We have a pretty healthy child. She is only fussy about food in a predictable way; not into sauces and spice, not a fan of spinach, still likes her food separated on the plate. You know the score. She walks to school quite happily everyday, loves her scooter, swims well, enjoys a bash at a soccerball and is mad about those monkey bars. Still!
She has been a good sleeper since about week 8 and rarely gets really sick. She hasn't even had a serious stomach virus (I hesitate to say that out loud). But, like most children, she gets colds fairly often. They don't really hamper her daytime style, she still manages her moments of crazy and usually copes quite well with school and playdates and outings. But the nights are a very different story.
When Poppet gets a cold, she starts to cough. Fairly normal so far. But after the cold has mostly gone away, the cough lingers on, often for weeks. Fairly normal there too. At night, the cough is particularly wet and relentless. Nice.
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When it's our grown-up bedtime, the cough usually worsens and she will generally cough until she vomits. This pattern started when she was about two years old. Good times! Of course, with all this late-night coughing and vomiting comes a great lack of sleep. For all of us. For Poppet, this means she doesn't recover as quickly and we can do five or six nights in a row before it eventually lets up. Until the next cold, which at her age is not far off.
We've seen many doctors over the years. We've tried humidifiers, lifting the mattress, rubbing Vicks just about everywhere, cough medicines, antihistamines, steamy bathrooms. We've turned up the heat in her bedroom and put a towel under her head, on top of the sheets so it's a quicker change at midnight when she vomits. She has even learned to reach out for the bucket herself, half asleep. Poor little Poppet.
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At one point, childhood asthma was considered. We tried all the drugs, to no avail (I think I secretly hoped she had asthma as it would offer an answer to the problem, bad Mummy). Except for the liquid steroids. That worked, and still does! If she has it two nights in a row she manages to sleep and then recovers from her cold and gets on with life. It is virtually a sleeping pill for us as well! I hate medicating my kid, but considering the various stuff she's taken over the years I'm ok with the occasional use of a steroid. Particularly when it works so well. I believe the medical consensus now is that she just has a sensitive stomach and will grow out of it.
It is decreasing in frequency, but still plagues us from time to time.
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For years, I have perched on the edge of her single bed, and ended up sleeping with that edge in my back and no blanket, as the only way to really settle the cough was to sleep in her bed with her. It seems to calm her down to have me there. The move to Canada presented us with the chance to buy a queen-sized bed for her room. We grabbed it! Over the past few nights, I have been in and out of Poppet's bed. I've actually been comfortable, warm and managed to doze off for half an hour at a time. Major improvement! My next trick will be to teach her not to cough in my face (insert my own sniffles here).
Now, if she could just hurry up and grow out of this thing so I could get some real sleep. Oh yeah, I forgot. I'm a Mum, sleep is going to be a loo-ooong time coming...