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My baby is always ill - is this normal

(19 Posts)
Tillysmummy Tue 06-Aug-02 10:44:13

Hi ladies

It's been a while since I've posted apart from the odd one here or there. We went on holiday and also have been so busy at work since I got back.

I wanted to turn to all you experienced mums for some more advice.

I am so worried that there is something wrong with my little girl. She seems to be constanty ill. It's one thing after another. She is now 11 months. It started from about 5 months old. Which I guess ties in with her not being breastfed anymore as I was going back to work.

So from then she seems to have had one thing after another, quite a few colds, tonsilitus, a nasty tummy bug a couple of weeks ago and now a cold again. The tummy bug and latest cold are a result of her starting nursery a couple of weeks ago for one day a week and I know they pick everything up. I just worry that something is wrong with her.

People tell me that she is just building up her immune system etc and that it's normal. She is a robust and strong little girl. She has an excellent diet, lots of fresh veg and fruit and fish, chicken, pasta, rice, etc, etc.

My mum etc keep wondering why she keeps getting things and that makes me worry that there's something wrong. Maybe they have forgotten what it was like and all the little illnesses or maybe there weren't so many?

Has anyone else experienced this ? I guess you forget the couple of weeks inbetween that they don't have anything.

Tetley Tue 06-Aug-02 11:01:47

Tillysmummy - IME my ds (21 months) has been exactly the same - especially since being at nursery - it's just part of growing up. I can't remember the last time that he didn't have a cold! He's had a high temperature all weekend - I ended up taking him to the emergency doctors last night when I then saw a faint rash on his back as well - however it's just an unnamed viral infection, plus a bit of an ear infection.

Your dd seems to be getting the right food - i.e. vitamins etc, so I would have to agree with the people who tell you that it's the building up of her immune system. I don't know the exact facts & figures but theres something about kids not having a fully operating immune system until they're much older than your dd or my ds. So the constant illnesses are just something we have to put up with.

All I would add is that if ever you're concerned then don't hesitate to see a doctor - that is after all what they're there for, and usually they're very happy to check up when it's a small child.

PamT Tue 06-Aug-02 11:04:07

Hi Tillysmummy, it makes you feel really guilty when you are working and have a baby who is always sick. DS1 was just the same. He had been prem and was always prone to chest and ear infections but also seemed to pick everything else up that was going. He was always more vulnerable when he was teething too. I was fortunate that my Mum cared for him whilst I was at work so I didn't have to worry about nurseries etc but I did have to take quite a lot of time off work to go to the doctors with him.

I think a doctor once told me that the average baby will suffer between 7 and 12 colds a year so if she has all these plus a virus or stomach bug once a month too that will mean almost constant illness. I think you are doing all you can in terms of a varied diet but it still doesn't make it any easier to cope with does it? It will pass in time as she builds up more resistance and they do say that children need to pick up lots of bugs in the early years so that they can build up a better resistance as they get older.

JaneyT Tue 06-Aug-02 11:07:37

My experience is exactly the same. My younger dd now 14 mns is getting less prone to things now, but from 6 - 12 months she caught everything going - mostly different strains of colds - never really getting over one before the next started - apparently there are lots and lots of different strains of the common cold, and they build their immunity up by catching them - I think !!

She also has had several ear infections - has one now - and has had at least 3 lots of this high temperature/sore throat virus. Like your dd my dd catches a lot from nursery - she goes 2 days since 7ms old, and she also gets things from dd1 !

I think your dd sounds normal - but if you are worried perhaps you should speak to the dr ?

It does get you down when they are constantly fighting a cold or something, as it affects their sleep - and yours - and their eating etc, and it gets them down too. My older dd - now 2.5 was exactly the same, and since 18 ms or so gets far less colds etc.

Chin up, the end could well be in sight !

bundle Tue 06-Aug-02 11:17:30

Tillysmummy, I can only echo what everyone else has said and hope that what's happening now will pay dividends like it has with my dd (now 25 mths) who had constant bugs during the period you mentioned and now seems to be very robust! (touch wood!) exposure to 'muck & bullets' as my mum would call it, does appear to build up immunity, according to the experts

Tillysmummy Tue 06-Aug-02 11:20:17

Thanks for all your support and experiences. It just seems like my baby is always sick and i worry that something is wrong with her although most of it is normal. I think she's had about 6 or 7 colds in the last 5 months. It is terrible. I can deal with the lack of sleep etc as long as I know she's ok.

I think the doctor sees us so regularly for one thing or another that maybe if he thought it was abnormal he would have said something ?

Pigwig Tue 06-Aug-02 11:32:56

Tillysmum, my 2 year old has had constant infections since starting creche at 7 months. Recently after yet another emergency dash to casulty at 11pm one evening he was yet again admitted with a high temp. Turned out to be another chest infection, the consultant told us that children get on average between 12-15 viral infections a year which means more than one a month. She told us not to worry and that it was just his immune system developing and he would grow out of it. I have to say that in the last 6 months he has had fewer infections than usual so looks like she was right!

bundle Tue 06-Aug-02 11:33:28

tillysmummy, I'm sure the doc would have suggested seeing a paediatrician if s/he thought something was wrong. toddlers are the bread n butter of morning surgery round our way, lots of phlegm and spluttering...and as long as she's happy in herself, is putting on weight, weeing, pooing and getting on with life

Azzie Tue 06-Aug-02 11:41:50

Hi Tillysmummy, I was wondering where you'd got to. Hope the holiday was good.

My dd went through a phase in the first 3rd of this year when she seemed to have one thing after another. For a long time it was almost 1 week on, 1 week off - every time she got a cold her temperature shot right up, then in between she picked up a tummy bug or two - it was a nightmare. Dh and I had to organize our working lives so that we never had clashing important meetings, because it was so likely that one or the other of us would have to get dd from nursery and stay home with her, and we had my poor MIL roped in as well - we knew her schedule almost as well as our own, and she got quite used to getting called at the crack of dawn, jumping in her car and driving down (2.5 hrs) to look after an ailing dd for us (my MIL is a SAINT, by the way, and may I be struck by lightning if I EVER utter a word against her ). It really grinds you down after a while.

I've found that dd seems to be more prone to these types of illness than ds was. I'm glad it happened with my 2nd child - if dd had been my first I think I would have been down at the doctors worried silly that there was something seriously wrong with her (I don't know about the rest of you, but I've been far more laid back with dd than with ds).

I think what Tilly is going through sounds perfectly normal. They do pick stuff up at nursery, it's just one of those unfortunate facts of life. Better she builds up a healthy immune system now than when she is at school. If you are at all worried talk to your GP or HV about it, they won't mind.

Tillysmummy Tue 06-Aug-02 11:42:49

I think you're right Bundle, that's what I think, he sees her regularly enough ! Pigwig, so I have another year and one month of constant sickness to look forward to ! Yippee

Tillysmummy Tue 06-Aug-02 11:48:02

Hi Azzie

Yes, i've been away for a while and really missed everyone, just been so busy and it seems they manage to get 5 days work out of me in 3 round here !

Thanks for your message. All of you have cheered me up. It does seem like we are a regular fixture at the doctor's surgery, in fact I've even wondered about whether I should just book a weekly appointment and cancel it if I don't need it. Seems to be Im always down there.

I think the same about her growing out of it and it's good etc because she's building up good immunity but at the time it seems hard to believe that she can be ill yet again when she's only just recovered from something !

I also have a great mother, MIL isn't so good with Tills so not possible for her to help too much but my mum looks after Tilly the other two days I work and takes her to nursery for me on a Tuesday and picks her up because Im at work. It's great and she is a tremendous help. It does make everything easier.

I do feel terrible though when I have to miss work because of her being ill. I feel so guilty about it although I know I shouldn't because nothing can be done about it.

MABS Tue 06-Aug-02 11:57:49

Just a thought and I'm not being all 'earth mother' honest My 22 months ds is always ill as well, though he does have some lung damage. His physio recommended me went to a homeopathic place and see how we got on. Basically , I went to a local health shop and they said to buy a broad spectrum vitamin supplement and also acydophillus (spelling?) daily. They also suggested I buy 'yakult' that yoghurt type drink and give him to it daily.

Its all a bit of a pain and it might be psychological - but he has been better recently. Anyway, just thought I'd mention it .MABS

Tillysmummy Tue 06-Aug-02 12:04:43

Thanks MABS, funny you should mention that but I also bought some Vitamin supplements for Tills yesterday. Haven't started giving yet but we'll see.

Demented Tue 06-Aug-02 12:13:32

Tillysmummy, there you are! Had posted for you on missing person's thread. Thought you had forgot to come back from your hols! Did you have a nice time?

Tillysmummy Tue 06-Aug-02 12:19:50

HI Demented

I didn't see that - which Topic was it under ? I'll have a look now.

I didn't forget about you all but so busy at work and with sick baby !

Holiday was fantastic, Tilly was an angel, so well behaved and we had a lovely time. I would highly recommend the hotel to everyone, really lovely.

Only bad thing was having Tilly in our room, bit awkward on the sex side and she kept standing up and waving to us I think that a separate room is mandatory next time ! We just disturb each other too much. How are you ?

aloha Tue 06-Aug-02 12:28:23

My ds had one thing after another for ages when he was smaller - I too asked the doctor if it was normal. Think it was just going to his childminder and mixing with other kids who had bugs. I gave him vitamin drops in his food, which definitely seemed to help and he's been so healthy for months and months now. I am sure she will get over it soon, when she's had a few bugs and developed her immune system.

monkey Tue 06-Aug-02 12:40:21

Tillysmummy, my ds was constantly ill, can't really remember the ages 1.5 to 2.5 as a very rough guess. It was all fairly low-level - one cold after another etc etc. He has been at home full time with me, so don't bother worrying about working & nursery - I think loads of kids go through it. I was reassured it was building up his immune system too. I was getting really down because it seemed like such a huge proportion of hiss little life he was under the weather, but then suddenly it stopped. He does get a cold every now & then of course, but we look back & realise it was constant & now it isn't.

Btw, he turned out to be a bit anaemic, so this might be worth getting checked out?

titchy Tue 06-Aug-02 14:17:06

I can only echo what others have said - it's all normal! Both mine went to nursery when I went back to work, and just being in that environment with all those children made them pick up everything! After about a year of nursery they seem to have settled down and are not nearly so ill now.

At least if they get hundreds of viruses and bugs now they won't get the same ones later. Gets a lot of them over and done with!

Marina Tue 06-Aug-02 19:33:58

Me too, Tillysmummy - it honestly will improve between 18 months and 2 years, it did for us. As well as vitamins (although I have to be honest and say it sounds as though her diet does not need any supplementation on that front, long may it last!) we found that the acidophilus mentioned by Mabs, every time he had antibiotics or an upset tummy, really helped, and so did xylitol. The best way to give her this might be in the homoeopathic teething granules sold by Boots and Nelsons. the other active ingredient in these, chamomilla, is a safe and good remedy for soothing and comforting, so you might be tempted to tuck in as well. We found that giving him xylitol daily during the winter meant no more bacterial infections. He has not had antibiotics in nearly 2 years and like you, we spent a LOT of time with the doctor in his early months.

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