So we’ve had a little bit of experience in this department, Kyla was admitted for a random virus that gave her 40 degree temps for a week when she was one and a half and now Knox has been in for RSV and gastro at 7 months. This definitely doesn’t make me an expert on the subject but I think I can give you a few little bits of info that we’ve learned to survive the stay.
Here’s my top 10 tips to stay sane and get your child better in hospital.
1. If you know that something is not right with your child, don’t be scared to tell them and insist that they at least hear you out. The Doc admitted that I was right to get him on the drip earlier rather than later.
2. Try and get in as much food and sleep as you can. It’s not always possible, but it definitely helps you to deal more effectively (and patiently) with your upset baby and the possible delay in service delivery.
3. Stay with your kid as much as possible, but try and tag team it with another family member or friend so that you can go and shower and eat something. Having someone with you, like a supportive partner makes all the difference for you and baby.
4. Bring a couple of their familiar toys, although they may not want it in the beginning, once they start getting better it helps to occupy their time spent on a drip. And also, your toys probably don’t have a gazillion germs on them like the hospital ones do.
5. Bring comfortable clothes for them and yourself, you’ll probably be spending quite a bit of time walking around and rocking them, or curled up in a chair next to their bed. (Or in my case, in their bed)
6. Take some of those quiet moments to reflect on what’s going on around you. Your situation may be pretty awful but it is probably not the worst, be thankful for what you have. This one probably sounds silly, but seriously we have a tendency to think we’re the worst off, when we’re not.
7. Make friends with the nurses and be nice to them, they are there to make your baby better. No brainer maybe, but you’d be surprised how rude people can get when their baby is sick.
8. Bring a billion changes of clothes and a gazillion nappies, especially if they have gastro.
9. Don’t send a man to do a woman’s job. As inconvenient as it can sometimes be, when they are sick they want you most of all. Sorry Dads. The amount of times I heard kids screaming for their Mommies during the night just made me realise how important we are to our kids and their comfort level. And also, I think we are built with a little bit more patience and understanding for this very reason.
10. Don’t have an agenda of things that you want to do, you will probably not get to doing them. Focus on the main thing… Getting your child better.
Now let me share some really terrible ideas (because we’ve all had them):
1. Take your laptop with you with the full intention to work while you child is in hospital. You’ll get so much done. I promise.
2. Wear high heels, this will ensure that you get killer legs while you pace the floors with your upset child.
3. Go hungry and with little sleep. You’ll have plenty of time to catch up there. And you’ll be a dream to deal with.
4. Watch copious amounts of CSI and Grey’s Anatomy, that way you will be able to correct the nurses when they go wrong.
5. Freak out every time you hear something beeping, that way they you are ensured to get great service.
6. Try and only be sick during the night. Night staff are just so excited to be there that they are queuing up to be at your service.
7. Second guess everything that the nurses do and verbally doubt the reliability of all the equipment they use. This will go great lengths to put your mind at ease.
8. Sit and think about all the hours of uninterrupted sleep that your partner is enjoying at home, the perfect time for this is when your hospital bound child is up screaming at 2am. A great way to keep the relationship thriving.
9. Leave them alone for the hospital staff to look after. It’s time for them to start learning to be independent.
10. Don’t wash your hands and make sure to get the germs in your system good and proper. Then you’ll be able to feel first hand what they’re going through and have the added benefit of being at your peak performance.
OK so obviously those are stupid ideas, but I’ve seen it or thought it, so it’s worth saying.
I truly hope that you never find yourself in this situation, but if you do I hope this helps you make this time a bit easier for you and baby. Good luck!!!