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  • MoxieTopics
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Oh this is a goodie !!!
Well..... we have a 'vomit movie' that my four year old watches whenever he has a vomity bug (twice in his short life) - it's Dumbo for those who are interested. We just drag out the spare mattress and prop him up in front of the tele (if he wants to) with a bowl of ice chips and a vomit bowl and sit with him. This is usually in the middle of the night by the way ! He sucks on the ice chips and then when he needs to heave (theres a new one Moxie!) he just does it into the bowl. He was house trained really easily because he was so grossed out by the vomit - " MUM it came out of my NOSE "!!!!
One word of advice - if they do look like they are going to throw up - aim them at the bed NOT the floor because sheets are easily washed and wool carpet holds the vomit smell forever!
Also, have a couple of empty bowls (we use ice cream containers because you can just throw them away afterwards) because no-one likes to stare into a bowl of their own mess while dry retching. After the first big chuck I swap bowls and give him a clean one to finish in.
And.... finally.... a nice cool washer feels sooo nice on their feet while they relax, my son loves me to wash his feet with a cool wet washcloth, it makes him feel cleaner and fresher without having to actually stand up and take a shower...
Sigh... .the things we do for our kids !


You just never know what's gonna come up as a topic here! Love it.

We seem to deal with this a lot with DD (5 y/o). She's one of those kids who hurls when she gets a fever. Until the last year or so there was no way to prepare for it, it just happened. Now she can verbalize what it feels like when she's feeling "that" kind of nausea, so I can at least get a container ready. I second the advice about aiming for the sheets, although vomit wipes right off of a microfiber couch as well! She's hurled a couple of times in her Britax carseat as well, and in a wierd way I'll give that carseat extra kudos as it washes very easily.
By the way, you know those Bilibo toys? The one with endless possibilities for open-ended play? Also makes a mighty fine vomit receptacle. Found this out this summer when DD hurled unexpectedly in the living room.
I always try to have some clear juice or gatorade on hand as well. That way if or when it comes back up, you're not dealing with red fruit punch stains on top of vomit. The clear lemonade flavor of Vitamin Water seems to go down easily for DD.
And finally, when they "say" they're feeling better and they're ready to eat . . . don't let them choose salami. Not fun to clean up the second time around.


yak, ralph, pray to the porcelain god....

I find that a plastic trash can--the small bedroom variety--is a good vomit receptacle. If my daughter is feeling iffy, I move it closer to her bed. Also nice is that I use plastic grocery bags as liners, so if it IS used, it's pretty easy to tie it up and throw it out. She's old enough now, though (7), that she usually makes it to the bathroom.

I used to get carsick as a child, and I remember that we always kept a folded up paper grocery bag AND a couple of plastic grocery bags in the back, and when I'd start to feel ill my mom would use a plastic bag to line a paper bag (with the edges folded down). The paper bag was sturdier and gave you something more to hold on to.

Now that we're on this topic, does anyone have any tips for training one's cat to only barf on smooth floors instead of carpet? I used to have a cat whose barf would peel right off and leave no mark (if I let it dry first), but the current cat's barf leaves a mark. Hmmm.....different diet. That must be the explanation.


Not muc hadvice here, we have all similar vomit problems (and are going through them right now. What fun!) The baby pukes and goes right back to playing, but my 3yo moans and watches tv all day. We have not been able to direct her vomiting in any way yet, though I have a friend who manages to cach her 2yo's vomit every time. Maybe different kids recognize their bodies cues differently. Because I have to say, every time my daughter vomits, she vomits EVERYWHERE.

So, maybe since her daughter has a history of vomiting in response to new things, she can recognize the cues and be more easily "trainable" to throw up in a container.


Eldest had a stomach bug about 6 months ago--caused her to throw up throughout the night. She came and got me--she had thrown up on herself and in her bed (my God, poor thing!)--and I put her in bed with us and had a plastic bucket nearby. Somehow we managed to puke efficiently into the bucket all night. I mean "we" as a team effort, me grabbing it and making sure it was in place for her. Somehow vomiting seems to bother them less than us--I felt SO bad for her, but she was pretty blase about the whole thing. Her only other vomiting session was when she was a toddler and she doesn't remember it, but she loves hearing the story about it, because she threw up all over her Dad.

Regarding more of the logistics, I would have a damp washcloth handy to wipe off their face and hands and such. As for dehydration, popsicles or some kind of liquid they're not normally allowed so much (because it would be a treat)may work. Again, it seems to bother us more than them. Whenever either of my kids are sick, I always have to remind myself that when I was a little kid I didn't blame my parents for being sick, so my kids probably don't blame me. They understand that you can only do so much. But as a parent you feel so responsible, like you should be able to make it go away. From their perspective, I think your being there with love and solicitude goes a long way.

Rachel H.

My kids have all been trainable starting at around 2 or 3 to puke in a container or make a dash for the toilet. I can give them a bucket for bed if they're feeling ill, and have a good shot at them using it.

My kids also (bless their hearts) are always "ready" for food sooner than their tummies can handle it. I have to be VERY strict about starting up slowly with BART because otherwise they will drink chocolate milk and eat Hoagies and puke again. Popsicles are a good way to slow them down on eating, because there's only so fast you can gobble down frozen things.


If you have a kid who vomits everywhere and can't yet direct it into a bowl much less get to the bathroom, I suggest the towel approach - blanket the area where the child is in towels. Then when the inevitable occurs, you can just remove the towels and put down a new layer, and not worry about stripping beds, carpeting, upholstery, etc. Unfortunately this is no help for the first upchuck of the illness, but it works well for the subsequent ones.


Oh my, have I been lucky in this sense! I can only remember my son, now 7, throwing up 2 different times. The first time he was a toddler, and would have nothing to do with puking in a container. Last year he got sick with a 24 hour flu, and made in the container every time. My container is an ice cream bucket, lined with a plastic grocery bag. My mom always gave us popcicles when we were sick, so that's what I do for my boy as well.


OMG I cannot believe this is today's topic!! I just spent a very long night, with many loads of laundry, due to my three-year-old's first stomach virus. I knew our luck couldn't hold forever.

I don't have much to add, other than he trained to throw up in a container very quickly. I praised him for being such a big boy about it. He won't take Pedialyte so I'm doing diluted apple juice. And I've come to the conclusion that a straw is a bad idea for liquids -- too easy to take more than a sip's worth, and have it all come up a bit later.

We call vomit "meh-meh" in our house -- baby talk our son used for our cat's vomit. I realized last night that he didn't know what I was talking about when I said "vomit"! Now, back to laundry.


Not wanting to jinx myself either, but my 2 year old has not ever projectile puked.

However, the first time my sister went through the stomach bug thing with her son (about 18 months at the time), she laid out a "carpet" of towels in her living room and they camped out there until it was all over. It was one less thing to worry about - the cleaning up, the worrying where the puke was going to end up.

I will definitely be following the comments on this one because I have wondered the same thing as the reader!!!


my advice is: never, ever put pukey laundry in the hamper and forget it's there.

and you can mke your own ORS if you like but I think they say that over some age they can just have water or ginger ale or whatever. I always drank tonic water. But most kids dont like that.


My oldest got his first awful puke bug at just 4, his little sis at not-yet-3. And both of them quickly got the "OMG, gonna barf, needabucket!" really quickly.

Of course, there was the horrific moment when the 5-year-old tried to help his little sister with the bucket, tilted it too far, and poured its contents back on her face.

I find "scut towels" laid over everything are the way to go. Thick layer of old towels and cloth diapers. Fold them up after they're puked on, replace with fresh, and put in washer IMMEDIATELY (and run washer, immediately).

My biggest thing is this warning: Everyone says, to people who have a problem with puke, "Oh, its different when its your kid." No it is not. Other people's barf still makes me want to heave, even when its my beloved child. The same techniques used to relax for labor can keep you from joining the puke posse with a sympathetic barf, however. Deep centering breaths. But not through your nose.

Jane Plane

We have rarely had stomach things, too. My toddler has thrown up twice, and he's almost three. My seven year-old has thrown up three times.

I got some advice early on that we follow for the kids, and we also follow for ourselves, and it's basically to give as much stomach rest as possible. So, nothing by mouth until you haven't vomited for 1.5 to 2 hours, then one to two tablespoons of water or pedialyte every 15 minutes for another 1 to 2 hours (best delivery method seems to be sucking on an ice cube), and, if that stays down, only then try for solids, if the interest is there.

Lots of parents worry about dehydration in the first stages of a stomach bug and so they offer liquids too early and re-upset the stomach. I personally would not start to worry about dehydration until nothing was staying down for more than six or eight hours, less if there is vomiting and diarrhea, and there were physical signs of dehydration.

One thing a nurse told me was that going to sleep will often accelerate the course of a stomach bug, which is why so many kids and adults get sick in the middle of the night. So, if your kid is sick, encourage them to go to sleep and just get the whole thing over with.

My son was able to very effectively use a bowl for yakking (another term) the last time he had a bug, when he was five.


Oh, one other thing. For rehydration -- Gatorade has corn syrup now, which can make diarreah worse, and pedialyte expires and is expensive and you never have it on hand when you need it, and my kids hated the taste and refused it...

Make your own. Follow the instructions prepared for parents in developing countries. So easy they've taught it to schoolchildren so they'll make it for their little sibs:

A slightly different version, with potassium added by using salt substitute for part of the mixture:

Jane Plane

Oh, Sara, I was sympathetically heaving hearing about your son pouring vomit back onto your daughter! Poor things!

I was coming back to write that my kids are actually incredibly stoic about vomiting, which is odd because they are drama queens about other stuff (like toe-stubbing). When my then five yo had the stomach flu and was vomiting every 20 minutes, exactly, he just sat quietly on the couch watching bad tv with me, and when I asked him how he was feeling, he'd say, quietly, "I'm Gweat." Five seconds later, he'd lose it again in the bowl.


When anyone is our house has "upchucked", we aim for the toilet, use buckets, place old towels everywhere.

One note about laundry-- if your sickie "spews chunks," as often happens the first time around, it is adviseable to do the same thing you do with diapers and get as much off into the toilet as possible-- the washer may not be able to handle the larger bits in an acceptable manner.


Oh, I'm smiling in sympathy with all these. Too many graphic images to go with, whee.

The first time G threw up all over me (ALL over me), my immediate reaction was 'oh, Sweetie, do you feel better now?' instead of BLEAH EEEW YUCK GAH BLEK GROSS! That was my personal 'hey, I'm a MOMMY!' ephiphany moment. At that time, he was still breastfed, and it didn't even stink, so I just held him and cuddled him with layers of towels over me - he'd puke, I'd peel off another layer of towel, he'd cuddle, nurse a little, doze, whine, puke, next towel down. Repeat for hours on end. Breastmilk is a fabo rehydrator, by the way - that bug was so bad that the doc was a bit concerned about the dehydration issue until he realized G was still nursing... then he was like, 'Oh, well, never mind then! Carry on!' Fruit juice, high fructose corn syrup, anything with fructose can really throw the GI tract into uproar (plain corn syrup is actually better, though still really not good - it's mainly dextrose, which is just a form of glucose, which is absorbed very rapidly). I'd go with a home-made rehydration fluid over anything else, and if there's no luck on anything, try having them suck on crushed ice or small ice chips. It keeps the flow of liquid to a trickle, though it doesn't have the electrolyte benefits of rehydrators (sports drinks are often too sweet as well, and the sugars don't help with the nausea). If it's ongoing, making your own ice chips from the rehydrator of choice may help.

My kids absolutely detest all rehydration fluids, the jello-type, the popsicle type, everything. So we're stuck with home made, or ice chips once they wean. So far, that's been fine.

RE: Old towels... We start the 'bucket training' with old towels, as well. Some under them, some in the lap and forward, some on mommy if needed. If it's during the night, we put an absorbant pad down under them, towel on top of that, then towels on pillow and towels as blankets (if needed). They wake whining, I aim them for towel (draped between my hands if needed). Fold towel in on itself, dump into basket off bed, replace with next towel, back to sleep (we cosleep, so this works - not sure how it works not cosleeping).

Second stage of training so far has been straight to the bathroom - everyone transitioned from junk-towel-catching to toilet (though R got confused about the 'puking in the bathroom' request the first time, and climbed up on the step-stool next to the sink - makes sense, you spit in the sink after brushing teeth, and people scold you for sticking your face/hands too close to the toilet... like that time grandma found you making 'bubble soup' with the hand soap in her toilet...) Um, anyway, so far, the first puke is wherever it happens (I've even caught it in my hands a few times, which is both really GROSS and also kind of a relief, like managing to move the cat to the linoleum in time), and the rest are either towel or toilet. We have loads of junk towels, and a large front-loader washing machine, so your results/preferences obviously may vary. My kids rarely want to puke anywhere in their own space (bedroom, etc.), and all seem to appreciate the cool porcelain thing the way I remember as a kid, so... no buckets/bowls required.

Oh, and my tolerance for puke noises has declined in the same manner as my capacity to function while sleep deprived has - for a couple of years of each child's life, puking raises no major reflex reaction from me. But then it's right back to my old, 'Urg, sorry, gotta stand outside the door and cover my ears while you do that, I'll, uh, come back and check on you in a minute. Gurk.'


What a fun topic! I'll add that I usually plop sick child in a warm bath after the first big vomit during an illness. It gives me a chance to get it all cleaned up (usually the first vomit episode makes it to the bathroom but not all the way to the toilet), and gets him/her cleaned up as well. Then it's into some fresh PJs and onto the couch with a plastic bag-lined trash can next to them. I've trained them to tell me when they even *think* they might throw up during an illness so that I can be near by. But that first vomitus catches even my oldest (7.5) off guard.


I was a carsick girl myself - oh the summers we would drive into the mountains! My mother began carrying the large ziploc (or equivalent) bags in the car - they were EXCELLENT for catching the throw-up, didn't have unexpected holes (like many of the grocery bags we'd carried previously) and if you're in a place where there is NO WHERE to throw it away right now, you can seal them up and contain the smell for at least a few minutes.
I learned pretty early on that when you throw up, you aim into something (a trashcan, a bag, etc. A 3.5 year old should likely be able to get the concept of "here, if you have to do it again, aim in this". If she has troble aiming, May I suggest making her comfy in the bathroom so at least you don't have to deal with carpet? Often the cool floor feels good to them anyhow, so it's certainly got possibilities.
Pretty much any liquid they can keep down with help with hydration - there is an old wives' tale that says that drinking water makes you throw up more - my mom is a nurse and this is false. Juice, sports drink, pedialite, ice, whatever can get some liquid in her stomach will help with that issue.
Moxie's right, I don't think you'll have to MAKE her rinse her mouth - she'll want to get that taste out. Offer it if she doesn't think of it herself.


We had our first bout with a stomach bug this summer. Poor monkey, she would be fine and then all of a sudden clutching her stomach and wailing "I need MEDICINE!!!"

Puking freaked her out, so I had to try really hard not to freak out. I did puke myself though (I was like 6 weeks pregnant at the time, yay!!!!). We tried having a puke bowl and ended up just putting a towel under her chin. She didn't like either much, but the towel was at least marginally effective.

(shudder) this is giving me flashbacks....

Awesome Mom

Great post! I hate vomit. I would highly recommend at least rinsing the mouth if not brushing the teeth after every vomit episode. My eldest was a puker as a baby and we were not quite as careful. He now has a lot of dental work in his mouth because the acid from the puke ate away at the enamel.


ah, puke. we just had a lovely puke fest two nights ago. while it was a one time incident, it covered both our entire bed/pillows/duvet/etc AND our bathroom toilet/walls/etc. at 4 years old, ive already taught my son that the toilet is best for puke if you can make it. (he missed a bit, which explains the puke on the walls behind the toilet...)though my husband and i have caught alot of puke in our hands from both boys (the other is 2) than i ever thought i would!!! we typically try and catch the first gag and then dash them to the toilet, if at all possible.
our drink of choice is powerade - the boys calls it "vomit juice". we dont allow them to have it otherwise. plus the standard bananas and bread all day long if they can stomach it. freezy pops too.
when my 2 year old had a horrible stomach bug a while back, i was pretty surprised when the ped on call told us that if he could keep down one tablespoon of liquid every 15 minutes for a few hours, we were okay and wouldnt have to head to the hospital for dehydration. i thought it would have to be alot more liquid going in. but you have to watch for crying without tears, no salivia, excessive tiredness, etc too. every kid's threshhold is different.
my mom always double bagged a brown grocery bag and put it at the side of our bed when we were kids with a bug. fwiw.
ive been known to gag the entire time while cleaning up puke. as they get older, its SOOO much grosser. but really, dont overthink this one too much, im getting kida quesy from this post alone!!!


The consensus here is right on, as usual - speaking as a survivor of toddler triplets with stomach virus! It's good to have a plan of action.
Cover the child and her immediate area with old towels. Receiving blankets work very well for this too; just put a stack of them near the kid. And a stack of spare pajamas. A wastebasket or steel mixing bowl is good to catch the barf, if the child doesn't object. Camp out in front of the TV, with the child sitting in a foam chair, or lying on a nest of towels and washable blankets. The parent will probably need to sleep on the sofa near the patient, to be ready for the next episode.

Put everything in the washer right away to prewash and soak until you have enough for a load. In case another child gets sick too, you don't want to fall behind with the laundry!

When our kids were 2 or 3 years old, they somehow feared having a container held in front of their faces, maybe thought the bucket was going to make them throw up? So they would swerve to dodge the bucket and spray the floor and laps instead. So towels worked better at that age. When they were 4 to 5, they learned to use the toilet or bathroom sink, after the first surprising episode, or they will use a bucket.

I agree with not giving liquids too soon. Water or pedialyte popsicles are okay with my kids.

Good luck!


I have to confess that the first time my step-son was pukalicious in my presence, my first instinct was to shepherd him out the front door (up til that point, I had a long history with a pukey dog).

We definitely rinse mouths thoroughly and usually brush teeth. Also rinsing faces - there's a surprising amout of runny nose to complement the puke situation.

My 4 1/2 year old figured out how to recognize the feeling and high tail it to the bathroom, where she may or may not hit the toilet, but it's pretty much a wipeable surface. Sometimes a quick shower (for the puker) is required. She did not have too much puking before that age, so I'm not sure when she would have started to be able to make the connection.

Watch out for red colored foods - red jello, red juice, etc. They are very disturbing to see come out of either end of your child, mostly undigested.


Great info! I will keep all this in mind when the Pumpkin loses her lunch. (Has that one been used already? I've been racking my brain for one that hasn't been.)

Totally off of today's topic, did anyone see the show Bones last night? Very interesting discussions about the Santa/lying to kids delimma. Since we talked about this so much in the past, I just wanted to mention it. I think you can watch the whole episode on Fox's website.


Go to my blog (http://mind-flush.blogspot.com) and search for "puke" - there's a wealth of information and stories (best ones from February 2007), which I won't bother to repeat here, except for a couple things nobody's brought up yet:

1. Pedialyte comes in a non-colored version, as does children's tylenol. Buy them. NOW. Even if you're kid's not sick, that way you'll have them on hand when needed. Your couch and rug will thank you for it.

2. We have an old vinyl tablecloth that we use for puke episodes. It's great for covering the couch or floor when we crash to watch movies, and it's sooooo easy to clean. The flannel-backed ones are preferable to the all-vinyl ones, as they don't slip as much. I imagine an old shower curtain would work, too, and we once pressed into service one of the plastic sheets you're supposed to put under your kid's high chair.

3. Put a sticker in the bottom of the puke bucket. I had some particularly ugly Barney ones, so Liza could spray him with vomit every time she was sick. I don't know if it helped her, but at least it made me smile. Also, wide, shallow container seems to be less scary than deep container, although the chances of splashback are greater.

4. MOST IMPORTANT - after you change the kid out of the first pair of puke-covered clothes or pjs, PUT THEM IN A SET OF CLOTHES THAT DOESN"T HAVE TO COME OFF OVER THEIR HEAD. Zip-front pjs work well, as do shirts that button or snap in the front. Because the only thing nastier than cleaning puke off the couch and floor and your clothes is having to comb it out of your kid's hair two or three times because all of the zippers were already dirty.

5. Last time my daughter was sick she developed a temporary lactose intolerance thing, which meant she started puking again every time we introduced dairy. My favorite incident was all over the ice cream aisle at the grocery store (oops). Anyway, in addition to the usual "wait until they're ready to reintroduce foods," and BRAT diet stuff, you might want to hold off on dairy for a few days longer, just to be sure. After two weeks of on and off puking, we ended up having to have Liza on the BRAT diet for TWO WEEKS, which sucked, sucked, sucked. Did I mention the suckage? Oh, it was bad.

Finally - every time my daughter gets a stomach bug, no matter how clean I keep my hands and my mouth and everything she touches, I ALWAYS come down with the same thing within about 24 hours. So if you're starting to feel a bit green, break out a second puke bucket FAST.


Ugh--I'm a puke hater too. Mouse has had 5 or 6 stomach things (daycare/preschool kid). I actually mentally saved something somebody posted at Parent Hacks a while back, about putting a sticker in the bottom of the designated receptacle--apparently if the kid looks at Mickey, that helps their aim. In anticipation of the inevitable winter bug.

We tend to take up the really nice rug and replace it with old towels, use the TV, and give her ice chips or popsicles. (After the worst stomach thing she had, which was--probably but unconfirmed--rotavirus when she was 22 months and we had to feed her [email protected] through a syringe every 5 mins, she's never been willing to touch the stuff again.)

Totally agree that sleep helps, but different bugs are different levels of bothersome--there was one 24 hour bug that went through our neighborhood where she barfed at 3 in the morning cheerfully said "mommy, my blanket's dirty and I had a huge burp"...the probable rota at 22 months, with the toddler dry heaves and the fever, pretty much miserable. Same with the first bug at 7 months, when they had us do the oral rehydration protocol with breastmilk--which after she decided the hell with the sippy cup became a real circus (nurse kid long enough to get a letdown, let her have one swallow, yank her off the breast that she totally wants for comfort, hand her screaming to dad and go cry, rinse & repeat in 15 minutes--ick).

Crossing my fingers that this winter's is mild--I never seem to get blase about it.


Our 8 month old has gone through two stomach flus in the past three months (ah, daycare, how I love you). I have a terrible phobia, like a literal diagnosed psychiatric phobia, of vomiting so I expected to be running from the room in terror but luckily the mommy reflex kicked in both times. But this last time, after everyone was well, I had to take my panic attack medication before feeding her (since that's usually when the vomiting happened) for a few days and do breathing exercises. So I hope that after I get the panic attacks down I can work on the whole bucket training thing! The fact that you all aren't dealing with a lot of stomach flus is giving me back some hope that this won't be a monthly occurrence.


I have to agree with the towels for recurring puking. Especially if you have a young toddler, their instinct is going to be to run for you whenever they feel the yucky feeling. If you have a stack of towels out, you can grab one and try to get them to puke (mostly) in the towel. It is much easier and gentler than trying to shove a bowl in their face.


Thanks for the info about rehydration, I didn't know it was needed. As a kid, I had severals episodes a year where I would throw-up a minimum of 9 times in the middle of the night. My mom thought that nothing should be consumed, water included, so I didn't know I'd need to give my son Pedialyte (he's 16 months, no stomach problems yet). I also would puke every time I went to the dentist as a kid. Both he and my mother spent a lot of energy being furious at me for throwing up. As an adult, I had a form of Irritable Bowel that didn't involve the bowel so much as throwing up for 6 hours straight. Once again, I had no idea I was supposed to drink Gatorade, etc. No doctor treating me for it suggested that. See the things you learn on the internet?! (condition is gone now, underlying cause - mental - has been worked on).


How about Technocolor Yawn or Driving the Porcelain Bus?

Jen H.

Has anyone said "tossed their cookies?"

Jen A.

I know someone already put a link to some Electrolyte drinks, but here's another that has some flavor!
Electrolyte Drink (similar to Pedialyte)
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 packet of sugar-free kool-aid (optional)

Keep refrigerated and toss after one week.
I also recommend keeping a small zip-top baggy with the dry ingredients pre-mixed and a label on the outside with how much water to add. Great to have in a rush, or when you can't find the recipe!


Like Hedra, the first time A puked it was an "I'm officially in the club" moment because I was so much more worried about how yucky he was feeling and not at all grossed out. But ya, as a general rule, puke is nasty. Or as we call it in our house "pooking".

As for signs in non-communicative kids, A would start off suddenly crying hysterically, and inconsolable. The next step from there is sort of a hiccup/gurgle. The first time I was like "Hey....what was that?" and now I know to RUUUUNNNNNN to the bathroom.

At 2 he's still too young to know when it's going to happen....so knowing the signs is helpful. But the only way to know the signs is to miss them the first time.

Other things I've learned: Some juice is actually worse for diarrhea/vomit - I think apple? They recommend grape juice, so buy the white kind. And dilute dilute dilute. Small sips, or you're going to get it right back again....sometimes so fast you'll wonder if you can re-use it. But don't. Dr. Sears' website has lots of tips for vomiting, diarrhea, etc. and is a good resource for those 2 AM burning questions you want answered, but not badly enough to alienate your pediatrician. I think it's askdrsears.com.

As for [email protected] have always wondered what kid is sick enough to be willing to choke that stuff down. We have tried the clear (it does NOT taste like water) and all the other flavors. It is NASTY, and in my opinion vomit-inducing. Stick with appropriate juices, water, gatorade.....popcicles, diluted or flat 7-up or Sprite...whatever your kid will take.


after going back and reading some of the comments, this is a freaking hysterical topic.


Just want to add GET FLU SHOTS!!! Prevention is the best medicine.


So, when does it become "vomit" and not "spit-up"? My 2.5-year-old son has only vomited twice in his life. Once was when his grandpa tickled him too hard right after eating, and once was yesterday, when he drank about 12 ounces of milk in a very short period of time. Both incidents have been completely unexpected, no warning signs at all, and he goes right back to being completely normal (even eating a big meal!) mere minutes afterward. I wish I had better advice to give about vomit, but I don't even know if I'm in the club yet!


Pedialyte makes a great apple flavor - tastes just like apple juice.

Just this past Monday, we were in a crowded lunchroom. My 3yo stood up on his chair, and heaved all over the table. Why?? Why did he need to stand on his chair for all to see?? It was like time stopped.

For those who have not been baptized by this fire yet, when your child vomits the first time, they usually empty their stomach, and then it's easier.

***DO NOT drag your kids into the dr's office for minor things like runny noses - you run the risk of exposing them to much worse!!

Last winter, I flew alone to FL with my 27mo and 14mo to visit my parents. My older son came down with a very high fever. I found a clinic to take him to, it was really dirty. He had strep throat (unusual in really small kids) Later that night, he woke up and spent the whole rest of the night vomiting. (I'm convinced he picked it up at the clinic.) Followed by my younger son. Followed by me. Followed by my mother's washing machine breaking... It was not a vacation. It was a disaster.


I just wanted to say that, by far, this is the most entertaining post and commentary I've read on Ask Moxie. Can any of us believe that we would be reading and writing about vomit with such enthusiasm, pre-kids?


I couldn't read through all the comments, because it's making me feel a little queasy, so I hope I'm not repeating too much. We've done towels everywhere, like flea.

A cute story - when I taught preschool in college and a little boy lost his lunch he said "miss deb, my stomach just turned inside out." So there you have more terminology.


Yeah, I'm cracking up, too.

Meanwhile, the rotavirus thing plus temporary lactose intolerance reminded me that there's a link between repeated Rotavirus infections and onset of celiac disease. So that whole 'intolerances after infection' thing can be serious. Fortunately, it usually takes at least three Rotavirus infections to trigger it, and even then only if you've already got the genes for it.

Whee. And yeah, my kids have the genes. Oh, goodie!

Enough serious note!

Back in college, I spent a few weeks in Taiwan visiting a friend. She was teaching at an English Language school for people trying to get into US schools for college. I 'guest taught' a class on 'college idiom'. Pretty much the entire class was words for puking. Worshipping the Porcelain God, blowing chunks, calling Ralph on the big white phone, tossing cookies, rent-a-meal ... ah, yeah, all these are bringing back memories of a class hour totally blown on studiously puzzled looks followed by suppressed laughter (repeatedly).


Oh my. I have nothing to add as my son, at 20 months, hasn't truly vomitted yet (knock on wood). But, yet again, I must thank Moxie for providing such a great service. I know I *will* be back at some point to reread the suggestions (and thank all of you who have provided great advice and some very funny stories!).


You know, even the title of this post is hysterical to me. Vomit for Beginners! Ha! Next we'll have The Idiots Guide to Snot!


So timely! Mio has always been a pukey kid (mmm, that sounds very unloving), and we are currently dealing with a coughing-plus-puking bug. I thought we'd seen the worst of it over the weekend, but today he got his appetite back, stuffed himself twice and thus threw up twice. In quick successsion. I have now caught puke in my bare hands - a true rite of passage, apparently, and man, is it ever disgusting!

Other than that, I'm not too bothered by vomiting, since Mio doesn't seem to be (yet, - he's 18 months). This evening after the second time it happened, I took one look at him and carried him, changing pad and all, straight to the shower. It made me laugh, I couldn't help it. Poor boy.

All good tips here, I'm taking note as I'm sure I'll need them as he gets older.

One thing I remember reading somewhere which made sense to me is not to brush their teeth too quickly after the event, but just let them rinse with water. The effects of the stomach acids on the teeth are made worse when brushing immediately, it can damage the enamel.



We are survivors of my daughter becoming Patient Zero in a barf bug epidemic while the entire extended family was together for Thanksgiving. Fabulous, for a holiday that's all about food. She got it, my mom got it, my husband got it, I got it, my dad got it, and my sister came down with it after she got home. It was horrible.


Another word for vomit - the Australianism 'Spew'...


My daughter was mortified when she vomited (usually all over her own lap), and taught herself to get to the toilet with very little prompting. They get a look in their eyes and I yell RUN TO THE BATHROOM and it works. My son started asking for the "puke bucket" at a REALLY young age (two years old? I think? the memory is fading... fast, thankfully). He then just suddenly stopped asking, and was making it to the toilet of his own accord.


I always called it sick.
As in:
I'm going to be 'sick'.
That smells like 'sick'.
Ewww there's 'sick' on the counter.

And I haven't experienced the stomach bug/sicky dilema since my babe is only 3mo. old so far. I do look forward to it with joy though ;P


I am trying to read this while drinking my coffee and eating a muffin and ewww... sorry gotta go ! - dammn I LOVE reading Moxie while having my morning coffee !!


Question-asker here.

Thanks, Moxie, for posting this, and thank you all so much for this bounty of information and reassurance. I am feeling much more confident about this now. There are a couple of things on my mind, however:

1. I do not own enough towels, tablecloths, or blankets.
2. I do still think I will partially die when she really pukes the first time.
3. I will remember to wash it all right away because, um, eewww.
4. I still have to teach her how to rinse her mouth out. (She still won't spit out her toothpaste.)
5. I will not worry about dehydration since most of her diet is liquid anyway. The info on the BRATY diet and on abstaining from certain drinks/foods after vomiting will come in useful for me later, I think. Right now, she doesn't eat bread, rice, applesauce/apples, toast, or yogurt (unless it's a smoothie).
6. I will pursue a flu shot this year, methinks.
7. I will try not to think about it anymore until it happens. And it *will* happen. None of us is so lucky as to escape it.

Thanks again, and much love to the Ask Moxie crowd!

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  • My expertise is in helping people be who they want to be, with a specialty in how being a parent fits into everything else. I like people. I like parents. I think you're doing a fantastic job. The nitty-gritty of what you do with your kids is up to you, although I'm happy to post questions here to get data points of how you could try approaching different stages, because, let's face it, this shit is hard. As for me, I have two kids who sleep through the night and can tie their own shoes. I've been a married SAHM, a married freelance WAHM, a divorcing WOHM, a divorced WOHM, and now a WAHM again. I'm not buying the Mommy Wars and I'll come sit next to you no matter how you're feeding your kid. When in doubt, follow the money trail. And don't believe the hype.
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