There are nice things about winter: yummy soups, hot chocolate, jumping in puddles in big wellies, heading to the snow. And then there is the absolute worst thing about winter: colds and viruses. It’s been said that the average preschooler has at least six colds a year, and it can sometimes feel like you’re on a never-ending rollercoaster of illness after illness.
We’ve all experienced those sleepless nights and heartbreaking days of wiping noses and dealing with poor, miserable babes. Thankfully, there are things you can do to make the inevitable cold season that bit more manageable.
Here are our top 9 tips for surviving winter colds with small kids.
1. Big Relief for Little Noses
Blocked noses are awful for kids. Babies and small kids simply don’t know how to blow their noses – and being blocked up can make feeding and sleeping incredibly difficult. FESS Little Noses is a gentle saline solution that helps to thin mucous and clear nasal congestion. Available in drops for newborn babies or a spray for older babies, it also comes with a nasal aspirator – a rubber bulb you can use to gently suck the snot out. We’re not even going to acknowledge the eww factor in that last sentence. You’re a mum – you’ve dealt with worse!
A vaporiser can help humidify the air and ease blocked noses and dry coughs. Ultrasonic vaporisers disperse a fine cool mist, without the cauldron-bubbling noise that can make old-style vaporisers too noisy for sleep. Add essential oils like eucalyptus to help clear congestion.
3. Little Coughs
There’s nothing worse than a persistent cough that won’t let your child – or you – sleep. Your heart just breaks for them and it can make for a very grumpy sleep deprived family! Little Coughs is made with Ivy Leaf extract – which has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb for cough relief. It’s free from preservatives, artificial colours and flavours and can be used by the whole family, even little ones.
4. Digital thermometer
A thermometer is a must for keeping track of temperatures during winter sniffles. A digital thermometer takes any guesswork away, giving you an exact reading. Models like Mobi’s 2-in-1 digital thermometer offer both inner-ear and forehead readings, which can be useful to check temps without waking sleeping babes.
5. Little Eyes
Congestion can often be accompanied by crusty eyes. You can use gentle hypoallergenic wipes like Little Eyes to wipe around your baby’s eyes and between eyelashes, providing relief while keeping this delicate area protected and germ-free.
6. Staying warm
With fevers and chills it can be hard to know how warm is warm enough, especially when your little patient can’t tell you how he or she feels. Mamaway‘s Outlast range of sleeping bags, swaddles and pram liners is made from a special fabric that balances skin temperature, keeping baby warm while preventing overheating. It’s been developed for NASA, so I guess it’s also handy if your baby needs to take a trip to the moon once they’re well!
7. Soften lips & noses
Colds and fevers can cause dry skin, rough noses and chapped lips. Paw Paw ointment can help relieve skin dryness – look for organic and petrochemical-free versions that are natural and gentle for young skin.
8. Increase fluids
It’s a good idea to increase your child’s fluids when they are sick with a cold or virus. Offer extra milk feeds for babies or water for toddlers and older kids to keep them hydrated and help replace fluids lost through runny noses or fevers.
9. When to seek help
Doctors often can’t do much for viruses, especially the common cold. But if you’re worried things might be not quite right, always seek medical advice. Check out the Raising Children website for advice on when to take your child to the doctor and how to recognise signs of serious illness.
(This post is sponsored by Care Pharmaceuticals)