Sunday, August 28, 2016

Let's Talk About Something Gross: How to Deal with the Stomach Bug

Okay guys. Your kid wakes up in the middle of the night and says, "Mommy, I threw up!" Gross. It's every mom's worst nightmare. If you tell me that you like dealing with the stomach bug, I will call you a liar. To your face. (With love, of course!)

We've dealt with our fair share of vomit and diarrhea in our house, so I've perfected my method of dealing with the terror of the stomach bug. (We've also dealt with cyclic vomiting in the past...a terrible thing for a child to have, but on the bright side of that, it doesn't typically spread through the house like a virus does.)

I wanna share with y'all the grossest info you hope you'll never need. How to survive at night when your kid has a tummy bug or cyclic vomiting. Stop reading now if you're faint of heart. 

1. Invest now in a good mattress protector to go under the sheets, BEFORE the bug hits. Preferably 2 if you can afford it. But trust me on this. If you can't afford 2, get puppy potty pads or the next time you have a baby ask for some extra mattress protectors for yourself when you go home. You won't need them but they come in handy in the middle of the night when you need to strip and remake a bed.
2. Have at least two sets of sheets for your child's bed.
3. In the event your child throws up or has diarrhea in his/her bed, put them straight in the bath or on the toilet if needed. A warm bath is what all my kids want after they've thrown up.
4. Strip the bed, the mattress protector has saved your life. You're welcome.
5. Take the soiled sheets and mattress protector outside and leave it til morning. Trust me. The last thing you want to do at 3am is deal with cleaning soiled sheets.
6. Check on your child.
7. Grab your favorite all natural, disinfecting cleaner. (I prefer Young Living Thieves want something to disinfect, but since you're using it on or around where your child sleeps, you don't want to use a harsh chemical like bleach or Lysol.) Grab an old rag or paper towels. (Paper towels NOT recommended for carpet cleaning.)
8. Clean any spots on the bed or carpet that weren't protected by the sheets.
9. Throw those dirty rags in the washing machine (or outside with the soiled sheets, but we usually do one load that night of stuff that's contaminated but not heavily soiled.) Whatever you do, don't just throw it in the dirty laundry with the other clothes...don't contaminate everything! It's almost as if I can SEE the germs jumping from the dirty rags onto everything else I own.
10. Wash your hands. I repeat. WASH YOUR HANDS!  Oh, and check on your child.
11. Redress the bed. Remember to somehow protect the mattress (pads or protector). I put the pads under the sheets, then they don't bother him or crinkle under him. If you don't have another blanket to use, beach towels make great covers.
12. Lay towels or pads or something down beside the bed, along with a trash can or bucket or bowl for more throw up and spill over. My current favorite vomit catcher is a laundry basket lined with a garbage's huge and catches a lot. Make a clear path to the bathroom if there isn't one already; we usually have blocks or army men or something in the way.
13. Get your child out of the tub and redressed. Tell them how important it is to lean over and throw up in the can if possible. I tell mine to listen to his body: if you wake with a tummy ache, run to the toilet or lean over because you'll probably throw up. Don't wait. Listen to your body. 
13a. This goes along with listening to your body. This is imperative for any potty trained child to comprehend: DON'T. TRUST. A. FART. Get up and go to the bathroom. Yes I actually tell my children that.
14. Tuck him in and kiss him goodnight and pray for no more vomit or diarrhea on your watch.
15. The next day, you'll want to clean the sheets. The easiest way to do this is to lay them on the driveway or grass and hose them off. By now the throw up and poop will be dry and just flake right off. Then you can grab a dirty towel and wrap them up and carry them to the wash (so they don't drip all through the house.) 
16. When you regain energy the next day, begin disinfecting the house. Door knobs, laundry baskets, bathtubs, toilets, beds...anything that may have been soiled. 

Optional, but also very important, things to do:
** if you have Young Living Essential Oils, diffuse Thieves and Purification. Kills germs and smells together. And believe me, the room will stink. Matches also cut smells, but not as well as oils. Get some oils. And please, please, please trust me on this -- Febreze and throw up don't will make your child feel even sicker.
** if you're able, diffuse thieves, oregano, and purification in all the rooms, and make a mix (in a bowl or roller bottle, diluted for the kids) of those 3 oils to put on EVERYone's feet in the house.
** after the mattress protector is clean, put it back on the bed if you don't have a second one. Save those pads we talked about in step 1 for later if they weren't soiled.

Well, there you have it, friends. I hope you never need this information, but if you have children and you send them to school or take them with you to the grocery store or go to church or ever step foot out of your house ever, you likely will need it. Tuck it away, and I hope it helps you. Maybe you won't have this problem so often that you develop your own system. But if you do, please share any tips I've left out. 

P.S. I hate the stomach bug. 

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