Surviving the Winter Months: Cleaning and Maintaining your Humidifier

Last night our little family had trouble sleeping. Each member was congested and our little guy was coughing throughout the night. We’re not sick, just having trouble with the temperature and dry air in our place. Although I have two humidifiers in our place, I did worry that maybe I wasn’t using them correctly. Turns out I am, so I wonder, what else could it be?

While doing my research, I found this great how to video from Crane. It does a good job demonstrating how to maintain and clean your humidifier. Although I do own the Cool Mist Cone Humidifier, I think this how to video is helpful for most humidifiers.

Besides cleaning your humidifier, I found some additional tips for the winter season:
-Stay hydrated
-Measure the humidity level in your home. Ideal is between 30% and 60%
-Keep your place as insulated as possible. Doors and windows closed
-Moisturize your skin with lotions

Best of luck!  Hope you’re suriving the winter. If you have any tips for me, I would appreciate them!

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Surviving the Winter Season- Baby’s got the flu

The Friday before Winter Break I was so excited.  Two weeks off, a trip to California to visit family and friends, and most importantly, full time with my mister and little guy.  And then it happened, Friday evening, the little guy’s temperature kept climbing, reaching a 101 degrees, he couldn’t sleep, threw up, clingy all night…and then I got sick too!

Well, mommy and baby survived after a week of sickness. What helped us through it?

NoseFrida

Our little guy was very congested during his flu and the NoseFrida worked a lot better than the traditional bulb sucker.  To use it, you have to put one end up the nostril and the other end in your mouth.  You suck the boogers out.  It’s pretty gross, but effective.

Exergen Temporal Scanner Infrared Thermometer

The forehead thermometer made it very easy to take the little guy’s temperature.  On the night his temperature reached 101 degrees, we had to take his temperature often.  I’m glad we didn’t have to use a rectal thermometer.

Crane Drop Shape Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier*

Living in Chicago, this humidifier has been great!  We use it throughout the winter season.  It is actually my second Crane humidifier.  Our first was the cow  which I loved so much I purchased it as a gift for my expectant sister-in-law.  When the little guy was sick we needed to make sure the air wasn’t too dry for him. This humidifier has various settings and the cone top can be moved and adjusted to flow in the direction you want.  I highly recommend this humidifier.

How about you?  Any tips you can offer for a sick baby?

Disclosure:  Items marked with an * is a product I received for free.  The stories and opinions expressed are that of my own. 

Taking baby outside during the winter

Today the little guy and I went for our usual stroll downtown.  I try to get us outside at least five times a week for some fresh air and sunlight.  Something I always struggle with is how to dress him appropriately during these cold Chicago days.

During my first visit to the pediatrician, I asked her how to dress the little guy for outside trips. Her advice was to dress him in one more layer than I have on.  I used that rule to guide our first few trips outside, but during those first walks, he just wasn’t comfortable.  It wasn’t until our fifth trip out that I seemed to find the right combination of layers for him.

The first thing I consider when taking the little guy out for a walk is the temperature.  As a general rule, I won’t take him out unless it is at least 27 degrees (factoring in windchill).  Since 27 degrees borders on uncomfortable for me, I figure it is best to keep him indoors for anything lower than that.  Today was 35 degrees, making it a great day to take our usual three mile walk.

To get him ready for our walk I dressed him in his usual going out layers.  The first layer is usually a fleece onesie.  The next layer is his bear suit coverall.  This bear bodysuit is made of thick fleece, has a hoodie that does a good job covering his head, and has sleeves with mittens at the ends to keep his hands warm.  Once he is dressed in those layers, I put him in the stroller.  The stroller has a JJ Cole Bundle Me bunting bag.  It’s a great stroller accessory. Essentially, it is a  warm blanket with zippers on the sides to zip the little guy up and keep him toasty.  My friend jokingly named the bunting bag, “A baby Ugg”, which I think is hilarious.  The last step is to cover him with the plastic rain cover.  The rain cover shields him from the cold winds we Chicagoians are familiar with.  Once I’ve got all these components set, him and I are ready for our stroll outside.  Below are pictures of him at the different stages of getting ready.  The first image is the little guy in his “Let It Snow” onesie, in the second image he is in his bear fleece bodysuit, and in the final image, he looks a bit like a toy, wrapped in plastic while snug in the bunting bag.

Once we are outside, I make sure he isn’t too cold or too hot by checking his cheeks and forehead.  I usually do that after I have given us 10 minutes to adjust to the outside temperatures.  I then continue to check him every 10-15 minutes.  If he is too warm, I will unzip the bunting bag a bit,  if he is too cold, I either turn around to go home or I grab the extra swaddle blanket I have in the diaper bag and place that in between him and the bunting bag.   When we go inside, to keep him from overheating I quickly unzip the bunting bag and remove any blankets.  If we are going to be inside for a while, I sometimes also unzip his bear bodysuit.

For additional information on how to keep your baby warm in the winter, check out this babycenter article.

How do you dress your little one when going out during the winter?

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