Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Baby’s first cold

 Oh, you guys! It has finally happened. Minnie got sick.

 I *think* she picked up a bug at The Little Gym last week EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS WEARING A MASK. As you might suspect, this makes me really nervous because when our school district lifts its mask rule, our kids will still wear them but nobody else will. And I am one of 2 people in my lecture hall in a mask. Ben comes home from his campus and reports every single day that he is the only person in a mask at whatever meetings or press events he attended.

All of this has been fine with me, though, because we have received the consistent message that masks work even if we are the only people wearing them. If that’s true, though, WHY IS MINNIE SICK??

Okay. As you might imagine, this post is dramatic (SHOCKER). She has a cold. No fever. Just a (ridiculously) runny nose (like so runny— the nose frida is horrifically amazing). She’s crabby. Says her forehead hurts. 

We didn’t COVID test her even though we have a billion tests because she is a home baby. If she’s exposed, she was exposed WITH US, and none of us feels sick. Plus her nose got so red so fast (lots of saline drops and Vaseline to help soothe it) that I didn’t want to swab it. We figured we would test her if she lost her appetite (like maybe from a sore throat?), got a fever, or developed a cough. So far, just snot. SO MUCH SNOT. I am worried, though, about an ear infection. I mean, that fluid has to go somewhere, you know?

Anyway, here’s the thing. I don’t want to take her back to gym. We skipped this week because she is still a snot bag, but I am thinking about calling and cancelling our membership. Just because she didn’t get super sick this week doesn’t mean she’ll avoid something worse next time. And I don’t think the sickness or worry are worth the benefits of baby gym. If she were at daycare or something and got sick, I would obviously feel differently because the cost/benefit analysis is different.

SO. What do you think? Go back to class? Or stay home and avoid the germs?


  1. Anonymous8:54 AM

    Have to be honest - sounds like a total overreaction. Socializing is important, not to mention building an immune system naturally - by getting sick and then getting better.

  2. THANK YOU-- this is the perspective I am pretty sure I need.

  3. Anonymous10:44 AM

    I'm married to an infectious disease doc who would echo the comment above: at somepoint all our kids who have never gotten a cold will get a cold (and other childhood illnesses... like hand/foot/mouth) and it's an important part of building their immune system (although he'd agree kid colds (and sick kids) SUCK and it was perhaps one of the great/few covid bonuses to have a couple years without them). He would also say that covid is generally mild for kids at Minnie's age and that at somepoint, you have to accept some level of risk for your family (i.e. if there was no covid, would you accept going to little gym knowing she may get a cold or flu?), but that level of risk varies from family to family, and only you can assess that for your family. We don't live in the US, so I don't know the risk for your area/what all the protocols are/aren't these days, but in our country we send our kids to school, where no masks are worn by kids (but are by teachers) and they've both gotten sick this year (one with strep, one with a fever/runny nose, both covid negative)-- when i whine about the unending kid-crankiness my husband says: welcome back to parenting school age kids in the no mask/limited hand sanitizing world (:

  4. Anonymous10:53 AM

    We are in exactly the same position (at-home 2 year old who wears a mask at little gym and somehow got a cold!) and are still going to little gym. We figure baby needs to develop immunity and at this point really needs more socialization with peers - so we're sticking with it.

  5. I just got over a cold. It sucks, but it was bound to happen. I also managed to avoid getting COVID when we had asymptomatic positives literally IN MY BED. My guess is that Minnie picked up a germ on her hand or arm and then it made it's way into her little body. I would agree with what everyone is saying. It's really important that her body start building immunity because in addition to COVID there are other germs out there that she hasn't been exposed to yet, and her risk if she does get COVID is low. I think you all are as protected as you can be and at this point I think pulling back any further would be an overreaction.

    Also, reentry is scary. I don't want to invalidate that. There probably won't ever be a point where it's declared "All clear" and so these moments of questioning our choices will keep happening and you've got to make the choice that balances what level of discomfort you can handle with what level of safety you need.

  6. Also note that the symptoms of the current strains of COVID are very mild! I know people who only lost their voice/had a scratchy throat, and it was COVID. Some have only been tired and had a headache. Some have just had traditional cold/flu symptoms, and it was COVID. So, this COULD be COVID, but with cases low, the only way to know is to test.

    If it was a bad cold/flu season (think H1N1, for example), would you keep her home? Or would you take the risks and live life? At this point, COVID is very similar in terms of risks to bad strains of the flu like H1N1...

  7. Anonymous1:48 PM

    Minnie is very lucky to have 4 siblings at home but I still think the socialization is important so Minnie can that there is a world beyond her home and kids other than her siblings. In 4 or 5 years she's going to be going to kindergarten and it's going to be unbeliveably difficult if she hasn't spent any significant amount of time outside of her home or with kids other than her siblings. And, it's important for Minnie to see you interacting with other adults, even if it is just at little gym. I could go on and on about the benfits of allowing Minnie to hand out with other kids;/toddlers her age . . . .

  8. Pediatrician here. I think you need to swab her now so you know if all of you have been exposed (to be careful about passing it on to others even you're asymptomatic). Then, once she's no longer a snot factory (and enough time has passed if it is COVID) go one about your business, including the gym. I'm sure your other kids picked up colds when they were toddlers and you didn't drop gym membership. Same thing, really. We are seeing an uptick in influenza lately, so be sure she's had both doses of her flu vaccine.

  9. Ugh. I'm so sorry. Poor Minnie. Poor you.

    It is so hard to navigate all the germ/COVID stuff. I really have felt so, so thankful my kids are older as we go through the pandemic as I just don't know how I'd handle it all with small kiddos.

    It felt like my kids were literally sick every other week when they started preschool, but things have been so much better as they have gotten older and we've been much healthier than normal during COVID because of school shutdowns, and all the other preventative measures in place (our schools are all still masked here in Canada).

    It's a tough balancing act between personal comfort and knowing there are lots of "normal" bugs out there, while also being careful and realizing the trickle-down impacts if family members get COVID or even cold bugs.

    I don't have any "answers" because I think these are all such personal decisions that are multi-faceted. More than anything I hope she feels better SOON. Colds with little ones are so tough, especially where she hasn't been exposed to much before. I hope you're managing to get some sleep and that everyone else stays healthy.

    Whatever decision you make, I'd suggest going with your gut. You don't need to do anything you don't feel comfortable with! But also don't feel guilty if you keep going to the gym (what I would probably do, personally)!

    Sending love and vibes for good sleep and rest for all <3

  10. Anonymous4:58 AM

    You are completely overreacting. Sure she might get less colds if she’s stuck at home but at what cost? She needs to be out and see other kids her age.