When our kids get sick, it is difficult for parents not to rush to the doctor right away, and do everything we possibly can to make them feel better – fast! However, heading off to your pediatrician, urgent care, or emergency room at the first sign of sickness is not always the best idea. In fact, many pediatrician’s offices will not take little ones when they are not feeling well (they have a nurse line to call instead), and some urgent care centers will simply confirm what you already know to be true, and tell you to wait it out. Of course, the only time you should be taking your child to the emergency room is in a true emergency. As a parent, though, it is always better to be safe than sorry, so listen to your instincts. If you feel you should – do it!

However, if you are more inclined to wait it out, here are a few tips of comfort to offer your sick one:

  1. The BRAT diet. There is a reason this is number one! The bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast diet is bland and binding. Even if you kid is not showing symptoms of dehydration, diarrhea, or nausea, you can never start the BRAT diet too early.
  2. Stock up. While you are at the store getting the latest BRAT diet materials, take a stroll through the sick aisle and grab a few items of comfort such as extra tissues, medicine, Pedialyte, soup, popsicles, Jell-O, and juice.
  3. Homemade Vapo-Rub Bath Gel. Nothing sooths quite like a whiff of that vapo smell. Using just two ingredients, Charlene from My Frugal Adventures walks us through how to make these easy disks to use at bath time.
  4. Make Toddler Tea. Menucha from Moms & Crafters says a bit of warm water, tea, and some honey will help soothe sore throats and clear passages.
  5. Create a Get Better Bin. Ginny from Organizing Home Life keeps a bin of “get better” foods in case the sickness hits her house.
  6. Cuddle! There is nothing quite like cuddle time with your little one, and they enjoy it, too. Forget all the worries of the day and wrap up with them to watch a movie or read stories. Not only will you both get some much-needed one-one-one bonding time, but they will be comforted by knowing they are safe and you are there for them.
  7. Sleep. Let them sleep. You do not need to wake them for medicines or to check their temperature (and if it is to that point, you may consider taking them to get treated professionally). Sleep is the most important cure for a tough time.
  8. Spoil them rotten. In most parents’ minds, there is no such thing as spoiling a child – especially when they are sick. Let them win the battle this time. Understand they are not feeling well and they do not have the capacity to know what exactly is happening. Take it easy and relax!

If you do feel the need to take your child to the doctor, make sure you bundle them up and strap them in properly. You might even bring along a few puzzles or games to keep your child entertained and calm while you wait.