Warning: This post may make you sick to your stomach.
My little girl has always seemed to have belly issues. It started when she was born and I had to modify my diet because her tummy couldn’t handle certain foods (she was breastfed.) She wouldn’t just “spit up” but rather her stomach seemed to explode if it wasn’t happy. I’ll never forget the day I left her in her crib for a few minutes while I went to put in the laundry. She was alone for all of a minute while I watched her on the baby monitor. It was difficult to see in the monitor, but when I came back I found my little girl with a huge smile on her face, laying down in a puddle of vomit. Adorable, isn’t it? She was diagnosed with a mild case of reflux that just required some diet modification.
Her vomiting issues got better for a few months, until one day in the car. (This story ends with a traumatized mama and a trip to the car wash.) She started coughing, but it wasn’t your normal “clear your throat” kind of cough. I looked at my husband and said PULL OVER, SHE’S GONNA PUKE! Before I could even finish my sentence, vomit came flying across the car, on to the windshield, all over the back of the seats – it was EVERYWHERE. We thought she was sick – took her out of the car for some fresh air, cleaned up as much as we could, then headed back home to wash everything. This wasn’t a one time incident – it actually happens quite frequently now.
This doesn’t only happen in the car. (Warning, there is a bad mom alert coming up.) My little girl goes to sleep with a bottle of milk (GASP) Yes, I said it. Throw me in mommy jail- I have a two year old that STILL drinks milk out of a bottle to go to sleep, and no, it’s NOT a sippy cup. Back to the story… Sometimes after her bottle, she will vomit, which totally throws off our bed time routine. Something’s gotta help! Here is another incident of a not so fun vomiting experience that involved getting sick in the stroller- How do you wash a stroller.
Here’s what I started doing: Right before a car trip, even if it is just a 10 minute ride, I will make sure she hasn’t had too much liquid within an hour of our departure. I noticed that milk is what sets her off most of the time in the car. While she still complains of being sick in the car, we haven’t had an incident ever since limiting her milk. When she says she is getting sick, I open all the windows a crack and turn on the air conditioner. NY has been cold lately, but I can do without the heat if it means I don’t have to take apart this car seat and clean it one more time!
Portion Control: I started taking an ounce out of her bottle each night during bed time. We are now down to 6 ounces as opposed to 9. If her bottle is filled to 9, she will only take the 6 ounces.
Deep Breathing Exercises: Call me crazy but I taught my toddler how to calm herself down. Every time she doesn’t feel good and starts to panic that she will vomit, I try to talk her out of it. I instruct her to take deep breaths and do it with her so that she can follow suit. It works ALL THE TIME. She calms down enough for me to change the subject on her.
Look outside: As soon as I see her put her head down in the car or bury her face in her car seat, I pick something interesting outside for her to look at. Trucks are a great way to keep kids focused, since they are moving and usually have images on them.
I have tried Sea Bands which work wonders for me – but my toddler doesn’t keep them on long enough to help her. They work wonders if you use them correctly!
So far, we have been able to limit her vomiting, but I still avoid the car as much as possible. Next step: get her tested for lactose intolerance. She had issues with cow’s milk from the beginning and was placed on goat’s milk for 6 months. After that she seemed to do okay on regular milk but still had occasional belly issues. This is definitely something to revisit.
Do you have similar belly issues with your child?