Mother and Baby

15 tips for looking after your toddler when they're poorly

Section: Toddler

Having a poorly little one is never fun especially if they are contagious and you both end up in quarantine. Here are M&B's genius hacks for dealing with a child who's poorly... 

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1) Keep the TV planner stocked

You can never have enough episodes of Octonauts or Thomas & Friends at your disposal.
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2) Be prepared

You never know when illness will strike. Don’t make the amateur mistake of running down your Calpol stocks.
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3) ​Rewind to baby days

All of a sudden, naps, nursery rhymes and cuddly toys will make a return while the patient recuperates.
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4) One-Click wonder

Amazon Prime pays for itself with films, books   and the medicine you can't get hold of at any pharmacy.
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5) Bless you

 Always stay stocked up with tissues - kitchen roll is never a wise substitute.
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6) Secret Santa

Hide a couple of presents at Christmas for entertainment emergencies in the dark days of chicken pox recovery.
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7) Domestic goddess

Enforced time at home will mean you will focus on every tiny household job that needs doing. There will be no cobwebs left anywhere and you’ll finally use those painting test pots to ‘touch up’ the scuffs on your walls!
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8) Screen break

They might embrace their digital childhoods usually, but when illness strikes, nothing beats a comic for a poorly little one.
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9) Savour the moment

Actually, the long afternoons with quite child on your knee and the odd film watched together are very precious times.
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10) Cabin fever

Once infectiousness passes, get outdoors to stretch their legs (and reclaim your sanity). A trip to post a letter will feel like an exotic holiday.
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11) Early nights

You might not be ill yourself but observe a sensible bedtime: when the midnight cry comes, you’ll feel less horrific if you’ve banked some sleep.
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12) Sticker books will be your saviour

Worry about removing the stubborn little marks at a later date…
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13) House arrest has perks

There’s no harm in keeping an eye on your favourite online outlets – you’ll be at home for deliveries at least.
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14) Beige food

Tender little tummies will only tolerate the plainest foods. Keeping white bread, crackers and bananas in the house is a wise move. 
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15) All change!

Just as you start to get comfy in quarantine, wearing tracksuit bottoms and a ponytail at all times, your little one will make a sudden (and probably very energetic) recovery. Normal service will resume. Loudly.

Now read:

9 important tips for keeping your little ones safe on Instagram

Dairy-free meal ideas for your toddler that won't cost the earth


  • Author: Joanna Dunbar Joanna Dunbar
  • Job Title: Contributing writer

As a freelance writer, Jo covers parenting, health and lifestyle with the odd opinion-based rant and celebrity interview thrown in.

Before freelancing (and juggling journalism with two young sons), Jo was on staff at Good Housekeeping, Bella, Woman and The Mail on Sunday. When not typing furiously or refereeing the kids, Jo can be found pulling on her trainers for a gentle run or baking up a storm in her quest to produce the perfect brownie batch.


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