Nancy - posted on 01/22/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )
We recently moved next door to our friends who have a boy that is close to our toddler's age. They play together all the time but since the boy has started daycare our toddler has contracted all of his colds. In fact, since we moved our toddler has been sick 50 percent of the time we've been here (four colds in two months and two ear infections). I have obviously been concerned about what this would mean when we brought our newborn home in December. The boy was out of daycare for the holiday break and everything was great, but now that he's back there both he and our daughter are sick again.
Now, despite doing EVERYTHING to keep my toddler from giving our newborn her cold (obsessive hand washing, changing our clothes after handling her, frequent antibacterial wipedowns of the house, no direct contact between her and the baby) our 1 month old has contracted it and now has a ton of nasal congestion. My husband and I both caught our toddler's cold as well. We spoke to our doctor on the phone and he said long as she's not coughing for more than a day or has a fever, and as long as she's still eating (she is breastfed) then we don't need to bring her in. So far she is eating and does not have a fever so we are able to keep her at home.
I am really stressed out about our newborn being sick all the time as it seems that despite every best effort it is impossible to guarantee she won't get sick when our toddler does. The last thing I want is for her to have to be in the NICU (went through that with the first one and don't want to do that again) or god forbid she has to have a lumbar puncture because she has a fever.
I would honestly consider moving because the situation creates so much stress for me, but we live in a very expensive city and affordable, decent housing is very difficult to come by. Our last place was so terrible and we only have this place (which is very nice and great for kids) because of our neighbors. I don't want to seem ungrateful or like a paranoid anti-social mess by keeping their kid isolated from ours, and I'm not even sure that would be possible as we live 10 feet away, share a washer/dryer, our husbands our good friends, and our toddler screams to go over and play every time she hears their voices.
If our newborn weren't a newborn - if she were 6 months for instance, I wouldn't be as concerned. I just don't know what I can do in the situation. Has anyone dealt with a similar issue with their newborn in terms of them constantly being exposed to germs. I feel like the only answer is to keep breastfeeding and deal with the colds as they come but this seems like such an unsatisfying answer. I feel trapped in the situation, and like there is nothing I can do to protect my daughter from a potential NICU stay short of creating a hostile environment for the rest of my family. Help!