Lovely title right? I toyed with the idea of periodic puker, but settled on frequent vomiter.
For those who don’t know, Violet suffers from cyclic vomiting syndrome, which causes her to experience periodic stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. It usually happens every two weeks, and usually lasts for 4 days. We are on a good stretch right now, and after three hospitalizations in April, we’ve appreciated the reprieve (I don’t really believe in jinxing her, so I’m not afraid to say this).
With all the vomit that goes on in our house, we’ve got a few must have items that have definitely made our lives easier. I’d suggest many of these for anyone who deals with their child throwing up on a regular basis, whether it’s due to car sickness or chemo.
Beware to those with sensitive stomachs, lots of talk of vomit ahead!
There are several brands on the market, but I like these the best. The plastic is super strong (when she’s throwing up in very short intervals I’ll even just give the bag a rinse and reuse it – they are that sturdy). Plus they measure the amount of vomit, which is good to keep track of when you are worried about dehydration. I’d suggest keeping a couple in your car, purse, and stowed around the house.
If your kid is anything like mine, they are going to be laying on the couch for the duration of their illness (or will they be lying on the couch? Only my grammar friends know for sure). Either way, there’s a good chance something will hit those couch cushions at some point during their time in the horizontal position. When Violet was little, we would end up washing the couch covers half a dozen times each episode. It seemed that as soon as I got the washable Ikea slip covers back on and zipped into place, my daughter would throw up on them again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Couch covers like these babies make a huge difference. I’m also on the hunt for a carseat cover if anyone has a suggestion of one that they love.
Zip up or button jammies
I’m not sure why this took us so long to figure out, but when Violet is sick we now know to always make sure she sleeps in zip or button jammies. I’d also suggest clothes during the day that zip or button. If a child throws up on something you have to pull over their head, you generally cover their entire face and hair when trying to change them. If they are wearing zip up or button clothing, you can change the child without getting them any more covered than they already are.
We learned about wet bags during our cloth diapering days, and they have been great for helping deal with vomit covered clothes and sheets. Wet bags feel cloth like, but are water proof. When cloth diapering, you put dirty diapers inside the wet bag, and don’t have to worry about moisture or smell escaping the bag. We keep a couple large wet bags around the house, which we fill with vomit covered clothes and sheets until we have enough to start a load of laundry (or until the current load is done, because lets face it during an episode that old laundry machine never stops running). We also keep a small one in the stroller to put clothes in should an episode come on suddenly while we are out and about.
Mattress cover and mattress pads
Nothing will ruin a mattress quicker than vomit (except perhaps urine, milk, juice, or one of the many other fun liquids a child is likely bestow upon their bed). If you have a small person, you likely already have a fully encapsulating mattress cover on their bed, and hopefully yours as well. If not, you should purchase one now. The life of your mattress depends on it. I’d also suggest several small flat mattress pads that can be placed under your child and easily removed in the night after each vomit. We generally have the encapsulating mattress cover on all beds in our house at all times, and then during an episode add in flat mattress pads as needed depending on where Violet is sleeping.
Video Baby Monitor
I have this fear that Violet will throw up in her sleep and choke on it. I’m not sure how rational the fear is, but it’s a fear none the less. A lot of CVS moms I’ve talked to seem to have the same fear. At this point Violet usually sleeps in our room when she’s sick (and when she’s not – but that’s a story for another post). I do appreciate the reassurance that a video baby monitor gives during nap time as well as during the evening since she falls asleep before us. They are a bit expensive on Amazon, but we got ours on sale at Target for around $75, Babies R Us frequently sends 20% off coupons, and I’ve also seen them listed on craigslist at reasonable prices. So definitely give those routes a check too.
Beverage Your Child Will Drink
Definitely ask your doctor what they would recommend. Violet’s doctor always suggests gatorade for her since she’s prone to Hyponatremia (low salt levels). But some doctors will recommend pedialyte or flat ginger ale or juice or whatever. So ask them. Then keep yourself well stocked. Getting a sick child to drink any of it can be tough, a couple tricks we’ve found that help are a fun cup (minions for Violet of course), a medicine syringe, or an exciting straw.
If anyone has any other recommendations I’d love to hear them in the comments! We are always on the hunt for ways to make this life a little easier.