Friday, March 24, 2006

Staying healthy

So far this year we've done a great job of keeping Iris as well as possible. Last year it seemed like she was sick about every third week. Usually nothing too major, but sick none-the-less. It was so frustrating.

This year, I decided my goal was to keep her as healthy as I could, and I'm so pleased it's working! Since a major stomach bug pukey thing in May, she's had a slight cold/fever thing in October for a couple of days, had a couple days of runny nose earlier this winter, and now today has a runny nose again.

So what I've been doing is this: breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed. Even though she was sick often last year, I really feel like BFing her is helping to keep her healthy. We also wash hands. ALOT. I didn't start my handwashing craze until we started the pre-school co-op this fall, and now we wash hands several times a day. And we don't use that Purell crap. It's nasty and dries hands and I don't think for a second it protects from germs. Handwashing, folks, that's where it's at! The only thing I use disinfecting wipes for is the grocery cart or booster seats in restaurants or the like. Which brings me to my next point, I wipe down everything she spends time in that likely a plethora of germy kids have touched. I also give her a multivitamin every day. Because we're nursing, and she eats so well, I only give her about half a dose. I also give her an immune booster called Thymactiv by NF Formulas. This is something we do a dropper full of every day, and up to three droppers a day when I know she has been exposed to something big or if she isn't feeling so hot herself. I wish I had the money to give her fish oils, as these have been proven to provide a whole host of immunity-boosting effects, but between the two supplements she takes, it's almost $30 a month as it is. Plus, what we're doing seems to be working!

I wouldn't normally make a big deal out of it, and I'm not trying to now, but having seen such a drastic change in her health from one year to the next has really forced me to take notice about the fact that something is obviously going well.

Iris's pediatrician says she loves to see sick kids, because when they get sick at a younger age, they have a stronger immune system when they are school-aged. I suppose I disagree. Iris can be exposed to germs, have her immune system process them and build immunity, without the germs totally knocking her out. I think there's something to be said by building immunity so a child can actually, um, I don't know, enjoy being healthy?

So, the system ain't broke, we won't be changing it. I hope it continues to work well next year when the new baby is here and so vulnerable to every little thing.

I was going to start my vent now about people bringing their sick children to places where they could infect other people, but I'll save that wrath for another day :)

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