Keeping healthy has been hard this fall. With my oldest in kindergarten this year, and the twins going to a childcare center for the first time (at the gym,) we’ve had a lot of runny noses, coughs, and snot. Lots and lots of snot. Ugh.
Since Christmas will be here next week, I thought I’d share my best ideas for keeping healthy, as well as a few products you can use if you can’t escape the crud.
An (Un)Healthy Anxiety
The words respiratory virus, flu, and hospital give me a bit of a panic attack. Actually, a big panic attack.
When babies are developing in the womb, the lungs are one of the last organs to develop. Since my twins were born so early (25 weeks,) their lungs were in bad shape when they were born. They were on ventilators for quite some time, and had to have steroids to help them finally breathe on their own.
We were in the hospital for 3 months, and I really, really do not want to go back. I also do not want to see them with tubes in them to help them breathe. That is why I freak out about any cold or runny nose.
I have gotten better, though. The first winter was really bad, the second a little better, and the third better yet.
Now, I’ve decided, however, instead of being scared and completely isolating ourselves again (like we did for the twins’ first 2 winters,) I’m going to take some preventative measures, and hope for the best. Isolation really isn’t possible anymore with school. So, here are some tips I hope will keep us all healthy. I’ve included affiliate links, so if you would like to purchase any of the products, simply click on the picture, and at no cost to you, I will earn a few cents to help me maintain the blog.
1. Wash/Sanitize those hands!
I wash my hands constantly, but I need to really help the kids be more consistent. Luckily, they are great about hand washing in my son’s preschool, so it is making it easier at home. To make it fun, we sing “Happy Birthday to you” twice (to get our 20 seconds in,) and use fun, colored soap. If we’re out and about, I always have hand sanitizing wipes with me. They make tons of different kinds, including those that are safe for kids. I, personally, like wipes better than plain sanitizer because they wipe the dirt and sticky off, instead of just rubbing it around.
Here are a few options for you:
2. Wipe, wipe, wipe
Door knobs, handles, light switches, and even remote controls get icky and collect a ton of germs, so I am going to make it a priority to wipe them off at the end of the day. That way they have time to dry before any little hands get on them again the next morning. I like to use cleaning wipes, like Clorox, but you can make your own spray and just use paper towels too. Also, I keep a container of Wet Ones in my car to wipe the handles, steering wheel, and other surfaces, including my own hands. Even though my kids don’t touch most of the car stuff, I do… and then pick up my kids. See where I’m going with this? Most stores have wipes for their cart handles, which I LOVE, but I’ve never seen anyone wipe down one of those pens you use at the check-out. Germ City! Again, that’s why I have wipes in my car that you can use on both surfaces and hands.
3. Start healthy
The best defense is a good offense, right? So, everyone in the house needs to take their daily vitamin, a Probiotic, and I’ve even ordered some essential oils to boost our immune systems. You remember the awesome diffuser I mentioned in my Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide, right? I also got some Organic Vitamin C suckers for the kids. I give them suckers as treats sometimes, so I figure the ones that have vitamins and fruit/vegetable juice coloring are a better choice. Also, I’m really enforcing nap-time for the twins. I mentioned in yesterday’s POST that they sleep great at night, but they still get up really early. I’m talking really early.
In addition to all of the above, I make my son change when he gets home from school…and his Dad will be starting to do it too (Sorry honey!) It may seem extreme, but clothes are just another surface for those germs to ride into our house on.
Plus, if I see you coughing or sneezing, please don’t be offended if I stand back and don’t shake your hand. Many other viruses, like RSV, look like the common cold, so please be considerate. If you don’t feel good, or if your kid “just has a runny nose,” please stay home from work or school. I know it’s hard to miss your job or stay home with your child, but what may be just a “little cold” for you may mean something completely different for people with a compromised immune system. Just look at those pictures above, and imagine your own son or daughter or brother or mother in that hospital bed with all those wires.
Also, please don’t be upset if we can’t come to your event when we have a cold. We don’t want to spread our germs either.
You still get the ick
No matter how often you wash/wipe your hands, how well-rested you are, sometimes you still get a cold or something more serious. Obviously, you should consult your doctor first, but if it’s determined that it’s a cold, here are a few things you can use to make your kids more comfortable.
Most over-the-counter medications aren’t recommended for babies or even toddlers, and I know my guys are terrible at blowing their noses, so I highly recommend the NoseFrida. It looks totally gross, but I promise you that you will never get the snot anywhere near your mouth. Plus, it works so much better and faster than one of those bulb things.
Vicks Baby Rub works great on a baby’s feet and chest, which you can cover with pajamas and socks so they don’t ingest it.
A natural remedy called Zarbees is made with honey, and doesn’t have any medication in it. It is not safe for babies under the age of 12 months because of the honey. Under 12 months, a baby’s gut can’t fight the botulism that is sometimes found in honey.
I hope these tips help you keep healthy and enjoy your holidays. We’ve stayed out of the hospital in the 3 years the twins have been home, and I’m hoping we can keep up that lucky streak. I’m knocking on every piece of wood I can find (and washing my hands again!)
Healing Mama says
The Nose Frida is the best! I love how easy it is to use. My son hates it though! LOL!
Such good tips, I know I like to prevent getting sick any way I can
Great tips! It is easy to get sick this time of year with all the running around and very full schedules. Your post is really helpful! – Trish
These are great tips. I work in pediatrics and I honestly wish people would increase vitamin C in their children’s nutrition during the flu season. I am in GA and RSV is on the rise here. Blessings to your family, the twins are adorable.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
P.S. all 3 are adorable, did not mean to say twins are only, but twins are miracles and I was just proud there for a moment with their premie strenght. (My working in pediatrics mind kicked in lol)
I love that you added your oils! I’ve been sick twice in the past two years & I really believe it’s all thanks to my oils! <3
Great tips! It’s definitely that time of year everyone is getting sick, so taking this all into consideration is important!
Clothes & Quotes
My Urban Family says
Great tips!! I have a sick husband at home and men always seem to act like toddlers when they get sick 😉 haha
Karin Rambo says
That is so hard that you had to stay in the hospital for three months! I can’t imagine! Thankfully, my daughter has yet to get sick, and I’m hooky we can keep that up as long as possible!
I love these! We live by hand washing and hand sanitizer as much as possible! With kids germs can be picked up anywhere.
I agree! I use almost all of these. Great post!
Chels (@Inspire_Indulge) says
What a great, informative post!! When I’m a mom I don’t know how crazy I’ll be for over the counter medications. I dont’want to be putting a bunch of foreign things into my baby! I’m with you on the more natural remedies.
Thanks for these helpful tips. My family has coped with so many colds this fall and these are helpful reminders about what can help!
Ugh, I have to stay super sterile and germ free this holiday especially, with my mother in law that has COPD and not doing well whatsoever. I felt a sore throat this week coming on and my hubby was all “Uh oh!” and I said, “Better now than next week!!!”, so this post is a reminder to be super clean and to take an industrial size hand sanitizer with us. Oh the joy, but if it’s for her health, I’m in. No question.
Have a fabulous weekend momma 😉 xo
Exactly. Hope you get better very soon. You have a great weekend too 🙂
These are great ideas – I appreciate how health-conscious you are with your little ones. I can only imagine how scary it would be, but you do such a fantastic job. Just look at those smiles in front of that tree?? I love seeing pictures of your little guys. 🙂 Thanks for sharing
Thank you so much!
Such great tips – it is so important to make sure you do the little things!
It sounds like you’ve been through a lot with your kiddos! I hope you have a healthy, happy holiday season ?
Thank you so much 🙂
Iman Brooks says
Great tips. I am going to try changing my son clothing after being around a lot of children. I had not even thought of that.
Yes! I think it really does help.
Ugh – so hard to avoid those germs! Have a Merry and Healthy Christmas!
I hope being preventative works well for the boys. The Vicks rub really comes in handy this time of year.
Thanks for the great tips. I can understand why you’re especially sensitive to coughs and runny noses. It’s hard to wash my 11 month old’s hands! I’m pretty good about sanitizing the house, phones, remotes, etc. because she puts everything in her mouth. Happy and healthy holidays to you and your family!
Yes! My boys are three and still put everything in their mouths 😉
I thought the Nose Frida was a really weird baby shower gift that someone gave me… right up until I needed it. Then I realized how awesome it is. Those bulb sucker things are too annoying. Thanks for these fantastic tips!
Exactly. Thank you!
Cynthia @craftoflaughter says
Yes! Handwashing is the big one! You hit all the germs on the head! Great info
Nicole @ theprofessionalmomproject says
Your boys are adorable! It’s always tough when they get sick. I find as much as I try at home that doesn’t stop him from touching icky things at school, lessons etc…
Yes, you are completely right. It drives me crazy!
Awe, sweet babes. They look healthy and strong. It is essential to be proactive with our kids health. You’re doing the right thing. Love Yum Earth products!
We love the nose frida. I actually used it to suck a grain of rice out of my daughter’s nose the other day. ?
Joscelyn | Wifemamafoodie says
We are such big germaphobes! We sanitize our hands every time we get back into the car in between stores. I also sanitize our electronic devices each night since we’re touching them all day long. You can never be too careful this time of year!
Vitamins definitely work. We ran out and forgot to buy more, we’ve been sick ever since lol
Have you heard about Vick’s on the feet if you or your kid(s) have a bad cough? Make sure to put socks on them as well.
Thanks for the tips, especially for myself! Working in the children’s department of a library I’m around lots of germs all the time, so I try to wash hands and sanitize often!
These are great tips! I loathe this season specifically because of germs ugh
Yes! Sometimes we can’t get rid of the crud! Lol. But I love the Clorox wipes. Makes cleaning easier while knowing your disinfecting! I also loved the nosefridas when my daughter was an infant. Despite her looking at me all crazy, it really worked lol!!
Such great tips to stay healthy, thank you! I am the same way about not attending parties if my boys are sick. I don’t want any other kids to get sick either!
Branson @ My Reflection of Something says
These are great suggestions! I am one who tends to stay home if we are germy even when other moms say don’t worry about it. And I appreciate a heads up when others have been sick so I can make decisions then too!
And I feel like the biggest culprit this time of year can be a rundown immune system from stress. Of course my kids don’t get stressed like their parents, but it can be contagious all the same.
The NoseFrida was a life saver when my kiddo had allergies last year! I give every new mom one.
We are Zarbees believers!!!! Great tips! Link up with us at 100 happy days 🙂 http://www.akreativewhim.com/100-happy-days-9/
We love the snot sucker around here! I actually pulled a grain of rice out of my daughter’s nose with it the other day.
Great tips! The Nose Frida has been a lifesaver for me. I have a 4 month old and haven’t experienced a sickness yet (Knock on wood). I know its coming and I want to be super prepared.
oh gosh I’ve only got one boy and all the snot drives me insane. I can’t imagine how much snot there would be with THREE boys!
Jenn @ The Art of Better says
I am an avid proponent of handwashing! I am constantly reminding my family to wash their hands when getting home, regardless of where they’ve been!
Thank you so much for these suggestions! I am a germaphobe, so you can never be too careful.
The nose frida is awesome! Used that a lot when mine was smaller.
Thanks for these wonderful tips! It’s so important to keep healthy – especially in the winter and these tips help a ton!
Our pediatrician, who also is now the kids uncle. My husbands best friend and running partner, swears by ZarBees. Having a son with asthma and coughing all the time, that seems to sooth his throat the most. We also use the trick of butting Vicks on his feet under some socks and it does seem to work. Thats for the tips and hope your guys have a Happy and Healthy New Year.