Today was the first time I took the girls to the doctor together. I figured it would be easier to kill two birds with one stone and by golly I think I was right. It was a bit to manage, but now that Piper can understand and listen a bit, I don’t have to be so hands on. It was Ellie’s 3 year check up (yes, I know it’s a couple of months late) and Piper’s 18 month check up.
First, Ellie stood on the scale and weighed in at 36 pounds, in the 80th percentile. Her height was a half inch from 40″, putting her in the 75th percentile (although I could have sworn the nurse said 95th…tomato tomahto).
Piper laid in the baby scale (in a surprisingly compliant way) and weighed in at 22 pounds, in the 50-75th percentile. Her height is 32.5 inches, in the 75th percentile. Both girls are normal, happy and healthy, so I was very happy. The one part I was a little nervous about was the shots. Not so much because I can’t handle shots (because I can), but because if one totally melted down, odds were the other one would too and what a fantastic mess to work through. I know it’s not that big of a deal, but it’s those little things I think about.
I was surprised when the nurse came back in with the shots that Ellie said she wanted to go first. Before, when the doctor came in I asked Ellie if she wanted to go first or if she wanted Piper to go first and she said Piper. But when the nurse came in with the shots, she was ready to go. I explained to her earlier in the day that I put her Supergirl underwear on because she was going to need to be a big strong girl when the doctor gave her medicine later because it might hurt a little bit. I told her that the medicine would make it so she didn’t get really sick later on. When she sat on my lap I said “Are you ready to be a big strong girl?” and she said “yeah.” I told her to look and me and give me a big smile. The nurse gave the shot right as she smiled and presto! No tears. Yay!
At this point I think to myself that if Piper cries, at least I was one for two. Piper jumps on my lap and I ask her if she’s ready to be a big strong girl. She says “yes” and doesn’t cry either. I feel like I should buy a lotto ticket today!
I’ve never been a fan of curing all my pains with drugs, but let’s face it, I went through my fair share of Ibuprofen in my ’20’s; I’m not sure how I would have made it through some days without it! As I’ve gotten older and become a parent I’ve learned a bit about moderation – and also a bit about medicine and medicine alternatives. Especially when our little babes get sick we want to find the quickest solution to make them feel better. I’ve learned over the past 20 months or so though that some things can be done without turning to Western medicine solutions. Below are just a few of the little tricks I’ve learned along the way. The big caveat is: I’m not a doctor and sometimes you just need a doctor. Hopefully some of these things help you need a doctor a little less though.
- Elderberry Syrup: This has easily become my favorite natural immunity booster. When I feel a little dryness in my nose or soreness in my throat, I take a little of this. When Ellie gets a little runny nose we give it to her in the morning. I think it’s shortened her colds and prevented a few from coming about.
- Eucalyptus Oil: Our midwife told us about this recently. When Ellie gets congested we put a little of this in her humidifier at night. It’s a natural cold fighter. We just did this last night and Ellie woke up a little more dried out.
- Home-made “tea”
- This Korean gal I used to work with told me about a tradition of honey and lemon tea. Here is a “recipe” – it’s pretty dang easy: http://catherineboley.blogspot.com/2009/08/preparing-for-winter.html
- I made a tea once when Ellie and were sick and I swear it worked wonders. I minced about 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, boiled water and steeped the garlic in it covered for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I strained out the garlic and added a bunch of fresh lemon juice and honey. It surprisingly did not taste like shit and Ellie actually drank some of it.
- Elevation: put a pillow under one side of the crib mattress and lay babe down with her head on the high side
- Bone Broth: I haven’t tried this yet, but a local naturopath recommends a homemade bone broth. It seemed a little time consuming for me to be honest, but I bet it works great. I also wonder if picking some broth up at your local Pho restaurant would work just as well: http://www.jadeinstitute.com/jade/bone-broth-health-building.php
- Apple Cider Vinegar: It’s a natural fever reducer. Put a cup in a warm bath or soak a washcloth in it and put in on the forehead or the feet.
- Calcium Lactate: This is what your body naturally uses to fight a fever. Using a supplement will make your little one recover quicker and not be as achy during the process.
- Egg Whites: Soak a pair of socks in them and put on feet. You can also soak paper towels and put them in the socks
- Garlic: Blend fresh garlic cloves and mix with a little olive oil or coconut oil. Smear on the bottom of the feet and put socks on over. Test out a small amount first to see if your little one experiences any burning sensation.
- Warm baths: Once when Ellie had a fever we put her in a warm bath and her fever dropped three degrees within 5 minutes. Cold baths are not the way to go, warm baths are.
- Ear Pain: Garlic Mullein: I haven’t used this yet because Ellie hasn’t had any ear problems since I discovered it. Basically this stuff is supposed to be put into the ears when babies have ear infections. I would recommend trying this very early on if you are suspicious of an ear infection.
- Baby Probiotics: I began taking probiotics myself during this pregnancy and then found out they’re actual great for little ones as well.
- They’re great immune boosters, which help to fight against colds, flu, strep throat and stomach bugs.
- They’re good for the belly, so they can either keep the digestive tract balanced or help to fight off things like diarrhea, etc.
- They also help if your child has a dairy intolerance, which can cause Eczema.
- Teething: Hyland’s Teething Tablets: These are a good alternative to fever reducers when children are teething. The trick is really getting the babe to take them.
- Colic: With our newborn, our midwife recommended Dr.Ohhira’s Probiotics to address her apparent tummy discomfort. They are gel capsules so she recommends poking a hole in them and either trying to feed to the baby on a finger or rubbing some on the nipple for consumption during feeding. Baby should have some twice a day and a capsule should last about two days or four doses.
These are just a few of the tricks off the top of my head. I’ll continue to update this as I hear more from friends, midwives and blog posts, as I think it’s super helpful for those desperate sickness times. Good luck braving the winter with your little ones and remember, sometimes rest is the best cure for our mommy busy bodies.