Cold and flu season is upon us, I can already feel the effects of it in our home! It’s hard enough to keep one baby healthy, but add preschool and another little one to the mix, and it’s an uphill battle. Luckily, there are plenty of preventative moves you can make this Fall and Winter that will keep your little ones healthy and out of the pediatrician’s office! Today I’m sharing some cold and flu season tips for you and your little ones.
Preventing Illness For Mom
I’ve quickly learned that keeping mom healthy is an essential part of keeping the whole home healthy. And let’s be real, there are no sick days for moms. One thing I have been doing is taking a daily multi-vitamin. Since weaning Isla (and no plans for another baby anytime soon), I have transitioned off of my prenatal vitamin and recently started taking Best Nest Wellness Superhero Women's Multi+ . This little tablet has been helping to ensure I am getting the necessary nutrients every day and is also said to help diminish stress. Since stress makes it harder for your body to fight off infections, you better believe I’m trying to keep my stress at bay.
I’ve also been trying to drink more water. This is hard for me to remember to do during the winter, but I really feel like it helps clear away colds and keeps me feeling healthy. I’ll usually pack a water bottle in my purse when we are going to be away from the house for most of the day.
Preventing Illness During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is amazing – your body is growing another person while still taking care of you! All of that work can leave you feeling run down, especially when germs are afoot. For pregnant momma’s that are under the weather, drink plenty of fluids – especially water – and make sure you get as much rest as you can! Your body will need the extra support to fight off illness.
Make sure to always consult your OBGYN before taking any medication while pregnant – even the mild stuff can be bad for baby! Hot showers, hot tea, and a hot meal on the couch during movie night are some of my favorite home remedies.
Cold & Flu Season Tips for Healthy Babies
It’s one thing for you to get sick, but it is a whole other monster when your little one is under the weather! Luckily, there are few things that you can do to stop some of the germs from turning into a feverish frenzy:
1. Nursing | If you’re still nursing, keep it up through the colder months to help build baby’s immunity! If your baby is sick, your body will pass along anti-bodies through your breast milk and help baby fight infection. If you’re toddler is sick, nursing can help protect your baby as well. We were in the midst of weaning when Brody had tonsillitis last week and our pediatrician even recommended I keep nursing Isla until Brody recovered. There’s a reason they call breast milk liquid gold!
2.Cart Covers | Kids pick up germs everywhere, and the store is no exception. When you’re out shopping, make sure to wipe your own cart before putting your little one in the basket. But better yet, use a cart cover. This will prevent your little shopping buddy from putting their mouth directly on the cart. There are some super cute ones out there, but the creme de la creme is definitley the Boppy Luxe Shopping Cart Cover. I shared it on Instagram stories a few weeks ago and I had so many messages from moms who told me they love using this cart cover too. Super soft minky seat, a fun crinkly book attached for entertainment, fits every cart I have tried it on--these are just a few things I love about it. It also works great on high chairs.
3. Just Say No | Babies are cute and there’s no doubt that your baby is the cutest of all, but even the cutest baby is susceptible to germs this flu season. Make sure that relatives and friends know that if they are sick, they won’t be able to snuggle your little one until they’re 100% better. I know those newborn cheeks are so kissable, but consider prepping your family members and friends to let them know you would prefer they avoid kissing them. Even if it doesn’t seem serious, a cough and sore throat for an adult can be an infection or serious cold for an infant or toddler.
My Favorite Cold + Flu Prevention
If you’re a member of the Momma Society Facebook Group, you’ve probably seen elderberry syrup mentioned a time or two. Parents from coast to coast are CRAZY about elderberry syrup, and for good reason! If you do a quick google search you will see article after article chanting its praises as a natural way to prevent illness (or speed up the recovery). I’m usually skeptical about things like this, but after having a sick toddler for what seemed like 2 months straight, I’m gave it a go.
Some recipes use honey, so certainly avoid those recipes if you have a little one under 12 months! Also, be sure to check with your pediatrician or primary care doctor, to make sure elderberry syrup is okay for your kids.
Elderberry syrup tends to sell out especially during the colder months, but thanks to this great DIY recipe, Momma Society has you covered! Brody and I have been battling one illness after the next, so having an easy recipe I can make at home has been a total lifesaver.
Spoiler alert: It’s so much more affordable than buying the syrup. One small jar cost me just over $6 to make.
Momma Society’s Magic Elderberry Syrup
Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 1 Hour | Makes: 2 Cups
1/3 cup of Dried Elderberries
1 ½ cups of water
1 tbsp dried ginger root
3 cinnamon stick
¼ tsb cloves
½ cup raw honey
1. Pour water into saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
2. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover for 45 minutes-1 hour until the liquid is reduced by about half
3. Remove from heat and let cool
4. Mash the berries carefully with a flat utensil
5. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar (a mason jar works great!) Discard the elderberries.
6. Mix in the honey.
Full disclosure: Your house will smell delicious after making this. We add about a teaspoon of syrup to Brody’s waffle or a bit larger spoonful to my waffle.