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Work and Life: Baby is Sick — Now What?

By Molly Thornberg |

what to do when baby is sick

What options do you have as a working mom when your baby is sick?

It’s happened more times that I care to think about.

You wake up, start to get ready for work.
Go to get the baby ready and WHAM.
Baby is sick.

Whether it’s a fever, cough or non-stop runny nose, there are sometimes when you just know that your baby should be home with you and not in child care that day. But there is a problem. That J-O-B. That thing that pays to keep the roof over your head. What do you do?

Like all things with having a baby, you should always be prepared. As a working mom, add this to your list of things you need to be prepared for.

Always Have a Plan B

Working from Home

The best option for a sick baby is to already know what your options are.

Do you have a job that you can do from home?

If you work for a company with flexible rules in regards to working from home, take this option.

If your company does not have a work-at-home policy, talk to your boss ahead of time and ask permission to do so in the event of a sick baby.  I would also recommend doing this for doctor appointments. I don’t know about your kids, but after vaccinations, my kid’s are always cranky and typically with a fever.

Read the latest stats about companies and their view on employees working from home.


When I was working in corporate America in an office, my husband and I had an on-going rule of 50/50. We would alternate times as to when someone would stay home should there be a sick child. This took the stress off — especially when a baby or child is sick for several days.

Identify who in your house can take off or work from home when the baby is sick.

A Grandparent, Family Member or Friend

Identify if there are any grandparents, family members or friends that could help if you baby is sick. Even if you were able to leave the baby with them part of the day, it would allow you then to wrap up whatever is needed at work.

Sick Child Daycare

Personally, I couldn’t put my child in a sick-child daycare. But what I do know, is that I am blessed with a flexible job and a husband. Those are two things not everyone has.

Check your area to see if there is a sick child daycare. Here is the Dallas area, Plano Presbyterian offers a sick-child daycare called Kid Med. The service  is staffed with nurses as well as trained child care attendants.

Sick child daycares typically charge an hourly rate, which will be much higher than a typical daycare.

When All Else Fails

So, no working from home. No spouse is able to take off. No sick child daycare.

Take the day off. You need to do what you have to do to take care of your baby. Love them. Cuddle them. Watch over them as they sleep (which they most likely will be doing a lot of!). And just remember, these little things grow FAST.

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About Molly Thornberg


Molly Thornberg

Molly Thornberg is a wife and mother of four. She worked in web design and social media marketing before quitting to pursue blogging full time. On Digital Mom Blog, Molly shares "geeky" DIY projects, discusses the latest technology news, and talks about her life as a parent. Read bio and latest posts → Read Molly's latest posts →

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3 thoughts on “Work and Life: Baby is Sick — Now What?

  1. Koreen says:

    Thank you Molly. Your posts are invaluable as I’m a working mom getting ready to head back out to work.

  2. Digital Molly says:

    @koreen – best wishes it’ll be great! Any advice I can provide or solicit from others for you, do let me know!

  3. guajolote says:

    Been out at least one day every other week with a sick kid – and we have babysitters that come to our house! I don’t know how anyone manages to hold on to their job with daycare and all the illnesses that must bring. It stresses me out that I am not as reliable at work as I used to be.

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