4 essentials to have a sick-free toddler (for 30 months)
2 years ago / in Health
When Little Claire was almost 15 months old, we started her on daycare due to our work commitment. Even though she only went 3 days a week, turned out she would get sick almost every other week through other kids at the daycare. In this post I’m going to share what we did subsequently to let her recuperate from the constant sickness, and eventually stayed sick-free for 30 full months! I’m also going to share my opinions on the importance of good nutrition, sleep, and our must-have essentials that have helped us keep sickness at bay.
Recuperating from constant ‘daycare’ sickness
We gave ourselves 16 weeks to see if the daycare arrangement would work. Everyone was telling us that daycare sickness is to be expected and that kiddos would grow out of it in due time. Well, maybe they would. But it just didn’t work for us. I hated all the sickness, medicines, and lost sleep, and it just didn’t seem right to us that a child that young should go through so much sickness.
When we gave our notice to the daycare, Little Claire was recovering from a throat infection which led to a few episodes of high fever and a course of antibiotics. Staying at home made it easier for her to recuperate and give her body a nice little break.
How our toddler ended up sick-free for the next 2.5 years
Even though she stayed at home most of the time, our toddler wasn’t totally incubated. We did go out to places, classes, activities, playgrounds. We also did several international travels, including several long haul flights and hotel stays. For 6 out of the 30 months, she also went to preschool every day.
Over time, I had learned about a few essentials that became our secret weapon for keeping sickness at bay for a young, preschool-aged toddler. It pretty much came down to making sure we stayed on top of nutrition to prevent her from getting sick in the first place.
Our must-do and must-have essentials to keep sickness at bay
It is way easier to prevent than cure. Our goal here is to do whatever it takes to keep sickness from happening in the first place. The key is to recognise early symptoms and act in the first instance for any of these to work. Here are what I’ve learned over the years:
1. Eat healthy
Nourishing from the inside out is still the best, and there is no going around eating a healthy diet. Make sure you’re getting all the key nutrients through daily meals. We keep treats to a minimum, almost next to none. Commercially sold treats tend to be nutrient-poor and they ruin appetites for meal times. Make snacks an opportunity to boost nutrition intake by choosing nutrient-dense snack foods such as nuts, cheese, and fruit.
2. Keep up with the hygiene
It sounds like a no-brainer but regular hand-washing and showers especially after the little ones have been outside or shared toys with other children really help. It’s easy to let these slide when you have a toddler who is saying no to everything you ask her to do, or acting up due to being tired or hungry. Making hand-washing and shower time fun (but with limits) may help do the trick.
3. E-Excel nutrition supplements
I like to get as much as possible from food first, and anything that comes in the form of supplements is of top quality and does not contain anything other than clean, high quality food ingredients.
E-Excel is an American based company that has developed a range of top quality products on the philosophy of Nutritional Immunology. Their products are on the pricier side of things, but you get what you pay for.
“The founding principle of Nutritional Immunology is that the things you eat have a direct effect on your level of health. Our immune system is the body’s first defense mechanism against hostile forces that cause a multitude of health problems. That’s why it’s important to make sure it’s as strong as possible. The foods we choose to eat should provide our bodies with the best possible combination of phytochemicals, polysaccharides, and antioxidants to protect this vital system.”
I first studied this company and their products over 10 years ago, and it is a company I can trust in terms of quality and scientific backing. However, in my experience, food-based supplements work best to prevent sickness and symptoms from occurring in the first place. They are not medicines, and when you’re knee-deep in a medical condition, these alone may not work to cure or treat symptoms. They don’t come with the instant symptom relief that medicines are capable of, but they also do not come with the side effects that are often associated with medicines.
Over the 30 months that we kept Little Claire sick-free, we used E-Excel’s ACT, NOCO, and Nutriact (now called E-munity by eLEAD) diluted in warm water and local raw honey to manage early symptoms of cold and cough from turning into sickness.
4. Young Living essential oils
I was introduced to Young Living essential oils around the time Little Claire was recovering from her last sickness from daycare. The idea of using natural, pure essential oils to help ease cough and stuffy nose sounded appealing to me. So I dug up around essential oils a bit and didn’t take long to get my hands on our first kit. We have since used these oils around the house. There are so many oils for different purposes, but specifically for managing common toddler cough and cold, they work wonders as chest and feet rub when diluted with carrier oils and applied topically, and help keep the air in the room nice and soothing when diffused for aromatherapy. Totally, totally loved these little bottles.from Young Living. I ordered a kit, started reading up on it, and started using them for everything around the house, from diffusing them for aromatherapy to diluting them as chest rub and using them as natural household cleaners. It wasn’t long before I started getting a really good use out of those little bottles and couldn’t imagine living without them!
Do not play doctor yourself!
Last, but not least… your doctor and paediatrician are still your ally. Do not replace the need to get their professional advice and opinions. There’s so much hype and noise out there about clean living this and that, and freedom of information has given birth to a generation of ‘medicine-phobes’.
Medicine has its place, and in many cases it is a life saver. Doctor’s role in diagnosing and treating illness is irreplaceable!
Do not try to play doctor. Seek second or third or fourth opinions if you must, but don’t self diagnose and self treat. Keeping sickness at bay through solid nutrition and natural alternatives is great, but when our toddler does come down with an illness, we always consult a doctor.
In most cases, common illness such as cold and cough is due to viral infection that has to run its cycle and there isn’t much medicine can do. In these instances, plenty of rest, fluid, and nutrition (through food or supplements if appetite has decreased) will give your child’s body a good chance of fighting off the infection. Essential oils rub and aromatherapy will provide a soothing and comforting relief of symptoms so that your child can recover in hopefully less less time.
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