Tuesday 13 October 2015

Survival guide - flu season with babies!

I've pretty much been sick for the last 6 weeks - which is very unlike me but ever since I've had Ella I seem to get sick more. I think it's because we are exposed to it more often because it seems babies and children are like a hotbed for germs and illness haha. Ella is currently on the mend following a  really nasty case of the flu, requiring antibiotics, which I am thankful for and hoping that now it's getting warmer the flu season will finally be over. There has been so much sickness going around this year it's ridiculous!

I was thinking, since we have had our fair share of the flu this year, I would share some of the things that helped Ella feel more comfortable or my MUST haves for any Mum with a baby approaching the flu season or just things that are handy to have all year round.

Starting with a few of the products in my "flu fighting" arsenal!

1. Vicks Vaporizer - I don't actually own one of these myself but a friend suggested I borrow hers to try help with Ella's congestion at bed time - I will definitely be purchasing one for future use! It produces warm steam with Eucalyptus, Camphor and Menthol to help clear airways overnight (for 12-18 hours).

2. Kiwiherb Herbal Chest Syrup - A completely natural, herbal remedy to help ease chesty coughs in all ages. Kiwiherb have a great range and variety of natural remedies for various different ailments. As there are no medicated cough syrups on the market for babies up to 1 year old - this natural one fits the bill just nicely.

3. Vicks Baby Balsam - A reduced strength vapor rub for children aged three months to five years. This is a staple for colds in my household, it gets slathered all over Ella's chest, back and feet. It really helps to clear her nose - especially overnight, when sleep becomes difficult! If I was to choose only one product to assist with congestion it would be this - it's a MUST HAVE!

4. Fess little noses saline drops - It's an alcohol free, non-medicated saline solution that helps to thin mucus and moisturise a baby's nasal cavities to help them breathe easier. A baby's natural instinct is to breath through their nose, so when they can't it can make sleeping and feeding very difficult. This one also comes with a great nasal aspirator!

5. Snuffle Babe Nasal Aspirator - A very non-glamourous part of Motherhood can often result in you being required to suck out baby snot - ick - so rather than doing it yourself I suggest you invest in a nasal aspirator, such as this one to do the job for you. This one I bought from Countdown. Whatever nasal aspirator you decide to choose make sure that it's one that has a slim nozzle that actually fits in your baby's nose - I made the mistake of buying one that was way too big!

6. Pamol Infant drops - When baby has a temperature or needs pain relief it pays to always have a bottle on hand, whether it be Pamol infant drops or the paracetamol from the pharmacy this is a MUST HAVE for my last resort. Suitable from 3 months up.

7. Nurofen for Children - Much the same as Pamol and does the same job but I have heard some Mum's feel Nurofen is more effective although Pamol works fine for Ella. Suitable from 3 months up.

Now, a few tips I found that were also necessary or helpful...

1. Raise one end of the baby's bed or cot. It can help with breathing and congestion to have baby sleeping slightly more upright rather than completely horizontal. Although, if you have a vigourous roller like Ella is it becomes somewhat pointless, as she rolls down to the bottom and that's where she stays.

2. A thermometer is a great tool to have, even though you can generally feel a temperature by touch but it helps to have a proper reading. I am on the lookout for an amazing thermometer - my one is a bit unpredictable - if you have a good one you swear by let me know!

3. If baby only wants to sleep on you, then let them! There is nothing better than Mum or Dad's hugs to help soothe an unwell baby.

4. If in doubt, about anything in terms of your baby's health or wellbeing don't hesitate to consult your Doctor or healthline (0800 611 116) who are an amazing support service!

What is your number one tip for coping with the flu?

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