Friday, August 24, 2012

A Common Myth Dispelled. Plus, A Car Sickness Remedy.

We've been dealing with the super fun problem of Brandon getting car sick and puking in the car. Yeah. It's pleasant. And smells good, too. So, even though I love a good time as much as the next guy, I figured that Brandon probably wasn't enjoying it so much and we should get right on doing something about it. I asked readers for tips and looked online as well.

Many people online said that children's Benadryl is the magic cure. I got great tips from readers, too, but many of them were things that would work on someone older than the about-to-be-two Brandon. I also get extremely car sick (and am going to try some of the readers' tips) and knew of things but they did not/would not work for Brandon.

Hey, Brandon, you attention-deficit two-year-old who has no idea what the hell I am talking about, just continually look straight ahead at the cars in front of us as if you were driving! Don't look away for forty-five minutes! Works for Mama!

So yeah, I'm pleased that we get to blame this nonsense on me. Sorry, dude, I tried to pass on my giant nose instead, because that would have been a better, cosmetic-surgery-fixable deal, but no, you got the car sickness. And you'll probably still get the giant nose. Anyway, I figured that going straight to Benadryl, since it received such rave reviews, was my best shot, as nothing else had worked. Because once your GREAT friend catches your kid's puke in a Ziploc bag while you're driving the car (yes, that actually happened) you realize that it's time to solve the problem at all costs.

So we Benadryled it up. And frankly, I was kind of excited. EVERYONE talks about how Benadryl knocks their kids the fuck out OUT. So I'm thinking that not only am I going to stop his puking, I'm ALSO going to get a niiiice long nap out of him.


This is what he did: NOT SLEEP.

Now. I will give the kid some credit. HE DIDN'T PUKE. Exact same trip back that he had just puked on, and he didn't puke. Then, we tried it a couple of times on another route that he had previously puked on and he still didn't puke. Didn't sleep, but didn't puke.

So there you have it. Benadryl does not knock every kid out. However, it seems to be a fantastic, fantastic, car sickness remedy. Yippity yee! 

A few other tips for car sickness:

1. A full stomach, while seemingly counter-intuitive because it leads to more puke, is a good thing to have before going on curvy roads. A belly full of carbs is a much more settled belly.

2. Ginger ale is amazing. Especially the straight up, 100% thick-as-molasses ginger ale, not the carbonated Vernon's and the like. But even the carbonated Vernon's helps in a pinch. Or ginger pops or snaps or whatever else they make with ginger. And peppermints. And Coca-Cola - the syrup was originally a stomach remedy. 

3. Fresh air helps. Roll down some windows. Colder air helps, too. Hot, stuffy cars breed car sickness like hot wet sponges breed bacteria.

3. If possible, put the puker in the front seat and have them look straight ahead as if they were driving the car. Or if they must remain in the back, try to have them looking straight ahead at the road (this obviously works best if they can be in the middle seat). It keeps their sensory processing on track since motion sickness is a conflict between the ears and eyes - the inner ear detects movement but the eyes (focused within the car) don't. This confuses the brain and when they look all around it SCREWS SHIT UP. This clearly only works for people who are capable of paying attention to the road for longer than two seconds. So not kids, in other words.

4. If the child is of reading age, don't let them read or play games in the car. I was on an airplane last year and even looking at my iPod for 6 seconds to find a song screwed up my stomach. Shuffle it was!


1. The smell of fresh-cut lemons is apparently helpful. I've never tried so I can't vouch for it but it makes sense in the way that fresh air makes sense. Just bust the lemons out before the puking is imminent.

2. Dramamine for the older people. Not sure what age that is though.

3. Motion-sickness wrist bands. They never worked for me but I'm a freak. So go ahead and give them a try if you're opposed to medicating.

4. An ice pack applied to the back of the neck for 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off.


1. For the little guys, a giant bib with the pocket at the bottom helps catch vomit. 

2. Ziploc bags or large plastic food tubs to catch the puke in are ideal because you can seal it up after, containing the smell as much as possible.

3. Keep towels in the car, on the floor below the puker, in case it's a projectile situation.

4. Keep hand wipes and paper towels and other clean-up supplies in the car.


What else has worked for you?

Good luck, people with car-sick kids. I really, really feel your pain. And smell it, too.

Join in the fun on Facebook and Twitter!


  1. If I look at my iPhone while the hubs is driving, I almost ralph after 5 minutes. I feel B's and your pain. Blech.

    1. Awesome, another thing we have in common! No road trips in our future... :-)

  2. Benedryl never worked in knocking my kid out, either. It just made her (more) hyper!

    1. Ugh, it's one thing to not get knocked out, another to make them MORE HYPER! That sucks!

  3. We have been using benadryl for Josh since he was about 2, and it works every time. I used to get majorly sick as a kid. I threw up once on the way there, and once on the way back. Parents did a lot of day trips to lakes, and mountains. My Mom always had fresh cut lemons as a remedy, but it never worked for me. There were four of us kids, and everyone would fight to not sit next to me!

    Kelly Farris

    1. I'm so glad that it works for him! Yeah, I can totally see your siblings NOT wanting to sit by you, ha! Must have given you a complex. :-)

  4. Yes benedryl it has one of outcomes. One kids passout or two they get hyper ans unable to sleep always try it before you "need " it (and somw people use it on planes to get their kids to sleep prime example of try it first imagine if your kid was super hyper on a long plane ride...)

    1. That would SUCK to have a super hyper kid on a plane! For everyone!

  5. I'm Captain Car Sick too. Passed the ugly trait onto my own child. Poor sod. Whenever we fly, we grab as many of those airsick bags as possible. The unused ones that make it home live in the car, within reach of the pukers.
    Never tried lemons. We'll give it a whirl. Our go-to scent is Vick's Vaporub or Tiger Balm. Breathe deep to settle the swirling. Works for hangovers too.

    1. Try the ginger ale, too, Samantha! It was one of the main things that helped settle my stomach.

  6. Soooo glad I didn't pass on my car sickness gene to the kids. I always have to be the driver which sometimes sucks, but on a road trip it's awesome because I'm not the one who has to turn around every few minutes to deal with the kids. When I was little, eating bananas before or even during a car trip helped a lot.

    1. Oh yes, the turning around to deal with them is the WORST on me. Sometimes I have to tell them that I literally cannot turn around for a few minutes because I have to get my nausea under control!
      I can see how bananas would be good. Filling! I'll have to try that, too! And I'm glad you didn't pass the car sickness on to the kids, too. =)

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  8. Glad benedryl worked. I did not even think of that. They also have ginger gum too. Hopefully he will outgrow it . Umm right now for me even driving makes me car sick.

    1. Car sick even while driving? THAT would just suck! I'm sorry.


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