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Posts Tagged ‘illness’

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Well, it happened. We recently experienced the oh-so-special rite of passage known as Baby’s First Stomach Flu. Don’t worry, I’ll spare you the gory details except to say I was amazed to find that it’s true: You don’t get grossed out by your own kid’s messes.

About 36 hours into it, the kiddo was lying completely still on a blanket at 9 a.m., which completely freaked me out, because oh my God he’s listless! That’s one of the Seven Warning Signs of Dehydration! So we hauled our sad little Boo to the doctor and were relieved to learn that he was not dehydrated, but that we should take steps to ensure that he not become dehydrated, as this would land him in the hospital.

To my surprise, the pediatrician recommended not just Pedialyte (which: gross), but anything we could get him to drink besides milk and water. White soda. Gatorade. Juice. So on our way home, we picked up all of those things.

At home, we put every option in little medicine cups, plied him with promises of videos, wheedled and cajoled him until we were worn out, but he would barely try any of it. A few hours later, a possible reason for this rejection of sweet drinks occurred to me.

He’s never had juice.

Not even a sip.

This is the Right Thing To Do now, to give your kid no juice, or diluted juice. So that’s what we did. No juice for the Boo. And that’s how we ended up with a sick little boy who would only drink the two things the doctor said to avoid.

He got better anyway, and I let him occasionally dip his finger in salt and lick it off, and let him have potato sticks (for the salt and the potassium) between bites of banana.

But you can bet your boots I’m going to get him used to drinking juice as soon as I can.

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A week ago, we hit the vaunted milestone of Baby’s First Ear Infection, and thus we have had our first experience with antibiotics. Things were going pretty well — he was sleeping better and he was eating less, but still eating — until Tuesday afternoon.

Baboo was struggling to go to sleep for his second nap, so I checked his diaper and found not only a number two but the nastiest diaper rash I’ve seen on him so far. I wouldn’t even call it a rash so much as the baby skin version of slash and burn. He shuddered with pain when I touched it even lightly, and he cried for a while after I was finished cleaning him up. And when I say he cried I mean he wailed like his heart was breaking. Which also means I was crying as I was cleaning him up, and apologizing the whole time.

I brought him downstairs for some distraction and called his doctor’s office to ask what might be done. The nurse, who was very sympathetic and helpful, was not surprised in the slightest. She gave me instructions on how to help him: use only wet washcloths to wipe him; daily baths with baking soda; probiotics; no fruit besides bananas and apples; as much yogurt, white bread and rice as he’ll eat; and my personal favorite, let him run round naked.

Her advice was reassuring, but her level of “of course” got me thinking: Why hadn’t the doctor, or the nurse, or the pharmacist, said anything about the likelihood of this medicine turning my baby’s poo into acid? Sure would have been nice. The only person who had warned me about this was my cousin, so I’d been on the alert and doing quick changes as soon as I detected poo, but the load that burned his bum was only in there for about 20 minutes.

Yes, having been on antibiotics I should perhaps have realized that what happened to me on them would likely happen to him, but I was strung out from a few days and nights of dealing with a very unhappy baby. That is to say, thinking logically was not in my wheelhouse. Getting his prescription filled ASAP and getting him home to bed were my prime directives.

So I suppose my aim here is twofold:

1. Medical professionals, please pass along information like this.

2. Parents, the first time you put your kid on antibiotics, make sure you pick up probiotics (my doc recommended Culturelle) at the pharmacy. And use lots and lots and lots of Desitin. And prepare to entertain your kid on the changing table while you let his nether regions air out. Might be a separate post about that soon…

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