5 tips! surviving a healthy winter with little ones!

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i love getting out of the apartment this time of year with the kids and really exploring the city. despite the winter cold and wind, there is just so much to do and see and eat during the holiday season, and being surrounded by the hustle and bustle of holiday cheer is always good for the soul, regardless of the temperature outside.

we try our very hardest to keep germs and sickness away during the winter months when it seems to be more present everywhere.  while everyone including us can occasionally get sick, i’ve teamed up with Doctor On Demand to share my 5 tips for keeping you and your little ones healthy this winter season.

5 TIPS FOR SURVIVING A HEALTHY WINTER SEASON WITH LITTLE ONES:

1. HAND WASHING + HAND SANITIZER
it seems so obvious, but sometimes it can be easy to forget just how many times we should be washing everyone’s hands during the day. in addition to before and after meals, using the bathroom or coming in from being away, we try to get a few extra hand washing sessions in there every day.  something that helps make it fun and keep the little ones scrubbing a bit longer, is singing a song together while we do it. sometimes if it’s a short song, we sing it twice, the second time making it silly and super fast, which makes the experience more fun for them. choosing specific times to wash hands will make it a routine before you know it. after many many many times, when we get home, eleanor and samson take off their shoes and head straight to the bathroom to wash their hands now! it’s amazing!

i also buy those hand sanitizer bottles and put them all over our apartment, so we have little stations set up in each room. i also stock the mini hand sanitizer bottles in every bag and coat pocket.  the minute we get off the subway train or are leaving a playground, we scrub our hands with hand sanitizer until we can get to a proper sink with soap.  it’s become a big habit for us and the kids even remind us sometimes as we’re leaving the park or the train station for their hand sanitizer. ;)

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2. DOCTOR ON DEMAND
we first tried the 
Doctor On Demand app a few months ago, when we were upstate for a few days on a work project and had to deal with a crazy bug bite while away from our home. if you aren’t familiar, Doctor On Demand is a healthcare service that provides video visits with board certified physicians as well as lactation consultants and doctorate-level psychologists, all from your smartphone or computer.  the average wait time is just 90 seconds. because their physicians are available 24/7, you have access right away to their advice no matter when it is or where you are. so with the bug bite, we were able to video chat with a doctor late at night, and they were able to send a prescription to a nearby pharmacy, even though we weren’t anywhere near our regular pharmacy or home. it was amazing!  we have used the service 3 more times since our first call two months ago, and each time has been a great experience.

with cold and flu season here, i imagine Doctor On Demand can also be a really helpful tool since a doctor can hear and see you or your child’s cough straight away, which helps with figuring out what is wrong.  i don’t know about you, but sometimes it can be difficult to get an appointment the same day the cough appears and i often worry myself silly with possible outcomes until i’m able to see my doctor.  with a tool like this, it’s comforting to know i can get a second opinion through a video chat right away so i can help take the best care of my child. whether it’s being advised to take them in or get a prescription, or to just sit tight and wait it out a few days.  Doctor On Demand is a great option that can be a fraction of the cost of an urgent care visit, and a helpful tool for this winter with little ones.doctorsondemand-4doctorsondemand1

3. DRESSING IN LAYERS
sometimes dressing appropriately in the winter can be tricky with kids, because they won’t keep their hat or mittens on, or they’re running around the playground and feel hot and sweaty in their coat. we’ve found that dressing everyone in several layers works really well for a day out. this way, if they do ask to take their coat off at the park because they are running around and sweating from all the bundles, we know they are still dressed warmly. base layers are really great for this, particularly merino wool. we’ll put those kinds of layers underneath their jeans and t-shirt, and since it’s breathable and light weight, it doesn’t get sweaty. and don’t forget to take an extra bag to carry all the layers as they come off!001layers4. NOT SHARING THE SAME DRINKING CUP OR UTENSILS WITH FRIENDS
we live in such a small shared space, that once one of us gets sick, it’s not long before another one of us catches it. but we try our best to make sure we’re doing our part to keep germs contained.  because germs are often shared so well amongst little friends, we try to not share drinking cups, straws, the same fork or spoon with our friends. no matter how much we love them, sometimes such a simple step makes all the difference in passing things around.

5. WASHING AND SANITIZING TOYS, BOOKS, DOOR KNOB HANDLES, ETC REGULARLY
because conrad was born in the middle of december last winter, i tried my hardest during the weeks leading up to his birth to really go through our apartment and deep scrub and sanitize our most touched surfaces as well as our toys and books. as i began to scrub toys and book covers, it was amazing to literally see the amount of noticeable dirt i was wiping away! embarrassing, actually. i’ve made it more of a habit to frequently go through our apartment and wipe and sanitize everything, including door handles and other surfaces in our apartment that we touch on a daily basis. i think it makes a big difference.

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what are a few of your healthy survival tips that have proven to keep everyone a bit more healthy in the winter months? share in the comments below!

and thank you to Doctor On Demand for partnering with us on this post! if you’d like to give them a try for free, use the code LOVETAZA. click here to download the app or visit their website.

  1. Sarah

    I always feel cold when i see pics of you not wearing socks! Wrap your ankles up ;)

    • TAZA

      haha! looking at the photo, i feel you and agree. but i really dislike the feeling of socks and tights. i’d rather have my ankles freeze! haha!

  2. Isn’t it great when kids reach a developmental stage where they can wash their hands by themselves? If you insisted enough during their first years they’ll do it automatically!

    I’d never heard before of Doctor on Demand. What a great resource for those days when you can’t get a same day appointment with your pediatrician. I’ve already explored their website. What a great option.

    Alina
    http://www.eclecticalu.blogspot.com

  3. Aileen

    Our biggest tip for keeping healthy in the winter is Get Outside and stay away from softplay germfest areas! A lot of my friends hate taking their little ones out in the colder months (I think they are afraid they might melt or something) and their kids are always ill. We take our little girl out every day no matter the weather (there are a few days we don’t such as the first blizzard of the year and torrential rain), wrap up warm (in layers like you advise) and get out. Sometimes it is playing in a very wet playground, othertimes a stomp around the woods but I am a great believer in fresh air is good for everyone. We also wash hands regulary – but not too often -, keep our living areas clean and change sheets and towels regularly. Fingers crossed our little one is 3.5 and she has only been very ill once, the rest of the time she seems to be able to shake of everything whilst all around us, the other kids are dropping like flies!

  4. Madeline

    I love your booties!Where did you get them?

    • TAZA

      thanks! they are from anthropologie a few years ago. super comfy, i live in them!

  5. Mere

    Love these tips! And such lovely photos as always! My mom has always said exercise and ginger keep you healthy in the winter and it’s worked for me thus far. :)

  6. Jenny

    We use an immunity blend of essential oils (clove, cinnamon, wild orange, eucalyptus and rosemary) and roll this blend on the spine of our babes as well as swipe the bottom of their feet twice a day. I diffuse this blend at night in their rooms.Also, I made a hand sanitizer using this blend as my kids have the most sensitive skin and even alcohol free hand sanitizers upset their skin-they have no reaction to this one and the smell is amazing! It continues to blow my mind what a game changer these oils have been in keeping our family healthy.

  7. Megan

    Such a great post with amazing tips! People forget to take extra precautions this time of year! Also, how cute are you all in your little patagonias?!

    Have a lovely day // http://lifeplusbe.com/

  8. Love these! Also, keeping up with healthy eating habits, go vitamins!! <3

  9. what adorable pictures, and great tips! thanks for sharing!

  10. Jessica

    I think getting outside is so important…I know my kids don’t always like to go outside if it’s too hot or too cold, but I know even 15 minutes outside can make a difference and often then they will forget that they didn’t want to go outside in the first place. I am essential oil user myself and we diffuse On Guard fairly regularly and use it as hand sanitizer as well and it helps to keep the germs away.

    • TAZA

      it’s so true, getting out, even just for a few minutes on a super cold day is important! i notice what a difference it makes at our house too!

  11. Jenn

    Are all of you jackets from Patagonia?! What a great post Taza!

    • TAZA

      yes, we really love them.

  12. Cait

    Hi naomi!
    I love the color of your lipstick/gloss! May I ask the type of brand/color name? You pull it off extremely well! Please and thank you :)
    Also, great post! I love getting these handy tips for someday!
    Ps. extra thanks for the New York City blog posts. My husband and I plan to visit over the holiday/NYE season and we’re definitely going to try to hit up one of the pizza spots you have listed. You’re a rockstar!
    Cait

    • TAZA

      yay! hope you have the best time in the city! what a fun time to come visit! my lipstick here is pink me up by maybelline! i live in it. it’s the best!

  13. Magali

    My mom always tells me : drink some thyme-tea ;-)

  14. Mollie

    These are great tips! I always feel like my nephews are more prone to sickness especially in the winter, poor little guys!

    xoxo Mollie
    http://www.molliebellezza.com

  15. Annika

    Where we live, it is still definitely Fall. Winter starts in earnest later in December. My best winter health tip is: At the first sign of a cold or a scratchy throat, I give out hot water with lemon juice and lots of honey. It is so soothing and actually very medicinal. A squirt of echinacea tincture too if the person has actually become sick.

  16. Paige

    These are all such great tips! Both of my kids are sick right now and it’s so sad! I’ll be sanitizing and using doctors on demand like crazy over the next few months I’m sure!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  17. Deborah

    I’m a Grandma and back in the day, before hand sanitizer, I think we all had more natural immunities. I am not meaning to criticize you Naomi. It has long been my theory that clean is good but too clean lowers immunity. I am 65 and rarely get a cold.

  18. Orange essential oil!!!!! (Or any citrus oil) wear it spritz it or put a little in your drinking water. It keeps germs away, I use it everytime I go to the grocerie store , I believe it acts as a repellant my mother swears by this

    • TAZA

      someone else was just telling me this as well! gotta check it out, thanks for the tip!

  19. Denise

    Essential oils!! So easy to have on the go!!! We also clean with a nontoxic thieves essential oil cleaner and use the thieves hand sanitizer. Powerful! Probiotics and good nutrition.

  20. Valerie

    Can you tell me what shade your nail polish is? It’s the perfect pale pink!

    • TAZA

      it’s romantique by opi!

  21. Jenna

    Love your hats! Our pediatrician said that hand sanitizer is a no-no and that we should just be washing with regular (non-antibacterial) soaps. We like to clean our hands with baby wipes when we’re on the go.

  22. conrad looks SO MUCH like josh!!!! what a sweetheart. xo

  23. Lexie

    I’ll chime in with several people above who swear by essential oils! Also, my naturopath cousin introduced me to something called Vitabiotic. My kids can’t take it, since they are large tablets, but by keeping myself healthy I’m able to more effectively keep them healthy – or take care of them if they’re sick. It’s a vitamin/botanical/mineral supplement that seriously works wonders on the immune system. Thanks for sharing all of your tips! I had no idea that Doctor on Demand existed – what a wonderful service!

  24. Nikki

    Great tips! I think the thing I dread the most is the on/off with jacket every time we get in and out of the car :( We live in Texas, so we have no choice but to drive everywhere. It wears me out trying to wrestle it on for a two minute walk to wherever we’re going!

    http://www.thislovelylifeblog.com

  25. shannon karas

    Thanks for sharing your tips! I think just washing hands whenever you return home is the best defense. That said, sometimes no matter how many preventative measures you take, you and the kiddos will still get sick especially during certain times of year (back to school at our house) and especially when babes are small and have not built up immunities yet I do the best i can but don t drive mself crazy being a germaphobe!
    .

  26. Melissa

    Young Living essential oils! They are a game changer! I’m sure you’ve heard of them since the company is based out of Utah ;) I put thieves on my daughter’s feet before we hang around other kids since it boosts immunity. And I would think you would love using the diffuser – they are ideal for smaller spaces to help the prevent the entire family getting sick like you mentioned. And since you love Cmas you would love the smell of their Christmas Spirit blend. It smells like Christmas in a bottle ;)

  27. look at conrad, all grown up!!

  28. Nina Wilson

    Where is your white tee from? Always on the lookout for those v neck tees.

    • TAZA

      jcrew!

  29. Shannon

    I would love to know where you got your Patagonia coat from. The colour is so rich, fun and upbeat for the cold winters.

    • TAZA

      it’s from the kids section! they have better colors and the sizes run big so they fit great! i love the color too, definitely a pick me up during winter!

  30. Shannon

    The Portofino Pink I presume. Just lovely!

  31. Ashley

    Such great tips! I will check out Doctor on Demand! That would be a great resource for us since we are outside of the city. Definitely with you on the layers! We also love essential oils for making sure our winters are wellness ones! Thieves oil is a constant companion for us during fall and winter!

  32. M

    Can I add a number 6? GET FLU SHOTS! The flu vaccine is very important to not only protect your little ones but also their friends and immunocompromised individuals in the community from potentially getting very sick! Nearly everyone 6 months and older can get a flu vaccine, and a few seconds of pain is definitely infinitely better than rushing a kid to the ER because they’ve become seriously ill with influenza.

  33. Lizzie

    Hi Naomi! Thanks so much for posting the tip about buying coats from the girl’s section. I live in San Francisco where the winters get chilly, but not freezing. I’ve been looking for an affordable jacket. I took your advice and ordered one from Patagonia kids! You rock!

  34. Cait

    I LOVE your matching coats! This is out first NYC winter so I am nervous about dressing properly, being out and about in the cold, and illness. Plus being due with baby #3 in February! I love the idea of Dr. on Demand. Great to hear your experience :) For immune boosting, we try to do daily probiotics, clean up our diet as much as possible in the winter (so hard during the holidays but…it’s so obvious when I catch colds after eating sugar!), and try to take elderberry syrup and cod liver oil, neither of which I have on hand right now and need to stock up on again! I make my own hand sanitizer (with aloe as a base gel) but my kids hate it, so I plan to make a spray one for them. I need to learn from your example about washing hands! We do not have a good habit going right now.

  35. A

    Just used Doctors on Demand to get some antibiotics for my second child who’s had a fever for two days and a sister diagnosed with strep three days ago. Way quicker and easier than the three hour wait the urgent care center predicted! And free, which is perfect since we happen to be without health insurance this month. Thanks!

  36. Lauren

    Hi!
    I love the color of your jeans. I have a hard time finding jeans that look good with booties. Any suggestions?

  37. Elizabeth

    samson’s face in the top picture. that is all <3 :)

  38. Emily

    We just moved to Boston and we will definitely be using the tip about the merino wool layers for the little one. Is there a brand you like best?

  39. Bri Havrilla

    Hi Taza,

    was wondering where your beanie was from, it beautiful!

    Thanks!

  40. amelia

    love your jeans – what are they?

  41. Thanks for the Dr On Demand code. Giving it a try now.