Monday, May 16, 2011

Guest Post: When Visions of Vomit Dance in Their Heads!

This is it: the day you’ve dreaded. Your little one is puking everywhere. In her crib. On your rugs. In her hair. In your hair. Don’t worry, you can handle this.

I personally am one who usually gets squeamish dealing with cat sick, let alone people sick. I guess it started that time we were on our way home to NH from visiting my grandparents in NY. We had just stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast, so lots of orange juice and hash browns. Three little girls crammed in the back seat of a Dodge Omni, my middle sister sitting in the middle suddenly feels ill. Who does she turn towards to deliver her tidings of breakfast revisited? Me, of course. Yeah, anyway, back to your little one.

My little angel just had her second tummy bug last night, and I was thinking of tricks we’ve learned to help us get through the night with minimal bed and jammie changes. Just thought I’d like to share them with you.

First and most importantly, try to keep her in one place for a little while. Even if she seems fine after that first deluge, do NOT try to carry her upstairs to get into the bathtub. Then you just have to clean up the stairs after, too. Strip her down where she’s at, have her sit in a clean spot, and bring a warm washcloth and towel to her. If she’s in her crib, that’s great! Strip her down to the dipe, wipe her with a warm washcloth, then pick her up very gently to bundle the jammies, blankets, stuffed animals, whatever for the laundry. Move all books, toys etc out of the vicinity to avoid damage.

Now, if you’re like me and usually want to be ill at the first sound/smell/hint of puking, don’t worry. The need to care for your little one will most likely overrun your need to hurl. Just focus on that, and keep going.

Next up, decide if you want to clothe the ill child again. Is it warm or cold? Day or night? Were they sleeping and seem ready to go back to sleep? (Our angel seems to be most ill at night.) If you can keep them nakey, and just wipe them down/ hose them off occassionally, great! If it’s better to dress them, try to choose something that’s easy to remove without smearing vomit all over them. Button-up jammies are great for this purpose. Even if it’s day time, they might be comforted by the association they have with jammies and relaxing.

If you do want to put them in their crib/bed for a rest (or it’s 2am, or 2:30am, or again at 4am), put a towel over their sheets. They will probably be sick again, and changing towels is much easier. You also probably have more towels than crib sheets, and as we said, they’ll be sick again.

Another trick is to prop up their crib mattress with a full-sized pillow underneath where they rest their head. This gives them a gentle angle, so there’s less pressure on the top of their little tummy, and less likely to irritate. Last night I finally realized (after her third round) that as soon as I’d put her in her crib (as she’d asked) she was ill, and realized the angle probably didn’t help. Even after that she was sick once more, but this time she’d gotten some sleep in between.

If your child is anything like my almost-two-year-old, they’ll start to recognize the signs of impending pukedom. She’d start with a ilttle whimper, then say “No! No!” a few times before actually hurling. This gave us time to wrap her in a towel or blankie, thereby keeping her jammies clean.

Finally, if you do have rugs, having a steam cleaner is a great investment. We have a Bissel something-or-other, purchased at BedBathandBeyond. It’s easy to use (though a ilttle gross to clean out afterwards!) and not too expensive-about a hundred dollars. A few spots needed a repeat cleaning the next day, but overall it got the smell out. It also got a lot of other dirt out of my rugs, so I’ll be using it regularly from now on anyway.

Most importantly, I hope everyone’s feeling well soon!


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4 comments:

  1. You may be tempted to just rent a steam cleaner but your kid will throw up on more than one occasion. They pay for themselves after about three uses. Possibly less when you realize how much dirt was impacted in your rugs when steam clean your whole house thereafter.

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  2. I think if I had carpets I'd be steam cleaning constantly because the cats are barf machines.

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  3. Here's some comment love: I luckily don't have much experience on this topic, but how sad that Angel knows what's coming before it happens. Must be heart wrenching. We have a steam cleaner too, but it's not a "vacuum" it sprays high pressure, hot steam. Worth every penny!

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  4. I'm such a sympathy puker that I am terrified of what will happen when Miss K inevitably has her first stomach bug.

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