As a parent to two young boys, Max 5 and JJ 2, I am no stranger to broken sleep. We have tried everything from sleep training to sleep nannies to get our babies to rest more. Having said that when the older one started sleeping through so did his younger brother – and just like that, my husband and I found ourselves enjoying evenings together and waking up in the same place that we went to sleep. So when one of our monkeys comes down with a cold we do everything we can to help them sleep well – not only because we want to avoid the midnight wakings but also to help them recover quicker and feel better. 

I tend to find that, like with most common ailments, there are hundreds of ways that you can treat something. And I am sure you won’t be surprised to hear that as a family we like to err on the natural side of remedies where possible. If you are looking to ward off colds, treat the symptoms or just make the whole experience of a cold that much easier – here are my five things that I could not get through the winter season without:

Olbas Oil*
Stuffy noses are sleep thieves. Fact. We rely on Olbas to help clear the airways of our little men. Starting off with the Olbas Bath we add a capful to bathtime. Making sure that we keep the door closed, I allow the bathroom to get nice and steamy so the boys can’t help but breathe in the refreshing scents of eucalyptus, mint, clove and juniper berry – all working hard to help their little noses to clear. I then add a few drops of Olbas for Children to a tissue and place it safely out of reach. Or sometimes I will add a few drops of Olbas Oil to a steamer that I place on the shelf in the kid’s bedroom where they can’t reach it before closing the door to keep in the vapours. I personally find that it works a charm and within a few minutes of the scent filling the room the kids are usually breathing much better. As for my husband and I, we are obsessed with Olbas Nasal Spray – clinically proven to unblock the nasal passages and prevent the spread of viral infections, it is a godsend – especially for me because when my husband is the slightest bit blocked up it sounds as though a steam train is in our bedroom.
*Relief from nasal congestion. Always read the label.

Ginger + Garlic
At the first sign of a cold, I instantly start adding ginger and garlic to everything convinced that it helps reduce the symptoms of a cold and help fight infection. Both ginger and garlic are believed to be excellent anti-inflammatories and a great booster to the immune system. For my kids, I add them to noodle or rice dishes and often mix with a coconut and turmeric sauce. For my husband, I make him eat it pretty much straight!

Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream
This is the perfect antidote to sore, chapped little noses from too much nose-blowing! I also find it to be a great healing cream.

Foxy Socks
To you, these are probably more likely to be known as moccasin socks but in our household, we call them Foxy Socks due to my eldest son’s first pair having a little picture of a fox on them. In the winter when the kids are full of cold, I hate it when they pad around in bare feet as they feel like little ice buckets after about 10 minutes. Foxy socks are a great way to keep their tootsies warm whilst preventing them from slipping overdue to the moccasin sole. Plus, they are so comfy that the kids love wearing them.

Jewish Penicillin (also known as chicken soup)
One of my first food memories is of my mother making Chicken Soup, or as she would call it, Jewish Penicillin, in our tiny kitchen in the cottage I grew up in. Making that soup is a labour of love, not only because it takes a long time, but also because it is only every really made if someone in the family is not feeling well or is run down. Now that I have my own babies, as soon as the cold season is upon us my mum, or Mema as she is known to the kids, brings up a giant vat of her special chicken soup. I have made it but it’s never as good as hers and as a recipe it’s impossible to write down because so much of the ingredient quantities, the length of time it’s cooked for and herbs and spices you put into it is dependent on the person you are cooking for and so it’s a tailored dish in that way. 

For more information on how you can care for your family during the winter months please visit www.olbas.co.uk/family-nose-best/