How To Survive A Toddler With A Tummy Bug

June 27, 2018
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Having a toddler with a tummy bug is awful. Seriously.

It is messy and stressful and often times they’re just too little to understand the concept of using a bowl to keep their stomach content contained.

Have you been there? Are you there right now?

I’m sorry, mama! It is rough.

Hang on though, because the tips in this post will really help you to get through the whole ordeal.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I would rather have the flu (and yes, I mean full-blown influenza) than a tummy bug.

Tummy bugs are just awful and there’s not much in this world that I dread more than the sensation of nausea.

So, when Jack came down with a really awful tummy bug a while back, I was slightly terrified.

I mean, having a stomach virus when you’re an adult is messy and terrible enough, but a toddler?! I mean…

But, you know what? We survived. It was rough, but we made it through and we learnt a few really useful tips along the way.

5 Hacks for Surviving Having a Toddler with a Tummy Bug

#1 Keep Them Close

I feel like tummy bugs are on par with potty training as far as how exhausting they are. You have to have eyes on your kid almost 24/7.

If your child usually sleeps in their own room, this is the time I would suggest deviating from that.

It would be fine if you had an older child, but babies and toddlers just need to be kept close during this time.

What we do is make up a bed on the floor for them. So, we just use the pack n’ play mattress.

We also make sure to always use a mattress protector to make for easy clean-up.

It means that we are close to them for comfort reasons, and can also get to them quickly when we hear them start to be sick.

No one gets much sleep anyway, so while having them in the room isn’t ideal, it is only for a short season and will help everyone get more rest overall.

#2 Teach Them Where To Puke

If they’re really little, then this might be a lost cause, but I would say from around age 2.5 you can teach your kid where to puke if they need to.

We have a bowl on hand at all times. Like, it is attached to the sick kid for the duration of the illness.

When they’re able to pay attention, then we go through what needs to be done when they feel ‘yucky’.

It isn’t foolproof, but it does help with the mess.

#3 Use All of The Towels

This is when you’re gonna be glad you hung on to all those old cruddy towels that you thought about throwing out.

Seriously. You’re gonna use them…all.

Wherever your child is, I recommend covering the surface with towels. In their bed, you can put one on their sheet and even on top of their comforter.

It often saved us from having to strip down all the sheets. Instead, we could just replace the towel.

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#4 Stay On Top of The Washing

A load, or two, or three a day. Whatever it is to keep on top of the washing is what you NEED to do.

There is nothing worse than running out of blankets or towels right when you need them. Make laundry a priority during this time.

(For more tips on how to maintain a great laundry routine check out –> THIS POST)

#5 Hydrate!

I haven’t given many tips regarding treatment of a tummy bug because that’s up to your doctor, however, it is vitally important to monitor your child’s hydration.

They will often struggle to even keep water down and often won’t be very cooperative anyway.

A great way to try and get some fluids in them is to offer popsicles. You can even make your own using these great popsicle molds!

And, while generally speaking, you want to stay away from dairy products, offering yoghurt can be great because of the probiotics it contains.

If at any point you are concerned about your child’s level of hydration, please don’t hesitate for a moment to take them in to be checked. It’s not something you’ll ever regret.


So, with those tips shared I wish you all the best of luck as you navigate your way through the mess and *cough* ‘horror’ of having a toddler with a tummy bug.

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