Trying Not to Freak Out About Sick Toddler and 9 Day Old Newborn

Updated on January 29, 2010
J.B. asks from Marrero, LA
18 answers

Hey moms,
Well I really need a little encouragement today. My second son was born on the 19th of January and now my 2 year old son has come down with strep throat. The dr said to keep them apart, but they have already been together a lot. I am breastfeeding so I am hoping that it will save the day. Anyone ever had this situation and their new baby did not end up getting sick. I have already stripped our bed and now am about to wipe things down with some lysol wipes. Any other ideas of encouraging words would be so appreciated. Thanks.

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So What Happened?

Thank moms! I am feeling so much better and all your responses have been so helpful. I figured there was no way I was the first mom to have a newborn and a sick toddler. My 2 year old has been on antibiotics for a day now and is doing much better and my little baby has had no fever and seems to be doing just great. Thanks so much for all the encourgement!

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

just wash your hands before touching the baby everytime! And yes, try to keep them apart. (I know it is easier said than done)

We just went through this earlier in JAnuary, not with strep but with colds. The baby stayed well thank goodness!

Good luck!



answers from Detroit on

Just wash your 2yr olds hands a lot! Make sure he is not near the baby or breathing on him. No toys that he has should go into baby's mouth. Give him rest, fluids and love.

Your nursing, so baby is getting a natural immunity ~ usually this lasts for about three months. Not fool-proof, but it's there so eat healthy for the both of you. (you can still nurse if you get sick, but take your precautions, too so as to avoid it.)

I would actually wipe things down with a diluted bleach solution (a gallon of water and a tablespoon of bleach will do it.). If you have a spray bottle - that helps or just put it in a milk jug and pour onto a sponge and wipe. This way, you also avoid the excess costs of the wipes. (Sorry... it may not be too safe for the environment, but is less to toss into a landfill.)

Make sure after touching your 2yr old, that you wash your hands - just common sense stuff, really.

Biggest thing: Don't freak out. Don't stress over it as that can lower your immunity. Make sure all of you rest and get enough sleep to stay well. You will be fine~
Congrats on the new baby!


answers from Milwaukee on

I had strep when my daughter was only a week old and she did not get it. Lots of hand washing, cleaning everything down and of course for 24 hours on the meds I tired to stay away as much as possible and have hubby hold/care for baby.

A two year old can understand things, may not agree with or be happy with what you are saying. Tell him that he is sick and to get better he needs to stay in these certian rooms (his bedroom, playroom/living room) and that he needs to be a really big helper and help his baby brother stay health by not touching baby for a few days and wash hands often. This will hopefully play to his wanting to be a helper and care for baby.

Try to keep baby in sepearte rooms that your older son is not in, wash hands, if your son is big into baths then give more bathes then normal just to help fully clean the germs off. That could then be seen more of you giving him extra attention because he is sick then since he is sick he can not be by anyone.



answers from Waco on

Strep is a bacterial illness, not a virus as some others have said. The beautiful thing about strep is that it typically responds extremely well to antibiotics. 24 hours and little ones have a drastic turn-around. It's also very rare for an infant to get strep. Just practice good hygiene (which it sounds like you are doing anyway) and rest in knowing that in the rare event your son came down with strep, a little dose of antibiotics should do the trick.



answers from Huntsville on

I've never been in that situation (only have 1 child right now), but just do your best to keep them separate. Don't let your 2 yr old kiss or hug the baby, make sure he washes his hands often. If he doesn't already, teach him to cover his cough with his arm. I'm sure the breastfeeding will help too. Also want to make sure you wash your hands, and probably even the baby's hands often too!

Relax and just do the best you can!

I had strep when I was in my early teens. I remember being so miserable!! I hope your son feels better soon!



answers from Chicago on

My baby was born on Dec 6 and he has had a constant cold, thanks to his 22 month old sister. Luckily, when she had the flu last week, he didn't get sick.

My advice: hang in there. Spring will be here soon. There really isn't much we can do to keep our newborns free from our toddler's germs. I just keep thinking my little guy will have an extra strong immune system from being sick so much as a newborn. I just keep an extra watchful eye. Not sure what else we can do.



answers from Los Angeles on

I think, in your situation, this is what I personally would try to do - Try to remind your 2 year old not to touch the baby right now, at least not skin to skin, no kissing the new baby, no touching the baby's face, etc. I would let him touch the baby's foot (assuming the baby has socks on)......or rub his arm while covered with the blanket. Constant hand washing for everyone! It is probably tough to explain to him that he can't be near the baby, you want him to like the new baby and not resent him.....good luck, this can't be fun for any of you...and congrats on your new baby!!!



answers from Cincinnati on

Hand washing is the number one thing. Use the antibacterial hand gel if it will help get hand washing done more often. Wash your hands/sanitize your hands before you pick up the baby each and every time! It's a great time to make sure there's a stool by the bathroom sink and teach the older one to wash his hands. He should be washing often throughout the day: Before and after eating, after playing with toys before touching baby and even after diapering. So if you change his diaper help him wash his hands. This teaches hand washing with bathroom use! :) We wash our hands as soon as we get home to prevent germs from stores and such to be spread around the house. Be sure to use antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer. We have hand sanitizer sitting on common places: end table in living room and in my sons room to encourage before and after playing with toys/computer/video games and such. Illness this year for the two of us: zero. He's in first grade and I work in a hospital.
Hand washing is the number one prevention on spreading germs!



answers from College Station on

Take heart! You are already doing what you need to be doing!

The breastfeeding will help a lot. You are giving your 9-day-old antibodies through the breast milk.

I know bacterial infections like strep throat are contagious before symptoms appear, but I don't know if it is a day or more. Still, don't worry about the past few days. You can't do anything to change what has already happened.

I would think that your 2-yr-old is tired and hurting. Reminding him that playing by himself for 24 hours is like sneezing into your sleeve -- helps prevent spreading germs. I wouldn't want the 2-yr-old to get any idea that he could be responsible if the 9-day-old gets sick! Just because the symptoms appeared first for the 2-yr-old doesn't mean _he_ is the source or cause of anyone else in the family getting sick.

Hope all goes well (I'll say a prayer) and hope everyone else in the house stays strep-throat free!



answers from Dallas on

I was in that same situation with my 3 week old baby at the time and his older brother. Just don't let the older one hug / kiss the baby, wipe everything down, change sheets, wash lots of hands ! At least within 24 hours of meds the strep is not considered contagious. And my baby didn't get the strep....


answers from St. Louis on

Two days after our new baby was home, my 2 year old was up vomitting in the middle of the night. Not sure what she had but I tried to ensure they were apart, but we cosleep part-time so I think my daughter ended up in our bed that night. My son did not get any virus from her, but I have noticed that he's had more runny noses, diahrrea and congestion than she ever had at his age (but she also never went to daycare and they both do now).



answers from Hartford on

Sounds like you are doing the right things. Keep the toddlers face and hands away from your newborn...Hopefully everything is better now. You'll get through this. Try to rest when they do if you can get them in sync, you are still postpartum! Good luck!



answers from Houston on

My almost 5 year old at the time had Scarlet Fever when my son was two weeks old. He was exclusively breastfed and never got a sniffle. I didn't go crazy with the changing the sheets and the cleaning either. I wouldn't worry about it. Just keep the 2 year old away as much as you can and your baby should be fine.

Really all the doctor told me to do at the time was keep my fiver year old out of his face. Other than that, she said she could hold him & such.



answers from Tampa on

I have a two year old and 4 month old. When my baby was 4 weeks old, her big sister had the flu, and my baby did not get sick. You have to keep your toddler from breathing on the baby, emphasize covering coughs and sneezes, and use lots of antibacterial hand gel/hand wipes/soap and water :). That said it is possible for your little one to get sick too since his little immune system is still developing, but like you said breast feeding helps and you just have to hope for the best and know the danger signs to be aware of in your little one (fever for example). If he does get strep, it can be easily treated with antibiotics, so try not to worry, he will be safe. Modern medicine is great at treating sick newborns, so all will be well. I will say a prayer for you. Stay encouraged!


answers from Denver on

They say that babies that young do not get the strep virus. Plus your newborn isn't at the stage where EVERYTHING goes in his mouth besides your breast and a possible paci. Just make sure that you wash your hands frequently and don't let your son touch the paci although after 24-48 hours of antibiotic he shouldn't be contagious any more. A week after my son was born my sister came to visit and brought the stomach bug with them.... my son didn't get anything from them due to the antibodies that they wee young ones have. He should be protected against a lot of things until about 6 mos of age when those good ol antibodies wear off from birth although they still get some from your milk if you continue. Im sure your little guy is just fine and I hope the 2 year old feels better soon!



answers from Victoria on

Congrats JenB on your new baby! My hubby brought the flu home from the hospital with our new born. I kept him away from our baby and sprayed everything he touched when he did come out of the room. No one else became sick at all! Lots of prayers your new one dosent get sick and your 2yr old gets better quickly. Perhaps grandma could watch the 2 yr old for a few days...or someone else? Hope you have the same luck we did.



answers from Houston on

Two times my eldest child of 3 has had strep throat and neither time the baby has caught it. I was told by two different doctors that typically a child under the age of 2 tends not to catch strep throat due to the antibodies that is received through breast my milk. Not sure if that is 100% true but neither of the babies caught it.



answers from San Antonio on

Carry hand sanitizer with you EVERYWHERE and use it EVERY time after you touch the oldest and BEFORE you touch the baby!!!!! My DD was born at 35 weeks. We were able to bring her home after 10 days, but both my other kids (ages 5 and 1 yr) had colds. We (as well as the kids) were sanitizing our hands constantly and the baby didn't get sick. Good luck!!!

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