October is like the Friday of the holiday months. It’s the month where all things festive start to take shape, and there’s still so much to look forward to! I love all things October–from the crunchy leaves to the crisp air–it’s a month that excites my heart for all that’s to come. But the one thing I don’t love about this month is the nose wiping— and I mean the hundreds of times I’ve wiped snot from my kids’ noses in the past 30 days. And we are just getting started with cold and flu season. With kids in the full swing of school and germs being exchanged on a moment by moment basis, we can all count on caring for sick kids at some point in the coming months.
It’s not fun for the kids or for us as parents, but we can handle cold and flu season like champions if we are stocked with all of these cold and flu season must-haves:
For the nights that you’ll be up and down like you’ve got a newborn again. The worst thing you can do is not have coffee on hand in the morning. I suggest buying in bulk. ;)
Kid movies that YOU like too
Throw all of the screen time rules out the window on sick days and settle in for some sweet snuggles while binge watching good movies. Do you have some favorite movies on hand that you enjoy too? Think about it now so you don’t get stuck dying the slow death that is watching Caillou.
A Wearable Thermometer
This is a real thing and it’s my new best friend on sick days. Ever struggle with getting an accurate reading on a traditional thermometer with your kids? Ever want to take a temperature without waking your sick kiddo? Ever want to keep track of a temperature throughout the night or while you’re away for the day? I can say yes to every case which is why I love the brilliance of TempTraq.
TempTraq® is the only wearable Bluetooth® Temperature Monitor, and it is a parent’s peace of mind in a package. One of their soft, comfortable patches adheres to the underarm and continuously monitors body temperature for 24 hours. The TempTraq® app is free to download and easy to synch up with the patch (you simply press the “start” button on the patch.)
The app allows you to enter a name in place of the serial number on the patch. This makes it possible to monitor fevers for multiple children at once. You can also track when your child eats, drinks and takes medicine on the app, and the data is easy to email to healthcare professionals!
My favorite feature is that you can set a temperature at which you would like to be alerted. This way, a sick child can sleep undisturbed while their parent can put worry to rest. You can Buy TempTraq now at Target, CVS and Walgreens stores nationwide as well as at TempTraq.com.
You know why you need this, but here’s a bonus tip: layer an additional waterproof mattress cover and fitted sheet over top of another mattress cover and fitted sheet for a quick middle of the night change.
When you’re wiping your poor babe’s nose dozens of times a day, be sure to have soft tissues on hand. A nose can only take so many wipes from the cheap kind. We always get the “plus lotion” kind and it makes a huge difference. And while they’re pricey, boogie wipes are also nice to have on hand, although a warm and wet wash cloth will accomplish a similar task.
Hand Soap + Lotion
Girlfriend, the worst of the worst is if you get sick too, so be sure to wash your hands all day every day. Your hands will be as dry as the desert so be sure to apply some kind of moisturizer too. I’m prone to eczema and always have the driest hands, and my dermatologist recommended O’Keefe’s working hands hand cream. It’s good stuff!
A stack of white towels
When you have a kiddo with a stomach bug, there will be vomit and it most likely will not make it to the toilet. My sister-in-law taught me to line a path from the bed to the toilet with white towels in these cases. It is so much easier to toss towels into the wash with some bleach than to scrub carpet in the middle of the night. Go white because they’re bleachable. Remove all stuffed animals within the vicinity and buckle down for a rough night. (Revisit first tip if necessary. ^^)
When you or your kids can’t keep any food down, it’s so important to stay hydrated. So be sure to have plenty of “special” drinks on hand AKA something your kids will really enjoy drinking, so they’ll drink plenty of it. Electrolytes are a big help for weak bodies so coconut water or sports drinks are great.
Cool Mist Humidifier
If you head to the doctor with a sick child, chances are they’ll recommend you try using a humidifier at night. They really do help so keep one handy.
Saline Nose Solution
The other thing doctors tend to recommend for sick little ones who cannot blow their own noses is a simple saline solution. My kids haaaaate the experience of nose drops but I feel so much better getting them clear nasal passages before they go to sleep for the night, and I’m sure that they do too.
For moms who just want to feel like they’re helping their kid in some small way–when there’s no medicine that’s safe for their age–essential oils are a gift. Whether it’s lavender oil to help with sleep, peppermint oil to clear up clogged noses, eucalyptus oil for chest congestion or thieves oil on the feet to help fight what’s making them sick–pick your faves and put them to work. *I’m not an essential oil expert so please research correct dosing and use carrier oils as recommended.*
So there you have it, my list of must-haves for every parent on the brink of cold and flu season. I’d love to hear what you would add to the list!