Hi! I’m glad you stopped by…
You are here because you know how much stomach bugs suck, right? You know what’s horrible–being the one cleaning up after someone with the stomach flu.
As a mom of two little germ magnets these hacks were born of desperation.
A stomach virus attacked my son and transformed my peaceful home into battlefield. Danger! Danger! Sirens blaring and lights flashing. It was me against the mess.
We’ve all survived the years when our babies caught a new illness each week. (So am I the only one that didn’t think a stomach virus could rock my world so much?)
I mean, stomach flu only last 24 hours, right?
Yeah…wrong. This one lasted almost five days.
These 7 tips will help
- minimize messes
- reduce clean up time
- reduce the spread of germs
- keep your child hydrated
- prevent butt-tastrophes
- and most importantly let you spend more time comforting your child
They’ve worked for me and they will work for you!
Until just recently, my husband was working thousands of miles overseas, in a war zone, while I held down the fort at home.
Trust me, with two young kids, I was in a war zone too. I held down the fort for four years while he was deployed with the military as a contractor, and this was after fours years with him being on a submarine.
I had little help because who wants to come into a house that is struggling through a stomach virus? I didn’t want my friends or family to catch and spread this nightmare either.
If you’re a military spouse, you know how it is. If you’re a single mom or a “corporate widow” you also know what I mean. If your husband took one look at the mess and took off for a “very important work function,” you too, know what I mean.
This is the not so fun part of being the mom.
These seven stomach bug hacks saved my sanity.
I’m starting with this tip first because chances are you are in the middle of taking care of sick kid. If this applies to you–do this now! It’s a life changer.
1. The lined puke bucket/bowl
I got this tip from my cousin, who’s son was hit by the bug a couple of weeks before mine caught it.
I have had stomach bugs myself and went through the fun of early pregnancy nausea. I wish I had thought of this then.
A puke bowl or bucket is a no brainer. If you don’t want to lie on the bathroom floor hugging the porcelain god for a few days, then a bowl/bucket is necessary. I don’t recommend simply using a plastic bag for young kids. They are difficult to hold open when someone is ill. Having a bucket or dollar store garbage can is much easier.
But if you have a child that is constantly vomiting, during the time you wash the bowl you risk puke on the bed or couch (this happened). My cousin told me to line the puke bucket with a bunch of grocery store bags.
That way, I could easily dispose of the mess with minimal disruption to my son. Win!
My cousin uses a dollar store trash can that she can toss afterwards if she wants. I used a bowl because of the wider opening. This was by far, the best hack.
Hydration is so important when your child is ill. I have a couple of tricks I use to keep the fluids going in when they really just want to come out.
2. Rehydration popsicles
The virus started with a day of fever before the intestinal cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting began.
My son did not eat for four days.
The biggest worry was dehydration. Once he was given medication to help with nausea, I made these electrolyte replacement popsicles for him.
The doctor cautioned against dehydration and electrolyte loss because the zofran only helped nausea but not diarrhea. (Our pediatrician said no when I asked if he needed something for diarrhea. The virus needs to run through.) Stomach bugs are a ton of fun!
His throat was sore from vomiting for a day so the popsicles were soothing and also hydrating.
3. Large medicine syringe
I’ve been using a medicine syringe for years to give my kids water or pedialyte every fifteen minutes while sick. It’s a small amount of fluid at a time so that the child doesn’t drink so much that he throws it up right away.
4. DIY flushable wet wipes
I make these wipes with essential oils. They are a butt saver!
I stumbled onto essential oils when I decided to reduce the toxic chemicals in our home, while also saving money, by making my own cleaning solutions. It seemed like the only way to get safer cleaning supplies was to either pay an arm and a leg for the bottles marked “green” or make them myself. Little did I know, two years later I would be making my own beauty products and relying on them to support my family’s health.
I started making this wipes recipe after a stomach bug that went through the house last year. However, that bug was nothing compared to this. My son used the restroom several times an hour for three full days and nights with this bug. These flushable wipes, when made with a soft paper towel brand (I love BOUNTY) can do wonders at cleaning little hineys with minimal chafing.
Unfortunately when you are using the restroom many times (including every hour throughout the night), there will be chafing from the toilet paper.
5. Disposable “cleansing” squirt bottle
When that started, I made my own version of the perineal bottle. You know, that bottle that they give to women post-labor to help her cleanse herself after using the restroom.
I didn’t have one of those bottles so I made my own. I took a disposable “sport” topped water bottle and mixed warm water with a tablespoon of baby wash. Towards the end of the bug, when your child has been wiped raw, squirting the area with this solution makes cleaning much easier.
I did have him hop in the bathtub several times. But when it’s the third night of wiping him at 1am, 2am, 3am, then 4am and so on, you will be grateful for the squirt bottle too.
He was nearly out of his mind with a high fever for most of this illness. (Thank goodness he is back to his normal self now!) So, I had to help him each time he went to the restroom.
In fact, he was so delirious that sometimes he didn’t make it to the restroom.
6. DIY Super spray
For those “accidents,” I found that the all-purpose disinfecting spray that I make to clean my kitchen worked very well. I simply sprayed the soiled clothes prior to tossing them in the wash. The vinegar and vodka in the solution helped pre-treat the stain and get rid of the smell.
Nature’s Miracle is also something I use quite a bit to clean up organic waste. If it works for dog urine and feces then it works for human accidents too.
7. DIY Laundry detergent
I am so happy I make my own laundry detergent in bulk for super cheap. I constantly washed the bedding and my son’s clothes, the entire time he was ill. The numerous accidents and vomiting had to be cleaned asap to prevent the spread of the virus. I was so thankful that I didn’t have to worry about running out of detergent or having to find someone to run to the store for me to bring me some.
For particularly yucky laundry try this tip to defunkify the clothes.
What about everyone else in the house? You don’t want them to get sick too, right?
For the non-sick family members
I relied on easy to prepare foods and tv dinners. I know, as a health conscious person I cringe about feeding my family Ramen noodles and tv dinners. But, I will also always keep some on hand for these times.
I was run ragged caring for my son and stressed beyond measure. However, my daughter and I needed to eat. I was also weird about handling food prep when I was elbow deep in vomit and poop. I felt like all the soap in the world wasn’t going to clean my hands!
But the good news was that neither Pea nor I caught the virus!
When we brought my son to the pediatrician, we were advised that in most cases the entire family caught the stomach flu. The doctor said to save any leftover Zofran because we would probably need them.
My manic laundry washing, Lysoling, and use of essential oils must have worked! My son was better in a few days.
I rubbed Thieves essential oil on all of our feet and diffused it for immune support.
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