Surviving the Stomach Bug

Late last week, my husband opened the door of our toddler’s bedroom to the dreaded smell of vomit in his crib. Aaahhhh, poor baby had acquired the dreaded stomach bug! Unfortunately, the typical 24 hour illness has been around my home for going on 72 hours now, but so far has claimed only one victim. In the past few days I’ve cleaned, disinfected and laundered more than I’ve ever wanted. Luckily, the stomach bug hasn’t reared its ugly head in our home in over a year, but with immediate action required, there are a few items that have really come in handy over the past few days. With this fresh on my mind I’ve put together a quick list of items that are handy to have when surviving the ultimate test of motherhood. So, at the first signs of a stomach virus use this list to run through the store before anyone else in your family needs your attention. I apologize if some of these include some pretty revolting descriptions but really, there ain’t nothin’ pretty about a stomach virus.  

Old sheets/blankets: All those old sheets that are no longer useful on the bed are perfect for protecting carpets, rugs and furniture as your littlest loves are likely to share their germs and vomit with every surface in your home. Old crib sheets are also the perfect size for protecting your clothing as you rock sick kids.  

Plastic containers: Clean out all your old plastic food storage containers, use all the ones with missing tops as “barf buckets.” Toss them out when everyone is well again. 

Water proof pads/cloths: The waterproof burp cloths and pads you used when protecting your clothing from spit up when your babies were infants are perfect for protecting pillows and mattresses during a stomach bug.

Nap mats: Rubber nap mats that have been deemed unwelcome at school and daycare make easy to clean up resting spots for sick little ones. I have one I’ve been holding onto for several years and it surely comes in handy when one of my kiddos is ill.  

Lysol and Air Neutralizer: Typically I’m not a fan of these sprays, but with a stomach bug in the house these easy to use sprays keeps germs at bay and make your whole house more pleasant. Lysol in the form of wipes and surface cleaner will easily keep your surfaces clean and hopefully keep the bug from spreading. 

Extra Diapers and wipes: Because diarrhea is no joke, and cleaning up poop isn’t fun.

Lots of laundry detergent: Like it or not, it is possible to wash every item in your house in just a few short days. I’ve also tried to keep the laundry moving as quickly as possible so the washer is always ready for the next load of nastiness.  

Juice, Popsicles, Sports drink and Pedialyte: Again not usually things I overindulge my children with, but when they feel miserable and need hydration, I’ll let them have just about anything I can get into them.

Hand Sanitizer: This just makes keeping kids hands a little bit easier while you’re washing your 400th load of laundry.

Items on the BRAT diet: BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. In short it is a diet of bland foods that are typically easier to tolerate when little tummies are on the mend. Some other items we’ve found tasteful in the past few days are crackers, Cheerios, and bread.  

Most of the items listed are pretty common sense, but aren’t the first things to come to mind when cleaning vomit up in the middle of the night. Having these supplies at the ready won’t make the stomach bug go away, but it will hopefully make life a little easier and allow you to focus your attention on your sick family members. While it is miserable the stomach bug is usually short lived and hopefully claims few victims. The silver lining is the sweet little snuggles you’ll get to enjoy as your little one recovers.  

How do you combat the stomach bug or other illness when it invades your home?

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