How often your baby gets sick at daycare depends on when you start them. We started daycare for our kiddo at 10 months, and at that age, they’re much more prone to picking up germs. If your kiddo is going full-time daily, expect the first month or two to be up and down in sickness almost every other week. Even at 2 and a half, our little one still gets sick about once every month or other month, even if the staff keeps the facility clean.
Ah, daycare. A beautiful place where your kiddo can go to learn and grow along with their friends and allow you to work at your workplace or from your home office with peace in mind. The one dreaded thing is that they’re prone to getting sick a lot more.
As a parent, you’re paying money out of your pocket for childcare services, and getting a sick baby often, can be frustrating.
Our daycare facility had UV cleaning for all the toys in the room, cleaned them from top to bottom every week, and still, our kiddo got sick. As I would go pick her up daily, I would see that it’s mostly the other babies and not always the environment that would be the cause.
Every day, all those babies go back to their parents and their unique environments, and every weekday they would bring something back to share with their classmates. It’s a mess.
At infant age, they’re gnawing on toys and touching each other’s faces; it’s a recipe for instant sickness.
As your little one becomes a toddler, they’re better at not putting things directly in their mouth, but their hands are now 2x more active. They’ll grab dirty things while playing outside and are more physical with their classmates too.
It’s an easy recipe to catch a common cold and other infectious diseases. As a toddler, you can expect them to get sick every other month. This is a ballpark, and they can go 2-3 months without even getting sick and sometimes get sick every other week.
Other factors can lead to your kiddo getting sick quicker, like their teeth coming out, getting overtired from a lack of sleep (maybe during sleep regressions), and other factors that cause your little ones’ immune system to be weaker.
What to do when they get sick at daycare
Usually, when your little one has a temperature over 100 degrees, your daycare will call you to pick them up to get rest at home and not have all the other kids in the class get sick.
From infant to 2-3 years old, and even older, you ideally want to remedy their sickness with natural treatment and some natural medication.
We always had both Tylenol and Motrin for infants at home, but would always use Zarbees to give to our child every 4-5 hours while she was sick. Zarbees is a natural medicine that’s much safer to use regularly, mostly made out of a proprietary honey blend.
We also got the nighttime version of Zarbees (always in stock at our household) which had a bit of melatonin in it to help ease her to sleep.
I honestly didn’t see a dramatic difference in her sleeping better with the nighttime version, but I can’t say it didn’t help at all.
As our kiddo would get sick from daycare, we would follow this regimen:
- Zarbees while she is not feeling well (coughing, runny nose, mild fever)
- If she ever gets above 100 degrees temperature, we would use Tylenol or Motrin
What else can you do to help them recover?
- Help them get plenty of rest. If your little one has trouble breathing well while lying down, get a humidifier that sprays water mist throughout the room.
- Give them nourishing food that has lots of Vitamin C to help them battle their sickness.
- Call your pediatrician to go over your baby’s symptoms to see if they need some rest or medication as well to get better.
Why did we keep both Tylenol and Motrin?
I wanted to add this to the post because it might really help you as a parent to take care of your little one.
Around 11 months, our daughter had a fever that went all the way up to 104; she did not feel well at all. The first thing you’re supposed to do is call your pediatrician to get some guidance.
This was a weekend, so after talking to the nurse at the pediatric office, we were told to take our kiddo to the emergency room.
There, the doctor treated our little one and recommended we use Tylenol and Motrin in rotation, as directed, to bring our baby’s temperature down.
Tylenol’s primary ingredient is Acetaminophen, and Motrin’s is Ibuprofen. Both are meant to help reduce a fever, but your little one might benefit from one of the medications better than the other.
As Motrin has a longer window for dosage, we would give Tylenol once or twice during the day and Motrin before sleep. This would help our little one recover fairly quickly.
Talk to your pediatrician to see if your little one can use one or the other to recover faster from being sick.
How do I keep my baby from getting sick at daycare?
You honestly don’t want to do anything extra than what you’d already been doing.
Feed them good clean food that will give them good fuel to fight germs. We always changed out our kiddos’ clothes after daycare and cleaned her up before playing for the rest of the day.
Do breastfed babies get sick less in daycare?
There is common knowledge, backed by research, that shows that babies that were breastfed for at least the first 6 months of their lives built up stronger antibodies to fight off germs.
Having all the vaccinations on time can help your little one get sick less in daycare.
Can my baby go to daycare with a runny nose?
All daycares have different rules and regulations. From my research, it’s okay to go to daycare with a mild runny nose as long as your little one’s temperature is not hovering around 100 degrees.
If your little one doesn’t look well and yet doesn’t have a 100 temperature, keep them home for a day to see how it goes and help other kiddos at daycare not get sick too.
Getting sick is normal, whether at daycare or at home.
The first year or two of your kiddo’s life is filled with growth and development. This also means that whether you keep your little one at home (with you or a nanny) or at daycare, they’re prone to getting sick at least 6-7 times a year.
This is fairly normal, and you want to help them through the process with lots of love and attention and talk to your pediatrician if your little one isn’t getting better over a few days.