The dreaded stomach bug, it seems like it is everywhere. As a mom of two little germ magnets these hacks were born out of desperation. I am here to share with all of you the Mom Hacks for the stomach bug aka “what to do when tummy troubles find a child near you.”
The Fitted Sheet Couch Tradition
Due to our children’s proclivity for yacksville my husband and I created the white fitted sheet couch tradition. I take a super soft old fitted sheet and cover the entire couch and pillows with the sheet and viola your very own “sick bay.” I guarantee you your couch upholstery will be ever so thankful. Now when the kiddos feel the ever-familiar rumble in their tum tum they ask for the special fitted sheet on the couch.
The Sick Kit
Another illness tradition that we swear by is the “sick kit” aka a plastic container with the thermometer, Motrin and other CVS treasures that you will need in your armory when battling viruses. Our “sick kit” lives in the linen closet in our bedroom. Here is the thing. IT CAN’T NOT BE MOVED. It always, always has to be put back exactly where it lives…on the second to bottom shelf in the linen closet.
Now I am sure in your house everyone is all calm, cool and collected when one of the tiny offspring awakes at 3 a.m. in a pool of their own sweat and other things, but in my house I lose all ability to talk calmly or nicely to my spouse. Which is why it is imperative that we ALL KNOW where the “sick kit” lives. Because no one has time for, “Where did you put the thermometer last week when you used it 37 times because you had a man cold.” The “sick kit” has saved many a life and maybe our marriage.
The One Bathroom Rule
We have a house rule that “sharing is caring,” this lovely motto not only applies to toys but also to germs and illness. One of the worst aspects of a fast-moving contagious virus is that when one kid goes down you are just waiting for the others to join in the fun. My friend gave me this awesome advice that in her house when one member is sick they must use the same bathroom and NO ONE else uses that bathroom until patient zero is better. The name of the game is quarantine and contain. And then break out the Lysol… lots and lots of Lysol.
Pack N Play
Our girls are older so you would think our pack n play days are long gone. But you would be wrong. We keep that lovely mechanism of plastic and mesh for one very important reason; when the girls become sick in the middle of the night it becomes our “sick bed.” I set it up right next to my side of the bed and place pukey McGee in her little bed and viola she is close by for immediate response from mom but she is NOT in my bed.
I am huge proponent of baby wearing and I wore the girls regularly when they were smaller. Now that they are “little miss independents” they don’t necessarily want to be strapped to mom or dad, until they don’t feel well and all bets are off. When our little one is sick she NEEDS to be next to me 24/7, so the Ergo to the rescue. Because someone needs to do the 87 loads of laundry, and this way you get snuggles and chores done at the same time.
The last time the little one came down with stomach plague I sat on the couch with her all day. ALL DAY! Yes, I watched Monsters INC seven times and my house smelled like a fraternity after an amazing rager but I had the wonderful opportunity to cuddle and care for our never-stop-moving go go go preschooler for a whole day. Soak in this snuggles while you can get em!
I know, that it sounds terrible, but here is the thing, I kind of LOVE getting the opportunity to care for them, to help heal them, to nurture them in way that only a mom knows how. There is something so special about holding back their hair, rubbing their backs, and making special Pedilyte popsicles to help ease queasy tummies. As much as I hate seeing them in pain and there is nothing I would not do to ease their suffering, part of me relishes the midnight “Mom, I need you,” or the dreaded school nurse phone call, because what they need when they are sick is their MOM! So when your kiddo inevitably comes down with the stomach super bug I hope these Mom Hacks can come in handy!