I know there are lots of moms out there with way more than one child who manage to publish blog posts like all. the. time. My question is: uhhh, HOW? This literally took me three days to write. Maybe blame it on a needy, teething, non-sleeping velcro baby? Either way, hello. Enjoy these grainy cell phone photos….they were The Best I Could Do.
Every year when all the kids start going back to school (and spreading germs around), Ben inevitably picks something up and brings it home to me like a
carrier monkey sweet husband. He usually doesn’t get sick until I’m on the upswing, which is maddening and miserable. Last year was the w-o-r-s-t. We were living in a teeny tiny AirBnB with two beagles and a six-week-old baby, waiting to close on our house. We only had one (tiny) bedroom and of course, we did NOT want to get the baby sick, so we pretty much swapped first being quarantined in the tiny bedroom, then being banned from the bedroom and having to live (and sleep) in the tiny living room.
It was truly awful. Thank goodness Luca didn’t catch anything (the power of breastmilk!), but I’m still on high alert this year. I definitely do not want a repeat experience for me and Ben, and I still of course don’t want my kiddo getting sick.
Probiotics – Gut health is so crucial for overall health and immunity, so I take a probiotic capsule every day (I shoot for three times a day but basically just take it when I remember). I read recently that you shouldn’t take probiotics on an empty stomach because your stomach acid kills them. Pretty sure I’ve wasted a whole lot of dough on this mistake in the past! They’re apparently best taken after a meal that’s low in protein, so that’s how I’ve been doing it lately. I’m also giving the baby one dose per day of the infant variety, and I might increase that as we get further into wintry times.
Kombucha – Another score for gut health! Kombucha is chock full of probiotics and it’s delish to boot. Even though its alcohol content is minute, it still makes me feel relaxed, so I love it as an evening treat. I’ve made kombucha before, but I decided to try making my own scoby this time around (following this method). It’s been about a week since I started, and it can take 2-4 weeks to finish, so we’ll see how it turns out! I’m looking forward to trying some of the autumn-y recipes in this book.
DIY Essential oil blend – We big people use doTERRA OnGuard topically on our feet, but the eucalyptus isn’t safe for babies. I did a lot of research into this and settled on this blend for both baby safety and effectiveness. I’ve been using it in hand sanitizer, in surface spray while we’re out and about, and in a diffuser at home, especially before and after we have guests.
Vitamin C – I’ve started taking this on the daily for immunity. It’s made from superfruits and berries, and it doesn’t use any synthetic material, which I love. As a bonus, it tastes great.
Otoscope – Speaking of ear-related maladies, I just got this cool otoscope. This tool lets you see inside your child’s (or husband-child’s) ear and assess whether you should start natural treatments or, if it’s really bad, whether you should head to the doctor or urgent care. Definitely a tool I’m glad to have in my tool chest!
Eucalyptus and pine essential oils – These are the best for congestion and general misery. When I’m feeling snotty and terrible, I boil some water and put it in a big bowl, then add a few drops of eucalyptus and pine and hang my head over the bowl for as long as I can handle. It sucks, but it breaks up congestion and speeds healing. And it makes the house smell nice and less like sickness (you know the smell I’m talking about, right?). As mentioned, eucalyptus isn’t baby-compatible, so this is an adult remedy only.
Extra Vitamin D – Before I got pregnant with Luca, while I was trying to figure out some health issues, I had my Vitamin D levels tested, and I was crazy low. But apparently, that’s extremely common; most people are very D-deficient unless they supplement. I started taking this high dose raw Vitamin D every day, and it made a HUGE difference. While I was pregnant, my midwife had me tested again and couldn’t believe I was actually in the normal range. The amount in this supplement combined with the multivitamin gives me a “nursing dose” of D, which means Luca should get enough through breastfeeding. But I do have liquid drops for him as well that we’ll use when we all start getting less sun exposure during the winter. 😩 (Dear winter, please don’t hurry.)
Calming essential oil – Stress is a huge immunity killer for me, so I’m trying to do what I can to stay calm and relaxed this season (with a baby who’s recently started getting into everything… hahahaha. So calming!). Enter doTERRA Serenity blend. It smells amazing, and though it hasn’t lengthened Luca’s nap times, which is what I was dearly hoping for, it does make me feel less stressy and more relaxed. Serene, even.
I saw this picture recently making the rounds online, and it totally spoke to me:
The self-care stuff is probably the least fancy but the most important for warding off illness. So first, I’m changing my nighttime routine to include filling up water bottles for the next day. For whatever reason, I’m way more motivated to hydrate if my water’s already waiting for me. And I do think it’s especially important during the winter months to get as much sun exposure as possible and to stay active. We have a nice neighborhood for walking, and a convenient one-mile loop near our house, so my goal is to walk at least that loop every day for some gentle movement and a little bit of sunshine.
I also have one of those SAD lights for when the going gets tough here in the gray midwest. Because I’ve spent enough time here to know that eventually, IT WILL. But I’m hoping (and praying!) that with some good self-care, quality vitamins and natural immune boosters, and a little bit of luck, we’ll be spared from the yearly Sikora Sick Fest. Fingers crossed and faith in nature.