Our family recently went on a beautiful vacation to Mexico, one problem though, our baby got traveller’s diarrhea half way through our trip. if you thought newborn diapers were wet, gross, and hard to clean, just wait until you have to deal with these kind of diapers. But aside from the diarrhea or poor little guy had a fever, a terrible diaper rash that was bleeding, and once he had blood in his stool we knew we had to do something.
It was so scary seeing our baby so sick (especially since it was the first time for us dealign with a sickness) but being so far away from home, in a foreign country, trying to communicate the issue in a different language, with medicine that also doesn’t have english on the label – well that just adds even more fear and anxiety to the situation. And so I wanted to share a few tips on what to do if your baby gets sick while on vacation.
Preparation is key
There are a few things you can do to prepare for the possibility of a sick baby before you even step foot on the plane. This is something I have learned very quickly as a new mom.
Even when I am just going to the park, I am always traveling with a first aid kit that has everything from baby tylenol to band-aids.
On top of packing first aid items you can also do a little extra research ahead of time. Talk to your doctor about safety tips for the particular place you are traveling to. Make sure your child is up to date on all their vaccines and get any additional ones that might be needed for the area you are visiting. Also check your travel insurance ahead of time in case you need to visit a doctor while abroad (like we did… twice).
Try to stay calm and assess the situation
Ok, you prepared as much as you could and your child still gets sick, now what? It is easy to go into panic mode in this situations – I know easier said than done ( I definitely went straight into panic mode), but thankfully I had my much more grounded husband by my side (and very lucky his GP mom) to help me stay calm. Even if you don’t have that support team though, it is important to remind yourself your child needs you and you need to stay calm to figure out the best plan of action for them.
Think about what you would do if you were dealing with a sick kid back home. How do you need to treat this? Is it something that just needs rest and fluids or do you need medication?
Regarding medication, finding the ideal one while on vacation might be difficult. It is even more challenging when the medication labelling is written in a foreign language. Fortunately, there is a way around this hurdle; you only need a good internet connection. It takes effective planning even before you get on the plane. For example, if your child has asthma, pack the appropriate inhalers. However, it would also help if you ordered the appropriate COPD medication prescribed by the doctor to help handle the situation. While doing all this, remember to stay calm throughout the situation.
Trust your instinct and seek help if you need it
I knew my babe wasn’t well but I didn’t trust my instincts right away. We kept going back and forth on if we actually needed medical help, that it wasn’t until we saw blood in his stool (which even google will tell you is no good) that we made the call. If something feels off and you need help, get it – but on that note do your research. Check online to find the most reputable doctor’s office.
But try and get a second opinion if you can
Like I mentioned, we were super lucky to have my husband’s mom with us – who right away told us that the medication they prescribed our son wasn’t the right one. Of course not everyone has the luxury of having a doctor in their family. If it isn’t an emergency and you might be able to get on the phone with your doctor back home (especially if you are in a different country) I would highly suggest doing that.
Adjust your itinerary
Sure it is no fun when you have to cancel plans you have been looking forward to – but hey getting your child better is top priority – and if you can do that in the sunshine by a pool at your resort -well that sounds pretty good to me. We were lucky that we had a team with us (aka my husband’s parents) so we decided to take turns and everyone got to stay home and snuggly with our sick babe and also hit the town for a little date night. At the same time don’t the experience totally ruin the trip. I was exhausted by the end and needed another vacation – but we still created some beautiful memories as a family.
Take care of yourself so you can take care of baby
In our case it was traveller’s diarrhea but what it if was a virus? It is hard enough to take care of your sick child in a foreign country, but to do that while fighting off a virus yourself? No bueno. If your child does get sick try and take those extra measures – extra hand washing, stay hydrate etc.
We survived the first one and I am sure it won’t be the last but don’t let the idea of a sick baby on vacation deter you from booking that ticket to experience the world with your little one.