‘Tis the season…for sick kids.
One of my worst fears is vomit getting on things that are hard to clean. It used to be vomit in general, but having kids lowers your standards for bodily excretions.
I decided it was about time to post my two best “cleaning up after throw up” tips last Sunday, and wouldn’t you know it – Lovey Girl threw up in her car seat on the way to Bible Study Monday morning. (Who’s in charge here???) So having lived through it once again, I now have THREE sick kid tips for you today. Can I get a “Woo hoo?”
- Double sheet the beds. I never thought this would be something worth sharing, because I thought everyone knew it, but last year at a friend’s twin’s baby shower I discovered that almost none of my friends knew this trick. For quick and easy clean up of not just throw-up, but baby spit-up, wetting the bed, and poopy blow-outs, double sheets are imperative. You can get a messy crib ready for a fussy baby with one hand within 15 seconds. Please don’t think I’m speaking down to you when I explain exactly how this is done. Again, I wouldn’t do it if my dear friend and mother of three hadn’t said, “Double sheeting never works for me because the pee always goes through to the second sheet anyway.” Dear friends, you need TWO waterproof pads. This is key.
Added Bonus: If you worry about your child’s mattress off-gassing because you can’t afford organic, there are now more layers between your baby and the chemicals.
Timesaver: When the top sheet gets messed on, you just pull it and the pad underneath off, bunch them off and…
- Throw yucky clothes in the bathtub. When babies, toddlers, and preschoolers throw up, you never quite know where it will go. The toilet is a long shot for this age group. Clothing, carpet, couches, and blankets are all likely targets, and children aren’t about to be calm and content while you take care of germ-infested, stench-filled garments. You can’t always get them right to the washing machine and address the vomit issue right away. You don’t want to spread anything around the house. (I’m convinced that parents of babies get sick when the babies get sick because of poopy diapers and getting thrown up on. How can you avoid the virus when it’s all over you?)The solution? Use your bathtub as a staging ground. For most people, the bathroom is central enough to the bedrooms that it’s quick and easy to get there. You can wash and sanitize the hard surface easily (later, when the kids are feeling better). Sometimes when babies are sick with a throw-up bug, the pile of clothes (yours + theirs + bedding) can become impressive after a few hours of unpredictable projectile puking. Take it easy on yourself and toss everything in the tub until further notice.(Sorry, no picture of a pile of pukey clothes in my bathtub. I actually used this trick today because Lovey Girl spread yogurt and applesauce on her jeans while I was distracted on the phone trying to reconnect our Internet…but I didn’t think you really needed to see that. It’s a pretty simple concept.)
- Freeze homemade chicken stock in ice cube trays. One cube of stock is just the right amount for a child with an uncertain stomach. Nourishing broth and maybe a cracker are just the right things for a first “meal” after tossing your cookies all night long. It’s nice to have it on hand and easy to heat up.
After that, you might need a cube of broth and some double sheets, yourself. Everyone feeling okay? (And by the way…anyone have tips for me for getting every last bit of yuck and the smell out of the carseat buckles and cover?)
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