Surviving “Ravaging Toddler Flu” Season

Lola's IEP Meeting

Ravaging Toddler FluLet’s face it…if you have a child in school or even a daycare setting then every year around this time you start to prepare yourself for the cold/flu season. I naively thought Lola was one of the healthiest kids I’d ever been around. During her entire first year of life in Costa Rica, she may have had only one cold. I thought because we actually exposed her to life and didn’t sanitize her entire existence that we had sort of one upped her susceptibility to viruses. But that all changed when we moved back to the United States. I realized she just didn’t have exposure to the germs associated with kids because she was never really around them. And then she began preschool this fall and then came illnesses…and I mean LOTS of illnesses. Here are some essential tools that helped us survive, as my husband puts it, the ravaging toddler flu.

Zarbees Natural Cough Syrup

Zarbee’s® All-Natural Cough Syrup

No matter if Lola has a cold or the flu or both girlfriend always seems to get some type of cough.  And like clockwork — the cough always begins to show up at night and it stays for what feels like an eternity.  We’ve tried every holistic remedy that has ever been written about.  We sit her up, we keep her hydrated, we give her warm apple juice with honey (this actually does seem to help) and one night I was so desperate for a bit of shut-eye that I even put Vicks Vapor Rub on her feet and covered them with socks (thank you internet for this brilliant suggestion that did not work).  Finally after exasperating all efforts, we finally found an all-natural cough syrup that is safe for children to use.

Zarbee’s was created by Dr. Zak Zarbock who is a pediatrician and a father of four.  After becoming frustrated because of his inability to prescribe safe cough syrups to his young patients, he set out on a mission to create an alternative cough syrup that was all natural and ultimately offered effective relief.  His research led him to the benefits of honey — particularly dark honey which is filled with beneficial antioxidants.  This key ingredient along with zinc and vitamin C has proven to be effective which is why Zarbee’s is not only clinically proven, but also pediatrician recommended (even Lola’s pediatrician recommended it).

NoseFrida® The Snotsucker

NoseFridaI’ll be honest here — the NoseFrida was supposed to be for the new baby.  In fact, Rob registered for it on our baby registry because after having one child, we realized how useless those tiny plastic nose snot suckers really are.  So when Lola got incredibly stuffed up during one of her many colds this season, Rob cleverly pulled out the NoseFrida from the new baby’s drawer.  And let me just say — the NoseFrida has been a game changer in battling Lola’s persistent illnesses.

OK, OK — I’ll admit that it is sort of weird and maybe even a bit gross to use the first couple of times.  I mean you are literally sucking the snot through a tube out of your child’s nose.  But the snot tube is rather long and there is a filter which would make it virtually impossible to actually get snot in your mouth.  It’s still a bizarre process regardless, but I’ll be darned if it doesn’t work like magic!  Lola’s snot comes out, she isn’t fighting us because the NoseFrida is actually effective meaning we aren’t holding her down for 30 minutes (I mean she actually laughs when we do it) and by getting that snot out…she ultimately gets over her illness faster.  Win, win, win for all of us!

target baby humidifier

Safety 1st Ultrasonic 360 Degree Humidifier®

Again…this nifty humidifier was on our baby registry, but clearly nothing in the baby’s room is considered off-limits to us savages.  This is probably a no brainer when it comes to having a sick kid, but it’s been another effective tool for us.  In fact, the humidifier has been so invaluable this winter that I found myself sleeping in Lola’s room at night because I couldn’t stand the dryness in the air.  And now (again remember we have no shame when it comes to stealing from our unborn child) after buying another humidifier for the baby’s room, I’m not proud to admit that yes folks…it is now in our room.  Poor kid isn’t going to have anything of its own!



Duocal was recommended to us by Lola’s nutritionist in an effort to get her to gain weight.  It is simply a super soluble powder that acts as a calorie additive.  We were instructed to up the dosage when Lola is sick because she always loses weight when she is under the weather.  Generally, we put the Duocal in milk, juice or you can even sprinkle it in food products such as oatmeal.  This gives us piece of mind that she is still getting crucial calories in times when she won’t eat.  Duocal can be found online, but another safe calorie additive is Carnation Instant Breakfast which can be found at your local supermarket.  I would only add Duocal to your child’s diet after you discuss it with your child’s pediatrician.

Other things that help us survive: steamy baths to open up air passages, dog beds covered with blankets and pillows in front of the TV so she can actually see the movies, Pedialyte in times of dehydration, graham crackers are her favorite when she’s sick and finally…a little bit of patience, a whole lot of loving snuggles and a big ole mask to guard ourselves from contamination.

Am I missing anything? What remedies have helped your kiddos?

Please note: The information given in this post is not to be interpreted as medical advice. Any medication or remedy should always be discussed with your child’s doctor prior to use.