We've already had our yearly colds around here (have you?!) I always get a little one right when the weather changes really drastically, and I guess Isla June does now too. She seems to kick it faster and have less effects of it than I do though. Which is good, and bad because being a sick stay at home mom is no fun.
I read in, I think, Parents magazine that the typical child gets 10-12 colds a year. wow!! Is this really true?? Because, that's a lot. A lot of moping around, fussing and dealing with runny noses and coughs, lack of appetite and sleepless nights.
Isla June typically has only 2-3 illnesses a year (typically a stomach bug and a cold. At least that's how it's been the last 2 years). I would love that number to be 0, but I don't think you can leave the house and be around other children without picking up some germs (we got our cold from another little sweetie in story time. it happens).
I figured that some others might be battling the cold/flu season as well and just wanted to share a few tips on how we keep Isla June healthy throughout the year.
- Sleep! After reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, I totally realized the extreme importance of sleep for babies. And I turned in the sleep nazi. When it comes to bed time and nap times, I'm pretty tough about them happening at the same time in the same place, everyday. So many things happen in their little bodies while sleeping- healing, growing, synapses connecting. Go.to.have.it.
- Vitamins. Isla June takes a multivitamin with iron everyday (found here). I started this when she was around 7 or 8 months to make sure that she was getting enough iron in her system because typically breastfed babies don't get as much iron. She also takes an Omega (found here), and gets Vitamin D drops in the winter time (found here). There has actually been research done that shows that Vitamin D helps clear up the flu faster (as well as many other things. This is a must have vitamin.)
- Probiotics. I've mentioned this before, but Probiotics are so beneficial to the immune system. Keeping your gut healthy helps keep your immune system working properly to fight off infections.
- Diet. Isla June is Lactose, Soy and Gluten sensitive, so I do my very best to keep all of this out of her system. If her little body is busy fighting off an allergy from food, it can't help ward off a cold. Plus, diets rich in fruits and veggies are shown to decrease your chances of an illness. Lots of fruits are high in vitamin C (oranges, blueberries, strawberries). I'm working on mixing more veggies in everyday (it can be tough!) On a similar note, milk is very mucus forming, which can lead to coughs and congestion. Rice milk and Almond milk (check for nut allergies) can be a great alternative during cold and flu season.
- Cleanliness. I am a true germaphobe. And although, I have gotten a little better, it's still there. Whenever we leave a play date, the library, the gym, a park, etc., I always wash Isla June's hands. She also gets her hands washed before every meal and before naps and in her bath at night. I've accepted that she will put random things she finds from random places in her mouth, but I can at least attempt to keep some of the germs at bay by washing her hands. On the same note, whenever we leave play dates, the gym, parks, church, etc., essentially any place where we are out in public, I change her clothes when we get home. Whenever we're at home, she's mostly in pjs. Maybe it's a germaphobe thing, but it makes me feel better to know that those public germs aren't finding new homes in parts of my house!
- Thieves oil- it's natural antibacterial. If she has a cough, or we're going to around a ton of other kids, I spray a little in her mouth and on her hands. I also spray her toys down every once in a while with it as well. Yes, again, I am an admitted germaphobe.
- Nasal Spray (Saline wash)- Whilst pregnant, I read that the best way to fight off allergies is to clean out your sinuses. Same is tru for babies. Got to clear that gunk out. When a cold hits, I try to rinse Isla June's sinuses 3-4 times a day. She hates it, but the green gunk is gone the next day. I'd say that makes it a success! My friend/another mother, Turner, also reccomends suctioning out the nose(see a link she left in the comments).
Anyone else have any good cold/flu tricks??