There are a lot of things that come along with having a toddler I never knew about. One of those things is how much easier it is to get sick.

We have had more viruses, colds, and bugs than probably any other year in our marriage. Although it may not just be due to having a toddler, or a weaker immune system due to pregnancy, I read online that this year was the WORST year for the flu since 2009. When Kacie Ellis of www.elementsofellis.com put together this month’s Let’s be Honest Mama’s topic, I knew it would be perfect and timely especially with everything going on.

1. Nobody wants their child to catch a cold or flu. Do you have any tips or tricks for preventing the flu from hitting your house?

I wish I had a great answer to this, but we’ve had a hard time balancing this year. Part of me never wants to go out because I fear to get sick so much, but part of me knows we have to continue living and can’t hibernate forever. A few things we do though:

  • Use hand sanitizer religiously
  • Wash our hands for at least 15 seconds with warm soapy water – I carry Aquaphor because we wash our hands so much, they dry out
  • Change our clothes as soon as we get home from being out
  • Take Vitamin C and Airborne (I haven’t been able to take much besides prenatal) & Ian also takes Elderberry daily which I heard works wonders
  • Eat and drink Vitamin C as much as possible – This means I ignore the sugar labels and drink the orange juice and try to eat as many fruits and foods with Vitamin C as possible
  • Diffuse On Guard (or whatever immunity booster oils are out there) and rub it on our feet when we start to feel icky
  • Avoid grocery stores, doctor offices and places where germs tend to be most frequently – Kroger ClickList and grocery delivery services help with this a lot

2. Some parents rush their children to the doctor at the first sign of being sick or injured, while others choose to take care of the situation at home. Which category do you fall into and when do you know it’s time to see a doctor?

When Cove was a newborn, I always felt like he needed to go to the doctor when something was wrong, but two years later, I fall into the second category. We actually ended up at the emergency room with Cove one night and all he had was a minor virus, and because of our visit, we all ended up with a far worse sickness that lasted two to three weeks. I do look for major warning signs though, like ridiculously high fevers, certain kind of rashes, etc. But if it’s a low-grade fever and runny nose, we will tough it out first so we don’t get something worse trying to treat a cold.

3. What are some natural remedies that you use to help your child feel better when he/she comes down with the flu/cold?

We usually try to rest as much as possible. That means extra snuggles and probably more TV time than normal so our bodies can rest. We run a humidifier in Cove’s room non-stop and do steamy showers to clean out congestion. I also started using oils after Cove turned one. Lavender, OnGuard, Frankincense, and Lemon are some of the main ones when sickness creeps up. We also like Breathe for congestion and Tea Tree for bacteria fighting and cleaning the air. We will diffuse these and dilute them with coconut oil and rub them on the bottom of our feet and on our wrist/necks.

We also try to stick to a more basic diet since there is so much drainage going to the stomach. I think doctors call it the BRAT diet, and it’s used more for stomach bugs and throwing up, but it works well for colds too. Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. If Cove seems to be eating well with all of those, then we start adding foods with high Vitamin C and other vitamins to help fight off the bug.

4. Are you an advocate for the flu vaccine or do you choose to skip it? Why?

In the past, we have always skipped it because it makes us feel miserable and only protects you from certain strains, but I did choose to get it this year because I am pregnant. We don’t give it to Cove because he is so little, but will probably do so when he get’s older and starts school. I don’t really have a problem with people getting it, I just haven’t seen much personal benefit from it in the past and figured it was one less thing we were putting in our bodies.

5. For solidarity, share your worse flu story. Have you been thrown up on? Did one flu bug cycle through your entire family causing you to have weeks of taking of a sick child (or husband)? Let all the moms reading this know they’re not alone in the struggles of taking care of sick children.

Well, we’ve managed to not get the flu this year (knock on wood), but when Cove was about seven/eight months old, we all had the worst case of flu and sickness hit our home. It was actually the beginning of August, and I had picked up Cove and brought him downstairs because he was crying pretty hard in his crib. As soon as my foot hit the bottom of the stairs, he started puking everywhere. Ian was there and we both kind of went into shock.

Thirty minutes later we packed up the car and headed to the ER. It was the first time anything like that had ever happened. I mentioned this story earlier, but it ended up being a virus. Nothing serious for him. They cleaned out his ears, told us to give him Motrin and Tylenol and sent us home. A day later, Ian and I both were so sick we could barely move. We literally would only get up in order to take care of Cove and just kind of sleepwalked through the entire week. Ian ended up with a double ear infection on top of whatever flu we had.

On top of being sicker than we could ever remember, Cove started crawling that week and it was my brother-in-law and future sister-in-law’s wedding week. My fever literally broke hours before the rehearsal dinner, but Ian performed his best man duties with as much medication as possible (he still claims he blacked out during his speech and doesn’t remember the evening because he was on so many medications).

I don’t think I will ever forget that week, but I am sure there will be other weeks in our future where the whole house is out for the count. I know it happens to everyone, but when you’re in it, you don’t even feel like you are going to survive, haha.

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This super soft house dress is from MilkMaid Goods and you can bet it will be in my hospital bag for Jettson’s arrival. It is so soft. Also perfect for sick days at home.

To see the rest of the mamas including in this round, click on the links below.

Kacie Ellis elementsofellis.com // Amber Hill amberlately.com // Kymberly Janelle lifewithkymberlyjanelle.com // Stephanie Pollock stephpollock.com // Emily Lindsey happilylindsey.com // 

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