We’ve all heard of this magical, fabled creature before…the kid who never gets sick (said in a whisper). Just to let the cat out of the bag, my first son was the literal opposite of this kid. My first son was Sickly McSick Magee and still kind of is to this day. He’s getting better as his immune system grows stronger, but he still has allergies and pretty severe eczema. Whoopee.
The shit hit the fan when we put him in Mother’s Day Out at 12 months old. Before that time, my husband and I had been working at home together and watching him between the two of us. We decided that one year was the perfect time to start daycare, and we never even fathomed that it would destroy him completely.
He’d never left the house before in a social setting, so he was clearly the BEST. Sure, he went to family gatherings and saw our friends, but since he had never been in contact with 10 germy hooligans before, he had never been sick.
The progression of events went like this: Daycare, cold, fever, pneumonia, semi-healthy, pneumonia, visit to an allergist, allergies, cold, fever, more pneumonia, present day.
The first two months of daycare were a major fist in the ass. I had read hundreds of parenting articles while I was pregnant to prepare myself for basic baby care. No one on God’s green earth ever told me that one of the worst things you will experience as a parent is a sick kid who causes you to worry endlessly while also torturing you day and night.
I wasn’t outwardly smug, but I was a little proud that our son hadn’t been sick until he hit one year. Courtesy of Internet forums, other parents also brag about this same healthy phenomenon while presumably keeping their kids in the bubble:
Mine were both that way too..oldest didn’t have more than a sniffle until 4 or 5. I think it might have been because she was breastfed through toddlerhood; she was likely getting my antibodies to whatever germs she was exposed to before she had a chance to get sick.
I have a two year old who has had nothing more than sniffles. We try to use hand sanitizer wipes at the stores, but we aren’t extremely anal retentive about germs. Perhaps this has helped his immune system? I only nursed for 6 months, so he did get some antibodies but not as much as other mothers that nurse longer. I attribute his health to his diet; we feed him very healthy and work very hard to get him to eat nutritional food.
My almost 3.5 year old has never had anything except a low-grade fever once after a vaccination – no runny nose, cough, stomach bug, etc. (knock on wood — I know she’ll get one sometime!). She did breastfeed until almost 3, and I’m at home with her although we do lots of playdates and classes. She goes to childcare at the gym several times per week and I thought when we started doing that she’d for sure come down with something, but not yet. I think it’s just a combination of luck, environment, good food and rest.
I can’t speak to these parents’ exact situations, but I can speak to my own feelings of smugness when my son was rarely sick in his first year of life because he never left the house. HAHAHA joke was on me. Daycare whipped him into shape with three straight months of illness, and son #2 is getting the same treatment as we speak. Pray for me.