5 Tips I Discovered While Helping My Toddler Battle a Tummy Bug

Our fun day at the children’s museum yesterday quickly took a turn when my daughter got sick on the car ride home. She’d just polished off a bottle and snuggled in for a nap when she woke up coughing. Suddenly she was throwing up – not once, but twice – and we were still nearly 20 minutes from home.

Mom tip #1: Always keep extra napkins and wipes in the car – you never know when you’ll need them! I even keep a few burp cloths in our diaper bag too, which was an extra bonus for our clean up efforts. It still was a messy ride, but my husband (who was driving) instantly tossed me the huge pile of napkins we’ve hoarded in our glove box. Between that, the burp cloths, and the pack of wipes we had on hand, I was able to clean things up enough to get my daughter home without being completely miserable the whole rest of the drive. Once we got home, however, we were faced with the entirely new challenge of cleaning up a messy toddler and car seat.

Mom tip #2: When buying a car seat, make sure it’s easy to clean! Ours has a removable cover that is machine washable, so that was helpful. However, it also has lots of nooks and crannies for things to settle down into, and the straps are not completely removable (or at least, not as far as I could figure out). It took me quite awhile to get everything clean, even after removing the cover and tossing it in the washing machine. I ended up having to remove the whole seat from the car to get everything cleaned out, but I finally got it cleaned up. Next up – getting and keeping a sick toddler clean!

Mom tip #3: Zippered jammies and expandable-shoulder shirts and onesies are essential when you’re dealing with sick baby or toddler. Let’s face it – it’s pretty impossible to contain the mess when a baby or toddler is sick to their stomach. You can definitely expect a few outfit changes during a battle with the stomach bug, and these easy-to-remove outfits are surely a necessity. Rather than having to pull clothes up over their head, thus spreading the mess into their hair and face, you can just pull it down over them. It makes life so much easier!

Mom tip #4: Keep some old bath towels and paper towels or a damp washcloth handy! We kept all of these things on hand while she was sick, and it really helped to contain the mess and keep her comfortable. We tried to keep the towel under her as much as possible, which was pretty easy to do since she mainly was napping or snuggling on someone’s lap the whole day. When she did get sick, this helped to soak up the mess to prevent our couches and clothes from taking the brunt of it. We also had a big bowl we used to try and catch the mess whenever possible, however, that is not always easy to do with a toddler. It was still handy for cleaning up the mess afterward, as we could just toss the dirty paper towels into it. That way, we could get my daughter cleaned up and comfortable again as quickly as possible!

Mom tip #5: Keep water and Pedialite on hand. When we talked to our pediatrician, her main concern was dehydration. This is always the case when someone is sick to their stomach, and it’s no different with little ones. They are losing lots of liquids and electrolytes when they get sick, so it’s important to keep giving them fluids so they don’t become dehydrated. Our pediatrician recommended a diluted solution of Pedialite and water, so we filled her favorite water bottle with this solution and kept it right beside her all day. At first, she even had a hard time keeping that down, so we just offered her small sips every few minutes. Eventually, as the brunt of her tummy bug passed, she was able to keep that down, and we were able to keep her comfortable and hydrated without a trip to urgent care.

Having a sick little one is a miserable feeling as a parent. It breaks your heart to see your little one in any sort of pain! Keeping them comfortable and hydrated, and giving them lots of extra love and snuggles are all key for a speedy recovery! Luckily, our little ones are so resilient, and they’re usually back on their feet in a matter of days.

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