MomsOctober is here!  That means pumpkins, red, orange and yellow leaves, Halloween decor everywhere and…the start of cold and flu season.  Yesssss.

We kicked off the season appropriately in our house, as all of us have come down with a cold (the baby had one first, so we can blame him for it, right?)

Here’s what we’re using to fight it off:

Vicks Waterless Vaporizer

I can’t say enough great things about this product.  Simply insert a plug in, plug it into the wall, and let the soothing power of Vicks fill the room.  It really does help our boys sleep when they’re congested, and that alone is enough for me to love it.

NoseFrida

File this under “I Can’t Believe This Really Works.”  We love our NoseFrida.  It looks a little off-putting (you want me to suck what out of my kids’ nose?) but I swear to you it works better than the bulb nasal aspirators.

Saline Spray and Boogie Wipes

No kid or baby enjoys having their snot sucked out; nasal saline spray helps to break down congestion so that even without an aspirator your child is able to feel some relief.  Boogie Wipes are my favorite for wiping noses that never stop dripping without leaving behind any red, irritated, dry skin like tissues do.

– Ibuprofen

If your baby or little one  has a fever along with their congestion, Ibuprofen can help make them comfortable.  Cough medicine should NOT be given to kids under 4, and never give aspirin to anyone under 15.  If you do give your baby some medicine, be sure to follow the dosing instructions to the letter – don’t dose more than recommended or more often than advised.  Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the most commonly overdosed drug, and even small overdoses can lead to serious health issues.

Nursing a congested baby is no easy feat either.  My advice:

– Use saline spray and a nasal aspirator before each feeding.  You want to break down the congestion as much as possible before attempting to nurse.

Try and nurse holding the baby more upright.  I’ve also found that nursing after he’s been in his car seat/sitting upright is better, as his congestion has drained a bit more beforehand.

– Nurse often.  It doesn’t matter if your baby is down to only a few nursings a day; chances are good that your congested baby isn’t getting as much milk as usual with each feeding.  Offer the boob frequently so as to keep your supply up, and your baby hydrated, fed and happy – when he or she is feeling better they’ll likely fall back into their old feeding pattern naturally.

– Nurse in a steamy bathroom.  An old favorite of mine when the kids are sick and congested.  Turn on the hot water and fill the room with steam – also a great remedy for coughs and croup!

Thankfully our littlest guy seems to be more himself this morning.  I’m not celebrating too much though, as frequent colds are just a fun perk of having kids.  Despite vigilant hand washing and avoiding contact with other sick kiddos, chances are high we’ll be knocked out with another cold here shortly (just hopefully not until next month).

For advice and information about colds versus the flu, check out the CDC’s website.

Use the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to locate where you can get the flu vaccine this year.

And for tips and advice on breastfeeding a baby with a cold – including what YOU can take if you get a cold – visit KellyMom.