So in my life this week, not only did my son’s cold escalate to a small case of pneumonia, which resulted in four days of staying home from school and a 10 day supply of antibiotics but my baby girl has contracted her first cold (at 4 months old and being in daycare, I consider this to be a success). Needless, to say we are a little gross and gunky over here but I am hoping to have us all on the mend soon!
I think we can all agree Cold and Flu season sucks, especially when it hits our children. Every mom on this planet and probably on a couple undiscovered ones will tell you that the helplessness you feel looking at your child who is sick is gut-wrenching. Lucky for us, there are so many gadgets and aids out there to help us get those babies back up on their little feet and back to their crazy shenanigans! I decided to compile a list of my 10 must-haves to keep on hand this time of year! Now I am not by any means a doctor, so this strictly my opinion.
1. A Humidifier. Not only does winter here in Vermont bring beautiful snow but it also brings a season of dry air. Your skin thank you and it will help keep those kids breathing nice moist air! There are two kinds of Humidifiers out there and I have owned both. The first is the non-filter kind, we had this one, Purasense Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier . Perks, small in size and perfect for your child’s room, fairly quiet and stylish. The cons, are it doesn’t have an auto shut-off and it doesn’t have a filter, meaning that you have to use distilled or demineralized water otherwise you will end up with white chalky residue EVERYWHERE and man is it hard to get rid of. The second type is what we have now, a filtered humidifier. My husband and I decided to invest in one that could handle adding humidity to our whole house. Now, this wasn’t an easy find, as our home is over 3,000 sq ft. After much research, we did find this one AIRCARE Whole-House Evaporative Humidifier . Perk… it has a filter which means we don’t have to buy jugs of water, because the filter takes care of any impurities. The other upside is that the tank is large and needs to be filled maybe twice a day. Only downside for us, our son thinks its the most interesting thing out there and is constantly wanting to fiddle with it.
2. Boogie Wipes. Never heard of them, well the name kind of says it all. Help keep those cute little noses from getting all red and raw. You can buy them scented or unscented and your child will appreciate the soft touch against their skin! Now, they aren’t exactly the cheapest thing out there so I just found a DIY version here: http://crystalandcomp.com/homemade-boogie-wipes that I plan on trying this weekend. I’ll do an update with how they came out!
3. A Pukey Bucket. We call it that in our house… sounds better than a barf bucket. Doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just a simple bathroom sized trash can or something that your child can hug while the are reenacting a scene from the Exorcist. My sister growing up was sick more than I think her or my mother would like and she use to call hers Bucky.
4. Thermometer. Again, doesn’t have to be anything fancy in my opinion. We just have a traditional style one. Depending on your little ones age sometimes splurging for a forehead one can make it less painful for you.
5. A Nasal Aspirator. Now mommas of the really little ones listen up! I just got the Little Martin’s Drawer Baby Nasal Aspirator, available in pink or blue, and it is the best little gadget! I always found it hard to use those bulb aspirators and I thought it was a little gross that you really don’t know how clean they really are! This is slick, not only does it suck (in a good way) it also is super easy to clean and has two different sized tips to fit your babies nose without hitting their brains. I was so glad I took a leap of faith on this one and you will too!
6. Cleaning Products. We can have the whole debate over organic vs non organic for days and I actually like using vinegar based cleaners for every day use but when it comes to getting rid of those nasty germs, I turn to chemicals. I don’t know if they both would get rid of the nasty bacteria thats growing on all the surfaces my kids touch but for me the idea of using chemicals makes me feel more secure in the level of clean. Did you know… not all cleaning products are the same? If you read the label (I know, I know… who has time to read the label when your kids in the cart and you’re on borrowed time) but seriously, read the labels, they tell you exactly what type of illness they take care. It made all the difference when dealing with the stomach bug that swept through our house last year, not once but twice! One of my favorites, is Clorox Disinfecting Wipes .
7. Entertainment. Sometimes the spirit of those munchkins is stronger than the bug they are fighting, which is great but they also need to rest at some point throughout the day. So having their favorite book on standby or giving in to a little TV time can allow them to have a bit of R&R that their bodies need. Of course, if you can actually get them to nap (especially if they’re not nappers) is best! My son’s favorite book is How to Train a Train . Our copy of this book is so loved it is being held together with packing tape. It would probably be easier to just get him a new copy but this one has so much character now! If your child is an avid train lover, you CANNOT go wrong with this one!
8. Hand Soap. Practicing good hand washing can help prevent colds in the first place. Instilling this in our children early will help keep them and yourself healthier throughout the year! If your child is resistant to the idea or just “has better things to do” try adding legos into the soap container or finding some fun scented or packaged hand soap geared toward kids.
9. Water. This one is pretty easy to come by. It is so important to keep those little bodies hydrated, especially if they are using their pukey bucket. Sometimes, adding a touch of juice for flavoring can make all the difference in the volume that they are taking in.
10. Snuggles. Probably one the more comforting medicines your kiddo wants and needs. So, get those arms ready because someday they are just going to want to sleep off their colds!
BONUS! 11. A tall glass of wine for you to enjoy after the kids are in bed. After all, you deserve it after a day of blowing noses, and cleaning pukey buckets!