Surviving Cold & Flu Season with Toddlers

This post was sponsored by Vicks VapoRub as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.


Bryn is the unofficial queen of snot this cold and flu season.  Like for reals.  We have been battling colds on and off for months now with brief interludes between episodes.  While she is happy as punch most of the time we have had a few days here and there where she downright doesn’t feel good.  The problem is is that at two years old there isn’t a whole heck of a lot you can do to make them feel better.

sick bryn


I am currently on my 4th week of pediatrics and I have been inundated with parents in the clinic dealing with the exact same problem we are having.  Their sweet toddlers are sick and they are not sure what to do to manage their symptoms.  Since this is a battle we have been fighting in my own house for so long I figured it was time to share my favorite tried-and-true tricks for helping toddlers survive cold and flu season.  In fact, most of these tips come from growing up and ways my own mom helped me to get through  tough cold.

cold and flu season



Water Bottles


I have been making sure that Bryn-Bryn is drinking lots and lots of water.  This not only helps to loosen up her mucus but helps to prevent dehydration.  Warm water with lemon in it is a great way to dissolve the mucus in her throat even faster.


Add Some Honey



Honey works wonders on a sore throat and also is great at easing a cough.  If your kiddo is able to eat it straight from the spoon that’s great!  Or you can dissolve it in some water water and tackle tip 1 at the same time.  Do not give honey to children less than 1 though!


Suck the Snot

Let’s face it … I haven’t met a 2 year old yet who can adequately blow their nose.  Using a saline spray to loosen up the mucus and then breaking out the bulb syringe is a great way to get the snot out of their nose even as a toddler.  Word to the wise – it’s likely a good idea to buy a new bulb syringe for this if you haven’t been good about cleaning yours out between uses.


Add Some Moisture

Most of the country is pretty cold right now which takes a lot of moisture out of the air.  Add in central heating and you can rest assured that any moisture that was left is now gone.  Adding a cold mist humidifier to your toddler’s room is a great way to add some of that moisture back and soothe their airways.  This also helps if your kiddo has super dry skin!


Break Out the Vick’s

Vick's VapoRub


While oral cough medications haven’t been proven effective in young patients and are not recommended, Vick’s VapoRub is a great topical cough suppressant that works wonders!  VapoRub contains camphor, eucalyptus oil and menthol to relieve cough and the discomfort of minor aches and pains that are common with a cold.  You can apply it to your toddler’s chest for maximum effect and it should start helping provide relief instantly.  It’s intended for children over the age of 2 and is good for kids and adults alike!  No wonder it’s the #1 pediatrician recommended rub for stubborn coughs.  I remember my own mom and dad using Vick’s on me as a child and I am happy to be continuing the tradition in my own kiddos.



These are some great ways to help combat your child’s cold symptoms and hopefully provides some comfort to them.  Always make sure to check with your child’s pediatrician for their recommendations and make sure to have your child seen for any concerning symptoms!


What are your best tips for surviving cold and flu season?


This post is my own opinion and should not be considered medical advice.  Always seek your own provider’s medical opinion when dealing with illness.

Fitting in Fitness While Knowing Your Child is Safe

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine.


It’s no secret at this point that Bryn gives us a run for our money.  I shared what happened at nap time as proof.  Needless to say we are always on our toes with our youngest!  One of the biggest dilemmas we have had since Bryn switched to a big girl bed is her newfound freedom.  You see, we have to put a child lock on her door for her safety.  If we didn’t contain her in her room she would be wandering downstairs in middle of the night.  But the problem with that is is that if we don’t get her RIGHT when she wakes up in the morning chaos ensues.  She frequently strips naked or dumps every article of clothing into her hamper.


Unfortunately right before switching Bryn to her big girl bed our video monitor kicked the bucket.  It had a long life between the girls and it’s time was up.  I had hoped I could rely on my supermom powers of hearing to notify me when Bryn was stirring but my powers were nothing next to her ninja skills of being silently destructive.  What was a mom to do?  I need to be able to work out early in the morning AND know that Bryn is safely tucked into her bed.  It was quite the conundrum. That is, until Levana offered to send me their Ovia video monitor to review.  Problem solved!

Levana Ovia Monitor


The Levana Ovia Camera Video Monitor is FABULOUS.  The 4.3″ LCD has fantastic and intuitive touch panel controls, 270 degree horizontal rotation capacity, and awesome night vision.  One of the most amusing features for me is the Talk to Baby™ 2-way communications capability … because we have been known to tell Bryn to “get back into bed!” on more than one occasion 😉  Also fun is that you can record videos and pictures to an SD card so you can capture those adorable moments forever!


Levana Ovia Monitor 3



I’ve been putting mine to the test during naps and early in the morning before work by taking the monitor with me to the garage to fit in a workout.  I can’t express enough how good it feels knowing that my little monster is in bed and not destroying her room for the 1000th time.  The second she starts to stir I know it and am able to get her up for the day.  So far I have loved everything about this monitor from its sleek design to the amazing features.  It makes fitting in fitness as a busy mom a LITTLE bit easier 😉

Levana Ovia Monitor 2


In fact, this is the workout that I did while Bryn peacefully slept JUST in case you need some inspiration for your workout today!


500 Rep CrossFit Workout


Because Levana is SUCH an awesome company they are also giving away three monitors with a giveaway!  Make sure you enter below 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And if you aren’t one of the luck three who wins one of these super cool monitors you can also buy one by clicking the button below. It’s actually on sale right now for an amazing price so grab one while you can!

You can also check them out on Facebook 😉


Buy It Now

  Being a mom keeps us busy! What do you wish you could do more of?   

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine.

Best Baby Wipes for Sensitive Bums

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.


Happy Monday friends!  I am back on campus for a week of torture learning.  I have two end-of-rotation exams (surgery and primary care), my final standardized patient, a cumulative knowledge test, and my “thesis” due.  I am already tired thinking about it.  However, it means we are one step closer to graduation!


I want to talk to you today about a topic I take seriously in our house … Bryn.  Let me paint you a picture about my youngest daughter.  Bryn has been described as a “fire cracker”, “Pete the Cat”, “crazy pants”, etc.  She is truly incredible and nothing slows her down.


Daredevil Bryn

The thing about Bryn though is that her adventures leave her DIRTY.  Like I literally saw her rolling in the dirt on the playground when I picked her up the other day.  She is by far the messiest child in her class and her teachers apologize every day for the state she comes home in.  I have learned that I need to have wipes on hand AT ALL TIMES for whatever mess Bryn finds herself in next.

Messy Bryn

A few months ago I found WaterWipes at my local Target and I am so glad I did.  WaterWipes are a premium European brand of baby wipes that are chemical free.  They are made using 99.9% purified water and 0.01% grapefruit seed extract and they have no preservatives in them.

Water Wipes 2


The fact that WaterWipes are chemical free and preservative free is really important to our family because as I have written before both of my girls have super sensitive skin.  Not only do they both have eczema, Bryn has gets HORRIBLE diaper rashes which only get worse with traditional wipes.  I can honestly say that since switching to WaterWipes Bryn’s booty has never been happier.  I personally keep wipes in the living room, nursery, car, and my purse because they are versatile, durable, and perfect for my messy Bryn-Bryn.



You can find WaterWipes at your local Target using this store locator.  You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.  Influence Center is also holding a contest for you!  You can win $100 to Target by utilizing the social sharing tool below.  I-C will randomly select 1 winner from all program entries and will handle fulfillment of the winning prizes.

WaterWipes Target

Do you have to use sensitive wipes for your baby’s bottom?

It’ll be FUN they said …

Long time no chat friends!  I could begin by telling you how the entire family has been sick with the fall crud for the last week but I won’t.  I could also tell you all about finishing my surgery rotation but I’ll save that for another day.  Instead I want to tell you a story about my sweet little B …


Bryn is a girl who is constantly on an adventure.  She climbs rock walls, dances on the edge of danger, and gleefully laughs from one area of destruction to the next.   So it shouldn’t have surprised me as much as it did when she figured out how to climb out of her crib last week.  In fact, I caught her heading downstairs to play at about 11:30 at night one night.  Like a ninja should would escape silently which gave me heartburn.  So we decided to cut our losses and get her a big girl bed.

B's Big Girl Bed


We spent all day Saturday getting her room re-organized and bed put up.  We said a silent prayer that the night would be uneventful, and you know what?  It WAS!  It was great!  She quietly played in her room until we got her in the morning and all was right in the world.  That is, until we approached nap time.


Before Nap


We knew that nap time would be dicey because Bryn is inherently strong-willed.  I sat in her room for awhile but then decided to sneak out and lock the door as was the plan.  She cried for a second but then all was silent.  I thought we had won.  Little did I know what was coming.  About an hour after she had quieted down I walked by her room and hear the beeping of her nightlight.  I figured she just needed to be put back into bed.  Nothing could have prepared me for the sight I would see upon entering her room.



You guys … I am pretty sure my carpet will never be the same.  She emptied an ENTIRE tub of Triple Paste on herself and every reachable surface of her room.  Everywhere I looked I found more.  If you have any tips for getting that stuff out of things I am all ears!  In the meantime all I can do is laugh and chalk it up as 10,128 points for her otherwise I might be in the fetal position in the corner crying.  And nobody has time for that.


Instead I will embrace this is one of those life’s memories we are going to look back upon with laughter and tears in our eyes.  And hopefully it brought you some joy as we start this fresh new week!


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Take Two: The Big Girl Bed

About a month ago if you remember we tried transitioning Emmalyne to a toddler bed.  While it was OK for a few days it ended up being an epic fail.  So, we put her back in baby jail and decided to try again after our move.  We had ordered Em a full size bed that Chris was going to pick up after we got settled.  Well my friends … that day was last Saturday and it was time.


The week prior to picking up her big girl bed I spent talking to Em about the fact that it was coming and how exciting it was.  Now I am pretty sure 99% of that conversation went in one ear and out the other but she would say “bed?” a few times so I figured she caught my drift.  She was pretty excited when Chris brought it into the house.  Saturday night we washed all of her new bedding, assembled the bed, and put on the crib rail.  The time had come.


Big Girl Bed 1



SO how did it go down?

Chris and I both snuggled in with her and read her a couple of books.  He gave her a kiss good night and turned out the light.  My plan was to stay and snuggle her for a little bit so she would feel comfortable.  What actually happened?  Em pushed me aside and whined “go”.  I simply asked, “do you want mommy to leave?” and her little voice said “yes”.  Seriously.  So I did. And she went to sleep.  And it was glorious.


She has now spent three nights and two naps in her bed and it is going SO much smoother than the toddler bed.  Once we put her in there she stays put.  Sometimes she might cry for a minute but honestly she normally relaxes with her blankie and might read a book before drifting off to sleep.  Sunday night got a little sketchy at 1:30AM when she woke up crying for her blankie.  It had gotten pushed into the corner and she just couldn’t find it in the dark.

What do I think went differently this time?

First, I think she likes the space.  Sometimes she stays with her head on the pillows and tucked in and all the other times she is all over that thing.  Plus, with the duvet, it is a seriously comfy place to be.


I also think the fact that it is a mattress + box spring and it is high off the ground makes a difference.  She doesn’t feel as free to get out of bed as she did in the toddler bed.  In fact – if she gets out she can’t exactly get back in yet.  I have to pick her up a stool haha.


Finally, the bed rail is clutch.  Per the recommendation of a friend we got the Regalo Hideaway Extra Long Bed Rail.  As you can see from the picture it is almost the entire length of the bed.  I think it gives her a sense of security and reminds her a bit of being in baby jail.


Now, I know it is early still and things could go back to cray but I am fairly confident that this will work this time.  Even though she was sleeping in her toddler bed, she slept on the floor and cried WAY more than she is doing now.  Naps were a nightmare and fight from the start.  Naps in the big girl bed look like this:


Nap - Big Girl Bed

PS – I am finishing up decorating Em’s big girl room now. I will definitely be revealing it on the blog when it’s done :)

I’ll make sure to keep you guys updated 😉  Have a great Tuesday!  I have my first appointment with the chiropractor today and I am a wee bit nervous.

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