Navigating the Nasty Norovirus

Practical tips for surviving this tricky health challenge.

A sick baby tears at my heartstrings, especially when there is little to nothing I can do to ease his pain. We are coming on the tail end of our second bout with the Norovirus, and I will say I was able to learn a few things from our first go-around to make this round a little easier and more worry-free.

It was a year ago when my family first experienced the symptoms of the highly contagious Norovirus. It comes suddenly and hits hard.

I was eight and a half months pregnant with a 15-month-old and had never navigated the waters of vomit and loose bowels with a baby. I was quickly to earn my mommy badges for that week.

Our son initially "told" me he was not feeling well by moaning and then sharing his dinner, lunch and breakfast all over me as he sought the comfort of a hug. He was most certainly afraid and confused about what his poor little body was doing as he had never retched before.

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I called our doctor and he shared that the most important thing was to keep the little one hydrated, as well as to monitor his liquid intake and his fever. We quickly began a regiment of diluted apple juice, Pedialyte and electrolyte infused water.

The next few days were a blur as both my husband and I also manifested the virus. 

We ended up coming out the other side a few pounds lighter and weary but experienced. So when the nasty Norovirus hit us again this year, I leaned in to all that I learned to help my now two-year-old and my ten-month-old move through the wave of discomfort.

The first thing to do with a sick baby is call their pediatrician and seek their wisdom and council first to determine a course of action. If diagnosed with the Norovirus, as it is a virus, waiting it out can be made easier by following these suggestions:

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Navigating the Nasty Norovirus 


During the first 24 hours of the virus, between trips the bathroom to throw up, I would have the boys drink water infused with electrolytes (Smart Water from Glaceau) and diluted apple juice. I found that if I had them take a sip every five to ten minutes, they were able to keep the water and juice down.

This is so important. A friend of ours who is a paramedic says that "dehydration is the number one thing he sees that warrants a trip to Urgent Care or the ER for infants and toddlers".

B.R.A.T Diet

The first wave of vomiting seems to only last for the first 12 hours, and after that we were able to keep food down, although our appetites were pretty much nil. The quickest way I found to relieve diarrhea symptoms is on the B.R.A.T diet: Bananas, Rice, Apples, and Toast.

I made a batch of brown rice and mixed it with apple sauce and ginger and fed it to the boys as they were able to eat. I also fed them bananas and toast. Eventually it was effective and they were producing normal stools.

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This may sound a bit silly, but until their bowel movements become a little more consistent, keeping them in footy pajamas or onesies keeps overflows contained and makes for easier clean up. Over and over, I found myself so grateful that they were surrounded by fabric when the mess spilled out of their diapers.

My hope is first that you never have to experience this illness, but if you do, my second hope is that this gives you a game plan to help ease the transition back to health. And again, consult your child's pediatrician prior to following anything mentioned above.


This post pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

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Lena Vogelgesang

Lena Vogelgesang

Lena likes to define herself by the Seven C’s: Christ, Chris, Children, Comrades, Coffee, Cheese, & Cardio. Due to her love of coffee and cheese, she must also have a relationship with increasing her heart rate. The Lord has given her a wonderful husband in Chris and they have two young boys.

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