From a very early age, one of my children struggled with car sickness. If we would drive more than 15 minutes, it was a pretty good bet she would “throw up” in her carseat. Now my pediatrician had said to buy a carseat with a removable cover for easy washing, but how did she know how many times I would have to clean it? Psychic pediatricians are helpful!
Now both sets of grandparents, whom we get together with often, are 30 minutes away, so that meant for every holiday, birthday or event where we got to do the driving, we would have to put her in her “barf” clothes and try various tactics to keep child and her seat dry.
Our first experience with car barfing, happened when we were heading to my father’s retirement party. Our one year-old was dressed in her Sunday best. Fifteen minutes into the ride…the inevitable occurred on exit 207. She soaked the dress and her tights, but thankfully missed the shoes. We arrived in town with one more episode but we had run out of napkins and diaper wipes by episode deux. Our choices were limited: Turn around and go home, sponge her down and have her smell like the Women’s bathroom the morning after Ladies Nite, or buy her a new outfit.
We opted for a new outfit. As we were driving downtown we noticed the lights were still on in a consignment store and since it was the holiday season, all of the cute winter dresses were in the window. $6.00 dress, $2.00 tights and we were back on the road…priceless! She was a huge hit at the party and everyone kept commenting on how beautiful her dress was. It took everything in me to not roll my eyes every time this occurred. “Thank you.” “Glad you like it!”
This car sickness scenario happened so many times, I felt it my duty to pass on my secret to success. To all you parents with children who don’t care to keep their stomach contents in their point of origin, there is hope!
Nurse Mommy’s Tips & Tricks:
Keep “barf kit” in car at all times and replenish immediately. This includes: large trash bag for clothes and clean up materials, large container of wet wipes, roll of paper towels, full set of replacement clothing and the most important item is a large ziplock freezer style bag for the actual catching of stomach contents.
For about a year, I asked everyone I knew to pick me up some barf bags from the airlines. I had the van stocked with those babies, but who knew that they were so impractical? The person who designed these was someone who really didn’t want to think about it and just created them for the polite and clean barfer. Not baby or toddler proof!
The large Ziplock can be held up to the babies face (now I’m not saying to put a plastic bag over your baby’s head…let me be clear), and after they are done, zip it closed. Yellow and green make blue and you’re done!
Another tip is that you don’t want your kid having anything sweet before the car ride. For some reason fruit and milk were the triggers for us. You will have to find what makes it worse for your child, but I would start with these.
Finally, talk to your pediatrician about car sickness medications. Some professionals say Benadryl can help with the younger ones, but Dramamine isn’t advised until they are two. Those two years can feel like decades; but once you get the clear, they can be chewed up and will just let your child sleep half way across the country without a drop of liquid on their lap!
Most kids will outgrow this condition; but until then, when they are old enough to sit in the front seat, have them stare ahead during the trip and that helps immensely. Best wishes and tidy barfing to you and yours!
(NURSE MOMMY WARNING: Do not medicate your child without first discussing it with your medical provider. Correct dosages for young children are mandatory. Call your pediatrician’s nurse for help.)
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