V is for Vomit

We’ve had a little throwing up problem lately. As documented in last Tuesday’s Pedialyte entry, Trixie threw up for the first time in many, many months. Now just a week later, she did it again. There’s no need to rehash the details. You can simply skim through the Pedialyte story and replace all instances of “Jenn” with “Ben” when it’s in the context of someone getting thrown up on.

We suspect that last week’s ordeal was the result of over-eating. We don’t really have an explanation for the latest round. The doctor’s office isn’t concerned as long as she doesn’t have a fever. And Trixie was right as rain the next morning. So we chalked it up as another anomaly — until she threw up one more time last night.

The problem with last night’s incident is that there are too many variables to figure out the cause.

1) She was way over-tired because of her interrupted sleep pattern from the night before.

2) She was very upset and crying hysterically when she threw up. This is in contrast to the previous night when she was relatively calm and yet threw up four times.

3) She only got upset at night – she was totally happy during the day and didn’t fight any of her naps.

4) So are we encountering some kind of horrific, nighttime, sleep-training backslide?

5) She didn’t have any strange foods yesterday at all. Just milk, green beans and Cheerios. Nothing new there.

6) And finally, she’s teething again.

Anyway, I included the above details just in case someone was going to ask about them. I think it might be a little of everything. At any rate, it seems to have passed. She was super happy today and she’s currently sleeping peacefully. We’ll be fine. But this brings me to main reason for this post… what’s the worst thing to clean up?

You don’t have to be a parent to answer this question. Maybe you had a college roommate who would come home drunk and mistake the hall closet for the bathroom. Maybe your coworker got a little too crazy at the office party. Maybe you have pets. Whatever the cause, please vote on what you think is the worst thing to clean up. Personally, I am so sick of washing vomit out of everything that I could cry. I almost want her diaper to leak just for some variety. Voice your opinion in the new TTU poll (to your left under ‘Latest TTU Comments’.)

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25 Responses to V is for Vomit

  1. RandomGenericName says:

    I’m sorry about Trixie getting sick at night. As someone who doesn’t have kids yet, you sure are giving me the very realistic picture of what it’s like to be a parent. I’d rather be prepared, so thank you.

    Until your recent posts, I didn’t even realize that babies threw up. I thought they “spit up” after drinking milk, but I didn’t know they threw up too. I’m assuming you’re talking about two different things, right? I keep thinking to myself, “Babies are sooo tiny. How can their little tummies even hold all THAT?” I must admit, I’m the type of person who freaks out when people vomit in front of me. I panic & get nauseous, etc. My mom says I’d react differently when it’s my own child that does that, but I’m not so sure. So, I’m wondering if parents who read this can tell me honestly: Is it any easier cleaning up vomit when it’s from your own baby/child?

  2. Rozanne says:

    Here’s a good article about why babies throw up: http://www.babycenter.com/refcap/9955.html It kind of walks you through troubleshooting the problem. You might also try posting your question on this Parenting Message Board: http://www.ovusoft.com/forum/fb.asp?forum=Ovusoft+Parents.

    I’m sorry Trixie is suffering. It’s so hard to watch your child hurt.

  3. FrumDad says:

    Oh wow, RandomGenericName.

    Yeah, babies can throw up. Yeah. Wow.

    I’m going to expose my sci-fi geekdom here, but baby stomachs are kinda like a TARDIS; they’re somehow bigger on the inside than on the outside. There have been times when I could swear that I’ve seen babies throw up more than their own body weight.

    The good thing is that quite often they’re kind of like long-distance runners; they vomit sort of nonchalantly, and they move along with their day.

    Not always, but often enough.

    (Google Wangle: Orthodox Jewish Father)

  4. RandomGenericName says:


    My husband is a sci fi geek (I’m a geek in my own way, although not in the sci fi sense), so I had to ask him what a Tardis is. Just 30 minutes before that I gave him a little list of baby names I like & asked him to tell me which he liked and didn’t like (I’m not even pregnant… just thinking far ahead). Anyway, when I said to him “Do you know what a Tardis is?” He answered very seriously, “Yeah, But I don’t know if that’s a good idea for a baby’s name.”

    I said, “No, not for a baby! I just want to know what a Tardis is.” He still didn’t get it & thought I was looking at a baby name page. Hahaha!
    When I read your post to him, he finally got why I asked and explained to me.

    I didn’t realize babies were capable of all THAT. Wow! In addition to that, do babies spit up every day after they drink milk?

    Do babies have a certain expression on their face before they throw up or does it just happen without any notice? Does it ever make you guys nauseous?

    Thanks for sharing what you’ve shared so that future parents like us feel more prepared. I’m rhyming like a child’s storybook already! It’s part of the becoming a parent process. 🙂

  5. FrumDad says:

    Every baby’s different. Rachel spits up only every once in a while, and she’s only ever really thrown up once, and that was my fault, and despite my note about it elsewhere it actually wasn’t so bad.

    I have a little cousin, on the other hand, who I’m convinced didn’t even really ever have to go to the bathroom; his actual waste management was just to throw the system into reverse.

    It all depends. When you install your version of the Trixie Telemetry, maybe you can have BenMac install a “vomit/spitup” tracking function.

    (Google Wangle: Orthodox Jewish Father)

  6. John says:

    Colum threw up once recently during the night, also while hysterically angry and crying; perhaps the vomiting was stress-induced?

  7. Stephen says:

    Our 18 month old son just got over a stomach virus. When did he first get it, the same day that Ben posted his story about Trixie. I read his posting and said, “Man, that really sucks. Poor guy (and poor little Trixie).” I get home from work, see my son finishing his dinner, and BBBLLLLAAAAAHHHHHH. There’s his dinner and, for good measure, his lunch, sitting in his lap. Spent most of the night with a pile of cloth diapers in one hand and my son cradled in the other arm. Best part of the experience: getting the same bug from my son. Now I have a better idea of just how miserable the little fellers get. The first 24 hours was the worst for our son, but there were still a few aftershocks in the past week, if you know what I’m saying.

  8. hannah says:

    So sorry about the puking! Poor Trixie and poor parents. As for baby puking styles, my own was non-chalant (loving the long distance runner analogy FrumDad). Sometimes she wouldn’t even cry and we wouldn’t even hear it – we’d just go in the next morning and be hit w/the wave of vomit stench about 3 feet before getting to her doorway. This happened more than once, where she just slept in the vomit all night with nary a complaint. It made me feel like a terrible parent. BUt how was I to know? SHe must have done it very quietly and discretely. When I’ve seen it happen, it’s like she just opens her mouth and it comes out. No warning or faces. Now that she’s a little older, she expresses afterwards that she doesn’t like it, but there’s still no early warning system. I think BenMac may indeed have to add a vomometer to his telemtry, unfortunately.
    Feel better! Smell better!

  9. walhome says:

    My #2 child (K, who’s also 2) really had her first bout with any reverse system function this past week. FrumDad’s mention that they can barf rather nonchalantly is an undertatement in her case. Even our cats give better notice with hairballs. K was just sitting on my recliner chair (it’s hers now) when out of nowhere a stream just shot out her mouth without warning covering her, the chair, floor. Once done, she was more concerned that she had a runny nose (“There’s snot comin’ out my nose!”) She barely even looked up from what she was doing. Meanwhile, my #1 child, my wife and another kid my wife watches after school were all freaking out. After a day of similar ejections, we called her pediatrician’s nurse line and were told it was a virus and she’d be better in 4 days, which is amost exactly how long she was out of it.

  10. benmac says:

    Trixie is just the opposite. She totally freaked out when she was throwing up. She reacted exactly like she does in the bath when she gets water in her mouth or nose and thinks she’s drowning– she tries to stand up and throw her head back to escape it.

    It’s so sad because all she knows is that her mouth and nose are full of something that’s choking her. She doesn’t realize the problem is internal and not environmental. So instead of getting down on all fours to puke like any self-respecting adult, she was desperately trying to climb the crib rails while throwing her head back as she was puking. Of course, this only made the incident 10x more uncomfortable for her. It was terrible.

    Also, FrumDad is dead on. It’s insane how much vomit can come out of such a little body.

  11. BabysitterExtrordinare says:

    A million baby sitting jobs and let me tell you- its gross no matter whose kid it is- and later reminds you of a few badly managed frat parties….

    One kid, who I watched for most of her babyhood almost every day, threw up in a constant stream while teething- I KNEW I hadn’t fed her that much- and of course her 2 yr old brother decided to follow suit with a virus at the same time- at one point, it was barely 10pm and we were running low on clothes- finally, as I realized we were down to swimwear, and we were all sorely lacking in sleeping- I had an epiphany- swimwear-bathtub- bath pillow- we all crawled into the tub in bathing suits- easy cleanup, no moving around- fewer clothes- and I could keep better track of the baby’s fever by letting her pass out on my chest- a few extra towels padded around and we were set for the night- added bonus- a baby sleeping with some warm water running nearby soothed her stomach and the puking started to decrease-

    grossest moment- if you thought you chewed your food thoroughly enough, try watching hot dogs in reverse….

  12. walhome says:

    Hot Dogs in reverse … not just the visual, but the olfactory experience. My #1 ate one too many hot dogs a couple years ago and purged in the middle of the night while still in bed. The mess and smell were horrifying. To this day, if I make hot dogs, the kids and I have to eat separate from my wife (whose a vegetarian, anyway.) Any hint of that “hot dog” smell and she’s outta there.

  13. Michelle says:

    Vomiting is no fun. I always feel sorry for my little girl when it happens. We’ve noticed that she’ll throw up when we rush in the morning. We were recently in Europe and hurrying to grab a taxi in Rome and it was incredible how much vomit ended up in that cab. We were charged 70 euros for a 35 euro ride because the cabbie couldn’t work due to the horrid smell in the car. Plus we couldn’t quite get the puke smell off of everything so we spent the day in the hot Roman sun and in holy places like the Vatican with eau de baby puke. So if it makes you feel any better be glad you’re at home and it’s relatively easy to clean up!

  14. hannah says:

    I think vomiting is the most popular gross topic to date – everyone loves a good puke story. I mean, poop stories can be gross and all, but poop is so banal compared to the extraodinary and limited-time-offer-only vomit! That’s the only upside to Trixie’s sad puking – a lively and vigourous vomit thread on the site. I can’t get enough, but am glad it’s not my babe barfing this time. Fun to talk about, great for war stories, but decidedly horrible in the moment.

  15. Doug says:

    Ok then here goes the “DadtoBe” question of this thread: what do you own for cleaning up vomit, poop, other horrible natured things. Since my wife and I are for the most part in control of our bodily functions we don’t really have much beyond a single spray bottle of some carpet cleaner and a conventional vacuum. The baby is on the way… what should we purchase to prepare for the horror?

  16. benmac says:

    Oh, there’s no miracle cleaning agent — you just stop having nice stuff once the baby is born.

    Having said that, I would still recommend a heavy-duty waterproof mattress cover for bed.

  17. Doug says:

    What about cleaning carpet/fabic? Steam cleaners or what do you use?

  18. benmac says:

    I can’t help with this one. We have hardwood floors, and we gave up on the couch a long time ago.

  19. Charlie says:

    I would check to make sure Trixie’s not getting into the liquor cabinet, sometimes that makes me throw up.

  20. Charlie says:

    My favorite tool for getting chunky toddler puke out of the carpet is the shopvac. I’d mix up some hot water and a little laundry detergent and dump it on the the carpet, give it a scrub if necessary then suck it up.

    Ben has the right idea though, kids and carpet don’t mix.

  21. tripletdad says:

    Aaaah….vomit! Truly the most difficult thing to clean-up. It’s not just the giblets that seem to materialize after the third thorough wiping,… it’s the smell. The smell is the Rosetta stone of a truly sanitized environment post reversal of gears. All things cloth must be washed ASAP. Cleaning up the technicolor scream inside of a vehicle is almost as difficult as the crib hurl. The seat in front(depending on range & velocity), the car seat, the seat the car seat occupied, all things within the toss of a pacifier (also depends on distance traveled before the vehicle stopped)…oh, and the child of course along with all paraphenalia used in a hastened attempt to contain the purge.

    I am glad Trixie is doing better.

  22. GrandmaNow says:

    Another vomit story…in my experience the worst has got to be the Welche’s grape juice and brownies mixture in reverse. Left my daughter, then 18 mo. old with my mother-in-law who gave the kid (now 40) aforementioned grape juice and brownies as a night time snack. At 1am said mixture returned covering kid, clothing, crib, etc. I placed her in her brother’s bed once she was cleaned up; 1:30am she promptly and quietly covered HIS bedding along with her 2nd set of pj’s, etc. (Not febrile nor cranky…the kid)After cleaning her as a consequence of round 2,
    & stripping and soaking sheets, blankets, pj’s etc.again I somehow …due to fatigue by now..I made the horrendous decision to place her (cleaned up, of course) into MY bed..and you guessed it! she gave it her all..the purple brown liquid glue poured forth yet again..(how much had that maniac mother-in-law given the kid?!)and drenched my good comforter, 300TC sheet set, her last set of pj’s, etc. Stripping and soaking once again…by now it’s 3am..We showered and slept on sheets I’d planned to give to Goodwill but was darn glad I hadn’t, the rest of the night. I must add the kid bore throught it like a trooper and the grape/brownie concoction color NEVER came out of anything completely even after several washings. Do not EVER give your kid grape juice and brownies.

  23. Samantha says:

    I have seen my cousin trow up right on his father…….. Now of corse i got all nervous and ran out of the room. When I see someone throw up or see throw up, I get feverish and nausious and dizzy and shaky. Now if its my own kids will i freak out like that, cause i threw up like a while ago and didnt even want to see my own barf. Please write back

  24. natsipoo says:

    My cousin projectile vomited straight into his father’s mouth when he was about nine months (now 3yrs). His dad came home and started playing with him, holding him in the air while lying flat. Little did he know that the kid had just finished a bottle (he also had an unprotruded hernia that didn’t help matters). He promptly “threw” him down on the bed and headed for the bathroom sink where he proceeded to rinse/brush/drown his mouth for about half an hour. The baby on the other hand was accustomed to throwing up (due to his hernia) and merely sat there watching and laughing at his anguished dad.

  25. Kellie Soule says:

    Hello, I read your post because I typed in google search our 18 month olds symptoms. Vomiting of a night every night for 3 weeks. we have changes nothing in his daily routine, an he is only sick of a night. we have seen the doctor an he cant find the problem. we have to go see a specialist next week. I was just wondering if you ever found a medical reason for Trixie’s illness? Any way I don’t know how old your post was. I’m just in hope that if a doctor cant find out what is wrong I could email an other mother that sounds like the symptoms are exactly the same. Kind regards Kellie