Dealing with cold and flu season as childless adults has nothing on parenthood! I’m sharing a few easy tips on how we survive the cold and flu months with a baby and toddler, including our favorite item for not only relieving symptoms when we are sick but also helping us feel better every single day – the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier!
Surviving Cold and Flu Season as Parents!
When I was sick before becoming a mom, I would occasionally relish the rare sick day. Not that I enjoyed being sick but I didn’t mind the excuse to sit in bed watching Netflix while I napped on and off either. It was a rare, unicorn sort of day to snuggle between the sheets and turn off my brain. Now, sick days never mean rest and relaxation. In fact, sick days are now a downright testament to natural selection, especially if both me and Liam are sick at the same time. Surviving cold and flu season with a child is survival of the fittest, and I haven’t always been confident I would win.
Dealing with a sick baby, toddler or even man child is torture. Sound dramatic? Maybe. But I’m pretty sure sleep deprivation, starvation, and high pitch sounds for long periods of time (cue Liam crying) all make the list of torture treatments.
Plus there is the constant game of mental flip flops to figure out what is wrong and what will make them feel better and stop whining for at least 10 minutes of golden silence. Nothing makes you feel quite as defeated in life as trying to negotiate with a toddler who can’t speak yet.
- Do you want your milk? shakes head no
- Do you want your puffs? shakes head no
- Do you want this toy? How about this one? This one? shakes head no
- Want to bring me a book to read? shakes head no
- Do you want mommy to dance? Sing? Walk on a tightrope while balancing a ball on her nose, patting her head and making circles on her stomach? shakes head no
- Do you want to watch Moana? subdued happy dance followed by 10 minutes of silence.
It’s always Moana, guys. I try to do anything not to turn the tv on but the answer will always be Moana for Liam every single second of every single day. But I digress.
Being a first time parent is honestly the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done. You can go ahead and do a little eye roll here because you might be thinking of course. Not because of the sleep exhaustion though, which was real, or because Liam required a lot of constant attention, because he didn’t most days, but because of the mental exhaustion. The checklist we go through every time he isn’t acting quite like himself. Teething? Allergies? Cold? Flu? Stomach ache? Tired? Annoyed we have other things to do and aren’t giving him our full attention?
But we survived our first cold and flu season with Liam though as a baby with him being born in October and we’re already one cold and one stomach bug into our second sick season as a toddler. We are no experts. We are basic newbs compared to the majority of parents out there, but there are a few routines we’ve established for surviving cold and flu season with a child that seems to work for us, especially since the colds Liam has gotten have been pretty mild and short lived.
My Quick Tips For Surviving Cold and Flu Season with a Kid:
- Keep child’s nose moist. Dry nostrils make it harder for your body to perform as it was created and fight off any germs, so making sure nostrils stay moist will help prevent illness. We use saline pretty consistently throughout the winter to help with this.
- Use ointment on cheeks and nose. Liam’s skin very quickly gets aggravated by the dry, cold winter air and nothing is worse by having to wipe an dry, irritated noise. Using a little ointment consistently helps his sensitive skin stay in the best shape. I do the same thing on my nose at night and on my feet with socks because I hate dry winter feet!
- Stay Hydrated! Parents and kids alike need to stay hydrated all winter and all year long really, but this is especially important when we do come down with something. Make sure babies and toddlers are getting plenty to drink, which might mean adjusting the schedule slightly to add in more fluids if need be, especially if they’re drinking less in one sitting.
- Parent on Easy Mode. When Liam is sick or I am sick, I like to say I’m parenting on easy mode. On a good day, we might never turn on the tv, having our day filled with books, puzzles, instruments, little people and more. On a busy day, we might throw on a 30 minute show because I have a deadline to meet and Liam hates my computer being open. On a sick day, we might snuggle into the couch for a little TLC and watch his dearly loved Moana. If you are anti-tv, more power to you. I don’t need to hear your arguments for why you think it’s best and praise you for your non-tv awesomeness. Me? I want to lay down and snuggle when I’m sick, so sometimes I give myself a break when we aren’t feeling well and parent on easy while Liam get’s needed rest and cuddles.
- Humidifier! This one is life changing for us so I go into a lot more detail below on how humidifiers helped us and which one we absolutely love!
Humidifier – the Unsung Hero of Cold Season
Humidifiers were not a thing in my house when I was growing up. In fact, I never bought one until we had Liam. I kept seeing it on all the must have baby registry items so I was like, “Sure, why not?”. I didn’t really know why I was asking for one and just let peer pressure take over for that particular item. Well, peer pressure ended up being a good thing for once in my life because I am so glad we ended up having this when Liam got sick for the first time last year.
We’ve since been through three humidifiers. The first had a sad death when Bryan dropped it on the floor. The second we ended up not liking at much as the first. The third humidifier is the best and now our gold standard.
The Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier produces visible cool mist and provides temporary relief from cough and congestion when you are sick by adding necessary moisture back into the air. It also helps reduce the survival of flu viruses on surfaces and in the air by maintaining proper humidity levels in your home as studies have shown flu viruses thrive in cold, dry places. So keep your humidity levels between 40% and 60% in your home!
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends cool mist humidifiers for children throughout the winter months to relieve congestion and cough, but I also notice a huge difference for us as well! Before putting a Vicks Cool Mist Humidifier in our room, we were waking up with dry, scratchy throats, congestion, sinus pressure, and dry, itchy eyes. It wasn’t fun. We kept thinking we were coming down with something. Nope! The heating system and winter weather was just drying the house out too much which means our humidifier helps reduce symptoms when we are sick and keeps us feeling in top shape when we aren’t.
So why is the Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier my absolute favorite? The one I think everyone should own?
Vicks Humidifiers are the only ones designed to work with Vicks VapoPads which provide the soothing Vicks Menthol scented vapors for up to eight hours of comfort. I am convinced this is what kept Liam sleeping soundly during this last cold. We put two pads into the slots before bedtime, and we did not hear a sound once when he was sick. Normally, we’d hear coughing, some sniffles and maybe some occasional whimpering. Not anymore! He sleeps better and he gets back to normal playing faster!
Plus, it was a large 1.2 gallon water run which means we have to fill it way less. With our other humidifiers, I felt like we were constantly having to fill it or walking in the morning to realize it had drained at some point during the night.
If you are curious what is floating around in our humidifier, you will want to check out the Protec Humidifier Cleaning Fish. If you don’t know, it’s important to keep your cool mist humidifier clean. This little guy reduces up to 99% of odor causing bacteria, as well as mold or algae growth for up to 30 days. So basically, it keeps your humidifier cleaner, longer just by being there!
Who wants a Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier?
Vicks wants to give one of my readers a care package that includes (1) Vicks® Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier (MSRP: $79.99), (1) Family Pack of Vicks VapoPads (MSRP: $14.99) and (1) Protec Humidifier Cleaning Fish (MSRP: $10.99). To enter, leave a comment below on where you would put your new humidifier if you won and how you’d utilize a Vicks Humidifier to provide comfort and relief for your families during cold and flu season! Giveaway runs through January 31, 2018 and winner will be randomly selected from comments.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Vicks Humidifiers. The opinions and text are all mine.