Some tempting options may include hiring a live-in nanny for a week or so, going on holiday and leaving said toddler at home with your other half, or pretending you can’t see any pox and carrying on as usual.

But let’s come back to reality. Toby’s just getting over his week of spottiness, so I thought it might be helpful to jot down what we did while in chickenpox induced quarantine.


If this is the only bit of the post you read, then that’s fine because it’s the most important one (although I’d like you to read it all – and some of my other posts if you have time!)

Do not give your child Ibuprofen!

Calpol is fine, children’s Piriton (or shop-brand equivalent) is fine – although I’d always recommend to check with a pharmacist for up-to-date advice. But whatever you do, avoid any Ibuprofen-based medicines.

“Why?” Well, NICE guidelines inform me that this is:

“…because of concerns that use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in children with varicella is associated with an increased risk of severe skin and soft tissue infections (usually caused by group A streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus)”


Itchy scratchy misery

Calamine is the age-old solution to the discomfort of chickenpox, but Toby wouldn’t let anyone near his spots, so any creams or lotions were out of the question. I bought a ViraSoothe spray gel so that I didn’t need to touch him at all, and it was fab.

A few friends also recommended baking soda in a lukewarm bath, so that became a soothing evening ritual for the week.




No public outings, no childcare, no contact with pregnant ladies or newborns… oh the cabin fever!

Toby felt fine for a good 4 out of his 7 days of quarantine, so between myself and my mum – who had Toby when I was in London – we had to keep him entertained beyond his usual desire to be out of the house almost all the time.

Films, painting, baking, making our own play dough, playing football in the garden, role play – the house became our playground and we had loads of fun! I also taught Toby how to do some basic sums with numbers up to 10, just because he wanted to know and we had time together for me to teach him.

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The chickenpox have been at their most itchy as they’ve scabbed over and begun to heal, so I’ve kept Toby’s nails short and talked to him about what scars are and how leaving the spots alone will help his skin to heal better. Obviously a younger child wouldn’t have that level of understanding, so I can imagine it being harder to stop them from scratching – especially if they won’t wear mittens or socks over their hands!

Overall, it’s really not been a difficult week if I’m honest. Toby felt poorly for a couple of days, so regular doses of Calpol and Piriton between naps and cuddles helped, but in spite of him having a good 200 or so chickenpox spots, he’s coped incredibly well. I wonder if I’ll say the same as and when Martha gets it…