Alex’s first bad cold

Now Alex has had colds before, but only the runny/stuffy nose kind. He’s never had a bad cough before. It started last Sunday evening. It got worse through the week, to the point where his nose was running constantly and Thursday he started coughing from chest congestion. Thursday evening, just after dinner, Alex threw up. Now this was cause for concern, but since he usually just throws up once and then is fine the next day, we gave him a very warm shower and put him to bed like normal. The shower had a couple of purposes: 1) To clean him up, 2) To distract him since he wouldn’t stop crying and 3) to hopefully loosen up some of the congestion in his chest and help him sleep. Now usually Alex would have been home with me the next day, but of course Murphy’s Law dictates that I was working Friday to make up for a day I need off next week. We talked it over and decided that if he slept OK and didn’t throw up again, we would drop him off at daycare anyway. If Barb had other kids she was watching, we wouldn’t have sent him, but Alex is the only child she has right now.

Friday morning I sent Pedialyte to daycare with instructions not to give him any milk and to stick to bland foods. So I picked Alex up from daycare Friday evening to find out he had eaten 3/4 of a banana, 2 crackers and nothing else all day. He drank a little Pedialyte mixed with apple juice and took a 1/2 hour nap (instead of 2 hours). This did not bode well. Barb took his temperature at one point and said it was 100, but “I didn’t call you because he’d be doing the same thing with you at home that he’s doing here”. Thank goodness for Barb, she’s so cool. Of course the fact that there are no other kids there probably has something to do with it. Anyway, we went home, offered him dinner he didn’t eat, and put him to bed around 7pm. He woke up around 8pm and I had to rock him back to sleep. He woke up again around 10pm and again, I had to rock him to sleep. This time we had attempted to find our bulb syringe so we could get some of the congestion out of his nose, but of course we couldn’t find it. (Found it the following day by accident, fortunately before I bought another one.) He woke up a couple more times that night, but after a few short cries, but himself back to sleep.

Saturday morning my alarm went off at 6:00 since I had forgotten to turn it off. By 6:30 Alex was whining. Since I was not quite ready to crawl out of my nice warm bed (even though I was still awake), I got Alex and brought him into bed with us. He fell asleep for about 45 minutes and around 7:15 we went downstairs, me still having gotten no more sleep. He seemed a bit clingy, but mostly fine and ate his eggs with gusto. Stuck to the Pedialyte for a while, but around 10:30 he found a cup of milk in the fridge and I let him keep it. Big mistake. After a very small lunch of chicken Noodle-Os, Alex threw up on me. Sour milk, yummy! Then he was whiny and clingy for the next 24 hours. He only took an hour long nap, then wouldn’t go to sleep that night. We tried something I had heard about on the Internet for supressing coughs so you can sleep, but it didn’t work. (Vicks vapor rub on the bottom of the feet, with socks over it. Possibly didn’t work because we had to use Baby Rub because of his age and it has slightly different ingredients). So after he was in bed for about 30 minutes, he started crying. I spent 30 minutes with him, rocking. Got him to sleep twice, but then he woke up as soon as he hit the crib mattress. Finally told Eric it was his turn. He spent about 30 minutes with him, ending up in our bed and leaving Alex there. We put some pillows on the floor just in case he rolled off, but since he was perpendicular to the direction normal people sleep, it was unlikely. However, just as I was turning things off downstairs to go to bed myself, I heard a soft thud and then he started crying. I got upstairs and he was standing next to my side of the bed (near the pillows) just bawling. I knew at this point my plan of putting him in is crib when I went to bed had absolutely no chance of working, so I picked him up and laid back down with him. He calmed down immediately. When he fell asleep, I ran to the bathroom, changed clothes, then crawled in next to him. When Eric came to bed about an hour later, I was still up and whispered that Alex was still in our bed. We spent the rest of the night with Alex between us, sometimes perpendicular, and always with some part of him snuggled right up next to me. But we actually got some sleep until about 2:30. Then Alex woke up and was sitting up, trying to crawl over both of us. He finally settled down again, but had turned perpendicular so his head was in my back and his feet were in Eric’s. At one point around 3:30 I sat up to try and get some leverage to move him over and he moved so far onto my side I couldn’t lay back down. Trying to move him over woke him up, and he turned around, and slid off the bed, and started walking towards the door. I asked him where he was going and he stopped to look at me, then continued. I followed him into the hall, where he looked like he was preparing to go down the steps. I scooped him up and decided to try and put him in his own room. Boy, was that a disaster. A few minutes later we were back in our bedroom and he finally settled down. But by 6am, he was ready to get up, so we headed downstairs.

The first thing he did was walk into the kitchen. He pointed to the cupboard and at first I was confused because he’d never done that before. So I picked him up and put him on the counter. Then I opened the cupboard that holds glasses, finally getting an inkling of what he wanted. Sure enough, he grabbed a sippy cup and then turned towards me. So then I put him on the floor and he headed for the refrigerator. He’s finally gotten the concept that first you need a cup if you want something to drink. But the rest of the morning, he was clingy. I sat watching TV holding him for more than an hour. Then I woke Eric up so he could hold Alex while I made breakfast. But he wouldn’t go to Eric. So I ended up holding Alex watching TV for a little while longer. When he finally crawled off my lap, I snuck out to finish the pancakes. But he went down OK for his nap around noon, having eaten his whole pancake for breakfast, but no lunch. He didn’t go right to sleep, but by 1:00 he was asleep and didn’t start whining to get up until 4:15. After that, he was much more normal. I took his temperature again and it was finally normal. When I was done, Alex took the thermometer from me (it’s an ear model) and walked away. I saw him trying to take his own temperature. He would push the buttons and then put it in his ear. I ran to get the camera and got a picture:

After that I put the thermometer away both because I was afraid he would hurt himself with it and because I was afraid he’d throw it and break it. But at that point I knew that he was getting back to normal. His nose was not running nearly as much as before and he was coughing a little less. He ate 3/4 of a waffle for dinner and gave us no problem going to bed at 7:30. I think he woke up once during the night but put himself back to sleep. This morning he seemed totally normal.

So, moral of the story, in the midst of Alex not feeling well and being a bit demanding, we still got a couple of cute moments out of him. And a lot of snuggle time. And we learned that you should never, never, never expect to get a good night’s sleep if your child is in bed with you.

4 thoughts on “Alex’s first bad cold

  1. Amen to that, sister!

    Sergey has been sleeping with us for the last week. Like Alex, he would scream his head off in the crib, but calm down immediately when we put him on our bed. And yes, he too occasionally decides to go exploring at night. *sigh*

    I am glad Alex is feeling better. Hopefully he will now sleep through the night in his crib, and you and Eric will catch up on your sleep!

  2. Try having your dog jump into bed with you! That dog thinks putting his butt right next to my face is the right way to sleep. Anyhow, I feel for you. Love you, Dad

  3. I admit I’d rather cuddle with Alex than sleep with the dog. However I’m not complaining…there was no dog butt in my face, just dog breath since he was using my pillow.