Helping Your Little One Breathe Easy: Support for Baby's Stuffiness

As a parent, few things can tug at your heartstrings like seeing your little bundle of joy struggle with congestion and stuffiness. Whether it's from a common cold, allergies, or other respiratory issues, dealing with a stuffy baby can be challenging.  While over-the-counter medications may not be suitable for infants, there are gentle and natural remedies that can provide relief. In this blog post, we'll explore ways to support your baby and help them breathe easy again.

Understanding Baby Stuffiness:
Babies are more susceptible to congestion than adults due to their smaller nasal passages and developing immune systems. Common causes of stuffiness in babies include:

1. Colds and Viral Infections: Just like adults, babies can catch colds and other viral infections that cause nasal congestion.
2. Allergies: Allergens such as dust, pollen, and pet dander can trigger allergic reactions in babies, leading to congestion.
3. Dry Air: Dry indoor air, especially during colder months when heating systems are running, can dry out your baby's nasal passages, causing discomfort and congestion.
4. Teething: Believe it or not, teething can also cause nasal congestion in babies due to increased saliva production.

Supportive Measures for Baby's Stuffiness:
Now that we understand some of the common causes of baby stuffiness, let's explore ways to provide support and relief for your little one:

1. Humidifier or Diffuser:
   Adding moisture to the air can help relieve nasal congestion and soothe your baby's irritated nasal passages. Use a cool-mist humidifier or diffuser in your baby's room, especially at night when congestion may worsen. Make sure to clean the humidifier regularly to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.

2. Saline Nasal Spray:
   Saline nasal spray can help loosen mucus and clear your baby's nasal passages. Hold your baby on their back or upright and gently tilt their head back. Spray the saline solution into each nostril and then keep upright for a few minutes to encourage drainage. Use a nasal aspirator to gently suction out any loosened mucus if necessary.

3. Elevate Your Baby's Head:
   Elevating your baby's head while they sleep can help ease congestion. You can do this by placing a folded towel or blanket under the head of the crib mattress or by using a specially designed baby wedge pillow. Ensure that your baby's head is elevated safely to avoid any risks of suffocation.

4. Steam Bath:
   Create a steamy environment in your bathroom by running a hot shower with the door closed. Sit in the steamy bathroom with your baby for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the steam to help loosen mucus and clear their nasal passages. Be sure to hold your baby securely and avoid direct contact with hot water.

5. Gentle Nose Suction:
   For stubborn mucus that saline drops alone can't clear, you can use a nasal aspirator to gently suction it out. Gently insert the tip into your baby's nostril to suction out the mucus. Repeat as needed, being careful not to insert it too far into your baby's nose. There are several kinds, these and these are my favorites.

6. Warm Baths:
   A warm bath can help relax your baby and provide temporary relief from congestion. The steam from the warm water can also help clear their nasal passages. Let your baby splash and play in the water, but always supervise them closely to ensure their safety.

7. Stay Hydrated:
   Whether your baby is breastfeeding, formula feeding, or starting on solids, ensuring they stay hydrated is essential for thinning mucus and relieving congestion. Offer plenty of breast milk, formula, or water (if your baby is old enough) throughout the day.

8. Essential Oils:
   Use a cool-mist diffuser to diffuse a blend of lavender, lemon, eucalyptus radiata, and/or tea tree essential oils in your baby's room (1-2 drops each). Lavender promotes relaxation, lemon provides a fresh scent, eucalyptus radiata aids the nasal passages in breathing easy, and tea tree adds a little extra. Ensure the diffuser is safely out of your baby's reach and use a minimal amount of diluted essential oils, starting with one at a time to monitor baby's response.

9. Eucalyptus Radiata Chest Rub:
   Dilute eucalyptus radiata essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil and gently massage it onto your baby's chest. The gentle aroma can help clear nasal congestion and promote easier breathing. Remember to perform a patch test on a small area of your baby's skin before widespread use.

10. Steam Inhalation with Lemon:
   Add a drop of lemon essential oil to a bowl of hot (not boiling) water and allow your baby to inhale the steam. The refreshing scent of lemon can help clear nasal passages and provide relief. Always supervise your baby closely during steam inhalation.

11. Acupressure under the toes:
    Massaging the toes is very helpful, especially when using the essential oils mentioned above.  The nasal passage acupressure points are found on the bottom of the toes.  

While essential oils can be beneficial, it's essential to use them safely, especially with young children. These two are often used with older children and adults with no issues, but infants are more sensitive.  Here are some precautions to keep in mind:

-Peppermint Oil: Avoid using peppermint essential oil on or near the face of infants and young children under 2 years old, as it can potentially cause breathing difficulties.
- Eucalyptus Globulus Oil: Similarly, eucalyptus globulus essential oil should be avoided in children under 2 years old due to its high cineole content, which can be toxic if ingested or applied improperly. 
   VapoRub contains Eucalyptus and is not recommended for children under 2 years old.

Dealing with a stuffy baby can be stressful, but with these supportive measures, you can help alleviate their discomfort and help them breathe easy again. Remember to always monitor your baby's symptoms and consult with a pediatrician if you have any concerns, especially if the congestion persists or is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever or difficulty breathing. Wishing you and your baby a peaceful and congestion-free day!

Disclaimer:  No part of this is to be taken as medical advice.  Please consult your physician.
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My top 4 Heart Supporting Supplements

My top 4 Heart Supporting Supplements
In addition to eating well and exercise, one of the most important things we can do for our hearts is to nourish them with good nutrition and healthy supplements. With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to determine which ones are best for us. Luckily, Young Living offers a variety of essential oil supplements that can help support your heart health. Let’s take a look at four of their top products: Cardiogize, OmegaGize™ 3, MindWise™, and NingXia Red®.

Cardiogize  is a powerhouse when it comes to keeping your heart strong. This supplement is an insightful blend of herbs and minerals, including CoQ10, selenium, garlic, astragalus, dong quai, motherwort, and hawthorn berryto help support healthy circulation and cardiovascular function. Formulated with supporting essential oils, Cardiogize helps revitalize cells so that you never miss a beat! 

OmegaGize™ 3 is a powerful supplement made with omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and pure essential oils that work together to support your cardiovascular system. It helps keep cholesterol levels in check, supports healthy blood pressure levels, maintains a healthy metabolism, and promotes healthy circulation throughout your body.

MindWise™ is another great supplement from Young Living that uses herbs and other natural ingredients to help maintain mental clarity and alertness while promoting normal cognitive function, while also supporting normal cardiovascular function. This supplement supports heart  and brain health by replenishing the body with Omega 3 fatty acids, CoQ10,  L-alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine (GPC),  and Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR).  

NingXia Red® is a powerful antioxidant drink made from whole wolfberry puree combined with other superfruits like blueberry juice concentrate, pomegranate juice concentrate, grape seed extract, plus several citrus essential oils full of D-Limonene. This supplement helps reduce oxidative stress on the body and promotes cellular energy production which is key for maintaining optimal heart health over time.

As holistic moms we know how important it is to protect our hearts by making sure we're taking care of them nutritionally. Young Living's line of essential oil supplements offers some great options when it comes to supporting our cardiovascular system including Cardiogize, OmegaGize™ 3, MindWise™, and NingXia Red®. By incorporating these supplements into our daily routine we can make sure that our hearts stay strong so they can continue serving us well into old age!
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The Five Stages of Grief During the Holidays

 The Five Stages of Grief During the Holidays

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and loved ones. But for some, the holidays can be a time of sadness and grief. Whether you are grieving the loss of a loved one or struggling with infertility, the holiday season can be a difficult time. I know the pain of loss during this season, and it can be extremely difficult, especially when it seems everyone around you is happy. Here are the five stages of grief during the holidays and how to cope with them.

1. Denial: This is the stage where you try to pretend that everything is normal. You may put on a brave face and act like everything is fine, even though inside you are dying.   Many times, you fill your life with busy activities so you don't have to think about your loss. This is not sustainable and will only make you feel worse in the long run. It is important to allow yourself to feel your emotions and grieve in your own way.  Find a safe person and place and express your feelings.  

2. Anger: This is the stage where you may lash out at those around you. You may be angry at God, the world, or yourself. It is important to express your anger in a healthy way, such as through journaling, talking to a therapist or another safe person, or prayer. Don't bottle up your emotions; they will only come out in negative ways.  Make sure your family knows you love them and talk about the anger you feel.  Purification is an oil that helps me let go of anger.  I apply it on my liver.

3. Bargaining: This is the stage where you try to make deals with God or the universe. You may find yourself praying or making promises in an attempt to change the situation. Unfortunately, this stage will not change anything; it is only an attempt to delay the inevitable.  Realize there are some things you can change, and there are some things you cannot change no matter what you do.  

4. Depression: This is the stage where you may feel hopeless and helpless. You may withdraw from friends and family and isolate yourself. You will not feel like doing anything at all, so support is crucial.   It is crucial to reach out for help during this stage; talking to a therapist or clergy member,  or joining a support group can be very beneficial.    Yoga is also restorative.  (I love Yoga with Adriene!).  And essential oils are known for their uplifting qualities.  Some of my favorites are Joy, Orange, and Peace & Calming.  If you are really low and need to talk with the suicide hotline, that number is 988.  They will listen, provide support, and connect you with resources in your local area if needed.

5. Acceptance: This is the final stage of grief where you accept the situation for what it is. You may still feel sad and have days where you struggle, but overall you have made peace with what has happened. This is when healing can begin.   Acceptance doesn't mean you still don't have emotional pain, but you are better able to deal with it.  Acceptance is an essential oil that helps me reset negative emotional thought patterns.

The holiday season can be a difficult time for those who are grieving loss or struggling with infertility. If you find yourself in one of these situations, know that you are not alone and that there are others who understand what you are going through. Allow yourself to grieve in whatever way feels right for you, and reach out for help if you need it.
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Detoxifying Your Body Systems - The What, Why, and How

Detoxifying Your Body Systems - The What, Why, and How
As holistic health advocates, we know how important it is to cleanse the body systems – not just the intestines and liver but all cells in the body. As moms, we understand that our bodies are constantly under attack from environmental pollutants, chemicals, processed foods and much more. But what exactly does cleansing involve? And why do we need to do it? Let's explore the answers to these questions and look at the importance of detoxification. 

The What: Cleaning your body systems means removing toxins from your body and giving your vital organs a break from their daily workload. This includes focusing on cleansing your gut by removing unhealthy bacteria or parasites that cause digestive issues, as well as providing support for your liver so it can process toxins efficiently. It may also involve nourishing your cells with essential nutrients like antioxidants or omega-3 fatty acids to help them function properly. 
The Why: Detoxifying is necessary because our bodies can become overwhelmed with toxins due to our environment and lifestyle choices. Toxins can come from many sources such as pollution, pesticides, drugs (both prescription and recreational), processed foods, alcohol consumption and more. These toxins build up in our organs over time and can have an impact on our overall health and wellbeing if left unchecked. Regular detoxification helps reduce this accumulation of toxins so you can feel better both physically and mentally. 
The How: Different methods are available for helping cleanse your body systems depending on which system you want to focus on (intestines, liver etc). For example, some people may choose supplements like NingXia Red which contains powerful antioxidants that help protect cells against oxidative damage caused by free radicals, Comfortone which supports digestive health and wellness, Detoxyme which contains powerful enzymes that help complete digestion, detoxify the body, and promote cleansing, DiGize which  contains antioxidants and supports the digestive system, ICP Daily maintains a healthy gut microbiome,  aids the body's natural detoxification process, promotes healthy probiotics in the gut, and helps you feel full longer, and Parafree which has powerful cleansing abilities that support the digestion and gut health.  Additional methods enhance the process, like intermittent fasting or juice cleanses which involve abstaining from certain foods while consuming only juices or smoothies for a period of time, and alternative therapies such as acupuncture or massage therapy which promote relaxation while also helping remove toxins through perspiration. Ultimately, the best way to cleanse will depend on individual needs and preferences so it’s important to find what works best for you!   Find a bundle of these supplements here.
Holistic moms understand how important cleansing is for maintaining good health in today’s toxic world. By understanding both the ‘what’ (what is involved in cleaning) , ‘why’ (why detox is necessary) ,and ‘how’ (how to go about it) of cleansing our body systems we are able make informed decisions about how best to keep ourselves healthy - naturally! Whether it be supplements like NingXia Red or alternative therapies like acupuncture or massage therapy - having an arsenal of tools at hand makes us better equipped with knowledge when deciding how best to take care of ourselves holistically!
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How can I stay well during the winter?

How can I stay well during the winter?
Staying healthy is one of my top priorities.  The winter season is here, and that means if we haven't already been actively taking care of our health, it's time to start thinking about how to stay well. There are many things we can do to boost our immunity and keep ourselves healthy, from making good food choices to using supplements to being proactive in our health. Here are some tips for staying well this winter season.

Making Good Food Choices
One of the best things we can do for our health is to make good food choices. That means eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts and seeds. It also means drinking plenty of water and limiting sugar and processed foods.
 It can be difficult to avoid sugar especially during the holidays, but it makes a huge difference! When we make good food choices, we are giving our bodies the nutrients it needs to function optimally. 

Using Supplements
Another great way to boost our immunity and stay well during the winter months is to use supplements. There are many different supplements that can be beneficial, from Vitamins C & D to elderberry syrup to my favorite super juice. The best "weed & feed" supplements I have found are Life 9 & Inner Defense, which weed out the unwanted junk and feed our gut.  Supplements can help fill in the gaps when we are not getting all the nutrients we need from our diet.  I use the items in my Winter Wellness pack throughout the year, but I make sure I have plenty in stock for winter!

Using Essential Oils 
Essential oils are another great tool for supporting our immunity and helping us stay well during the winter season. There are many different ways to use essential oils, from diffusing them in our homes to using them topically on our skin. Some great essential oils for immunity include Thieves oil, R. C. oil, Eucalyptus oil, Lemon oil, and Oregano oil

Being Proactive in Our Health 
Finally, one of the best things we can do for our health is to be proactive in our care. That means getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and managing stress. When we take care of ourselves, we are more likely to stay well during cold and flu season. 

The winter season is a great time to focus on our health. There are many things we can do to support our immunity and keep ourselves healthy, from making good food choices to using supplements to being proactive in our care. By taking these steps, we can increase our chances of staying well throughout the winter season so we have the energy and ability to enjoy all the events and visits with family we have during this time.  Keeping health a top priority during this time will make all the difference in the world!  
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