Tender Loving Care
"A miserable kid makes everyone miserable," says Dr. Shubin, so making a sick baby comfortable is important. For young babies, simply keeping them close to you can work wonders, but it's tough to hold a baby all day. "I'd let my children rest in a baby carrier on my chest, leaving it a little open so they didn't get too hot, and I'd just go about my business at home," says New York City mom Patty Baronwoski. "They felt secure and slept peacefully."
Debby Clarke swears by the old trick of placing a cool washcloth on her daughters' foreheads. "It feels good on their hot head and I think it makes them feel cared for," she says. "And since I feel like I'm helping, I can relax a little bit." Mary Lyon takes the opposite tack, wrapping her baby in a towel fresh from the dryer to re-create the womb experience. "Once we had Elizabeth completely wrapped up, she abruptly stopped crying and fell asleep," Lyon says. "It was weirdly magical."
Dr. Kligler relies on herbal teas, especially chamomile, to calm his kids. "They seem to like it," he says. "I can't say it shortens the duration of the illness, but it seems to make them more comfortable."
Reading to kids, extra hugs and kisses -- anything that makes your child feel cared for -- is the best medicine. Before you know it, your baby will feel like his usual, adorable self.