Mayim Bialik wrote ‘Beyond the Sling’ to offer her real-life advice as a real mom who has a Ph.D in neuroscience. She believes in Attachment Parenting, which emphasizes strong emotional bonds between children and parents, because it encourages her and her husband to follow their intuition. This intuitive style of parenting extends beyond the baby stage. It even includes how they treat babies and kids (and themselves!) for medical ailments. Added bonus: she played Blossom Russo on the hit show ‘Blossom.’
Between our two boys, ages six and and three-and-a-half, we have dealt with just about every ailment, sickness and flu out there. However, neither of our sons has ever been on antibiotics, nor do we give them Tylenol, Motrin, antihistamines or cough syrup.
I’ve learned from talking to other moms that almost everything you have right now in your home and your heart is enough to deal with most everything. I’m not arguing to be negligent. But too often, I see children being medicated when an ice pack, rest, temporary dietary modifications and good old-fashioned TLC would do the trick!
Never second-guess the feeling that something isn’t right.
Don’t hover, but don’t ignore your intuition either.
If you have a feeling that something is not right, check on the baby.
Present parents often have an intuitive sense of their baby’s status that translates to knowing their well-being even from afar. It’s not hocus-pocus, it’s for real!
Watch how you speak.
Phrases like, “You’re OK,” “Stop crying,” “Big boys/girls don’t cry,” and “There’s nothing to cry about” send a message that getting hurt and expressing pain makes people uncomfortable.
Here’s how we handle the top four sicknesses most households see:
About 70 percent of earaches are NOT bacterial and do not need antibiotics. What they need is rest and treatment for discomfort such as garlic drops or breast milk (!) in the ears, or hydrogen peroxide dosed appropriately.
Fever can be bacterial but is most often viral. Fever is there to kill the virus, so give tepid baths and dress the child in minimal clothing to keep them from overheating.
Plugged tear duct/eye inflammation (not diagnosed pink eye)
Gentle and frequent massage of a baby’s tear duct (towards the bridge of the nose) and breast milk dropped into the eye every time you nurse should clear this up!
For respiratory flu, a few drops of eucalyptus oil in the bottom of a shower with hot water running can steam up a bathroom for relief from congestion; a cut-up onion wrapped in a cloth handkerchief and placed near a pillow stimulates a runny nose to get the virus out. Rest and tons of fluids are crucial. For stomach flu, wait out the vomiting and diarrhea but don’t stop it up with medicines. It needs to get out! Encourage bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. Know the signs of true dehydration (dry lips, weakness, unresponsiveness) and stay close to your child to monitor them.
Children hurt for a lot of different reasons, and a parent’s desire for a child to be free of pain is universal. I implore you to take very seriously the charge given to you. Protect this tiny, dependent person not only with what Western medicine can offer you, but also with the intuition that is yours simply because you are a caring and loving parent.