It is very frustrating to have a small baby with a fever. They are uncomfortable and restless many times and all we want to do is comfort them. But we can and should avoid reaching for that bottle of baby Tylenol or Motrin. There ARE natural solutions that are much healthier for them.
In most cases, your infant’s fever should be left alone. Fever serves a very useful purpose and is the body’s ally in fighting infection. There are a few natural remedies, however, that are safe for babies that will help your little one feel more comfortable.
It’s a good idea to see a Naturopath, Homeopath or other licensed health care provider who specializes in natural remedies before using them on your baby. He or she can point you in the right direction when choosing herbs and homeopathic remedies as well as help you with dosing.
Lemon balm leaf, chamomile, peppermint, licorice and elder flower have been traditionally used to treat infant fevers. A baby older than 2 can be given one half cup of herbal tea, up to 4 times a day, for 24 hours. For babies younger than two who are breastfeeding, it is best if Mom takes the herbs herself in order to pass along the medicinal properties to her nursing infant. Or you can purchase over the counter herbal formulations with dosages designed for infants at your local health shop.
Echinacea and goldenseal have been proven in some studies to clear up infection. Try a combination specially designed for children.
Garlic also has antibacterial properties. If your baby is older than 9 months, you can make a batch of chicken broth with garlic, and serve it to your baby.
Ginger tea can help with a fever. It’s also great for stomach aches. Ginger has warming properties and is wonderful for babies who are chilled. Make a weak tea with grated fresh ginger. If your infant is over one year of age, add a drop of honey to sweeten.
Homeopathic remedies are effective for infant fevers, but the specific remedy must match the individual child’s symptoms. Check a homeopathic reference book to find the right one, or call a Doctor of Homeopathy.
Be sure to keep baby well hydrated with clear liquids. If baby is nursing, offer the breast frequently so that baby will get plenty of fluids and the natural immune factors in breastmilk.
Keep in mind that if your infant is younger than 6 months old, it’s a good idea to call your Doctor about a fever. Additionally, if baby is listless, lethargic, acting unusual, having difficulty breathing or complaining of a stiff neck, phone your Doctor immediately.
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Back to school season has ended in my neck of the woods. I have two kiddos who have been back to school for a few weeks and one who starts this week. Yay! They are back in school and I have more free time to myself. Yes, I said it.
I am also pretty pleased with how the back to school shopping shaped up as well. All school clothing was thrifted. The only new stuff I bought was socks and underwear. I also shopped at Dollar Tree for the majority of the school supplies. Last year I spent $75 on the basic supplies…this year, $30. Booyah!
Of course there were some items I could not get at the dollar store so here are some of my faves…
I do not buy cheap backpacks and thus I do not have to buy them often. Both of my backpack wearing kiddos had not had new backpacks in several years. I think my daughter had been wearing the same backpack for four years. So I buy a high quality backpack every 3-4 years instead of a cheap one every year.
For my daughter I got the Victoria’s Secret Pink Campus Backpack in seafoam green. We went with a campus backpack because it is spacious enough for all her books and a laptop. I also love the quality of Pink backpacks and being the thrifty shopper I am, I paid about 50% less that retail.
My son is rocking a Beckmann of Norwav Classic backpack. This will last him until highschool probably and we will buy another for sure. It has nicely padded straps, a chest strap, and it distributes 50% of the weight to the hips. It has reflectors on all sides, plenty of room, and a built in rain cover so there is no need to carry an umbrella.
Cat Ear Headphones with Glowing Lights – Okay so I always want a to splurge on a few cute items and this in one of them. They are ADORABLE! I smile every time I see my daughter wearing these and with a 2 year warranty being only $2…these are a good buy.
These Cute Cat Gel Roller Ball Pens also fulfill the pen requirement while being completely adorable and fun my littles.
How did back to school shopping go for you?
Hopefully we all have people in our lives that act as our cheerleaders and who are great for our self-esteem. They lift us up and make us feel great in our own skin. There are also places we can go that promote the same feelings. The beach is one of those places for me. The rush of the ocean and the wind in my hair just make me happy and make me feel that this life is amazing.
We also often have people around us who bring us down. Or maybe it’s a particular place or situation that makes you feel inadequate or self-conscious. It’s important to be aware of these people, places, and situations that bring you down. When you know who and what they are, you can guard against them and if possible avoid them.
Become Aware Of Negative Energy
Your self-confidence takes the biggest hit when you are unaware of the person or situation you’re engaging with. When you feel blind-sided, it hurts, it and it’s hard to recover and rebuild your self-esteem and courage. I like to think of how these people, places, and situations affect us as negative energy. Your first task is to become aware of this negative energy and realize where it’s coming from before it hits you. By simply being aware you avoid being surprised.
Try to identify the sources of negative energy in your life. Do you have certain coworkers, friends, or family who gossip like it is a competitive sport? Hearing all that negativity impacts you, participating in it impacts you as well. Does social media make you feel bad about yourself and make you feel less than others? Does social media bombard you with bad news and negativity? Think about all the sources that allow negativity to seep into your life and you will be better prepared for it in the future.
Guard Against Negtivity And Neutralize It
Once you are aware of what or who is bringing you down, you can start to guard against it. One of my favorite ways of doing this is to expect it going in and realizing what’s causing it. For example, if your cousin always gives you a hard time about your weight, it may help to realize that she’s putting you down because she’s not happy with her own life. If you feel judged by coworkers, it helps to know that they may be doing it to make themselves feel better. Realizing this going in will go a long way towards neutralizing things. Of course another way to guard yourself is to do what you can avoid interacting with the people that bring you down and of course avoiding the places and situations that make you feel bad.
Disengage Until You Feel More Confident And Courageous
Last but not least, avoiding people, places, and situations that will bring you down is always an option. If you know a conversation with your sister will make you feel less confident, or you feel depressed about your life every time you open Facebook, avoid those people and places for now. Take a break and focus on building up your confidence and your self-esteem. Focus on allowing positive energy to flow into your life and actively seek the people and places that allow for this.
Instead of going for that weekly brunch with your sister see if she wants to hit up a movie instead, where the talking is limited. Install plugins on facebook that block your “downers” such as animal cruelty posts and politics. “Like” a bunch of positivity and affirmations pages so your feed is flooded with the good stuff. When you’re ready, you can go back to spending time with those people or hanging out at those places and see how it goes. Often the experience is completely different for you when you approach it in a new and more confident manner.
To be frugal is to be sparing or economical with regard to money or food. Hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence.
At first it seems like these two words or concepts are at odds with each other but they actually aren’t. Not at all.
I wrote an article some years about this very subject titled Frugal Luxuries…about how frugality and simple living allow you to enjoy luxuries you may not other wise be able to enjoy. A few frugal and money wise choices here and there allow you to direct money towards other things that you value more…things like self indulgent pleasures, or life’s small luxuries.
I recently read another book about this very subject over the weekend…
- You think your current spending habits are not intentional…aka shaping the life you want and believe in.
- You suspect that consumerism is detracting from your goals and having unpleasant side effects on your wellbeing.
- You feel as though your spending is often times obligatory or done to make you feel like you are doing what you are supposed to do…what everyone else is doing.
- You feel like the amount of time you are working doesn’t leave enough time or energy for the things you love/desire.
- You feel overwhelmed with all the choices and expectations of modern society.
- You recognize that modern choices and lifestyles can be sabotaging the future of our planet.
The book really makes you analyze your life choices so you can figure out what you value most. Without so much noise and “stuff” you identify the pleasures you want to pursue. Some of these self indulgences are free. Some require you to get creative and direct money intentionally to the areas that will bring you more happiness and satisfaction.
It made me want to make a list of some of my favorite frugal indulgences so that I can be intentional about making them happen more often. It also helped me identify those that may require me to be more thrifty so I afford them.
- I love wine and savoring a glass outside on my patio
- I love taking walks in nature
- I love shopping for cheap treasures at thrift stores and also finding items to “flip”
- I love yard sales
- I love listening to nature sounds spa music and lighting a candle when I take a shower
- I love reading outside
- I love meditating outside
- I love sitting outside on the patio when it rains
- I love eating a really good bar of dark chocolate
- I love diffusing essential oils in all areas of the home
- I love decorating my home
- I love the changing of the seasons
- I love climbing into bed with luxury hotel quality sheets and comforters
- I love making my bedroom and master math feel like a luxurious resort retreat
- I love art and finding ways to display it in my home
- I love Buddha statues and figurines
- I love the teals, turquoise, blues, and greys
- I love prisms and crystals
- I love movies
- I love travel
- I love really, really good food
- I love eating out
When you identify the things that matter most to you and that enhance your life experience the most you can see that some are free and some are frugal. Other things need to become goals and making frugal choices can help you begin to afford those things. Do you really care if your running car has 100,000 miles and hail damage dents if the lack of car payment means you are putting $300 a month in your bi-annual beach vacation fund? Do you care if you need to make coffee at home in the mornings and pack sack lunches if it means you get to eat out with your family once a week at your favorite restaurant? Likely not.
This is being frugal with a purpose….being intentional with your dollars and making them go where you want them to go. When you do that…you can feel good about all your frugal choices because they are not depriving you, they are instead allowing you to pursue the life pleasures that matter the most.
When you ask minimalists, frugalists, or tree huggers how you can get by with no wasteful toilet paper or “less” toilet paper you will typically hear them sing the praises of family cloth. I have dabbled with it myself over the years but usually return to toilet paper, for the sake of less laundry.
Family cloth is is basically the use of reusable cloth rags or wipes instead of toilet paper. You have a collection of the cloths by the toilet and a receptacle for their storage until you can wash them. You then wash them with your other laundry a couple times a week or if that makes you squeamish you can wash them on their own, much the same way we cloth diaper enthusiasts washed our baby’s diapers.
It’s not a perfect system by any means as the thought of soiled cloth rags being stored in the bathroom for any length of time is not appealing to many. Having to wash soiled anything regularly is not appealing to many, and that is okay. I was not comfortable using family cloth for anything other than pee personally. But like I said, with three kids, laundry is already a daunting responsibility so extra loads for the sake of reusable wipes became too much for me.
Why am I trying to get rid of toilet paper though?
Well, it has always bothered me that I am buying a product everything month to use and throw away. It just seems wasteful. The recycled toilet paper options are no good because they contain BPA due to paper receipts being recycled. You can’t feel good about using a recycled product if the end product is harmful to your health.
I also hate paying for toilet paper. Sure, its only $10 or so a week but that is $40 dollars a month that could be used for something else.
So I decided to see if adding a bidet to our existing toilet might be a better option. I was introduced to the idea through a facebook group where family cloth was being discussed and several European folks started talking about their love of bidets and their need for little to no toilet paper. A big selling feature is that you are also much cleaner when you wash your tushie rather than just wipe it. It also seemed like it might be rather refreshing for women during their monthly cycle as well.
Thus began my research. I knew I wanted a bidet sprayer that you can add to your existing toilet and not an actual bidet. I also knew I wanted the sprayer to be hands free and under the toilet seat, not a handheld sprayer that attached to the wall (they often leak). I researched many different brands, models, and price points. I looked for one that was easy to install, inexpensive, attractive looking, and that had good reviews. I did not care to buy one with a heated water feature, cold water is fine by me. There are are heated water bidets on the market though. You can even buy one with a heated seat and blow dry mechanism. For me though I did not want a toilet with so many features that I need a remote control.
I settled on the Luxe Bidet Neo 120. It was nice looking and had great reviews. I have been using it for about two months now and I am super pleased! The sprayer pressure is very strong, even to the point of being a little painful if I turn it up full blast, so no weak spray action here. The sprayer is also behind a small door and is not visible until you set it to spray. This helps keep the sprayer clean by keeping it from being splashed with dirty water every time you flush.
This bidet also has a self clean setting. You simply turn the dial the opposite way and it will spray inside the small door that covers it…using a high powered spray to wash the spray mechanism and the inside of the cover. I use this feature regularly and also spray it with my bathroom cleanser of choice once a week, when I clean the toilet bowl.
I recently remodeled my master bathroom water closet and I don’t think the bidet detracts from the design. It also works quite well and reduces the need for much toilet paper. After spraying yourself clean you can simply dry with a washcloth and because its just water on the cloth you can use the same one throughout the week. Each family member can have their own if you are sharing a bathroom. I do tend to use a small bit of toilet paper for drying after bowel eliminations just to make sure everything is clean. I would rather use paper for that confirmation, rather than cloth. So I am not toilet paper free but pretty darn close!