young boy laying in bed with an unwell look on his face while snuggling a teddy bear


Make a Kids Stomach Bug Survival Kit 

If you’ve been a parent for very long at all, chances are you’ve had a sick kid in the middle of the night.  If you haven’t, just trust me and get prepared!  I’ll show you how to put together a stomach bug survival kit for when illness strikes in the middle of the night.

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Why do you need a stomach bug survival kit?

There’s never an ideal time for a sick kid, but at 3 am when I’m in a deep sleep is the worst!  Some illnesses are easier to manage in my sleepy zombie state, but tummy bugs are just dreadful!

You most definitely don’t want to be scrambling around in the dark looking for all of the things you need to care for a puking kid!

As a mom of 4 boys, I’ve had my share of sick kids at midnight to care for.  It took me until the twins to finally put together a stomach bug survival kit.

At the first sound of puking, I race to the hall linen closet where our sick bag lives and get to work!  I don’t have to stumble around in the dark trying to find a bucket, towels, or new sheets….it’s all in the stomach bug survival kit. 

how to make a stomach bug survival kit

For fighting flu symptoms and to keep your immune system strong during flu season, be sure to read my post, How to Make Organic Elderberry Syrup. 


What supplies should be in a stomach bug survival kit?

Now, this sick kit is more like a puke pack.  I have it stocked specifically for those no warning tummy viruses when moms have to act QUICKLY!

I keep another first aid box that contains other ‘sick supplies’ for kids’ fevers, colds, etc.

RELATED:  Hop over to my post, DIY Superhero Rice Packs, for an easy to make tummy soother!


And be sure to sign up for the Resource Library to download your FREE checklist for you sick bag!  


Supplies for your stomach bug survival kit


Bag or tub to hold supplies

First, you will need some kind of bag or maybe a plastic tub to keep all of your supplies in.  I keep ours in a large Ikea bag that zips.  You could use whatever you have on hand.  A plastic container with a lid could hold everything and be stored under the bed for easy access.
Ikea bag with handles and a zipper from amazon

Suit up

When one of the boys wakes up sick during the night, I can grab the sick kit and have my face mask on in about 2.5 seconds!!

Why a face mask?  Because if not, I’ll need a barf bucket for myself!

I also put on disposable gloves as quickly as possible!  Stomach viruses are brutal and so very contagious.  I do everything possible to prevent the rest of us from getting sick.


I keep spearmint essential oil in a roller bottle (diluted with grapeseed oil) to quickly calm nausea.  I love this stuff! 

It helps with motion sickness too so I always keep some in my purse for car rides.

RELATED: What Smart Moms Keep in Their Handbag

15 Car Essentials Every Smart Mom Keeps in the Car


organic spearmint essential oil


  roller bottles for essential oil blends

Grapeseed Oil

Barf Bucket

The next thing you will want to have in the sick kit is some kind of bucket, bowl or bag for your little one to throw up into.  The twins are 6 and they still need some help to manage holding the bucket and directing their vomit inside.
Reusable Puke Bucket for Vomit from amazon

This one is ideal because small hands can hold onto the handles.  You can also use a small trash can, bucket, or a large bowl.  


PRO TIP:  Line the bucket with your saved grocery store bags so you can discard and quickly provide a fresh bag-lined-bucket for the next round of vomit. 

Because they never throw up only once!

I keep hand sanitizer and face & hand wipes in the bag for the sick child and everyone else to use!

Wipes that are fragrance free are a must for cleaning face and hands between episodes.  

how to make a stomach bug survival kit for sick kids

Clean & Comfort the Kid

As soon as there seems to be a break in the vomiting, I get the kiddo cleaned up.  This typically means a quick spray down in the shower or clean up with the face wipes and a fresh pair of jammies.

This all goes much easier if mom and dad can tag team it!  Hubby is usually on bed/floor clean up duty while I get the kid cleaned and relocated to the couch.

If you are flying solo, focus on getting your little one cleaned up and comforted before worrying about any clean up in the disaster zone.

Sick Bedding

I usually set up sick camp on the couch so I can easily access the kitchen while caring for the sick kiddo.  And he gets to watch TV—even if it’s the middle of the night. 

These disposable bed mats are a life saver during a tummy illness.  

I layer them…

1st put bed mats on the couch, then a fitted sheet that I stretch over the coach cushions and back of the couch, then another disposable bed mat. 

A pillow can be shielded with a water proof pillow case

Finally, I turn on a favorite TV show to help them relax.

DON’T FORGET: Be sure cover the carpet or floor next to the sick bed with disposable pads too.  

young boy on the couch feeling sick

Cleaning up after a stomach virus

Now that you’ve got the patient stabilized, it’s time for some dirty work.  Ugh.

Get new gloves and a mask on and grab paper towels, trash bags (black bags and clear bags), and disinfectant.

Now use paper towels to wipe up any solid pieces and put in the black trash bag.

Fun, right?

PRO TIP:  I dab some of the spearmint oil right under my nose before I put my mask on.


Now put all of the soiled bedding into the clear trash bags (so you don’t accidentally throw them away) and put them in the laundry room, or straight to the washer.

Now hopefully you have some type of mattress protector on all of the beds because let me just say that getting vomit out of a mattress is a nightmare.  If you are reading this and have not yet had to clean a puke bed, then get mattress protectors NOW and thank me later;-)

Steam cleaner

If necessary, I would use a steam cleaner to disinfect and clean the mattress.  I can’t find the exact steam cleaner that I own since I’ve had it quite some time, but this one is comparable.

To disinfect hard surfaces, I use these wipes (they kill Norovirus).

**Please note that I DO NOT use these wipes on a regular basis.  I only use them when cleaning up after a contagious illness in the home.  


You can read more here about how to properly clean and disinfect to prevent the spread of contagious illnesses.

And for everyday cleaning tips, be sure to read my post, Safely Clean Your Home with These Non Toxic Ingedients.


Check on the Patient

Now I offer my little sick boy sips of a healthy electrolyte drink if he is ready.  Keep small disposable cups in your sick kit to offer small sips.  

As soon as I’m able, I start doing a thorough disinfecting of the light switches, door knobs, toys, etc to hopefully prevent a houseful of sick people.

RELATED:  9 Ways to Boost Kids Immune System


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Do you have an emergency sick bag for ninja-mom-action in the middle of the night?  What else would you put inside?  


Take a peek at some other Parenting articles I think you’ll love

13 Ways to Organize Kids Toys

How to Teach Your Child What to Do if Lost

Best Tips for Organizing Kids Clothes

What Smart Moms Keep in Their Handbag

Why I Don’t Make My Kids Share


All content here should be considered as opinion only.  Always seek the advice of your own health professional for any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health or the health of others  See full disclaimer.

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