Vomiting in an infant - how to help a child?

Vomiting in an infant has the right to worry about a parent. Often the question arises on their occasion - is this normal or is it already a sign of illness?

Vomiting should not be ignored, especially as vomiting in an infant can quickly lead to dehydration and end up in hospital. Therefore, every parent should be vigilant and react as quickly as possible.

Baby vomiting or downpour?

Vomiting in an infant may be confused by inexperienced parents with a downpour. Meanwhile, the difference is significant - vomiting is usually sudden, wet and more abundant than rainstorm. Vomiting is a sudden removal of stomach contents due to its irritation, while downpouring is a physiological, mild activity, it is not accompanied by abdominal muscle tone or any tension.

Vomiting in an infant - causes

Vomiting in an infant can have various causes. You can usually expect them to appear several times during the first year of a child's life.

Slight vomiting in the newborn baby usually should not be a cause for concern, most often they point to temporary feeding problems - indigestion or overfeeding, taking too much food.The less common reason is allergy - for example, for milk proteins found in mother's milk or in a mixture.

If vomiting becomes more intense, you should consult a doctor. In the period from the first month of life to the fourth month, vomiting in an infant can be caused by thickening of the muscle at the exit from the stomach. This change is usually manifested by rapid removal of stomach contents after about 30 minutes or shorter after each feeding.

The most common cause of vomiting in an infant is viral infection - in rare cases bacteria or parasites cause the problem. Often the infection is accompanied by fever, stomach ache, malaise, lethargy, diarrhea. Rotaviruses that cause vomiting in an infant are unfortunately very easy to spread, and infections spread rapidly. Sometimes the problem can cause noroviruses, enteroviruses and adenoviruses.

Vomiting in a child can also be caused by other infections - the respiratory system, otitis media, smallpox, urinary tract infection. Sometimes vomiting in an infant can be a symptom gastroesophageal reflux disease and motion sickness.

The cause of vomiting can also be prolonged attacks of coughing or crying.

Vomiting in an infant - when to see a doctor right away?

Vomiting in an infant requires immediate medical attention if:

  • blood or bile will appear in the vomit,
  • the child suffers from severe stomach pain,
  • the stomach is enlarged
  • the child has convulsions
  • vomiting is tiring and recurrent
  • signs of dehydration are observed - no tears, dry mouth, empty diapers, excessive drowsiness, overflowing with hands,
  • the child refuses fluids,
  • the baby has been vomiting for 24 hours.

Vomiting in an infant - what to do and how to prevent dehydration?

Vomiting in an infant during the course of infection can unfortunately lead to dehydration, especially if they occur several times a day. That is why it is worth giving fluids to make up for any deficiencies. However, not immediately after the baby vomits, but after several dozen minutes, so as not to provoke and irritate the stomach. Fluids should be given in small amounts, preferably on a teaspoon.

If the baby vomits after a meal, it should be fed more often and in smaller portions. After eating, you need to keep them upright for about 30 minutes. It is worth noting that the child is not overfed, which can also cause vomiting.

During infections involving the respiratory system - take care of cleaning the baby's nose and patting the backs to avoid a large amount of phlegm flowing down the stomach, irritating it and retching.

If the baby reacts badly during the journey, it is worth planning more breaks and stops, moments when the baby will have time to catch fresh air. It is worth avoiding serving food during the journey, it is best to do it when you are stationary and wait several minutes before entering the car again.

Any doubts should be consulted with a doctor on a regular basis and in case of anxiety the child's condition - go to the hospital. Particular caution is advised for the youngest children.