Handling the Inevitable Sick Day – Creative Tips from Clever Moms

Posted by on Feb 20, 2013 in Blog, Sickness & Health | 2 comments

There is nothing worse than midnight tears down feverish toddler cheeks, is there? But we’ve all been there, caring for a sick little one who has the flu, a cold or some kind of bug.

So, to help you prepare for those inevitable sick days, I’ve pulled together a list from some of my favorite bloggers about how they handle days when their little ones aren’t feeling great. You’ll find everything from home remedies to relaxing entertainment on here, so enjoy:

Be Prepared for Illness

  1. Keep a “special sheet” in the house to put on the couch when they get sick. This will keep you from worrying about having to clean the couch later on.
    Simple Things to Have on Hand When Kids Are Sick
    Jenilee, Our Goodwin Journey

  2. Have a box of lotion packed tissues in the house as well as coloring books with new markers lying in wait.  Break them out on sick days.
    Stock Up For Sick Days
    Kacy Faulconer, Babble.com

  3. Make a “sick kit” full of color changing wavy straws, craft kits, cold supplies (think kid’s medicine), Yes & Know books, and magnetic mosaics. Keep the kit in a special place in the house where the kids won’t find it so the activities in the kit remain untouched until needed.
    Fun DIY Activity Kits for Kids at Real Simple

  4. You know that porcelain doll your little one’s grandma got them? Make it a special “sick doll” that they can only play with when they’re feeling under the weather.
    Sick Day Tradition: Special Toys
    MaryLea Harris, Pink and Green Mama

Parenting the Sick Child

  1. StorytellERdoc, a long time ER doctor, advises parents that knowledge is power when it comes to helping kids through sickness. Take the time to talk to your doctor and know all the facts!
    Sick Kid Season

  2. Try to stick to the routine you’ve set for your child as much as possible while keeping them rested with quiet activities.
    Amusing the Sick Child
    by Lorelei, Raising Creative Children

  3. Chronicles of a Babywise Mom also suggests sticking to the routine as much as you can. However, don’t be afraid to completely break the rules when necessary to comfort your sick youngster.
    Comforting a Sick Toddler/Baby

  4. Sick kids at home are a great excuse to relax the rules and spend some quality bonding time at home. Use wisely!
    Tips for Keeping Your Sick Child Entertained At Home
    Carrie Snyder, parentdish

  5. Give in to a few requests (“like grilled cheese for breakfast”), says Bekki Lindner, to make the child feel special while they fight off their sickness.
    Making a Sick Child Feel Better (And Special!)
    at Chasing Supermom

  6. I’m sure it goes without saying but you should keep everything your sick child touches away from your other family members. But maybe you forget to throw out the child’s toothbrush once the sickness goes away too.
    Keeping Your Family Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
    Mom to 2 Posh ‘Lil Divas

  7. Sick children just want your attention and care. Keep them entertained by involving yourself in activities they like to do.
    Tips for Entertaining a Sick Child
    Rakesh Kumar Lakshman, St. Botanica

  8. Did you know you shouldn’t leave vomit-soaked clothes on the floor? Elena Wollborg found out the hard way along with other don’ts when you have a vomiting child.
    {Non} Pro-Tips for Dealing with Sick Kids
    Mommy is in Timeout

  9. The ultimate key to parenting your sickly little one’s can be boiled down to two words: distract and entertain.
    Tips for Dealing with Sick Kids
    em> by Daisy, Scrubs123

  10. Don’t forget to enjoy the moment even when your kids are ill! Sick children mean unlimited cuddles, naps for you when they take them, and kids who appreciate mommy.
    10 Joys of Sick Kids
    Jill Smokler, The Stir

Activities to Entertain Your Ill Little One(s)

  1. Sick kids at home means bored kids at homes. Keep them entertained with old photograph albums, making collages, puzzles, and fresh air when appropriate.
    10 Activities to Do With Your Child Who’s Home Sick
    Laura Ginn, Health Guidance

  2. Lindy Loves suggests you try making a “stone pet” out of some old rocks in the backyard and various craft supplies.
    A Sick Child is a Bored Child by Lindy Hamilton

  3. Have your kids been home for many days with the latest bug? Steam up the bathroom and let them write on the mirror and windows. Bonus: You can get a shower in the process!
    Quiet Activities with Sick Kids
    Lillian, Domestic Simplicity

  4. Another fun way to get you and the kids clean: take a glow in the dark bath.
    Top 10 – Activities to do with Sick Kids
    Bethany Reine, Still in St. Louis

  5. Sick kids love to play with things they might normally find boring such as a knitting spool and yarn. They’ll get creative and it will keep them resting on the couch.
    Entertaining Sick Kids
    at Work it Mom!

  6. Feeling overwhelmed by the lack of productivity while you stay at home with the ill child? Pick a project you’ve been meaning to do, such as sorting those old photos, and let the sick kid help you do it. Get some more bonding time out of the activity by telling stories about the photos.
    Sick Day by Laura Torres, Families.com

  7. Bring out all the stuffed animals and let the child play doctor in their “animal hospital”.  They may indirectly reveal their own feelings while ‘diagnosing a patient’ giving you a better sense of how to help.
    Quiet Activities for Sick Kids
    R. Morgan Griffin, WebMD

  8. Another fun activity to play with all of those stuffed animals is zoo. Let the child be the chief zoo keeper in your living room zoo made up of all their stuffed animals.
    10 Sick Day Activities by Blake Eligh, Today’s Parent

  9. Break out the old-fashioned hide-and-seek game to entertain your kids. Hide their favorite stuffed animals or other toys in various places around the house.
    Activities for Kids on Sick Days at parenting.com

  10. Kathy Gossen at Cornerstone Confessions suggests letting the kids get in some “target practice” with a water gun or spray bottle. Aim at rubber ducks in the bathtub. You can also try paper football practice on the bed.
    101 Sick Day Activities for Kids

  11. For the sick little girl, play dress up or let them be your stylist for the day. Playing kitchen, with fake kitchen toys or old bowls/kitchenware, is another great way to pass the time.
    64 Sick Day, Rainy Day, Any Day Activities to Do with Your Toddlers
    Sarah White, Our Daily Craft

  12. Do you have a handful of “lone socks” that no longer have a partner? What about buttons and other knick knacks that have fallen off clothing? Use them to make sock puppets and put on a puppet show.
    9 at Home Activities for Sick Kids
    Molly Smith, She Knows Parenting

  13. Get silly with this tip! Let your child have a mirror and some mirror markers so they can draw moustaches, crazy hair, and other features on their reflection.
    20 Sick Day Activities that Kids Can Do in Bed
    Starr Weems de Graffenried, Examiner.com

  14. Make a “sick fort” in the living room for the kid(s) to relax in while they enjoy TV, movies, books, or whatever else is currently occupying their attention. They’ll have fun creating the fort and be comfortable throughout the day.
    10 Activities to Do With Your Child Who’s Home Sick
    Sasha Brown-Worsham, The Stir

  15. Did you know a back massage can be too rough on a sick child? Instead try writing messages on their back and having them guess what you wrote.
    7 Unconventional Ways to Make Sick Kids Feel Better
    Jeanne Sage, The Stir

  16. Have a movie marathon for the child who just needs to stay on the couch all day. There a dozen different ways you can make Disney collections for your child’s entertainment.
    Disney Movie Marathons on a Sick Day at Disney Diva

Crafts for the Sick Child

  1. Crafts are a great way to exercise your sick child’s mind without exercising too much energy. Girls can try their hand at sewing. Let boys pain their own race cars to play with.
    Crafts to Do With a Sick Child
    Sue Kirchner, Chocolate Cake Moments

  2. Make your own play dough with this recipe. Then watch your kid(s) make anything they can think up out of it!
    Things to Do With Sick Kids
    Jane Eden, Fresh Endeavors

  3. Cut out triangles of felt in various colors to let your sick child make a felt forest.
    Simple/Fun Felt Forests
    by Julee Dyer, Warm Hot Chocolate

  4. Whip up an “I Spy Bottle”. Fill a bottle with rice and small knick knacks from around the house and shake well.  Now they have to find the hidden items within the bottle.
    How to Make an “I Spy” Bottle
    Jamie H, Toys in the Dryer

Reading When Sick

  1. Having your kids read and/or reading a book to them is a great way to pass the time quietly while remaining still to let the child get rest.
    5 Activities to Make Kids Feel Better On a Sick Day
    Olivia, tryingtoconceive.com

  2. Don’t forget about your local library to find new books to keep both you and your child entertained during their sickness.
    Top Ten Ways to Survive Cold and Flu Season
    Angie McDonald, Parent Map

  3. Did you know that a parent’s voice is therapeutic to a child? Read them their favorite books or new ones to spend some quality time together while they heal.
    Benefits of Reading to a Sick Child by Athen, WikiNut  

Getting Your Sick Kid to Learn

  1. This worksheet allows kids to write down how they feel while they are sick and take to their class when they feel better. It’s a chance for them to practice their writing and for you to learn how to help them.
    What I’ve Been Doing
    Rachelle Smith, What the Teacher Wants

  2. Have the sick child watch PBS educational programming or documentaries on Netflix. Find worksheets and other printables online that are academic but still easy for a sick child.
    What to Do With Homeschool Sick Days by Penny, Meet Penny

Feeding the Ill

  1. Jell-O, broth, and chicken soup are classic choices for easy to digest food to give your sick kid(s). Plenty of rest and loose clothing will also help them feel better.
    How to Comfort Your Sick Child
    Jmodio, Smiley360

  2. Follow this “clean” soup recipe to help your kids feel better. Tiffany advises that the egg in the soup serves as an “old wives tale” that is tried and true to cure a cold.
    Clean Eating Sicky Soup
    at The Gracious Pantry

  3. Give your sick little one(s) comfort foods such as grilled cheese and fruit smoothies. Most of all give them the comfort foods that they enjoy the most.
    How to Soothe a Sick Child
    Myra Turner, Families.com

Home Remedies

  1. Make dyed scented rice with eucalyptus oil and place it in a bin with other “toys” to soothe their airways before bed. Make the ‘sensory bin’ themed. Choose your child’s favorite book and dye the rice a corresponding color and fill it with items that go along with the story.
    Soothing Therapeutic Sensory Activity
    Crystal, Growing a Jeweled Rose

  2. To make your sick kid(s) feel better at home: encourage fluids, rest, give lots of TLC, and consider a cool humidifier.
    Helpful Tips for Handling Sick Days
    Susan M. Heim, Susan Heim on Parenting

  3. Give kids honey with a little bit of cinnamon a couple times of day. Hillary Bernstein advices that it is a proven technique to help fight off their germs.
    How to Naturally Soothe Colds
    Accidentally Green

  4. When Motrin/Ibuprofen won’t bring down your kid’s fever, try alternating Motrin and Tylenol every four hours to do the trick.
    Great Tips for Sick Kids
    Nicole Walter, Mama of Many Blessings

Caring for a Sick Infant

  1. When caring for a sick infant try “steam cleaning”. Steam up the bathroom to loosen congestion and relieve discomfort.
    5 Fast Tips for Soothing Infant Colds
    Honestly (The Honest Company Blog)

  2. Give an infant a gentle chest massage and elevate their head to relieve discomfort. Talking to and cuddling your baby will also help soothe them.
    Soothing Your Sick Infant
    at The Kid’s Doctor

  3. Have you ever tried running a vacuum to soothe a sick baby? According to Lakshmin you should. Also try giving them a warm water bath to calm them down.
    7 Ways to Comfort a Sick Baby at Life Martini

Special Needs Children

  1. If your child is autistic try increasing their “screen time” when they get sick. The family over at Lost and Tired advice that it helps settle them down when they get restless from their illness.
    What Do Your Kids with Autism Like to Do When They’re Sick

  2. If you have the unfortunate task of helping your child through chemotherapy, Michelle suggests giving them a ring pop to help with foul tasting IV medicine.
    Ten Tips for Helping a Child through Chemotherapy
    Team Tori

Have any sick day tips of your own? Please share, we’d love to hear them!

  • http://www.accidentallygreen.com Hilary Bernstein

    Thanks for including Accidentally Green in your tips!

    • TempleTouchMom

      You’re welcome, Hilary! Thanks for your great post – feel free to add the Sick Day Featured Blogger Badge to your blog!