At the age of 16 weeks my baby son ended up in hospital with suspected meningitis. He woke in the morning at his usual time but woke crying instead of his usual babbling and seemed to be very irritable which was very out of character for him and also didn’t really want to feed, despite not having eaten for 8 hours.

I thought that was a bit strange and as someone who has always worked in childcare with babies and children I had always made sure I was up to date on my first aid knowledge. Meningitis has always been the one thing that terrified me as I knew from the stories I had read, how fast you needed to be with recognising symptoms and getting help.

Because of this I did know all of the baby signs and symptoms of meningitis and a small part of me clocked that we had 2 signs straight away so I needed to watch out for more.

By the time we took his brother to nursery and returned home, I noticed he had a raised temperature and cold hands and feet when I laid him down to change his nappy before his next feed-both of which, were another two signs.

I immediately called my doctor who told me to bring him straight down to be checked over. We saw our GP immediately who, after examining him, sent us straight to hospital for further tests.

The rest happened rather quickly and I have to say the doctors at the hospital  were fantastic. Ollie was immediately taken away to have a cannula put into his hand, so they could start him on antibiotics and medication to control his temperature.

They also suspected meningitis and later that day he had a lumbar puncture which, after a few hours of worry, thankfully came back all clear.

We ended up staying in hospital for 3 days on antibiotics, with a rash appearing in the second day, but being told it wasn’t meningitis, until they finally gave him the all clear and sent him home saying it must have been a virus

It was a VERY scary time for us and a cause that is very close to my heart as a mother and someone who works with parents and babies every single day. I was lucky that I knew the symptoms and if Ollie had contracted meningitis he would have been treated very quickly anyway

Please, please make sure you know what the symptoms are so that you will seek help quickly if your baby or child is ill. It could save their life.

#KnowYourSigns

Lisa Clegg
The Blissful Baby Expert
Author of The Blissful Baby Expert book and The Blissful Toddler Expert
The Blissful Baby Expert By Lisa Clegg