The Get Better Basket: The Ultimate Cold and Flu Season Resource

With cold and flu season upon us, now is a great time to stock up on all of the supplies you need for when your kid gets sick. Like most, I hate being caught off guard by unexpected sickness. More so, I hate being caught unprepared for the unexpected. The invention of the “Get Better Basket” in our household was a game changer. Let me share what we did and why we did it:

The Get Better Basket: The Ultimate Cold and Flu Season Resource

Our house is not large by any means. However, we have lots of nooks and crannies to store the items that help us function–linen closet, medicine cabinet, kitchen cupboards, etc. Every time one of our kids would come down with something, the search was on!

Who needed the thermometer last? Is it still on my dresser or did I put it away?
Did we run out of boogie wipes?
Where is that chart that tells me how much children’s Tylenol I can give to my 36 lb. two-year-old?
Where is the actual Tylenol?

This was the internal dialogue that occurred every single time sickness visited our home. During an especially long bout with sickness a few years ago, I was tired of all of our supplies floating around. Some would be on the coffee table, some in the bathroom, and some in our living room space. I needed to contain all of it somehow or I was going to lose my mind. And then it hit me! Why were we conducting an epic scavenger hunt adventure every single time one of us (specifically our children) got sick? Why hadn’t I thought about this before?

Hence the birth of the “Get Better Basket.”

The Get Better Basket: The Ultimate Cold and Flu Season Resource

 (**cue the angels singing**)

Items Needed for Your Get Better Basket:

Containment Item

Basically, you are looking for any organizational bin/basket that will hold all of your “Get Better” supplies. We had a small plastic basket with a handle sitting around that wasn’t being used for anything. This works great for us. You may prefer a small box with lid, or something else. It is important to think about where this container will live when no one in your house is sick. Our Get Better Basket lives in the linen closet and is the perfect size to fit right on the top shelf, next to some other items.

Here are a few containers that may work for you:
Get Better Basket Container Option 1

Get Better Basket Container Option 2


One of the first signs of sickness in our kiddos is a fever. The thermometer is a key item for the Get Better Basket. We use the Braun Ear Thermometer and love it.

The Get Better Basket: The Ultimate Cold and Flu Season Resource


We keep a few staple medications or treatment items in our basket. We often buy off-brand stuff from our local drug store, unless there is a great deal on a name brand. You can include the items that will work best for your family in the brands you like.

The Get Better Basket: The Ultimate Cold and Flu Season Resource

Our basket’s medications include:

Children’s ibuprofen
Children’s acetaminophen 
Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Cough Syrup)
Children’s VapoRub
Hyland’s 4 Kids Cold ‘n Cough

Medication Dispensers

Ya’ll, I’m not going to tell you to steal liquid medication dispensers from your pediatricians office, but I AM going to tell you that the dispensers they use are THE BEST. These things beat the pants off any that have been included in our prescription pick-ups from the pharmacy. I still remember a time when I took my son to the doctor and they administered some meds on site and I spotted that beautiful dispenser. I (very unassumingly) asked if I could have three or four (or TEN!) to take home. When they agreed, I proudly texted my husband photos because I knew he would be just as thrilled as I was!

You can also buy them in-store or online. This BAXA ExactaMed Oral Liquid Medication Syringe is like what the pediatrician has, and this Apex Healthcare Medicine Spoon would work well, too.

The Get Better Basket: The Ultimate Cold and Flu Season Resource

Snot Avengers

Depending on the illness, there may be A LOT of liquid stuck in or coming out of your child’s nose. At first glance, the NoseFrida – The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator weirded me out. However, it did not take long for me to become a believer. This thing is amazing for your little ones who don’t understand how to blow their nose. Trust me.Additionally, we keep a package of Boogie Wipes Gentle Saline Nose Wipes in our Get Better Basket. At first I was skeptical about the validity of this product. Mamas, these things work. They are gentle on my baby’s face, and clean up the boogies in the best way. They even make some that come in a grape flavor, which the little ones enjoy!

The Get Better Basket: The Ultimate Cold and Flu Season Resource

Pedialyte Packets/Freezer Pops

Dehydration is often a symptom of many illnesses. Our pediatrician recommends getting our kiddos to drink some Pedialyte. Usually Pedialyte comes in a large bottle and needs to be refrigerated, and used up within a finite amount of time after opening. We would never use all of ours up, and it was a bummer to throw it out. I was thrilled to find Pedialyte Electrolyte Powder Sticks and Pedialyte Electrolyte Freezer Pops. For the packets, you just add the powder to a predetermined amount of water and mix! The Freezer Pops just go in the freezer for a cold treat when needed. We try to keep some of these in the Get Better Basket for a quick electrolyte boost for our little ones.


This one is probably throwing you off a bit. What kind of paperwork would you need in the Get Better Basket? Hear me out. I cannot EVER remember the dosage quantity in relation to my child’s weight for Ibuprofen and Tylenol. Our pediatrician provides dosage charts, and gives extra copies as the paper has become worn out (or gotten lost). Ask your pediatrician for some! Also, we will throw anything related to prescriptions with special instructions into the Get Better Basket as needed and on a temporary basis (side effects, dosage info, etc.). Sometimes it can be hard to remember how all of the meds will impact our littles. Just fold them up and stick them on the side of the basket with the dosage charts until that particular medication is gone. Voila! 

The Get Better Basket represents one of my rare “I totally have everything together” mom ideas. It helps me to feel grounded and prepared when the unexpected happens. I hope the creation of your own Get Better Basket will do the same for you this Cold and Flu Season and beyond!


Linda is a Michigan native who moved to Iowa City in 2011 and hasn’t left yet. She and her husband of twelve years, Jacob, have two spunky kids – a kindergartner and a third grader. Linda works full time at the University of Iowa as the Administrative Director for the Medical Scientist Training Program. Together, Linda and her family enjoy cheering for the Nebraska Cornhuskers (shhhh!), going on adventures both big and small, and playing board games (they have over 100 and will play with anyone they can talk into it). Linda is often told she has two volumes: on and off, and she will enthusiastically respond to any news you tell her. No matter the volume she uses, Linda is an “old soul” with a love for baking, embroidery, and old movies.


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