As bad as it is when mom is sick, there’s no heartbreak like seeing your sweet kiddos under-the-weather. They’re just so helpless, and for babies and toddlers, communication blocks can make it even more difficult to help them. The worst part is, you can’t just MAKE them better! Moms fix things, it’s what we do. Right? But when your child has a cold or the flu, not even Supermom can take it away. Soothing sick kids isn’t an exact science. But there are some things you can do, that may bring them a little relief (or, at the very least, some welcome distraction).

A post shared by Zarbee's Naturals (@zarbees) on

Soothing sick kids takes a lot of love, and A LOT of patience. The best thing you can do for your little love when they’re sick is encourage them to just REST. Easier said than done, we know!

Bodies need time to recuperate when they’re sick, and this goes double for kids. Lots of snuggles and quiet time in bed with mom or dad can help. If they take a much-needed nap, even better! Sick kids mean life has to slow down for just a bit, and blankets and pillows and Netflix on the couch together is a good choice.

Stuffy noses are the worst. But you can help ease nasal congestion at home.

For older kids, try a decongestant (check with your pediatrician to make sure you’re using the right medicine and dosage!). Saline nasal sprays are also helpful, and are safe for babies and toddlers, too. If you don’t have one already, get yourself a Nose Frida. It looks weird and it’ll take a while to get over the fear that you’re about to suck their snot right into your mouth, but it works way better than those nasal bulbs. Also, try putting a humidifier in the room where they sleep for the duration of their cold; the moisture will help loosen all the gunk in their noses and chests, and help them sleep better.

Lots and lots of fluids (don’t stress out too much about the food, though).

A post shared by Pedialyte US (@pedialyte) on

Staying hydrated is key when you’re sick, especially for little kids. They can get dehydrated very quickly, and they don’t always follow their own body’s cues for knowing when to drink something. Offer little sips of water, herbal tea, Gatorade, or whatever they’ll drink throughout the day. Popsicles are also a great choice! What kid doesn’t want a Popsicle at 1o a.m.? Added bonus: the cold treat can help soothe a sore throat.

Keep their minds off of feeling crummy!

It’s easy for kids (and adults!) to dissolve into a pit of despair when they’re not feeling great. And while there’s something to be said for wallowing, it helps to keep kids distracted when they’re sick. Obviously a trip to the park or local play room is out of the question. But some quiet activities at home, like board games or crafts, can put a smile on their face and make them forget they’re sick. Fresh air can help, too! If they’re feeling up to it, a quick walk around the block or playing the yard for a bit can do wonders for their spirits and immune systems.

Cold and flu season is hard, and soothing sick kids can feel like a full-time job! If you’ve got sick littles at home, we hope they’re feeling better so soon, and that life can get back to being chaotic and snot-free.

(Image: iStock/tatyana_tomsickova)