My sweet little Theo has spent the first week of his second year with a wicked cold, complete with coughing, sneezing and an incessant runny nose. He got it from me, because I got sick right after his first birthday party.
The first few days of his cold were actually pretty easy. Miraculously, he has still been sleeping through the night every night, even with a cold. His naps were short for the first few days, because his cough kept waking him up. And I actually rocked him and held him for a few naps, which hasn’t happened since he was five months old (except on planes). I loved that part.
He was also so tired and lethargic that all he wanted to do was cuddle and read books. So for a few days, that’s what we did, all day long. Cuddled, read, slept, repeat.
But for the past two days, he started feeling just a little bit better. Not well enough that I would take him out and risk getting other people sick, but well enough to be bored. And cranky. And with a short attention span. We read. We watched Baby Signing Time videos (which are awesome, by the way). We played with the kitties. We took a mid-day bath. We snuggled. We built a tent. We ate snacks. And then I ran out of ideas.
I sent out an SOS to other mamas, via Instagram stories, asking for ideas of what to do to entertain my sick one year old. They generously shared such great ideas, I wanted to pass them on to you. Here they are:
- Bubble bath, with new toys or new cups/spoons
- Bundle up your little one and take a walk
- Wear him and cook or bake something, letting him ‘help,’ as appropriate
- Finger painting
- Create a ‘Beach’ by cranking up the heat, putting beach towels on the floor and filling buckets with warm water. Set your toddler on the beach towels and give him cups, spoons, strainers, etc, and let him play.
- Create a sensory bin by filling a big plastic bin with cereal or rice and giving your toddler bowls and scoops and spoons for playing in the bin. This site has amazing ideas!
- Take a long drive and let your toddler take a nap in the car. This is especially helpful if he is having a hard time napping by laying flat.
Thank you to all of the mamas who sent along great ideas. I will be trying them all, and hopefully, Theo will be all better soon!