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Mom Talks: Handling Children’s Pain and Fever

When you become a mom, life as you know it changes completely and forever. All of a sudden you’re responsible for keeping a tiny, helpless being alive every second of every day. I know I felt the pressure, especially when my first baby came along. When we took Tee home from the hospital, I kept thinking there had to be more to the process. The midwife just put her in my arms and sent us on our way. Wait. That’s it?

To be honest, those first few weeks were really anxiety-provoking. I worried over every sniffle, every cough, every twitch, every hiccup. Once I was nursing Tee in my arms and she rolled off the nursing pillow onto the bed. She couldn’t have fallen more than 6 inches, but I was horrified and worried I’d broken my baby. I stayed up most of the night watching her sleep to make sure she didn’t stop breathing.

And then my second precious little girl came along. Twice the vulnerability, but twice the sweetness too!

loving sisters

You don’t realize how much it physically hurts to see your child sick or in pain until it happens to you. I remember our first visit to the Emergency Room. A few years ago when Tee was three, she fell off the couch and hit the coffee table, putting her teeth through her lower lip. I was horrified by the amount of blood and rushed her to the ER. I was in tears when I called my husband. How could I have let this happen?

But of course she was fine, and we went home with one tiny stitch and some Children’s TYLENOL® to manage the pain. She still remembers this though, and loves to brag about how much blood there was and how loud Mommy screamed. Tee’s my daredevil kid – she loves to show off her bumps and bruises and scars, never mind the grey hairs she’s giving me along the way!

I know how lucky I am that our kids have never had anything worse than the usual, everyday childhood injuries and ailments. But even though colds and coughs and scraped knees aren’t serious, it still sucks seeing my babies in pain.


Coughs and Colds

Cough and cold medicines are not recommended for babies, toddlers, and children under 6 years old, so over the years we’ve developed a bag of tricks to help the girls feel better when they’re sick or in pain. I start out with cartoons on the couch, apple juice to keep them hydrated, and lots and lots of sleep.

When the girls have a cough or cold, I give them a spoonful of raw honey (buckwheat is my preferred option) to soothe sore throats and ease coughing. (Note: honey should not be given to babies under 12 months old due to the small risk of infant botulism.) It works, and funnily enough I never have to beg them to take their “medicine”. In fact, Kay has been known to fake a cough in hopes of getting an extra dose of honey. Good thing she’s so easy to see through!


Stuffed up noses and congested chests can be treated naturally by sitting in a small bathroom with the door shut and a hot shower running to fill the room with steam. In a similar vein, I set up a humidifier by their beds to help moisten dry noses and loosen phlegm while they’re sleeping. I’ve also used saline drops and a Snot Sucker when they’re really congested. Comfort measures like snuggles and a hot water bottle help them settle and get their needed rest.

Pain and Fever

But when the kids are in too much pain or discomfort from a fever to sleep, I’m thankful I have more options to help them feel better and sleep better. My parents gave Children’s TYLENOL® to me and my brother when we were kids, and I trust it to treat my children’s pain now. The makers of TYLENOL® also make Children’s MOTRIN®, so it makes sense to me to stick with a trusted brand. I keep both on hand because they contain different ingredients and work differently to relieve my girls’ pain and/or fever.

Children's Tylenol and Children's MotrinChildren’s TYLENOL® contains acetaminophen, a first line of defense against pain and fever and is dosed every 4-6 hours, whereas Children’s MOTRIN® contains ibuprofen to help reduce fevers for up to 8 hours. Children’s MOTRIN® is also a fast, effective medication for pain relief.

When it comes to babies and toddlers, I prefer Children’s TYLENOL® because it’s easiest on sensitive tummies. I prefer Children’s MOTRIN® before bed because I know it’ll last longer through the night. That’s important to me because longer fever relief means fewer frantic middle of the night calls for “Mommy! Mommy!” Isn’t it funny how they never call for Daddy at four in the morning?

With winter on the way and both kids in school, it’s inevitable that they’ll bring home some kind of bug. I’m just grateful I have so many tools at my disposal for helping them feel better when they’re under the weather.

Share your stories and advice in the comments for comforting your children when they’re in sick or in pain!

Sleep Sheep helps comfort sick kids naturally

Stock up for cold and flu season! Children’s TYLENOL® and Children’s MOTRIN® can be purchased at national retailers and most local pharmacies. Grab this coupon for $5.00 off when you buy one Children’s TYLENOL® and one Children’s MOTRIN®.

$5 off purchase of Children's Tylenol and Children's Motrin

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by the makers of TYLENOL® and MOTRIN® Canada via Jones Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of TYLENOL® and MOTRIN® Canada.

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  • My girls used to get tonnes of ear infections so I knew this protocol early on. The doctor and nurses would recommend it along with the antibiotics I had to administer for the infection. Stagger the Motrin and Tylenol. We went through so much of that stuff – I used to joke that we should have stock in one or both of those.

  • We go through a lot of honey in the the cold/flu season, it really helps a lot. I make my daughter a tea with ginger, honey, lemon to soothe her. But pain reliever is needed for those bad days & Tylenol is the best!

  • It is the worst when your child is sick or in pain! we always use Tylenol with our girls. Our oldest is sick quite a bit it seems with just starting school this year. we give her tylenol, put vicks on her chest and give her an extra pillow she her head is up more and that seems to do the trick. oh and lots of cuddles

  • There’s nothing worse than having your child in pain. We always try to give the little ones lots of fluids, have them rest up, and dose them with Tylenol.

  • There’s nothing worse than one of your kids being ill, I once had 4 of mine (only had the 4 at the time) down with chicken pox at the same time. That was dreadful or so I thought at the time. Other children came along and when 2 of these were teenagers they caught chicken pox (my fault as I suffered from shingles at the time), I have never in my life seen anybody look so bad and they were both so ill. When they are adults you still worry when they’re ill too. My 29 yr old had flu so badly last year that I took him to the ER worried it was something else, he’d drench the sheets at night with sweat and then shiver uncontrollably during the day. With kids there’s always a worry or two, having the right medication handy is always a good idea. 🙂

  • My first line of defence is comfort nursing (my first nursed until 33 months, the second is only a year old).

    If they are still showing signs of pain, I know it’s time to get the Tylenol out.

  • Thanks for the coupon and info!! I always tr and have these products on hand so I don’t have to run out when you need them.

  • I use a lot of natural remedies (passed down in my family); I used to think they were BS when I was a kid and was doused with clove paste or turmeric milk, but as it turns out, a lot of current research has proven many of these old tales to work. For congestion and chest colds/coughs, I use a quarter teaspoon of pure (natural/organic) turmeric powder with warm milk; its a natural anti-inflammatory. For pain relief, numbing and antibiotic like properties, I use clove paste to pack on wounds or open cuts. It worked beautifully when I had my wisdom teeth removed, or when my godson was teething, or gargling with it to numb a bad sore throat.

  • I can’t even count the amount of times we rushed our first born to the hospital when he was sick – it was (and still is at times) terrifying! I am so thankful to Children’s Tylenol and Children’s Motrin during these times, they make rest a little more easy for everyone involved.

  • Cold and flu season are in full swing over here! Thank you for the info and coupons. We ALWAYS have tylenol on hand!

  • No one can prepare you for the way you feel after leaving the security of the hospital. Of course, this is worse with the first baby, usually. It is a time of great joy and great anxiety. You always remember that first smile,(at one month) and all the firsts. You worry about every sniffle, sure they may be coming down with a cold or worse. Thankfully, babies seem to be very resilient and usually there are no lasting scars on either one of you.

  • Don’t forget the chicken soup! We do cuddles and soup and then ibuprofen at bedtime if they’re having trouble sleeping.