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9 Tips for Taking Care of a Sick Kid — From Moms Who Have Done It

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

Got a little one under the weather at home? Real moms share their tried-and-true tips

Few things are worse than watching your child suffer through a spell of sickness. Unfortunately, though, little ones seem to catch a cold or come down with a bad cough at the drop of a hat. So what's the secret for soothing your sweet one when they feel bad?

Sometimes the best tips come from how other mamas have handled it. You know, the women who've been in the trenches too and managed to emerge victorious.

So to bring you some tried-and-true tips for taking care of your sick kid, we went straight to the source. Here's what real moms had to say about their go-to remedies.

1. Let them sleep

"I make it a rule to never wake up a child who has been sick. If we're late getting somewhere, so be it. They need their sleep, now more than ever." — Courtney T.

2. Teach them how to take care of business

"The best thing I ever did was finally teach my daughter how to really blow her nose. I think it took a full week, but colds have been so much more tolerable since she learned that." — Julie K.

3. Be (very) prepared

"I always make sure there are tissues in every room when one of my kids has a cold. That's something you can never have enough of." — Jessica C.

4. Be generous with cuddles

"Sick kids just want their moms. When my kids are sick, I cuddle them every chance I get. It makes us both feel better, I think." — Terri W.

5. Let them rest

"While colds can seem to drag on forever, I feel like it is important to give your little one time to recuperate. If I send my son to school when his little body is trying so hard to fight off a cold, how can his immune system possibly keep up? When our son is struggling with a bad cold or cough, we always try to keep him home for a few days while he is symptomatic. If after a few days he isn't feeling better, it's probably time for a doctor's visit anyway. The other upside to this approach is that we can minimize the chance he passes his germs on to his classmates." — Kerri M.

6. Fill them with liquids

"Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I probably drive my kids crazy, always offering them water when they're sick, but it's so important. They always have water or another drink within reach when they're under the weather." — Angie T.

7. Take time for TLC

"I try to remember that no matter how rushed I am — no matter what deadline I may miss, no matter how messy my house is, no matter how germy I'm getting — that my love and attention is a wonderful tool to help my kids feel better. When we are sick, we just want to know the people we love the most are there to take care of us and to make us feel better." — Jennifer M.

8. Have a "sick basket" handy

"In our house, we have 'sick baskets' for each of our children that we break out when they are stuck at home on the couch with a bad cold. These baskets are different for each child depending on their favorite things: baby blankets, books, toys... basically anything to keep them comfortable and entertained." — Amanda S.

9. Know that a mother's love is magic

"As a kid, I got sick a lot and my mom used to do the greatest thing. She'd get me miso soup (I've always been a vegetarian), and she'd take all the pillows off all the beds in the house and pile them all onto my bed to keep my head propped up (helps with coughing). And she had this special 'sick blanket,' an old, unattractive comforter that for some reason was adorned in shamrocks. She'd bring that blanket out and tuck me in with it and put on whatever happened to be my favorite cartoon at the time. When I left to go to college, I brought the sick blanket with me, and now — at 27 years old, 2,000 miles away from my mom — whenever I'm sick, I make a pillow mountain, grab my sick blanket, and without fail, at some point there will be a knock on the door... outside a delivery man from the local Asian bistro with a cup of miso soup my mom had [gotten] delivered from halfway across the country. So for all the mamas out there, please know that your kiddos will remember how you always took care of them, and even 20 years later, thousands of miles away, they'll do their very best to recreate the magic healing powers that Mom always had." — Cali O.

Got a little one under the weather at home? Real moms share their tried-and-true tips
Image: Liz Smith/SheKnows

This post was sponsored by Vicks® VapoRub™.

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