It’s easy to sit back and judge a parent based on an observation you make about their child.
This is why we stop and stare at the mother in the mall whose child is in a vest in June (which marks the beginning of the Kenyan “winter” season) as the rest of us buckle under the weight of the heavy outerwear we are dragging around. It is also the reason why a person I have never met will ask me why my son is wearing a sweater on THEIR definition of a warm afternoon. See, R an I have spent enough sleepless nights to realize that the slightest exposure to a cold draft is enough to trigger a sinusitis episode in Kamau. This means that I will, politely, remain silent when you declare, “si this boy is always in a sweater!” but will not take it off.
We have learned so much from the internet regarding nasal congestion that R remarked about feeling a little guilty that we haven’t shared stuff that works for us. This is the reason why today, on my little space of the internet, I will list what we have found so far in the event that it helps you. I would love to hear what has worked for you- sharing is caring
The magic of the humidifier.
It honestly feels like magic because since we got it a little over a year ago, our lives changed! Kamau started sleeping much easier and the colds and flu, especially seeing how preschool kids have the sniffles every other time, went down significantly. Without the coughs and running nose we also didn’t have throat infection problems and were off antibiotics for about half a year straight! When he does catch a flu, the humidifier helps him sleep much easier which means that as opposed to being totally bogged down by the flu he can pretty much be his usual self.
Elevating the head of his bed.
This we just found out about recently and it has been a gem! Mucous build-up can get really nasty for children. I should know. Besides blocking the airways and making them really uncomfortable, it also causes stomach aches (yeah! I didn’t know either!). An elevated bed, we have learned, helps prevent mucous build-up, which means Kamau sleeps better, which- in turn- means we sleep better. This has also really helped with Kui especially when she came down with a cold.
Nasal saline drops and a nasal spray have also come in handy and we’re never without them.
“Mommy, my nose is disturbing.”
Sometimes all it takes is the use of one of them before bed and he will sleep through the night. It also helps to have an antihistamine in the medicine cabinet at all times. There are days when you just know that something’s coming and administering it before bed stops the “something” at just a couple of sneezes and a running nose.
I have learned that sometimes what we want/past habits, as parents, need to take a backseat to what’s in the best interest of our children.
Adjusting to allergies may mean doing away with those beautiful, fluffy carpets that are all the rage. It may also mean adding a not-so-hip yarn sweater to your child’s very stylish wardrobe because keeping them warm is everything. It could even mean toning down on your designer perfume because no scent in the world is worth your child’s stuffy nose. Whatever the adjustment, I am ready to make it because I know what it is like to look at my unwell child wishing that I was in their place.
Read more on Wangari’s Blog.