I have fallen hard from the high of toilet success and the beginning brightness of some decent nights of sleep have been utterly destroyed. We have managed to maintain a good nighttime routine, but the sniffling and coughing are landing him in our bed somewhere between three and five AM. This morning I woke up and Josh’s head was on my stomach (as in he was using me as a pillow) and he had pretty much kicked Rich to the edge of the bed. Parenting is nothing if not extreme highs and devastating lows—but we signed up for this roller coaster ride, right?

Bio-hazard. This should be a bright yellow sign on my front door. Josh has an unconfirmed case of the flu. He started running a temp after going to bed last Thursday night and today (Tuesday) was the first day he has been fever-free. I will also say, quite confidently, that there is a gross under-representation of Joshua’s illnesses in this blog. Gross. He is sick….All. The. Fricking. Time.

So in an effort to look on the bright side and share the wealth of information I’ve gathered from complaining on Facebook and asking everyone I know, “What else can I do to keep my kid healthy??” I thought I’d share my helpful hints. I can’t say they’ve all worked for us, and I will say that I am not at all trained in the medical field (yes, that is a disclaimer), but here are some immune-increasing, cold-soothing, flu-busting (mostly natural) suggestions:

  • coconut water for hydration (and really any increased fluid intake helps)
  • coconut oil increases immunity (among other helpful benefits, even weight loss!)
  • herbal remedies (know what you are doing here)
  • homeopathic remedies (I suggest consulting a professional!)
  • garlic/onion/lemon/honey concoctions for colds (and straight honey, especially buckwheat honey—though it smells totally gross—has been proven to help cough more than pharmaceuticals)
  • regular chiropractic or osteopathic treatment for proper alignment, drainage, breathing, etc.
  • vitamin C helps immunity and overall health
  • vitamin D (most who live in the Northern hemisphere are deficient, especially in winter)
  • place an onion cut in half near the sick person (yes, there is currently a shrivelled onion in my son’s bedroom)
  • decrease sugar intake (sugar can keep us from fighting off the bad germs)
  • mullein/garlic/oregano oil drops for ears can prevent and soothe ear troubles
  • cod liver or fish oil (use a certified toxin-free), if you can stomach it, is good for everything
  • echinacea (though whether or not this is actually helpful is apparently up for debate)
  • elderberry syrup is also an all around health booster
  • pre- and pro-biotics (I hear that immune function begins in the gut so…..)
  • steam, humidifiers, and saline sprays and gels can ease congestion
  • don’t treat the fever unless it is really high or the child is uncomfortable—it is there to do a job

That’s all I got. I guess if I’m doing most of this preventative stuff most of the time and my kid is still always sick, I can’t beat myself up about it.

Stay healthy out there.