Babies + Flu Season
We’re approaching peak flu season and like most with babies and kids, I am totally dreading it. I am currently struggling between, put as many activities on our schedule as we can to stay busy this winter, and hide out all winter to avoid any and all germs possible. Like most things in life, I think we’ll stumble upon a healthy balance that keeps us sane and mostly healthy.
We started one of our first winter activities on Wednesday, and then of course Isla woke up with a cold on Thursday morning. Luckily, other than a stuffy, runny nose, she has no other symptoms so is handling it really well. Thursday night was a rough one for us, but I already feel like she's doing so much better and it’s only Friday afternoon! Hopefully we can kick this thing to the curb in the next day or so. Here’s what seems to be working for us!
Humidifier: Since turning on our heat, our house has been incredibly dry, so we were using this already at night, but I’ve been keeping it running during the day now too. We love our cold mist humidifier and it’s been going strong since last winter! It’s Wirecutter recommended which is pretty much the only stamp of approval we care about in our household. I used it while I was pregnant and definitely noticed a difference, so I trust it to help Isla too!
Keeping her Upright: She was clearly so uncomfortable sleeping flat, so we’ve been trying to keep her upright and help her little nose drain out instead of into her throat and ears. We obviously need some amount of sleep ourselves, so while she’ll be in her crib for nights, we’ve been doing naps out of the crib and upright during the day. She’s been napping in her Ergo carrier, as well as her Bloom Baby Coco Lounger (supervised). I’d say this appears to be helping the most.
Fresh Air: Subscribing to this even though I have no idea if this is actually something. But it’s what my mom always used to encourage us to do when we were not feeling so hot, so we gave it a go. Isla loves being outside, so I figured if anything it would help keep her happy even if she isn't feeling great. It’s a 40 degree day which honestly if you’re from Chicago, feels totally fine. She was in her winter suit, a layered wool blanket, and a hat and perfectly warm. We were outside for an hour total time and with a break indoors at the halfway point. It really did seem to improve her mood, but I probably wouldn’t have taken her out had it been colder.
Air purifier: We have our air purifier on full blast in her room to help with dust and any other airborne particles that will inhibit her getting over this. I also vacuumed, dusted, and wiped down all surfaces yesterday. I’ll probably wipe down all of her toys and sanitize her pacifiers tonight as well. I can count on one hand how many times Monte and I have been sick in the last 5 years, so it’s a bit of a mad dash to clean everything over here. We’re also nonstop washing our hands to make sure that we aren't passing anything on to her that we ourselves have immunity to.
Nursing: I’ve been nursing her a ton and not using any stored breastmilk. My body should be producing antibodies in my milk to help her recover quickly! Typically she follows a very predictable eating schedule, but I’ve been nursing whenever she seems fussy in order to make sure she's staying hydrated.
EarthMama Baby Face Balm: We have a few of their products and just love this brand so much. I originally bought their Baby Face Balm because drool from teething and cold weather made for an irritated chin. We’ve since used it for an irritated drippy nose, chapped lips (again, from drool and cold weather) and a bit of cradle cap that we just can't seem to kick. It’s worked wonders for all four. I usually put it on under her nose a few times a day after she’s been sneezing and I’ve been wiping her nose a bunch.
Nose Frida + Saline: This combo has been crucial. Every parent I’ve ever met likes to make a joke about literally sucking the snot from their kids nose through a straw, and while totally hilarious, it really does work so well. When she starts sounding really congested we spray the saline solution and then use the Nose Frida, which removes so much more snot than the bulb syringe. Also, just an FYI you can't suck too hard (Don't worry when they’re screaming their heads off during the process, I’ve already panicked enough and googled it for us all).
What at home natural remedies do you use with little ones during cold and flu season? We’ve been drinking lots of mineral broth around here! How do you get out for fresh air in the colder months? What are your thoughts on essential oil use for babies and children? I haven’t explored more options and would love to hear your thoughts! Comment below so we can stay healthy together this season!
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