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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.

Boogie Baby.

It has been an ugly couple of days over here.  It’s Cullen’s first real sickness, and it hasn’t been an easy one.


Our poor little guy has been absolutely miserable – stuffy, sneezy, and dealing with a painful and persistent cough.  He’s had a few runny noses here and there, but this is the first time he’s been legitimately sick.

We’ve been doing our best to keep him as comfortable as possible, and I’m trying everything I can to help him get better quickly.  I’m trying to keep his nose clear and clean, although that usually just results in a of thrashing and screaming.

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I’ve talked to to his pediatrician’s office a few times, who suggested turning our bathroom into a homemade steam room, as well as using a humidifier in his bedroom at night.  We’ve been spending a lot of time sweating it out in the bathroom together.  He’s not quite sure why we keep going in there and getting so hot!

I didn’t have a humidifier, so I bundled him up yesterday and dragged him out to a nearby store to quickly grab one.  I grabbed a cart, strapped him in, and he promptly vomited all over both the cart and himself.  (Side note:  this incident has motivated me to buy one of those shopping cart covers I previously deemed unnecessary.)

I cleaned up the baby and the cart, grabbed the humidifier (and a large chocolate bar for myself), and headed home.  Now he’s all set up with the works, and I think (HOPE) it’s helping a bit.

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During the day, he hasn’t been quite like himself, but – God love him – he’s still trying to play and have fun. 

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He’s been napping and eating much more often than usual, but I’ve pretty much thrown any rules or schedule out the window to get us through this.  He’s been a lot more clingy than usual, and seems to just want to be held and snuggled most of the time.  Carrying him around for days on end prompted me to finally figure out how to do the side-carry using our Ergo carrier! 

I had just finished a recent Babble piece talking about how I miss babywearing now that Cullen is bigger, but now that I’ve figured this out, it is most definitely back!  He loves being carried around on my hip, so having a little extra support is a major game changer for me (and my aching arms!). 


The nights have been a different story.  Just when I think we are headed in the right direction, night time hits and all my worries come back.  Cullen has been up most of the night for several nights – coughing, barking, crying, twisting, and turning.  I’ve spent a lot of time in there too – watching, hugging, feeding, and soothing.  Not much sleeping.


I know it’s just a cold and in the big picture it’s no big deal.  But it’s his first one, and our first one as parents, and I’m starting to understand how scary and helpless some of the not-so-fun parts of parenting can feel.  Casey has been working from home to help lend an extra hand and stay close.  I’m working hard to find my inner confident parent, so that he feels comforted and reassured even though he’s feeling crummy.

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Here’s hoping today is the last of it, and that our peanut is back to smiling and laughing sooner than later!

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62 Comments so far
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Hallie(@ChasingHallie)     at 2:43 pm

Going through the exact same thing here in our house. Not fun at all!

This is M’s second time to get sick (the first she was just 2 months!) and its scary. Feel so bad for them but there is only so much we can do.

Hope it passes soon for all of us!


Alyssa     at 2:44 pm

So sorry to hear he’s not doing so hot :( I hope he feels better soon. I can see in the pics that his nose is all red. Put some nipple cream on it and it will stop the redness and cracking VERY fast. I put it on my little guy’s nose and cheeks whenever they get chapped.
I hope he feels better soon and you get some rest!


Kate     at 2:45 pm

Hope Cullen feels better soon! My little girl (2 weeks younger than Cullen) is getting tubes put in this Friday after 4 months of ear infections. I am glad to finally have a light at the end of the baby illness tunnel! Hang in there…it is tough!


Megan     at 2:47 pm

Sure it’s only a cold, but it’s a scary thing nonetheless. You can only do so much for them!

I’m dreadfully anticipating the first time my daughter gets sick. I know it’s bound to happen, but I’ve naively floated along these first 5 months. An ear infection or the flu is surely on its way soon!

Hope little Cullen gets well soon!


bhline     at 2:52 pm

Colds/Flu/General sickness is the worst b/c they can’t exactly tell you what is the worst and where they need the most help.

What I’ve found works is the following:
** Vicks Baby rubbed on the bottom of his feet and on his chest before bedtime; must be the Baby version
** Eucalyptus oil – you can either put a couple of drops of the oil in his humidifier (mine has an oil dropper area), or his bathtub water, or directly on the bottom of his feet at bedtime.

The scents open up their air ways and help them stop coughing while they try to get their sleep.

Also, I always have footie pajamas on my little one so it doesn’t get all over him and his bed.

I know they are old wives tales, but they have worked everytime for my son and I!



Bonnie Reply:

”Vicks Baby rubbed on the bottom of his feet and on his chest before bedtime; must be the Baby version”

Oh so not a old wives tale as it really works. My kids are grown now yet things one never forgets.

Get well soon Cullen and Emily.


Steph @ DairyFreeOmnivore     at 2:57 pm

Any illness with your child, no matter how many time you’ve been through it, is still tough and scary. The first is the worst though because you just don’t know what to do to make them feel better. But you’re doing everything right, at this point it is a waiting game. I hesitate to say it will get easier, because when you’re little one is sick it’s never easy. But you will get better at it. You’ll have your tried and true remedies, and you’ll become an expert.
Hang in there Mama! You’re doing a great job!


Ashley     at 3:00 pm

Oh my goodness…the side carrier option is SO CUTE. Is that weird I think it’s cute? Well, it is. :) Hope he feels better soon!


Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily     at 3:03 pm

Poor baby, I hope he feels better soon! I have three kids and the oldest one is nearly 10, I still freak out when they get sick :(


Kelly@runmarun     at 3:06 pm

Poor Cullen!! He looks precious even when he is sick!! I hope he is doing better soon and that you and Casey are able to rest as well…


April     at 3:14 pm

I hope little Cullen feels better soon!


Robyn @ Blueberries and Oats     at 3:26 pm

Poor little sausage. =( I hope he gets better soon!!


Jenn     at 3:31 pm

I hope Cullen feels better soon! We just went thru the same here, and I have to say, nights were the hardest. Someone else mentioned Vicks Baby Rub, and I agree, that helps a lot. I would even rub a bit on my chest when I snuggled my Drew in the middle of the night. We also used Pedialyte to help prevent dehydration.


Julie     at 3:34 pm

Do you have a Nose Freda? One of my best recommendations for surviving runny noses!


Suzanne     at 4:22 pm

If he’s barking and it’s mainly at night then he might have croup. My first had it a couple times and it’s pretty rough, none of us got any sleep. We ended up taking him to the ER both times and getting a steroid shot. He was much better within a day.


Erin     at 5:10 pm

I second using nose frida. Of you haven’t tried it before make sure to get baby saline too. I make silly noises and faces to try to distract g so she doesn’t squirm as much. Also covering jet eyes like you’re playing peel a boo seems to help too. Good luck and feel better cullen!


Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 5:14 pm

Oh poor little tyke. I’m sure that must be scary for you guys but it sounds like you are doing everything you can to help him and take care of him and that means you are being a great parent!


Heather (Heather's Dish)     at 5:16 pm

oh man, poor Cullen and poor mom! luckily Wes hasn’t had any sort of cold or anything, the worst he’s felt was when he got his first round of vaccinations and he slept pretty much all day. i totally just threw routine and schedules out the window then too until he started to feel better. i hope tonight and tomorrow are WAY better!


Ann     at 5:32 pm

I feel for you, and poor baby! We’re in the midst of what I think is pollen based congestion, but it’s definitely taking a toll at night. A sniffling, snorfulling baby who can only sleep upright means a mom who spends most nights sitting in the chair in the nursery. Here’s to hoping everyone feels better soon!


Sarah     at 5:34 pm

Poor guy! That’s so hard.
Just a little tip that I learned when my kids were a little older…and I still use it!
I put a little Eucalyptus oil in the humidifier. I also drip it on the shower floor and it helps with the stuffy nose. They also make Vicks Vapo rub for little ones.
Good luck! Hope he’s better soon!


Angela     at 5:37 pm

Feel better soon Cullen! Poor guy, you can tell in the photos he’s not his normal self. Kudos for figuring out the Ergo carrier…I would be so bad with putting those together! ha…I can see it now.


Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction     at 5:43 pm

Aww the poor thing!!! He is still as adorable as ever even with his little cold! Hoping he gets well ASAP!


Heather     at 5:56 pm

I am so sorry Cullen isn’t feeling well. It was the scariest time for. E and my twins when they got sick the first time. Our pediatrician recommended sleeping them in their. Ad seats or elevating one end of their cribs so they were tilted up. It helped with the congestion. To prevent the little one sliding down the crib at night, roll up a blanket and put it in a u-shape under the sheet. Then rest little ones bottom on it. May not work if he can roll over, mine are still small enough that they don’t. We also used a humidifier and a few drops of tea tree and lavender oil on their pjs. Hang in there. This part is so hard. You can so it.


Whitney     at 6:15 pm

Sometimes it is good to put things into perspective. There are people going through a lot worse things. You are blessed!


RLR at Mom's Magic     at 6:15 pm

My younger child used to end up croup-y when she got a cold. Every time she got a cold until about age 3 1/2. :( Sitting in a steamy bathroom followed by a trip downstairs to stand in front of the open freezer (nice, COLD air) would help out enough to get her back to sleep – even if it was just in my arms. I second saline spray for clearing the nose. Neither of my kids liked it, but it works so quickly and easily. We still use it – and at 8 1/2 and 6 they tolerate it a little better.

Hope you are all back to normal very soon!


Jessica     at 6:29 pm

Hop on a plane and come visit me in Iowa, it is nice and humid here for him :)
I hope he feels better!!
That must have seriously sucked to clean up a puky cart and baby.


Monica     at 6:47 pm

Hugs to you and Cull


Monica     at 6:48 pm

Sorry, phone issue – hugs to you and Cullen! Hopefully the little man feels better soon!


Shannon Bell     at 7:40 pm

I hope things get better soon!!


Katie @ Pop Culture Cuisine     at 7:50 pm

I’m so sorry he isn’t feeling well, we haven’t had to deal with any real sickness yet (knock on wood), but we have had to deal with some pretty major constipation…I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say I felt utterly helpless last night when she woke up screaming and in pain multiple times. I think those times as parents are the hardest, but just remind yourself you are a wonderful mom and taking wonderful care of that little man! Sometimes all they need are snuggles!


Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed     at 9:14 pm

Omg his hair is SO long! He’s so cute… hope he feels better soon :(


Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See     at 9:23 pm

Awww even when sick Cullen looks so sweet! As a kiddo myself (but not a parent), I’m sure that a lot of parenting isn’t glamorous, but just snow that all that snuggling is appreciated :)


Maya     at 10:12 pm

Poor Cullen!! It sounds like croup to me, but then I tend to assume worst case scenarios… my daughter (one day younger than Cullen) had a bunch of mosquito bites and I was convinced it was either bed bugs or chicken pox. Hehe. Right now she has a 102 degree fever and I’m trying hard to be chill about it! (Literally… I’m sitting here with the air conditioning on cold.) Feel better!


Erica { EricaDHouse.com }     at 3:29 am

It is so nice Casey can work from home and help out! I hope Cullen feels better asap!!


Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}     at 4:23 am

Aww–poor baby! I hope Cullen is feeling better soon.


Shari     at 5:07 am

Aww, poor little guy. I hope he feels better soon!


mallory     at 5:20 am

My sisters son was born a couple months before yours & he was essentially sick with colds from month 3 and on. It was so sad to see him so bleary eyed all the time! But thankfully, they realized his ear canal was really narrow so he had constant ear infections even after taking antibiotics, and they gave him tubes & now he is in good health again. His body was so busy fighting the little ear infections from the narrow canal, that his immune system was being compromised.


Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 5:39 am

Poor little guy! You feel so bad because they can’t tell you what’s hurting. All you can do is snuggle and give ‘em love. Hope today is looking better!


Brittney     at 5:58 am

Ugh, poor kiddo! Hope he feels better soon and you get a break from the exhaustion too!


Lauren     at 6:12 am

Hey Emily,

Our boys are days apart (mine was born 9/29/11). If you ever want to email me, please feel free – I love the support! lmccormick25@gmail.com

We went through this probably around 6 months or so but it was basically exactly how you describe. We got a humidifier to keep running in the room, and also we use the nose frieda to get all the boogies out. Do you have one of those? They’re not too expensive on Amazon but make sure you get the extra filters, because you’ll need them!

I think you’re doing all the right things! When our little boy was sick we also let go of solids for a little bit (he had a stomach bug) and that was totally fine – he picked them back up just where he’d left off once he was feeling better.

Just know that it will end soon! And you’re doing a great job!! :)


Shaunna@mamas13minutemile     at 6:36 am

Hoping the little guy gets back on the mend soon. Luckily my little one has only been sick once in her 15 months and it was an easy cold :) Thinking of you!


Robin     at 6:55 am

Hang in there!


Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras     at 6:59 am

Poor Cullen :( And poor you! You’re a rock star mama. I hope he’s feeling better soon.


Kelly     at 7:01 am

I use PediaCare or Vicks plug-ins in my kids rooms when they are sick. It just plugs into the wall and releases the scent that really helps clear up their sinuses. They are completely safe for newborns & up and much less messy than rubbing Vicks on them. Hope he feels better soon!


Samantha     at 7:05 am

Kids are so tough with all the colds they cycle aren’t they? I am always stunned to see them clogged beyond belief, non-stop vomiting or with a barking cough – which would put most of adults in the ER and somehow they get through it.

Best of luck. I hope he starts to turn the corner on his own for all of you.

PS. I did laugh (with you) about the cart cover and the giant chocolate bar.


Lu     at 7:07 am

Poor Cullen! That isn’t fun for anyone. I used to put a little Vicks in a crock pot (in lieu of a humidifier) and let the scent fill his room. Not too much though or it will knock you over. Also, “barking” can be indicative of croup. My son had it when he was little and it wasn’t fun. Here’s to hoping you both get better soon. You’re doing an amazing job!!


amyt     at 7:30 am

Poor lil guy (and mommy) – I always hate it when they are babies and get sick, they cannot tell you what’s wrong :-( and a cold it terrible – hard to breathe, therefore hard to eat for them. I can always tell when my kiddos are getting sick, they get VERY clingy….there is just something about mommy – it’s a comfort for them. I hope he feels better soon. Oh, not sure if the Doc told you, but one of my little one’s was very bad off with a cold, they had me squirt salin soluntion into the nose to clear it out – she HATED it, but it did help some. ~hugs~


Shannon @ My Place In The Race     at 8:10 am

Poor little man :( Hope he gets all better soon!


Rachel C     at 8:57 am

Poor baby, you can just see it in his eyes that he feels rotten. I hope you all get through this quick and are back to health in no time.


Christina     at 10:18 am

Awe! Sick babies are so helpless, it’s heart breaking!! Hopefully he’ll put through sooner rather than later!


Pam     at 10:21 am

Oh so sad about Cullen :( We are going through the same thing right now… I almost can’t believe we made it through the winter only to get a cold in June!! Hope you guys get through it all.. I’m going to go buy some boogie wipes :)


Jo @ Jo In the Kitchen     at 11:10 am

Poor little man! But it sounds like he’s getting excellent care. Hope you’re all feeling back to 100% soon!


Amber K     at 11:48 am

It is so heartbreaking seeing a sick child! Hope he feels better soon and you both can get some rest.


Leah     at 12:29 pm

I’ve always had a humidifier. :)

Growing up with a woodstove and with our New England winters it is a must. :)


Enough Already     at 3:54 pm

Enough already. Be thankful you have a husband who can stay home and work from home to help you. Be thankful it’s viral and he’ll get over it soon. It’s not a long term sickness but you make it out to be the end of the world. Seriously….i’m done with this blog.


Emily Malone Reply:

I assume your hostility stems from a personal experience, so I’m sorry for whatever you’re going through. I talk about being grateful all the time. Of course this is not the end of the world, nor did I make it out to be. I simply wrote about Cullen being sick for the first time. Give me a break.


Kat     at 6:33 pm

omg sick babies are seriously SO sad. I can’t handle it!


Kate     at 5:38 am

Poor Cullen! I hope that he starts to feel better very soon and you are able to get some sleep/normalcy back into your life too!


Louise     at 7:39 am

I have that humidifier and it works well, but I have a horrible time keeping it clean. Mine seems to collect mold really quickly and I can’t get it clean enough, especially at the end where the steam comes out. Hope Cullen gets well fast. It gets easier/slightly less scary, especially when you have everything on hand.


Debbi     at 7:51 am

So sorry for you all. It is scary when the first big sickness happens. Check to see if he has multiple bumps on his gums. My kids and grandkids got really sick when multiple teeth were coming in. You are doing all the good mom things!


Sarah @ See Sarah Eat     at 7:57 am

Poor kiddo! Hope he is feeling better by now :)


Jess Leiper     at 6:45 am

So sorry Cullen has been unwell. It is so hard to see them unhappy :( I just wanted to recommend getting a ring sling as they are awesome and comfy for hip carries or maybe a wrap or a mei tai so you could do a high back carry which would let Cullen see over your shoulder. Sorry for the OT but I love BW and really wanted you to continue the journey. Jillian at Paxbaby is brilliant and could give you all the info :) http://paxbaby.com/


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