With a ten year age gap between my daughter and son, (and different biological fathers), I often forget that my husband hasn't been through the same amount of kid-drama as I have, including the number of sick-bugs I've dealt with. Add to this, that we were probably parented very differently, his reaction to our son having a vomiting bug is quite different to mine. And this has inspired me to write this little post.
It's exhausting when your child is sick, for them and for you, when you're looking after them. I've been thinking about the things that I've found most helpful when looking after my children and the many others I cared for before I had my own - that's 29 years of looking after children!
Be patient! Some bugs will pass with just one or two vomits, but others will last a solid 24-48 hours with voms every hour or so. These are the rough ones. But worse than these are when it starts coming out the other end too. This brings me to my next point.
Be Patient!!! There may be a temptation to get some food into your little one to "give them strenght and speed up their recovery" - DON'T! Wait for them to be ready to eat. They know their own little bodies better than we do and will accept food that is offered when they are ready to. Offer food but don't encourage them to eat if they aren't keen.
Hydration however is almost the opposite. Encourage them to drink little and often. And keep encouraging. Water, weak squash, rehydration sachets but not juice. Keep breastfeeding as often as your baby wants it, and keep offering formula.
I usually bed-in with my kids when they're sick, either in their room or on the sofa, with a bucket to hand and anti-bac wipes. (Not great for the environement, but it's the only time I use them.)
Let them sleep when they want to sleep, wherever they want to sleep, and for as long as they want.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY... keep them at home for 48 hours after the vomiting and diarrhoea has stopped. This is to ensure they really have stopped, AND to stop the spread of it. If this means missing work, school, nursery, chidlminder, play-dates or birthday parties, suck it up. It does suck, but it will also all be over in a few days, hopefully.
Of course there's all the other boring stuff we have to remember to do, like wiping down all surfaces, taps, door nobs, banisters, etc, washing their bedding and clothing on a high heat setting, washing your hands ALL the time, like 500 times a day. And there's more information on the NHS website.
And finally, cross your fingers that the whole house won't go down with it. But there's a good chance the will!
(Written from my sofa, with Grease in the background, and my sick 7 year old asleep next to me.)