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Toddler Sick Day Survival Guide & Essentials


Toddler boss was out of school last week with a pretty bad ear infection, and, unfortunately I wasn’t feeling my best either. Actually, that’s putting it mildly…I felt AWFUL. And for the record, let me just say that it sucks being sick while your child is sick.  It’s impossible to get rest when she’s awake and even if you can sneak in a nap at some point while she’s sleeping, you can’t get any sort of decent sleep because you really do need to be alert (even though the "non-drowsy" meds you took apparently missed the memo).


Somewhere between temperature readings and temper tantrums (try giving oral meds to a headstrong toddler and you’ll feel my pain), I wrote this list of our "sick day" essentials for other toddler moms to use since flu season is quickly approaching.  

Disclaimer: I'm not a medical professional (duh!), so always consult your doctor first before taking my great advice.  Okay, Nurse Mom, now that we've gotten the legal stuff out of the way, here are all of the essentials that you need to have in stock when the sick days come knocking on your door...

Meds & Such:

  • Your Dr.'s number & after-hours line saved in your phone
  • Thermometer (keep two types on hand—one traditional and one for rectal readings, which are the most accurate. I know, I know...)
  • Prescription meds (if needed and as directed by your doctor)
  • Children’s Tylenol and/or Advil (as directed by your doctor)
  • Pedialyte (as directed by your doctor)
  • Syringes (to dispense oral meds, if needed; keep 2-3 in varying sizes and clean thoroughly after each use)
  • Vick’s Vapor Rub (as directed by your doctor)
  • Cool Mist Humidifier (as directed by your doctor)
  • Nasal Aspirator
  • Tissues (PLENTY)
  • Hand Sanitizer

Food & Drinks:

  • Lean Meats (e.g., chicken) and/or Fish
  • Fresh Fruits & Veggies
  • Chicken Soup or Veggie Broth
  • Brown Rice
  • Applesauce
  • Water
  • Frozen Treats (here's the recipe for my yummy Vitamin C-packed orange/pineapple pops)
Orange-Pineapple Popsicles

Special Treats:

    • Blankie, Bear or Anything Cuddly: No explanation needed; these are absolute MUST HAVES. In toddler boss's case, her cuddly thing turned out to be these cute slipper boots by Joules.

    • Junior, MD Gear: Even though toddler boss screams bloody murder every time we go to the real doctor, she has the utmost respect for Doc McStuffins and loves coming home to give herself "check-ups" with her special Doc McStuffins medical gear.  It helps us turn her sick days into learning time too, which is really pretty cool.
    • Crafts/Art Projects:  If your little one is up to it, this can be a great time to make special crafts together (e.g., macaroni art...remember that?).  Pinterest has a TON of great ideas! 

    • Books: After reading each of our home and latest library books at least five times a day, I decided to keep a secret stash of new books that we'll only read during sick days.  One can only take so much of "Hop on Pop" before you start hopping yourself crazy. No offense, Dr. Seuss.  Just sayin...

    • Movies:  We’re not big TV watchers, but it’s so nice to be able to cuddle up on a sick day and watch a Disney or movie two with your little sweetie. Keep these in your secret stash too. Confession: I just saw "Frozen" for the first time (finally!) and LOVED it!
    • Just for Mommy:  When toddler boss is home sick with me, it’s impossible to get any work done, so I’ve stopped trying. Well, not completely, but mostly. My main goal is just to keep her as comfy as possible, and for her, that means being close to mommy with all of my attention on her.  

      When she's sleeping, I use the time to read my favorite magazines and completely indulge in my favorite mommy treats.  Cosmo, chocolate and tea anyone?!  
      Of course this is easier said than done since I work for myself, but even when you don't, it's important to be realistic with yourself and your employer when you're at home with a sick child. You can't do it all (and that's OKAY).  Put your focus on your child.  The work can wait.  



Riche Holmes GrantHey Haute Mamas! I'm Riche Holmes Grant, a modern mom + mompreneur who designs smart + stylish products that make your mommy gig easier. 

When I'm not busy taking orders from my #miniboss, I'm contributing to or in the kitchen whipping up delicious family-friendly creations in my BambiniWare Apronini.

Get my FREE book on How to Make the Best Food for Your Baby here!

I live in the Washington, DC area with my husband and daughter. Follow our adventures on Instagram via @BambiniWareLife!



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