I first blogged about this on my personal blog. I wish I had this parenting hack in my proverbial toolbox years ago.
If you've never cleaned up a vomit-covered kid on the side of a road, how nice for you. It's coming. Unless you use my trick.
Our worst experience was driving a couple of hours to a wedding. Our kids ate in the car as expected. No Big deal.
Then our 3yo said her tummy hurt. Then cascading waves of peanut butter and jelly vomit erupted from her and went on. And on. And on.
Needless to say, I never want that to happen again.
So we instituted a policy that pretty much ANYTIME we're in the car, our kids have access to ziptop bags. The very FIRST time we drove anywhere with this policy, AS WE'RE PULLING INTO our destination, our oldest tosses her cookies! But luckily, it was into her bag!!! The joy I felt in that moment was overwhelming :).
Does it cost a little bit of money? Yes!
Is it worth it? Yes! The last time we had to do a not-at-home cleanup, we spent around $15 buying supplies. And we had to clean-up vomit. And we had to travel with carseats covered in a baby blanket because the cloth cover was drenched in puke. And we had to smell vomit in the car for a week! None of this was optimal! Spending $1 (multiple children's bags) to avoid all of that would have been totally worth it!
1) We tuck the ziptop bags in reach under their boosters. If you have a kid that is only on the cusp on being able to do this for themselves, maybe have an older child keep track of the bag for them. Or use a seat-back pocket if you have one.
2) Practice. In the midst of being sick is not the time for a little kid to figure this out. That will be anarchy. Even practicing opening the bag and sticking their lips in it will help.
3) We also had to do some life-coaching. "You don't want to throw up, so try NOT to throw up!"
4) If you have several children like I do, you probably won't need a bag for every kid. What's the likelihood that they'll ALL need to vomit at the same time? But I would definitely have some backups on hand...
5) If you can get your kids to take reasonable care with the bags and not tear them up (or destroy them with cleats), you can probably keep the same back around until it gets used. But in the summer where we live, it gets HOT and will totally start melting the bags. Ziptop bags with holes do not hold vomit well. Plan accordingly.
Thanks for reading!