I recently realized that I am 19 months in to my third child’s life, and I’m not struggling. This might sound silly, but I STRUGGLED with Sofi. I struggled again with Walter. But I’m not struggling so much with Elliott. And I realized that it is because I have learned so much about the basics of being a parent – learned tricks for coping with different situations, learned what to expect, learned what is truly an emergency and what is just par for the course. And I thought, there are many parents out there who haven’t learned all of these basics, and might be struggling through their first or second child! So, I decided to create a Parenting 101 series, to help out with these little tips and tricks.
Our family has struggled with the pukies a few times this past fall, and that seemed like a good place to start! I’m not going to talk about remedies, because there are many sites devoted to just that. I am going to talk about strategies for coping with the gore of having a stomach bug in the house.
|Layered towels, and a pot close at hand are two ways to make the night time easier when someone has a tummy bug.|
1. Always have something at hand for a child to emit into. Coach them to get to the toilet if they can, but expect misses. Especially at night. Good options are cooking pots, mixing bowls, diaper pails, or even just a towel (it is better than your bare hands!).
2. Keep towels and washcloths handy. Lots of them. Cloth diapers are good too. There will be misses, even if the child is holding a pot in his or her lap. And there is nothing so fun as sitting on the couch, holding the child, with ruminated lunch on your hands, calling for someone to bring you some type of wipe. Just keep stacks of them near anywhere you might be – the couch, beds, comfy chairs, anywhere you can think of that you might land for a full minute.
3. Keep towels UNDER the child – especially at night. Layer them up. This way, if the child vomits all over the bed, you just peel off the top layer of towels, toss them in the bath tub, and go back to sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat. We try for 3-4 layers of towels as a minimum. So much easier than changing sheets in the middle of the night.
4. A wool or fleece blanket underneath all of the towels will also keep liquid from soaking down onto the sheets or mattress. We all have wool blankets under our sheets as mattress pads at all times.
5. No tomato based sauces for a full 48 hours after the vomiting has stopped. Seriously. No fish, either. These two things are some of the WORST to clean up, and there will almost always be a recurrence of nausea if the child eats them.
Also, go easy on yourself and your schedule. Not much besides laundry and baths will get done if there is a pukey kid in the house. And that is OK. Just try to relax and let it pass. Most stomach bugs last a few days at best and you can be right back to normal.
What other tips do you have for surviving the pukies?