Well last week was just awful! Pete was away in Vegas and Jaspy decided to come down with tonsillitis just before he came back – not fun at all! He’d been a little unsettled for a week or so; off his food and milk, messed-up sleeping pattern and generally not himself. He had a bit of a runny nose and wheezy cough but I just put that down to the cold weather we’re having (wahh) and I also thought he was maybe having a slight allergic reaction to cheese that I’d been overloading him with (to get him to eat anything but fruit is a nightmare so I got a bit overexcited when he actually reached out for cheese).
It was after a day of pretty much non-stop sleeping/crying and a night of not sleeping/crying that I called the doctor. We got an emergency appointment and being just around the corner we headed down, pj’s and all! As soon as I went in I said how whingey he’d been, coughing all the time and quite sad. Of course bambino rocked up all smiles without a cough in sight – cheers Jaspy!
The doctor checked him over; his chest was fine, breathing, temperature – all fine; I honestly thought she was going to say I was being a crazy muma until she looked at his throat. This required me to hold his arms down and head still like some kind of headlock and straightaway she said ‘yep – tonsillitis!’. I hadn’t even thought about tonsillitis. I didn’t even know a baby of 6 months could get tonsillitis!? I was expecting a cold, a bug, maybe a virus.
Straight away I felt guilty, ‘was it because I didn’t keep him warm enough?’ I had flashbacks to him rolling around on his play matt with no socks on. The doctor said straight away that there was nothing I could have done; babies catch tonsillitis more often than adults and it’s just one of those things.
She prescribed us some antibiotics to give 4 times daily for 5 days. She also said that as he’d be in pain *heart breaking words to hear* I’d need to give him Calpol too.
Well it hasn’t been easy; his sleeping is still off routine, his milk and food he could take or leave and as he won’t take the medicine on it’s own, only mixed with food or milk, that’s not going down too well either!
His cough has improved and only seems bad at night time. He is happier in himself, no more bursting into tears, but he is still a little whingey and unsettled.
I’m thinking of going back to the doctors tomorrow as I know he hasn’t finished his course of antibiotics but I don’t know if it’s okay to continue past the recommended 5 days? It’s soo bloomin’ tricky not being able to ask him how he feels. When he cries I don’t know if it’s his tonsils, his teeth or even something else?
I’m so glad that Pete came home the day after we went to the doctors as it’s been so nice to have him there to share the night feeds and baby settling. It’s also nice to have someone to reassure me when his tears turn into my tears!
Well I feel I have learnt a little from this experience so here are my top tips for dealing with a baby with tonsillitis:
1) Stay in the warm
In the weather we’ve been having, just stay in. Keep baby warm and snuggled with their usual required number of layers and pop the heating on. We live in a barn which gets cold quickly and Jaspy always pulls his socks off but I’ve made an extra effort to keep them on him *pass me the celotape*.
2) Don’t overheat
Although maybe a contradiction to number 1, try to keep baby cool if they have a temperature. Luckily Jaspy didn’t have one but if your bambino does than use a cool flannel to cool their forehead and keep them to one layer of clothing. Use your judgement, if they feel hot, cool them, if they feel cold, layer them up!
3) Don’t panic
I hated knowing that Jaspy wasn’t having his usual amount of food and drink but then I just remembered that when I’m ill sometimes I go off my food. A few days of less food is okay but of course if this goes on for too long or if baby is refusing all liquids then definitely call your doctor!
4) Keep up the dose
Try your best to get baby to have the recommended doses of medicine and even if they seem better, stick out the course; the last thing you want is for them to get ill again.
5) Fresh air
If baby is feeling a bit more perky then get them some fresh air. even if it means snuggling them up and talking a walk in the garden; fresh air can only do good and will probably keep you sane too!
6) Soothe their throat
I always hear of patients being given ice cream when they have tonsillitis so I thought I’d make Jaspy some baby friendly ice lollies. He’s had banana and broccoli (surprisingly yummy); as well as melon and avocado!
7) It’s not catchy
Despite popular belief, once tonsillitis is physically noticeable e.g. inflamed and spotted, it’s no longer contagious. Of course it’s best to tell people before you visit them, and avoid very new babies or elderly people; but for the most part, you’re fine to be around others!
8) Hide those meds
Now I know Jaspy has no problem taking medicine. In fact I was slightly concerned that he was a little addicted to Calpol as he could be screaming like a nut and as soon as I’d put the syringe near him he’d wriggle with excitement!However, this has proven to be the case only for Calpol. I don’t blame him, the antibiotics taste rank and I would refuse them too! So I’ve resorted to mixing it in with his food and milk!
9) Be prepared
When bambino is feeling needy you’ll need to be even more prepared than usual. Keep stocked up on essentials like nappies, wipes, formula and of course tea bags for you! If you do need to leave the house then bring enough bottles, changes of clothes and comforters.
10) If all else fails – snuggle!
So what if Jaspy now thinks it’s okay to sleep in Mummy and Daddy’s bed every night. So what if my back is killing me from carrying him around non-stop. SO what if my top is covered in snot and I have scratch marks on my cheek – if baby wants cuddles, then baby gets cuddles – fidgets, hair pulls and all!
I’m really hoping that he won’t be prone to tonsillitis now that he’s had it so young but at least I’m confident I’ll know the signs next time!
Love Jess and a slightly grump, snuggled up Jaspy xx