Living through a pandemic is not for the faint of heart which is why we all need to be reminded of the precautions we need to take, especially with young children. If you have little ones at home, I hope this post can help bring safety to your home and peace to your heart. Here are my 10 tips when it comes to taking COVID precautions.
- When in doubt, disinfect. Don’t think twice. Just do it. Think about high-traffic areas like bathrooms, living room, bedrooms, foyer, kitchen and disinfect items in those areas that are touched multiple times throughout the day such as room/closet door knobs, trash cans, cabinet/drawer knobs, car seats, stroller handles, toys, bags, remotes, cellphones, light switches, fridge and microwave door handles, and staircase handrails. I set a personal goal of going around the house every evening during my kids’ bedtime to disinfect while cleaning up around the house. To make this easier for me, I have a cleaning caddy on each floor that carries all of my cleaning supplies. If you’d like to know which non-toxic/natural household cleaning products I have in my cleaning caddies, make sure you scroll down to the end of this post where I list my favorites. Though I’d rather not have my kids get to them, most of the cleaning products I use are non-toxic so I don’t panic when they do.
- Make sanitizers accessible. We have a sanitizing station with hand sanitizers and alcohol wipes on each floor of our home. In addition, we keep sanitizing sprays in areas we frequent throughout the day such as the nursery, our bedroom, living room, kitchen, husband’s office, and kids’ playroom. I’ve also found it quite useful to keep a sanitizing spray in my diaper bag, car, stroller storage basket, and on our entryway table for whenever we need to sanitize on-the-go.
- Kindly decline in-person invites and suggest virtual hang-outs! Don’t dismiss social hangouts altogether! To keep your family safe, enjoy virtual hangouts, and hold off on in-person meets. I know to some, this might sound a little cheesy. I’ll admit it, I didn’t even want to entertain the idea of a virtual hangout for the first couple of months of the pandemic season. But when I realized we’re in this for the long run and tried a few virtual hangout sessions, the awkwardness eventually disappeared and instead, closeness among family members and friends grew much more in the last year than pre-COVID times!
- Wash (or dispose of) your masks after every use! I have 5 reusable face masks that I rotate throughout the week. After I use it once, I throw it in the laundry for a wash. Please please please wash your masks! Washing it often will also help prevent the notorious case of “maskne” (mask acne).
- Supplements for everyone! Not only are we in the middle of a pandemic, but we’re also in the thick of flu and cold season. I take a prenatal vitamin (since I’m still nursing), raw zinc, magnesium, and a probiotic every single day. I give both of my children multivitamins and probiotics every morning. I’ll link the ones I give my children below. They absolutely LOVE them!:
- For my infant (4 months old):
- NovaFerrum Multivitamin with Iron for Infants and Toddlers (raspberry grape flavor) *I’ve always been on the hunt for an alternative to Poly-Vi-Sol because both of my children absolutely HATED the taste. I’m so glad NovaFerrum came out with a deliciously flavored multivitamin with iron. My kids get excited about “vitamin time”. & BioGaia Probiotic Drops
- For my infant (4 months old):
- For my toddler (17 months old):
- NovaFerrum Multivitamin for Infants and Toddlers (orange flavor) & Lovebug Probiotic and Prebiotic Packets
- Only leave the house for one of three “E”s– Exercise, Essentials, or Emergencies. If it doesn’t fit into one of these three categories, please reconsider. I know it’s hard– especially since we’re almost hitting that one year mark, but it makes it easier when you see this as a rare and precious opportunity to enjoy an extended time with just family. When cabin fever starts to creep up, we go out with the kids for a nice long stroll. And many times, since I’m the one who has a harder time staying home, I volunteer to grab essentials or go on solo runs!
- Ask around and research the closest testing site near you. We’ve had 3 separate occasions where we were potentially exposed to the virus. The first two times, it took us HOURS to find a testing site that either accepted walk-ins or had open appointment slots. Sadly, we ended up giving up and quarantining for 14 days. However, just recently, my husband was exposed after checking in on our grandmother. If it weren’t for our neighbors, we would have never found a site that had openings/walkins. We were able to set an appointment for a specific day and time within minutes.
- Keep pediatricians/primary care physicians in the loop. If you don’t have your pediatrician’s and/or PCP phone number on speed-dial/favorites list, now is the time to do it. When you or your loved one suddenly shows symptoms, you don’t want to be panic-searching for phone numbers. If you think you or your child has been exposed and are showing symptoms, make it a priority to call the doctor right away. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
- Ask family and friends to test and quarantine for at least 10-14 days before visiting. This was a hard one especially when you’ve recently given birth and all your family and friends want to congratulate you in person. Mama, the health of you and your family members come before anything else. Do NOT feel bad for keeping you and your family safe and do what you need to do to feel comfortable. If you’re comfortable having your family and friends over, ask them to get tested and to quarantine before visiting. If you’re not comfortable having anyone over, let them know how you feel.
- Use delivery services as often as you can. I can’t remember the last time I went grocery shopping in person and let me tell you, I don’t think I can ever go back! Okay, maybe that’s a little over the top since I truly enjoy the act of picking and choosing my food and getting mesmerized by the brilliantly colored produce section. It’s therapeutic! Can’t you agree? However, I did find a lot of “good” in getting my groceries delivered. It not only saves me from the risk of getting infected but it also saves me time and money! Since I don’t get the luxury of wandering into the sale section or getting enticed into walking down the dessert aisle, I’m not tempted to place items in my cart that I didn’t intend to buy before walking in. And you KNOW once it goes inside the cart, it’s guaranteed that it’ll be going home with you.
There will be nights you just want to go out for a family meal especially if it’s a certain food and/or atmosphere that you’re craving. What I found helpful (and quite entertaining) was to get the food delivered (or arrange for a pick-up) and bring the restaurant atmosphere to life at home! So a few weeks ago my husband and I terribly missed the delectable food and vibrant atmosphere of Korean BBQ (loud music, dim lights, smoke-filled slightly party-like ambience). And yes, we picked up meat, got some sides delivered, and recreated the Korean BBQ restaurant atmosphere to the best of our abilities by dimming the light, blasting KPOP, and cooking our own meat. Though we had a toddler running around (and dancing to the beat of the music) and a newborn attached to me in a carrier, we were able to enjoy a similar vibe at the safety and comfort of our home. These are memories, I’ll never forget!
Now, here are some reminders that I’d like to pass on:
- Sanitizing your hands does not replace washing your hands with soap and water. The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible. If soap and water are not available, then use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always read the back of the sanitizer bottle/spray to double check!
- Remind your littles to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds (have them sing Happy Birthday) and teach them how to properly wash their hands. Here’s a link to a great video on proper handwashing that you can show your kiddos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDjcJ-fSUgg&ab_channel=KidsFindFun
- This pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented crisis that affects not only our physical health, but also our mental health. Don’t delay, seek help when you need it! Here’s a great place you can visit to get useful resources and information: https://www.nami.org/Support-Education/NAMI-HelpLine/COVID-19-Information-and-Resources/COVID-19-Resource-and-Information-Guide
Here are my favorite products to use to keep our family and our home safe!
Puracy Gel Hand Soap (I buy the refill in lavender & vanilla. This is the only hand soap that doesn’t dry out my hands!)
Honest Company Sanitizing Spray Free & Clear (4-pack)
Pura D’or Hand Sanitizer Gel
Honest Company Alcohol Wipes
***Products in my cleaning caddy***
mDesign Caddy (2-pack)
Honest Company Disinfectant Spray
Puracy All Purpose Cleaner
Cleaning brushes (2-pack)
Better Life Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaner (2-pack)
E-Cloth General Purpose Microfiber Cleaning Cloth (4-pack)