It's that time of year again - nope, not the holidays - cold and flu season! As a Baby Buncher, you probably know by now that the only thing worse than a sick baby is TWO sick babies (or maybe a sick husband, but that's another post).
I'm house-bound today with the youngest 2/3 of my Bunch, who are hacking messes and persona non grata at preschool. In addition to their nonstop crying and whining (unless napping) I know that no amount of hand washing or turning my head when they cough is going to protect me from their sickies. Thanks to an extreme sensitivity to medication, I try to steer clear of doping myself and my kids up with an endless stream of cold meds unless I've exhausted all other options (although I do use Motrin to combat fever). Fortunately, 6 years of parenting trial-and-error has produced a pretty streamlined cold and flu routine - we'll share our top tips with you if you return the favor!
- The SECOND we feel sickness coming on, we start pumping Vitamin C and Zinc. We discovered this nifty homeopathic product a few years ago for kids - Boiron Oscillococcinum and it's sister product for coughing/hacking - Chestal Honey. We don't do paid or bribed product reviews here at Baby Bunching, so if we say we swear by it, you can bet on it.
- In addition to stepping up the vitamin intake, pump lots of water/fluids and turn in extra early and take extra naps. I know - who would've guessed that slowing down/taking it easy could speed up the healing process?!
- I throw in 2-3 mouthwash gargles (gargles, not swallows) for me (not the kids) for a day or two when I start feeling sickness coming on as well. I figure throwing a little extra germ killer on germs can't hurt.
- For dry, germy, icky nasal passages, flush with a nasal spray (I like Afrin or similar products) or saline sprays for the kiddos. Flushing out nasal passages periodically seems to help.
- At night/during naptimes, a warm mist humidifier in the nursery can help. At some point, someone (probably a pediatrician) told me cold mist is better (safer, maybe?) but I've found that to be a load of crap. I got the warm-mist with a receptacle for vapors and it works like a charm.
- Speaking of vapors, Johnson's Soothing Vapor Bath (or like generic product) provides some slight bath-time relief of congestion - we use it for kids and adults in our house.
- Linda starts forcing Sambucus for Kidsinto her Bunch. Sambucus is a Black Elderberry liquid that helps boost immune systems.
- Finally, we have yet to try Linda's freakish wet sock remedy, but she swears by it and I'm thinking tonight may be our night. (Soak feet in warm bath water, put cold wet socks on and cover with wool socks. Get into bed immediately and sleep.) It is meant for congestion as it helps stimulate the immune system in the upper respiratory area, but can also work for sore throat and fevers.
For more traditional "remedies," here are a few tips on getting your medicine cabinet flu and cold ready.