As a mom, I’ve got all kinds of super hero powers, like my kisses can fix boo boos and I can make lunch, kick a soccer ball, talk to my mom on the phone, and nurse a baby at the same time! But even when it seems like I’m just flying through life with my super hero cape on, nothing can send me into a stress induced tizzy like my kids getting sick. Everyone is miserable, no one is sleeping, and I’m looking around wondering “Who’s next?”
I’m not a doctor, but I do watch A LOT of Grey’s Anatomy and have two kids that like to barf in my hair at 3 AM and often get sick at the most inopportune times, like on trips to Disney. So here are my parenting life hacks when your kids are sick:
Making Medicine Less Yucky
When your kiddos are sick and they need to take medicine, the last thing you want is an all-out battle to get them to take their doses. But to be fair, a lot of medicine tastes pretty awful so here’s how we hide that yucky taste and start feeling better:
- Put a few mini chocolate morsels on their tongue and when the chocolate melts, it coats their tongue so you can sneak the medicine in minus the bad taste. See chocolate really does fix everything!
- For serious negotiations, I turn to a currency my kids understand, lollipops. Dip the lollipop in the medicine and let your kid lick the medicine each time you dip. When they finish all the medicine, they get to eat the lollipop (get yourself one too -- you’ve earned it).
The Skinny on Soothing Skin
It’s not just the flu or a cold that can have your favorite patients feeling awful, but don’t worry; you’ve got a bag of tricks to fix anything when they have issues with their skin
- Itchy dry skin is no match for you! Put your little one in a lukewarm bath with a cup or two of white vinegar and skip the soap and shampoo. Cover their skin with Vaseline or coconut oil—yes coconut oil. They won’t be itchy and will smell like a yummy pina colda.
- Sunburns are so painful, but you can come to the rescue with a cool fix of freezing aloe vera in ice cube trays.
- My kids are anti-shoes in the summer which leads to a lot of splinters. So this Mamma mixes up a paste of baking soda and water to coat the splinter. Add a band-aid and let the paste sit for an hour. The splinter works itself out of the skin, you can easily pull it with tweezers, and your babe’s feet will stay pain free.
Sanity Through Exhaustion
You’re probably a little rusty when it comes to all-nighters. So do a few things to keep sane when you only have one eye open at 3AM.
- Be prepared for a night of tummy trouble by pulling out your old towels and sheets for your kid’s bed. Just like lasagna, make layers of sheets and towels. When you need to make late night clean ups, you can strip off a layer and the bed is already made and ready for the next round, sigh
- You may already suffer from Mommy-Brain AND you’re exhausted, now you have to remember the last time your kids took their medicine—not happening. Grab a marker and create a small chart on the side of their medicine bottle for doses and the number of days they need to take medicine.
- Earaches are so painful and keep everyone awake, but if you take an all white sock, add coarse sea salt and a few drops of lavender, and warm it up in the microwave or a skillet, you have a soothing heating pad to place on a painful ear. Sweet dreams!
- Hydration is key when they’re sick, but if they’re lying down or napping, you can fully expect spills on their bed and your couch—but not anymore! Grab a cup with a lid and put a crazy straw in upside down. Even if the cup falls over, it won’t spill! Hallelujah! I might do this every day!
Sweet Pain Relievers
- Got a sore throat? Try a few mini marshmallows. Why does it work? I have no idea, but it does and it’s yummy.
- Popsicles make everyone feel better so add Jell-o to homemade popsicles-it won’t melt as fast—genius-- and if you add some fruit, you get a something healthy into you’re a sick kiddo with zero appetite.
These parenting life hacks can fix a lot and get your family back to normal…..
Or as normal as your family can be.
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