When Your Baby Starts to Vomit
One of the things new parents will see a lot of is their baby vomiting. From little bouts of spitting up formula to projectile vomiting so sudden and violent that it scares both you and your baby, dealing with vomit is a common occurrence when bringing up baby. Learning all about what to expect and how to handle it when your baby vomits will help you get through these episodes.
In the first few months of life, infants will frequently vomit small quantities of formula. Posseting is caused by their tiny bodies adjusting to life and to fluids, and is completely normal. Your baby will only spit up a couple tablespoons of liquid. Making sure not to overfeed and getting a good burp from baby can help alleviate possetting.
Vomiting generally involves a lot more volume and can be sudden, startling the baby enough to cry. Sometimes vomiting can be caused by simple indigestion, your child crying or coughing excessively, car sickness, or a virus. It rarely lasts more than 24 hours, with most babies getting right back to normal.
How are you sure that vomiting is not caused by or leads to something more serious? Watch for signs of dehydration such as a sunken fontanel or eyes, less than six wet nappies a day, or lethargy. If your baby has been vomiting for more than twelve hours, or refuses his bottle or will not breast feed, there is something more going on. Look for signs of blood in the vomit. The blood will have the appearance of dark coffee grounds. Bile in the vomit is another warning sign. Any of these symptoms warrant a call to your pediatrician.
When your baby has been vomiting due to a virus and it is not serious enough to see a doctor, there are a few things you can do to make him or her more comfortable. Most important is to get the baby rehydrated. When a child vomits, he loses lots of fluid in a short period of time, and it must be replaced. Commercial solutions like Pedialyte or Dioralyte given in small sips a few times an hour will help with rehydration. Under three months, only reintroduce formula or breast milk in tiny doses until infant’s tummy settles.
Once your baby has gone about twelve to 24 hours without vomiting, you can begin to feed him solids. Keep giving him fluids, but start adding foods like yogurt or rice cereal, which is soothing on baby’s irritated tummy. Popsicles are good for babies over 12 months.
Keep your baby home for about 48 hours and let him get plenty of rest. Often after hours of vomiting your child will not have much energy. It’s a good time to just cuddle and do calming activities like reading his favorite book or watching a well loved DVD. Let him sleep as often as he wants because it is a great healer. With a little TLC and lots of rest your baby will be back to normal soon.