Saturday, October 8, 2011

How to wrangle a snotty toddler
Winter is upon us and hopefully your kids have manage to avoid the dreaded first cold of the season. I always hate this time of the year solely for that reason. So how to do you wrangle a snotty toddler? Unfortunately I had to learn the hard way when Addy was in the hospital last year, so I thought I'd spare everyone the horrifying experience and just tell you the secret they told me. SWADDLE THEM!!! Who knew right?! Somehow as a mother of three I completely failed to see the usefulness of swaddling after infancy, but now I find it even more invaluable. So, here is some ways to help you snotty little munchkin be more comfortable so that they can get better faster and you can get back to bed fast.

Step 1: Booger Buster: 
This step is most important before and after sleeping for any amount of time.
  • Gather Booger Supplies: Paper towel, saline solution, booger sucker (nasal aspirator for those of you who like technical terms), large towel
  • Lay towel out and swaddle your toddler like a burrito. I prefer to separate the arms and place them down by their sides because toddlers are stronger than you think.
  • Explain that you have to suck out boogers so they feel better. Apologize in advance and say they'll get lots of snuggles afterward. Remember: you wouldn't be happy in a straight jacket being drown with saline solutions (they are still nose breathers so it feels that way to them) and then having your brains sucked out.
  • Squeeze about 1/2-1 tsp saline solution in one nostril and aspirate until liquid is gone. Repeat on other side. Then repeat UNTIL YOU DO NOT GET OUT ANY MORE SNOT! It will take a while and they will scream, but getting it all out can help ward off infections (ex: sinus and pneumonia)
Step 2: Elevate
I find that toddlers are way to mobile to elevate the top of their crib and expect to stay there. So, here are a few ideas to keep them upright:
  • Swing
  • Carseat
  • Bouncy Chair
  • Pillow (if they are old enough)
  • Reflux sleeper
  • or in recliner (a lot of co-sleeping parents find this helpful)
  • In a baby carrier (during nap time)
  • Stroller
Step 3: Drink, Gulp, Lick and Slurp
Hydration is key to thinning out mucus. Force liquids, especially clear liquids, as much as possible. Here are few ideas to help.
  • Watered down juice: Unless they have diarrehea
  • Pidialyte: Can also be frozen into Popsicle and ice chips
  • Jello: Need I say more :)
  • Popsicles
  • Soup/broth
  • tea (peppermint or chamomile)
  • Cinnamon stick or peppermint stick warm water. This works great! I fix them a cup of warm water and let them stir it with a cinnamon stick or mini candy cane for flavoring. (works great for sore throats)
  • Also try letting them drink with straws, out of a coffee mug, sports bottle etc to make liquids more fun and exciting. 
  • I let mine dye their drink (like water) with two drops of food color. I give them just a tiny bit (2-3 oz) and then let them pick a different color for the next time :)  
 Step 4: Toddler Tamers
Ideas to keep your sick toddler entertained without running around too much.
  • I spy
  • Stories
  • Art (time to get started on holiday crafting or bday present making)
  • salt writing (pour salt on a cookie sheet or a pan and let them draw in it)
  • Playdough
  • Play doctor with Dollies
  • Hide the Stuffed animal
  • Movies
  • Puppets