic,
prohibiting my husband from sharing food with my daughter,
wiping her hands as soon as I picked her up. All to no
avail. This year, it's night and day. We've hardly been
sick at all compared to last year. So arm yourself with
plenty of kleenex, hand sanitizer, motrin, soup and tea.
In fact, I put all our sickness supplies in a paper bag
labeled The Sick Bag. It's ready to go when anyone starts
feeling bad. No running to the store at the last minute.
Hang in there!
My daughter (now 2-1/2) and I get sick over and over. This
is the sickest year of my life. She is part of 4
populations: part-time daycare, Saturday play group,
Sunday Church daycare and weekly language class. We both
have had a slight lingering cough for several months. I
don't feel that sanitation is the issue. we cover our
coughts and wash a lot. Hope our immune systems catch up!
There seems to be this conventional wisdom that it takes 2
years to adapt to lots of people/kid exposure. We'll see.
Hang in there. Take good care of yourself!
Sick for 2 years?
The adult/child ratio that your cay care has is quite
exceptional (for kids over 2, the state mandates something
like 12 to 1), so I don't think that you are going to find a
Fact is, kids get sick. I am not sure that it is possible
to get the flu multiple times in one season -- perhaps you
are just getting lots of colds...it really depends on the
kid. My 7-year-old never gets colds (she sucks her thumb!),
but my 5-year-old gets multiple colds per season.
In my mind, colds and other stuff aren't a big deal -- it is
the cleanliness stuff (hand and foot, uti, etc) that are of
far greater concern.
My 2.5-year-old son has been in part-time preschool since
summer, and I found we've had a lot more colds during this
fall/winter season than ever before. It seems like once we all
recovered from one cough-and-cold episode, the next one
is already upon us. I've been writing it off as unavoidable
cost of having a toddler in daycare, but then friends with
kids at home also reported constant sicknesses this season.
So, perhaps it's just a bad season this year.
I do not blame our preschool because I know they do
everything right - washing hands, removing toys that got
into a child's mouth, but you really cannot stop physical
contact between kids... of course they touch their runny
noses and then friends' faces... no amount of adult
supervision can prevent that. And, since colds/flus are often
contagious for a day or two before symptoms even show
up, you have to expect virus transmission in a social setting
like preschool/daycare. On the plus side, I think my son is
building up some immunity, since he doesn't tend to come
down with anything after visiting places like Habitot.
Our daughter started at a small daycare with a similar
ratio in January '09. That first winter was awful for
everybody. Our whole family was pretty much continuously
sick with horrible colds from January through mid-April
(and my husband and I never used to get sick). I am happy
to say that this fall/winter we have all had only one or
two minor colds so it does get better. Unless you do a
nanny share with only one or two kids I think this is just
something you have to go through.
What is normal? My daughter has been going to daycare for
about 7 months (started when she was about 4 months old).
Since then, she's been sick about ten times including a
UTI, Roseola, stomach illness, and bronchitis in the last
3 months alone. Question: Is this to be expected in a
daycare setting given the winter season and that her
immune system is still developing? Of course mom and dad
are also sicker than ever before. Not sure if we should
shop around for a smaller place or whether we'd find the
same elsewhere. Transitioning is never easy...
- Sick-as-a-dog moma
My first born started daycare at 6 months and he and I were
sick nearly the entire time. He had colds constantly and so
did I--and colds that I had never experienced. He also ran
one of his three fevers in his six years of existence.
Eventually, we built up immmunity because now both of us
(and my 3 year old daughter) are rarely sick and if we get
colds, they are so minor.
Every kid is different, but the other things you describe
have me a bit concerned. Not sure if those are day care
issues or not.
But, you toss them into a big germ pool and you need to work
it out. I don't believe in being a complete freak about the
sterile stuff. Babies crawl and touch each other and even
the best day care can't prevent it. You could make sure that
they are following a good sick policy (sending babies who
have fever home, etc.) and clean the toys and floors regularly.
Good luck, but your you and your baby will be build resistance.
My guess is that you've just had a string of bad luck. My
son had six colds in his first four months of child
care--and this was at the best-practices based center at our
university. You could not ask for better care there. They
follow all the rules for handwashing, spray the
diaper-changing area with bleach solution after each use,
give the kids lots of fresh air and outdoor time even in the
winter to reduce transmission of viruses. But even they
cannot beat all germs. This fall my son had several colds
and hand-foot-and-mouth disease. It's just the way it goes.
Certainly you can ask them about their practices to prevent
spread of illness. If they don't make handwashing,
changing-station cleaning, etc. part of their regular
practices, that would be a problem. But even if they
do--your kid will still get sick. It is indeed part of
building an immune system.
Getting over a cold as I type this
The first winter in daycare is just awful, unfortunately,
but 10 episodes in 3 months seems like a little much. The
UTI is also worrisome - it might be a sign that her diaper
isn't getting changed often enough. How big is your
daycare? I have my 1-year-old in a home daycare with 5
other kids - it cuts down on the number of potentially
sick kids she's exposed to, and the kids get a lot of
attention and frequent diaper changes.
Hi there --
I know how you're feeling; my son also started daycare at
4 1/2 months and up until about age 1, I felt like he was
sick every other week. It's hard on everyone -- the baby,
of course, but also you and your partner. You get at
least half of the illnesses that he gets, sometimes you
feel a lot worse, and you can't afford any more time off,
because you already took so many sick days to care for
your child. But have faith, you're almost done with the
worst of it! For us, there was a huge drop-off in the
number of illnesses (and the severity) after around 10 -
12 months. My theory (no evidence to back this up) is
that the day care has a group of viruses that circulate
and once the kiddos get exposed to most of them, they get
a lot less sick. One thing we DO have evidence for: all
kids get these illnesses. Kids in day care get them
earlier; other kids get them in pre-school or primary
school. Some of the illnesses are worse in infants, but a
lot are actually worse in older kids. Kids who were in
daycare have less absentee-ism in primary school because
they were exposed to everything earlier. So, it's hard,
but unless you have other concerns about your daycare, I'd
urge you to stick it out, because I bet you're about to
turn a corner and it will be MUCH better!
I can only tell you that I really regret leaving my son in
a daycare where he similarly got a UTI and constant colds,
one of which developed into pneumonia. His pediatrician
told me that my son probably got the UTI because he was
left unchanged. The daycare was legendary and I felt (and
was often told) that I was so lucky to have secured a
spot, and so I kept my son long past the time when my
misgivings told me to leave. I knew that the provider
wasn't sterilizing spoons and forks each time they were
used, for example; she just washed them in the sink and
recirculated them. I tried bringing my son his own plates
and cutlery and they just disappeared into the mix.
My son had something like 14 colds that year; his
younger sibling, whom I put in a nanny share, had two. He
had to take antibiotics multiple times, including for the
UTI and the pneumonia, and I suspect that the effect of
the antibiotics on his digestive system may have had
something to do with his constipation for years
afterwards. He also had pneumonia two times more in pre-
school,which is very unusual, and I was told by a nurse
that the thing is that if you have it once, your lungs are
weaker for several years afterward. So these serious
illnesses, like your child's bronchitis, are not good.
My sister's father in law is a doctor and he would get
very upset when his grandson was given antibiotics as an
infant because he said it would compromise the immune
system for years to come. You're right to question whether
to keep your child in a situation where he is constantly
exposed to other kids' illnesses.
If you can, I would find a nanny share or babysitting
arrangement asap. A child so young doesn't really need the
social interaction with multiple kids yet. And if your
child is sick less he can attend more. When my son was
sick home again for the umpteenth time, keeping us from
going to work, my husband used to say, we're playing
roulette and the daycare is the house.
When my son was small, I was told by a nurse-practitioner that, when a child
entered daycare and was around significant numbers of other kids, the parent
should expect about 2 years of the child getting sick all the time. This was a
time when the child would catch all of the common illnesses and build the
immunity to them. It didn't matter when the kid started (i.e. this could start
as an infant in daycare, could start in preschool, could start in kindergarten),
it would still last two years, and the severity of illnesses wouldn't really
In my case, the NP was spot on. My son started a family daycare at 15
months (a small daycare, about 8 kids total). We had RSV, we had the flu, we
had hand foot and mouth twice, we had cold after cold after cold. When he
started in preschool at just over 3, he suddenly stopped getting sick so often
(more like one fever-producing illness and several barely-noticeable colds
This winter, I don't even think he's had a cold yet. Hasn't missed a day of
school due to illness (knock on wood). Last winter, he missed a total of four
days. When he gets a cold, the only way I know is he coughs a little and nose
runs. So not a big deal.
Summary: what you're going through is normal, it will probably last about
two years (i.e. two cold/flu seasons), and you might as well get it over with.
Another, smaller daycare probably won't help. It's hard while it's happening,
but it ends.
That sounds like an awful lot of illness! Of course it's
good for the immune system, but I understand - you just want
your kid to be well for a while! Makes sense. I would
recommend switching to a nanny share - the cost is probably
not much more than daycare (normally around $10/hour) and
the exposure to other kids and their germs is (obviously)
much more limited. We loved our nanny shares, and they are
very easy to find now - lots of openings and lots of
flexibility. I'm sure you can find a great one.
Or you can stick with daycare and hope that spring and
summer will bring fewer illnesses...
I would not say that is normal. My daughter started
daycare this past fall at 3 months and she has had a total
of 2 colds. That's all. She hasn't had to stay home any
days from care b/c the colds did not have an accompanying
She is in a group setting with 9 babies (her and 8 other
babies - none of them older than 18 months). I think it is
perfectly reasonable to expect babies to share germs and I
appreciate the strengthening her immune system is getting.
But I would not be happy if she came down with the list of
illnesses you describe.
I don't think you need a smaller setting, I think you need
a setting that does a better job keeping little ones from
sharing germs and enforcing sending kids home when they
are very sick.
It can work in a large setting
I think it might be unavoidable unless you're a stay-at-
home parent. My son started daycare at a very clean place
when he was eight months and he got sick the first week,
then stayed sick for months (colds, fevers, ear infections,
eye gunk etc). All the kids had runny noses constantly. My
daughter just started there and she's been sick twice in a
month. Grr. I've heard from others that it's normal.
Absolutely normal for many kids! My daughter went to an
excellent, very hygienic childcare that in retrospect was
probably too big (for her). She had some sort of respiratory
virus, literally, for a YEAR-only a few weeks the entire
time w/o a cough, ear infection or cold. It wasn't some
horrible illness as I suspected, just one thing after
another. What mystified me is that her friend in the same
center was never sick. At 2 the illnesses stopped-and she
wasn't sick again until age 6! Went a whole year in K-when
all the other kids were passing all the bugs around-& didn't
catch a thing. Between 6 & 8 she's been sick 3 times-a
regular amount. So, I guess that's just the way her immune
Much later, I read medical advice that made a lot of
sense-children under 1 should be exposed regularly in
childcare to no more than 6 kids to minimize their illness
exposure. It was hellish at the time...but it didn't last
My almost four-year-old son has been constantly sick for the
past few months, I mean really sick. I have been unhappy with
the traditional medical doctors (Kaiser) explanation of:
children get sick and they can catch a different virus after the
other. I'm just not buying this anymore. He had a cough, fever
and then developed pneumonia, which was treated with antibiotics
and inhalers. I sent him back to preschool, and then four days
later, he has another fever and cough. I've tried to eliminate
dairy from his diet, with the exception of goat milk products.
He is on the thin side, but at a normal weight.
He has missed almost two months of school, but I am more
concerned with his health. I'm looking for alternative
treatments, suggestions, altering his diet, any homeopathic
I think what you experience is fairly normal, unfortunately. ABs
help you get better in the short run but weaken the immune system
in the long. Not sure about the dairy decision, in fact during
and after a course of AB you need to take yogurt because it helps
restore the normal flora in the stomach which has been killed by
the AB. After pneumonia the immune system is normally compromised
and you catch viruses easier so you need to be watchful for your
kid. But I know how it is - daycare=lots of sick time at home. He
will get better soon.
Your message made me wonder about something at the preschool
causing the illness. Particularly the reoccurance just four
days back to school. While viruses from other kids might be an
issue I wondered also about the environment and mold in
particular. Is the preschool well ventilated? Is the heating
system properly maintained-moldy filters changed regularly? Are
other children sick there? There is a pediatrician at Kaiser
Oakland named Katrina Saba who we like and trust for
occaisional childhood mysteries if you are Kaiser members.
There is also a senior pediatrician at kaiser Walnut Creek
named Dr. Cavalier who is really good (or as good as it gets at
Kaiser). You might try keeping him out of preschool for awhile
after he is healthy and then see if he again becomes ill soon
after a return. I am thinking an airborne problem not diet
since it is respiratory. If all else fails and he is healthy at
home perhaps that is best for this remaining school year.
I'm about to give birth to an approximately 7lbs baby. My older child is going to
preschool for about two months now and truly loves it. Many told me that kids at
age bring home a lot of viruses and I should consider stopping my older child from
school for couple of months. What is your advice on this and if you were in a
position and had decided to keep your child at shcool, what measures did you take
minimize the risks. Thank you
I wouldn't worry so much about your preschooler bringing home diseases!
Just teach you child to wash his hands a lot during the day. Talk with
the preschool staff about your concerns and ask if they can help him
wash his hands a few more times a day, if possible (the preschool should
have the kids washing before snack and lunch, anyway).
Have him wash his hands as soon as he gets home from school and
frequently at home.
And, if you are breastfeeding, then you pass your antibodies on to your
infant and protect the infant in this way--which is the best thing about
Many younger siblings have survived older sibling's germs and are better
3)enjoy your kids
happy mom of almost 3
Don't keep your older child home from a school that s/he loves!
All kids get sick, all kids get exposed to germs, there's not much you
can do about it short of sealing off your doors and windows and never
leaving your house. My older son definitely brought germs home from
school, and my younger son definitely got more sick in his first year,
but what can you do? My advice is to just go with the flow and
breastfeed as much as you can. Jill
Presuming your child is born healthy (not immune compromised and not
premature) don't stop preschool because of a newborn. You need the
break from the toddler during the day, and the toddler deserves the
opportunity to be a ''big kid'' and have fun outside of the house. I
would practice good handwashing, and other than that, hope for the best.
Your toddler and baby will both get sick a few times this winter, and
they'll both have strong immune systems as a result. My son was born
last November, and got several colds, roseola, and influenza in his
first year (possibly because his sister was in preschool and possibly
not). It was fine.
mom of two
I would not take my older child out of preschool (and it did not even
occur to me several years ago when I had my kids). A new baby is going
to be a big change for your older child, and spending time at the
preschool he loves and doing ''big kid things'' will help him adjust.
Time alone with the new baby will help you and him or her relax and
adjust to each other, and become very special to you.
Baby's have been getting colds from their older siblings and others
since the dawn of time. Unless your new baby has a medical problem
affecting it's immune system, and a doctor has advised you to do this, I
wouldn't consider it.
Best of luck with the new little one!
Pulling your kid from preschool to avoid getting the baby sick really
doesn't make sense or sound feasible. You would also have to keep your
older child away from all parks where other children play, away from
play dates, etc., etc. and live in a bubble in your home. You and your
child will go bonkers.
Instead, start talking with your child now about not touching the baby's
face but that he/she can touch the baby's arms, legs, etc., about
washing their hands more often and especially before touching the baby,
All of my friends kept their preschoolers in school when the 2nd came
around. Some of the babies got sick occasionally, some didn't. Another
friend when she had her first basically didn't allow the nanny to take
the child out of the house for MONTHS, and they themselves only took her
out several times. Yet she got sicker than any other baby I know,
including a serious bout of RSV. I think it all depends on the baby. anon
I am both pediatrician and mother of young kids, and I would definitely
vote to leave the older kid in preschool.Life is full of risk-benefit
analyses,but for myself, having uninterrupted time to bond with baby,get
breastfeeding going, recover, etc, definitely trumped preschool
Also, I think my older child could have become bored and resentful
staying home, as my attention would be on baby.From pediatric
standpoint, the most important thing to protect baby from infections is
to breastfeed and maintain smoke-free environment. Baby will also arrive
with many maternal antibodies passed on transplacentally (assuming baby
is term), which will protect baby somewhat during first few months
(these gradually decline and will be replaced with antibodies baby
either makes itself and/or gets from breast milk). Of course it makes
sense to keep a young baby away from obviously sick people, and I
personally would keep one out of crowds, but I wouldn't keep baby away
from sibling as long as he/she seems healthy. Handwashing definitely
helps cut down on germ transmission, so that would be one thing you
could encourage your older child to do as much as possible.In my mind,
the most important reason to keep your healthy young infant infection-
free is not because they can't handle a minor cold, but because if a
baby under 3 months gets a high fever, the doctor will typically feel
compelled to do a rather comprehensive workup (possibly including lumbar
puncture and urine catheterization) just to make sure the fever isn't
due to some potentially deadly germ left over from the birth process or
obscure congenital defect. Almost always, fevers in young infants are in
fact due to benign viral infections, but as they don't offer many clues
at that age and the consequences of missing a more serious bacterial
infection can be great,the evaluation typically goes forward... Older
infants are easier to evaluate and the chances of such a problem
decline, so less intervention usually occurs. But let's not throw out
the baby with the bath water :)-- if your kids seem healthy and you are
breastfeeding, I would say just enjoy this special time for your family
and don't worry TOO much about germs.
Relax! Your first child has his/her place in preschool, which is perfect
when the new baby comes along. Why take your eldest away from this?
Yes, your newborn will get sick a lot, but that's the way it is. By
pulling your child away from school and his much needed friends (tough
times when a new baby comes along) your just delaying the inevitable
My 2nd child got everything my 1st son brought home from school. It's
natural, it's building immunity and that's just the way it is. Now at 4
years old, my 2nd one hardly gets sick anymore (he's had it all)!
For your sanity do not take your 1st out of pre-school, it will give you
much needed time with the baby to have one at school.
My 1st child was SO happy to go to school and escape(if only for a few
hours) his crying brother!
My son began going to daycare in June 2 days a week, then we
bumped him up to full time in August. Since August, he has had a
constant runny nose, on and off cough and progressively worse
respiratory illnesses. Just this week, his doc recommended we
begin using a nebulizer- even though he's not been diagnosed as
having athsma! Consequesntly, I have been getting sick often, as
well. Our family has never been illness prone, as we've always
tried to be very preventative. Now our old preventative ways
aren't doing any good. Does anyone have advice on a good kids'
wellness formula or other preventative stuff? Will this crazy
cycle of getting sick subside soon???
When my daughter first started daycare, she was constantly sick. For the
first several months, my entire household had one cold and ear infection
after another. Now that she's been in daycare for awhile, she is NEVER
sick. She hasn't been sick at all this year, even tho I have had several
colds. She now has an immune system of steal.
My kids had the same problem. They were simply allergic to the dust
mites. Nebulaizer is a temporarily solution and condition will worsen if
it is an allergy and your son constantly exposed to it. You can ask
doctor to give referral to allergist.I asked my doctor to perform blood
test on 127 allergens by groups.
They took about 3 or 4 big vials which is a lot by baby standards but it
worth doing. Allergists don't like to do it because it is cheap and
accurate. They prefer torture children by exposing them to each allergen
one at a time, (more visits, more money) and after first 3 or 4 tests
next one is always positive even if your child doesn't have any allergy.
It happens because immune system is tired of fighting. If you do the
blood test, in a few days you will have a complete list of foods,
chemicals, pets your child allergic to.
My daughter is 13 now and she is still can not spend more than
2 hours in a dirty carpeted area without asthma attack. We removed
carpets long time ago in our house and replaced heating system. Some
time air ducts which carrying air from under the house also carrying
mold spores which can be deadly in some cases. But I would think it is
unlikely during the summer.
Check your child care for carpets and heating system. If you are
unsatisfied with the house condition you can consider my house, clean
environmentally for your child. My house has radiant heat which reduces
dust and allergens for sensitive kids.
This happened to us when we put our son in day care when he was six
both he and i suffered constant colds and stomach viruses (the latter I
NEVER got before). We also were urged to use a nebulizer or an inhaler
for him. After that first year, we have been sick rarely so I say just
tough it out and you'll build up your resistance. Follow the rules for a
sick kid (fever, vomiting--keep him home until he's clear for 24 hours)
and even err on the side of caution. Go get him if he's not feelign well
and needs a parent for comfort. I think all that helps. I will add that
we have never gotten flu shots, nor did either of us get the flu. We
just got plain old colds and plain old stomach viruses anon
Yes, this madness will end, but not for a while. You didn't say how old
your child is but the bottom line is that he is going to be sick a lot
for the first several months. And then you'll have the winter/New Year
holidays off and he'll get all better again, and then he'll come down
with a raging fever the first week back in school. I know it's such a
pain - I went through this with 3 kids. Even now that they're in
elementary school they still get sick on and off for the first couple of
months when they go back in the fall
- Nurse Mommy
Our 16 month old boy Alex recently had two very scary febrile
seizures due to high fever caused by ear infection. The
pediatrician told us that the ear infection was caused by stuffy
nose which is a direct result of common cold and we should try
to minimize Alex's exposure to common cold virus.
Alex has been with a large day care center with over 40 children
in the past 3 months. Before he was at home with grandparents
and never had any medical problems. We have noticed that there
are always 1 or 2 kids absent from sign-in sheet in Alex's class
(with 8 kids) in the past 3 weeks or so, most likely due to the
similar common cold. So we are really wondering if we should
switch to a smaller family-based daycare with fewer children. It
seems intuitive that this should reduce Alex's chances of
getting another cold.
Could someone please comment on this and make some suggestions
on selection of daycare? Thanks a lot!
Really scared parents.
We have our daughter at a 4-child home daycare. She has had a cold and
two minor ear infections (not bad enough for antibiotics) since she
started six weeks ago. The children, 6, 7, 9, and 16 months, all share
toys and breathe on each other. Her MD seems to think that a moderate
amount of sickness is unavoidable at daycare, especially at this time of
year, but that it hopefully will clear up in April. Apparently, when
they first go to daycare, they get *everything*. She explained to us
that it's either get sick now or get sick in kindergarden... So we kept
our daughter in her school. You might have to consider a nanny if you
don't want the baby to get germs... Or have a conversation with the care
provider, and make sure that they're washing toys every day, keeping
children from sharing pacifiers, etc. Good luck!
My first thought is, don't change day care if you and your child are
happy there. Germs are everywhere and your child will continue to get
ill in a smaller day care too. The fear of another siezure is strong
and I can only speak from my one personal experience with a child who
siezured at the day care where I worked - He was about 1 year or so and
after that one occurance - it never happened again. It was a big
daycare, he continued to get colds as they came through the program.
One thing you might hear is that even if you ''protect'' your child from
illness in preschool, it will rear it's ugly head once they start
elementary school and some parents think it is harder to cope then than
when the children are younger. Your call, but you won't escape it
Daycare provider for 20+ years
Our daughter (now 8) attended a daycare that had about 12 or 15 kids,
and she still got plenty of colds and ear infections. We never had the
scary febrile seizure experience you have had, but for a while she was
ill almost constantly. I think it may reduce exposure a little if you
switched to a smaller daycare, but probably not enough.
What I would recommend is chiropractic. We mentioned to our chiropractor
that our (still infant) daughter got lots of ear infections, and he
suggested that the next time she was congested or runny we bring her in
right away. We did, and he adjusted her neck, allowing the fluids to
drain rather than pool. No ear infection. In fact, since then she has
had exactly one ear infection and one sinus infection - both times, we
neglected to bring her to the chiropractor at the first sign of
congestion. (With the ear infection, the chiropractic adjustment cleared
up the infection without antibiotics).
I know the idea of adjusting a baby is scary, especially if you don't go
to a chiropractor yourself. But I can tell you that in our daughter's
case, it was and is the only thing that has worked consistently.
When my older son transitioned to preschool from a home based day care
he suddenly started getting many colds. At one of the urgent care visits
to check for an ear infection our pediatrician said that it was common
once you put a kid into a care situation with more than four kids. But I
can also tell you that after the first winter my kids stopped catching
every cold that ran through day care and now in first grade my son has
only missed school once despite the huge number of illnesses that seem
to spread through the class. I remember a few years ago there was some
news story about how kids in childcare catch more colds when young, but
fewer absences in grade school.
I'm surprised your child's ped. told you to minimize his exposure to the
common cold. Yeah right, like that is possible!
It really won't matter if you move your child from a large daycare to a
small one, colds still make the rounds. There is no way you can avoid
your child getting sick. And it's actually GOOD for your child to build
immunity when they are young.
As for the fibrile seizures, you can try to avoid those. Our child had 2
that we know of. One was so severe we had to call the ambulance. From
then on, we were hyper vigilant about fevers. We made sure to give him
advil consistenly as well as liquids to avoid his fever spiking and
setting off another seizure. If he got too hot, we quickly put him in a
luke warm bath to bring his body temp down. All worked well and he never
had another seizure
So relax about the getting sick thing - that is inevitable.
Concentrate on keeping the fever down instead.
My daughter was in a large daycare like yours from 4 months of age on.
She was CONSTANTLY sick (colds, ear infections, bronchiolitis, etc.) for
about a year-she caught absolutely everything, but we loved the daycare
and at the time I didn't make the connection between its size and the
number of times she caught something. Later I read (can't remember
where) advice suggesting that children under 1 yr. should ideally not be
in care with more than 5 other children in order to minimize the number
of ''bugs'' they're exposed to. On a positive note, my daughter is 3 1/2
and has had no actual illnesses (just a couple of colds that didn't make
her ''sick'') since age 2! I guess her immune system was strengthened
early. You might want to find a smaller care environment that also had
fairly strict policies on children not attending care while sick.
any suggestions for preventing or alleviating colds in my 8 month old son? like,
things i could eat, herbs i could take (i'm breastfeeding), things we could do? he IS
in group childcare but he just started and had lots of colds before this. we did do
the flu shot. There is no indication that he is more succeptible than any other kid,
just seems like a year with lots of bad colds.
It makes me so sad to frequently hear of infants/children getting repeatedly sick after getting their shots.
Best thing you can do at this point is make sure to eat lots of yogurt or kefir, balanced, healthy meals, get plenty of sleep, reduce your stress, and try to maintain a stable, consistent schedule. Also, at your child's age, he can take yogurt or kefir directly, in small quantities (I can't remember if it's 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup per day), to allow the good bacteria to colonize his gut, and fight the bad bacteria.
We put our son in daycare when he was 6 months old. He's now 23 months. Within one week of being in day care, he got sick and proceeded to get a cold and/or ear infection until he was about 16 months old or so. It was pretty horrible and I felt guilty because I blamed it on daycare and being exposed to more germs. However, summer came and he's had only two colds since then (he actually has a cold now). I read on the Berkeley parents a while back that getting sick seems to come and go so you'll go through times when he's never sick and times when he gets sick a lot in a season.
We opted out of the flu shot, tho I debated it. But, so far, he hasn't gotten the flu and it seems like this year's flu season turned out to be pretty minor. I personally have never been diagosed with the flu. I always think I have it but it turns out i just have a bad cold. Many people think the flu is a cold, but it's not.
Anyway, good luck. We treat the colds by giving him the pediacare multi symptom night stuff but try and not give him drugs during the day unless he's really stuffed up. Give them plenty of liquids. All that stuff. Colds happen, I'm afraid.
Wash your and your little ones hands anytime you get a chance and antibacterial soapless wash (like purell). You will be amazed how much it will help cut down on the colds!
I'm in the same boat w/my 6 month old, though he's not in daycare. I'm trying to take comfort in the rumor that if we all suffer now, when he's older he'll have greater resistance to the bug of the moment. Also, this just seems to be a particularly nasty cold season. He and his 2 1/2 year old brother (and their parents!) have had one cold after another for weeks now w/coughs that linger. We feel your pain!
I think that if your baby is 8 mos. old, you no longer transmit antibodies through breast milk, unfortunately ... Since you already opted for a flu shot, I'm not sure what you can do at this age, other than cutting down on daycare.(Which, for most, is probably not an option!)
If it's any consolation, I have a 27-month-old who had a terrible time in the 2004-2005 cold season, but is not getting sick much at all this winter. So, sometimes you really can
just have a bad year.
At least in my experience, certain people just seem more susceptible to colds, no matter what they do. My brother's kids are a good example: the 5-year-old gets sick maybe once a year, while the 3-year-old is otherwise healthy, but still manages to catch 6-7 colds a year, no matter how his parents clean the house, force him to wash his hands, take vitamins, etc.
Here's hoping you have a healthier spring!
E in Oakland
I don't know what stage of foods your feeding him so I can't tell you what to give him other than rest and liquids. As for yourself and bf-ing, it might help to increase your nutrients:
vitamin c, green tea, green veggies, ginger, and garlic; less sugar and junk food. Wash your hands frequently and his too.
We just got through a harsh cold in our family and the above foods really helped us.
Ever since I put my toddler in daycare 9 months ago, my
toddler and her infant sibling (who stays home) have been
sick 100% of the time, and their father and I have been sick
very frequently. My child's daycare center is a large home-
based one (~12-14 children) in which the caregivers kiss
each child on the lips several times a day. I know that
children generally get sick a lot in their first year of group
care, but after this grueling time period during which I
looked after my sick children while being sick myself *
without let-up* , I began to wonder if all that kissing on the
lips is contributing to the spreading of germs. My poor infant
has never known a day in his life when he hasn't been
coughing and congested, often severely so. Common
sense tells me that kissing on the lips is not a good
hygienic practice in a group setting. On the other hand,
would my children be just as sick without the kissing, with
one being in any group care setting? I feel somewhat
hesitant about asking the two caregivers not to kiss my
toddler on the lips, as I believe it's culturally motivated (At the
risk of sounding horribly politically incorrect, the two
caregivers are of a middle-Eastern culture in which I think a
lot more kissing goes on in social settings than in the U.S.),
and it's of course an expression of their love for my child.
Also, how would my child feel when she sees that she's the
only one not being kissed on the lips? But even on an
experimental basis, I'm ready to try anything to end this
misery of non-stop illness. What do you think?
Hi, We ran into the same thing even though there was not a lot
of kissing on the lips at my son's daycare. Unfortunately, I
think this is part of the experience for the first few years of
life. Children need to build their immune systems, and are not
able to ward off infection very well. For about a year and half
my son was sick, on average, every month. We had colds, and lots
of the stomach flu stuff. And of course my husband and I were
exhusted and normally had the joy of sharing each illness with
our son. He is older now, and fortunately is not sick nearly as
much. We just had to suffer through that year and a half of
hell. Basically I think if you are happy with the care your son
is receiving, I would just stick out the sickness. Changing
daycars might not improve the situation at all. I hope it ends
for you soon! I know how frustrating it can be to have everyone
sick all the time. Good luck.
Probably your child would be sick anyway. Watch what the kids
do: they all put toys in their mouths, and where my child is,
they wash the toys every day, but you still can't stop
everything. Plus one kid will have a runny nose, sneezing,
wiping hands all over everything, pick up toys, kiss other
kids... That said, I'd still would talk to the providers,
because kissing on the lips probably does facilitate transfer of
germs & viruses. I personally don't think it's appropriate. one
thing I WISH my daycare providers would do is wash hands BEFORE
eating as well as after. They say they do, but I've seen that
they don't. What can you do? You mgiht also check out how clean
things are generally, and whether they allow sick kids to stay.
If you're happy with everything as is, then don't worry about
it. But if you're not, try nicely to request that they change
(e.g., ''I love that you're affectionate with my baby, but the
poor thing has been so sick, and we've been so sick, I'd really
like to do everything possible to reduce it. Can you avoid
kissing him on the lips for now? And maybe wash his hands
before he eats?....'' etc.)
Well, kissing on the lips is a little weird, but my guess is the
bulk of the germ sharing comes from snotty noses and
sneezes getting on the toys, which are then transfered to
your child's mouth. I would suggest that your daycare
provider wash down the toys everyday with a bleach solution
to clean them, and wash hands frequently throughout the
day, especially before eating anything (and no sharing of
food between the children). This is really the only way to
slow the spread of germs. Even if the kissing stops, the
germs will still be on the toys and such, right? Also, it is
sometimes hard for daycare providers to keep strict
guidelines as to when a child is allowed to come and when
they are not in terms of illness. Make sure your daycare
provider has an illness policy that everyone respects and
adheres to! Finally, no matter how clean a place is, it is
pretty common for children to get sick a lot when they enter
daycare situations. The bright side is maybe your child
won't get sick at all in kindergarten! Our children were sick a
lot in preschool, but extremely healthy by the time they went
Been there, too!
from what i've read about bacteria in the mouth, i would
definitely think little kids should not be kissed on the mouth
or share spoons, etc. however, this may in the long run help
them to build up an amazing immune system? i would gently ask
the caregiver to kiss on both cheeks.
You asked whether you and your family might be sick less if your
child'd daycare prividers didn't kiss the kids on the lips. My
guess is: Nope! When my child was in a daycare licensed for 14
for a year, she and I were sick all the time; the place was
pretty clean and there was no kissing on the lips. Now she's 3,
and we switched to a preschool in April. She got one little cold
right after she started, but except for that, we've been
cold-free for, gosh, 6-8 weeks! It's a preschool with an
after-school care program so it's just older kids, with the
exception of two kids under age 2 (the providers' children). I
really suspect it's just a matter of her being a little older and
hanging out with older kids rather than younger ones. I know it's
frustrating, depressing, heck, it's maddening, to always be sick.
I still brace myself for a snotty mess every time my daughter
sneezes, but it just hasn't been happening. I really think, cross
fingers and knock on wood, that we may be past that now. Hang in
there! Here's a link in the archives that you may find strangely
comforting -- I did. It's a long, long string of messages - you
are not alone:
--boy have we been there
My 14-month old daughter started daycare about a month ago and
ever since she's been sick. She's been coughing and having a
runny nose. Just last week she had a temp. of almost 104. I've
taken her to the doctor's about 4-5 times this month just to
make sure her lungs and ears are ok. Anyway, she hasn't
finished a full week yet (5 days). It seems like over the
weekend when she's home with me, she'll recover a little bit and
feel better (cough less and nose less runny) and when I take her
in Monday, by Tuesday morning it starts all over again.
I'm wondering if anyone out there has gone through this and if
you'd have any advice for me. For the month of July, I'm going
to try just bringing her 3 days a week to see if she'll do
better. Many people have told me that it builds their immunity
and if kids don't get sick now in daycare they will get sick
when they go to pre-school or kindergarten, but I just feel like
it's making her so unhealthy. What should I do??
I would advise you to read this months issue of ''MOTHERING
MAGAZINE'' (find it at picadelly circus on university, and
probably wholefoods and berkeley bowl, or at
http//motheringmag.org ) It has an article writen especially
about this issue and should answer ALL of your questions and
concerns with expert advice.
I noticed at the daycare my daughter was in for a few months
(she ended up not being ready to continue) was that they washed
the children's hands before they ate meals, but not AFTER. That
always struck me as odd since the children had just put their
hands all over their mouths and then they went out to play with
toys and on the structures. Had I continued taking my daughter
to the daycare I would have suggested that they be as consistant
with washing hands before and after meals. You may want to find
out what your child's school practices.
Just a hunch, but any possibility there is something in the
daycare setting that your baby is allergic to?
I feel your pain. This sounds like exactly what's happening at
our house. We started part time day care in early May and there
were a series of small colds with about 1 - 2 days between them.
My son is now in care full time and he seems a bit healthier,
actually. I really think it's a matter of waiting for their
immune systems to catch up. My advice is to give lots of fluids,
us a vaporizer, have plenty of time for the morning routine when
they're feeling poorly, and take yin chiao (adults only) so you
yourself don't get sick. I'll be curious if there's anything more
Mama of another sick one
My kids were very very sick in child care for their first
year. We were in and out of the Dr. office all the time. It's
just the way it goes I'm afraid. However, I have to say that
my kids were always in a good mood despite the constant runny
noses and coughs. If your child is miserable then you might
want to reduce the amount of time she spends at school or give
her a week off to recover her defenses.
I just read an intersting article in the July/August edition of
Mothering Magazine about childhood illness and how it is a
natural part of growing up. It focused on illness as a
necessary part of childhood and one that should not be
routinely suppressed with medications because that supresses
the body's own natural methods for healing itself which can
lead to chronic adult illness. It said that childhood
illnesses peak around age 6 and then taper off after age 7. It
made me feel a bit better about the non-stop colds that my
twins have been having since they started pre-school because it
explained that all the runny noses, coughs, diarreah etc...
they have been having means that their bodies are actually
strong enough to fight off all these illnesses and are
naturally ridding themselves of toxins. It explained that
there is still a time and a place for more drastic action- such
as when your child just appears to be getting worse and worse
and NOT able to fight of the illness, but I will definatlely
look at their next bought of colds differently and not run to
the medicine cabinet so quickly.
This past winter and spring, one of my daughters was sick almost
constantly. Even the preschool teachers became concerned. But
nearly every bug she had, I heard of other children experiencing
the same symptons (strep, or a high-fever bug, or the croupy
cough bug...)And this was her 2nd year of preschool, not her
first. Another preschool mom went back to having her son take
naps and found that improved his apparent immunity. I decided
that maybe I was sending my daughter back to school too soon and
so began keeping her home an extra day (altho she was only in
school 2 days a week!). I also asked that the school wipe down
their toys during their spring cleaning week in June (why else
would we all be getting the same things?) Maybe it's the summer
weather, but we've been healthy for 3 weeks now and counting.
Except I just had the flu...
In my children's preschool they showed me an article about
preventing the spread of illness by increased hand washing,
enforced for both teachers and children. They instituted a
policy of frequent handwashing (many times per day) and did
reduce markedly the number of sicknesses that got passed around.
I would love to hear from other parents who have had a young
baby who got sick very often. My baby is just five months. We
brought him to the ER last night and doc said he has Croup.
About a month and a half ago he was admitted through the ER with
RSV. In between these illnesses, and before the RSV, he has had
several colds. I have talked to moms with babies the same age
who have not even gotten one cold yet! My baby goes to daycare
fulltime and started at 2 1/2 months. Could this be the
reason? Are there other reasons? Is it just bad luck??? I
feel discouraged and very stressed out about all these
illnesses! I worry so much about him.
My now 15 mo. old is always sick it seems with a cold. She is a
second child, and her big sister is in preschool. It started at
the tender age of 4 weeks or so, and she was constantly with a
cold the first four or so months of her life (she was born on the
first day of winter!). I too sometimes think something is ''wrong
with her''. But it is never anything more than a cold or virus (if
she was immune compromised, it would be alot worse things she'd
be getting), and it IS starting to lessen. Its the scourge of
the second child. Since yours is a first child, I'm sure its the
daycare (my firstborn was with a nanny until two, then once she
went in daycare she was sick for months!). I too get lots of
colds, and there is the possibility that she is just more
suspecptible. But I know she is fine and that it will lessen. By
the time she's four, she'll rarely get sick I'll wager!
Your guess that the reason your baby gets sick so much is because he
goes to daycare is probably right. It depends somewhat on how careful
the staff of the daycare is, but even at the best places, it's pretty much
impossible to wash and sanitize every surface all the time. If one of the
kids in the daycare, or even one of their family members, gets sick, it's
pretty likely that most of the kids there will have it eventually.
I read somewhere that whenever your child starts interacting with a
number of other kids, whether it's daycare, preschool, or kindergarten,
he will probably spend at least the next two years getting sick all the
time, until he's caught and built an immunity to most of the common stuff
-- after that, I hear it tapers off (we're not there yet...).
On the plus side, there is at least a tiny bit of benefit for all of this
sickness. As long as it's nothing terribly serious, having colds and such
may actually benefit the immune system. For example, kids who've had
at least one cold before their first birthday are less likely to develop
I have to say, this has been a bad year for illnesses. My kid's
preschool has been hit very hard (some days 1/3 of the class is
home sick), and we've been sick with some type of cold all winter
long. It happens. However, when my son was a baby, we lived in a
horrible basement apartment that flooded and was never properly
cleaned. Hence, we had a HUGE mold problem. Both my son and my
husband battled colds for months until finally my husband was
hospitalized with pneumonia. We moved out immediately and VOILA
the illnesses stopped. Do you live in the Village? I know that
they have had mold problems in the past. Even if you don't, you
might want to get your home checked out. Good luck.
My daughter has been in daycare since she was three
months old, and although she hasn't had croup or rsv (as
far as I can tell -- supposedly most kids are exposed to it by
age 2) she has had back-to-back colds often, some
resulting in breathing emergencies (for which we keep
albuterol on hand). She had six ear infections in the first 1
and a half of her life (probably due to a tube defect in her
right ear). Kids in daycare do get sick a lot. I missed a lot of
work the first year, and had many scares (high fevers,
breathing issues, dehydration...) Now she's two and her
health seems more robust.They say they get less sick as
they get older and are exposed to more bugs.
At one point my doctor said that if she got one more ear
infection, it might be time to take her out of daycare. (So you
may want to ask your provider what he or she thinks)
Thankfully, we didn't get to that point. I think any time your
kids are going to be around other kids, the chance to pick up
a bug is there. I have seen colds and flu go around our
mother's group, too. Or around the nieces and nephews in
What is your daycare's policy? It should be 24-hours fever,
diarrhea and vomit free. Wash your hands(and your child's
hands) before you leave daycare.
Best of luck. You are not alone!
My younger son (now almost 8 ) got sick a lot as a baby.
He would start getting sniffles and it would progress into a
cold and cough...croupy, then dry cough till it got more
productive and it would almost get totally better and then it
would start all over again.
This went on for about a year or so..we tried homoeopathy,
antibiotics, acupuncture. Nothing seemed to change anything
untill I took him off of dairy. Voila!!! He got better
I'm not saying your child has a dairy allergy, but dairy is one
of the most likely allergies in kids (wheat also).
We use goats milk in our house which he's not sensitive to so it
was a matter of getting him off of cheese, switching to non
dairy desserts, etc. The difference was quite amazing.
Now he can eat dairy sometimes without any problem but if he
eats it all the time he's in trouble.
If you are big on milk you might try goat's milk. Meyenberg is a
brand that doesn't taste too ''goaty'' as opposed to the raw goat
milks. We're so used to it that cows milk tastes wierd to me and
my kids now.
I was also told by the pediatrician that sometimes kids get a
virus that stays in the body and if they have a weak immune
system the virus does it's thing more often, so strengthening
the immune system would be something you could look at.
Good luck. I know it's frustrating...been there.
What I found helps quite a bit with curbing illnesses with my
infants and children is to wipe their hands off before eating and
when I pick them up from childcare. People always like to hold
the hands of young infants, so when folks would come up, I would
poke my fingers into my baby's hands so his hands were not readily
available to them. I would tell children to gently pat his head
or hold his foot. You might check on the cleanliness of the toys
at the childcare. I remember reading here about having hard toys
wiped down daily and rotating the stuffed animals so they had a
day or two to let the slobber dry and the bacteria to die. I found
that focussing on these things without obsessesing over them helps
keep my children much healthier.
I feel like I could write a book (but I'll try to be concise)! I
can completely empathize with you - our baby was (is) the same
way. She is also in daycare, started at 4 months (is now 17
mo.s), and there is no question that daycare is a primary factor.
She had croup twice last year (ER visit required the first time),
along with countless colds and infections, and in the ER with RSV
this past January. Since she started daycare she's had a near
constant rotation of respiratiry infections, and we have to
nebulize her daily. We got a little break from the nebulizing
from August through October, when the cold viruses seemed to be
on vacation, but started up again with her first cold in
November, kept it up all winter and are still at it. I'm alarmed
at how many times this child has been given antibiotics (ear
infections, secondary respiratory infections) in her short life
so far! Our doctor told us point blank that if we don't want her
to be sick so often, keep her out of daycare,and if that wasn't
an option for us, then try to find a daycare situation where it's
always the same kids every day (this is supposed to help a
little). Our only option was my company's daycare. But after
January we finally decided to bite the bullet, and now keep her
home with a nanny 2 days a week, at great financial strain. So
even though she still has 3 days to be exposed to all the germs
at school, at least for 2 more days a week she gets no exposure,
and good long naps (which never happens at daycare, and which I
believe lowers her resistance). It seems to have helped. It also
helps that she's just getting older and stronger, and hopefully
Hang in there, your baby will get stronger. But in the meantime,
I highly recommend using that Purell alcohol-type stuff (on his
hands as well as yours, if your doc says it's ok), and making
sure that all the daycare staff are using it religiously, that
they monitor the children's toys and remove toys from rotation
that have been chewed on, that they are vigilant about
nose-wiping and strict about parents not bringing in kids with
green runny noses. This might make you feel like one of those
annoying new parents, like I fear I was (I think I was secretly
called the Nose Nazi!), but this is your child! You have every
right to be vigilant! You are the one who has to spend countless
nights awake and terrified by your baby's raspy labored breathing
or choking coughs that make him throw up! (Well I don't know if
that's happened to you but it has us, on several occasions!)
At home, we keep her room EXTRA clean, we bought a good quality
air purifier, we keep the cat OUT and put an extra filter in the
heat duct - can't say for sure this helps but it seems to, and it
sure can't hurt. We also put a (very firm) pillow in her crib
so she can sleep at an incline, which definitely helps.
And finally, do whatever you can to ensure that he gets good,
long naps. Sleep is crucial and healing and helps resistance.
If naps are a problem at daycare, maybe you can visit at lunch to
hold him for a nap...
Sorry this is so long, but your situation is soooo familiar to
me I couldn't help myself! Best of luck!
Been there, still there
I really sympathize with your situation. My advice is to hang
in there because there's a good chance the streak of illnesses
will end shortly when the weather warms up, and next winter will
be better. My daughter was in daycare full time from age five
months and was sick seemingly constantly during her first
winter -- chicken pox (which she did not get at daycare), croup,
ear infections (about a dozen -- then we got the ear tubes, but
that's another story), eye infections, allergic reaction to
penicillin used to treat the ear infections -- you name it. We
were at the doctor every week from about October through March
(thank goodness for Kaiser). It was really hard to see her sick
so much, and we missed a huge amount of work because she could
not go to daycare. Then the weather warmed up and she was fine
for several months. Her second winter was easier. This winter,
her third, she has only missed about three days of preschool due
It may or may not be daycare. They certainly are exposed to a
lot of illnesses when they're with other kids. During my
daughter's first winter, many people, including her
pediatrician, told us that kids just get sick a lot when they're
first in a group setting, whether that's infant care or
kindergarten or sometime in between, so if she was missing a lot
of infant care she'd be healthy when she started kindergarten.
That was cold comfort when we had a sick little baby, but I am
starting to feel that we did get it over with. On the other
hand, my niece started full-time daycare at three months, and
she's practically never been sick, and has never had an ear
infection, which were the bane of my daughter's infancy, so
perhaps it depends on the kid's constitution whether she ever
goes through this at any age. Good luck -- spring is coming!
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