When Your Little One Has Been Sick for a Long Time

Winter can be tough for babies. Not only are the days long and cold but, because of their brand new immune systems, babies often wind up sick at least a few times throughout the winter months.  

While a cough that comes and goes, a little croup, and a runny nose that seems to have been present since October can be pretty normal, sometimes a baby gets sick at the beginning of the winter and just can’t seem to get better. If your little one has been sick, draggy, and just not themselves for a long time, longer than you feel they should be, check out the tips below for how to deal.

long time
Image via Unsplash/ Jens Johnsson

{ MORE: When Your Whole Family Has a Stomach Bug: How to Deal When Everyone’s Under the Weather }

Take notes

While you know that it feels like it’s been forever since your little one got that cough, knowing the specifics is really helpful for doctors. Take notes on when a new symptom starts, how long it lasts, if it gets better or worse throughout the day, and if it seems to be associated with any specific activities, places or foods. Keeping a simple daily journal about how your little one is doing can make it easier to tell your doctor the specifics of what’s been going on.

Figure out what’s normal and what’s not

As a parent, it’s hard to see your baby in any sort of pain. Sometimes though, as hard as it is to see your baby suffer, something they’re experiencing can be pretty normal. Check in with your child’s pediatrician by phone if you’re wondering if the symptoms your babe is experiencing are normal or cause for concern.

Visit your regular doctor

A pediatrician will almost always recommend you bring your baby in if you’re feeling worried. While it can be important not to over-visit the pediatrician (waiting in a germy waiting room can actually make your baby sicker) checking in with your doctor will help establish whether baby’s symptoms are normal or whether they’re going on for longer then they should be.

{ MORE: Baby Health: What's Normal After Shots? }

Seek a second opinion

If you still have concerns after visiting your child’s regular doctor, or if you feel like they’re not taking your concerns seriously, don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion. You can see a second opinion by checking in with another pediatrician at your regular practice or getting an appointment with a specialist.

Be open to resting

Sometimes, getting better might take some serious rest. Even if it means opting out of fun activities, consider seriously minimizing your schedule to include only the absolute must-do activities and keeping baby at home, and resting whenever else you can.   

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When Your Little One Has Been Sick for a Long Time

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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