It is not uncommon for babies to vomit for a variety of reasons ranging from indigestion to prolonged crying to anomalies of the gastrointestinal tract. Although occasional vomiting does not require medical attention, frequent vomiting does need medical attention to identify and treat the cause and to avoid dehydration. The causes and treatment of baby vomiting, the home remedies to treat them, and when to seek medical attention should all be known to you.
Table Of Contents
Baby Vomiting Causes
Various reasons may cause baby vomiting. These include (1):
Solids can help with reflux more quickly when they are introduced during the early months of the baby’s diet. The baby will generally have stopped refluxing by the time it reaches 1 year of age since the esophagus is maturing. (2)
In addition to vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps, stomach bugs are a virus that can cause gastroenteritis, bacterial infections of the intestines, or parasites. If the stomach flu strikes a baby, he or she may vomit for two or three days.
Infections that affect the GI tract or the endocrine system can cause diarrhea and vomiting, as the immune system fights them off. Common causes of vomiting and diarrhea in babies include tuberculosis (UTI), pneumonia, and bronchitis.
Food allergies in babies may result in vomiting, discomfort, and digestive issues. The effects arise from allergies as well as dietary factors. A milk allergy can cause allergic reactions. Other common allergies include eggs, fish, and cereals. Allergic reactions may occur minutes to hours after contact with the allergen.
Weaning babies and those who were bottle-fed may be exposed to Salmonella and other bacterial infections from unsterilized bottles or stale food from unsterilized bottles.
You can prevent this by ensuring that you keep dangerous and toxic chemicals and substances out of your baby’s reach. Baby crawlers and walkers are at a higher risk of swallowing poisonous substances, leading to vomiting.
Overfeeding or overeating
If a bottle-fed baby receives too much food, he or she will vomit. Babies fed by the bottle will rarely vomit unless their feeding bottle leaks a fair amount. Vomiting is another symptom of a baby that is weaning and who is overfed.
Congenital pyloric stenosis
Throughout life the parts of the stomach connecting to the intestines, which make up the pylorus, narrow. Thus, food cannot enter the intestines and it causes strong vomiting.
Pyloric stenosis can also cause aliment deficiencies. Not typically evident at birth, the condition slowly progresses progressively over time. By the sixth week, the condition becomes progressively more severe. Babies become extremely hungry but vomit immediately after the feed.
Shedding abdominal muscles can result in a hernia as gastrointestinal juices push through. If the abdominal muscle is weakened in that area, there is a condition known as a strangulated hernia.
The following symptoms may be present: vomiting, constant crying caused by the pain, and urine with blood (diapers tainted with blood). These symptoms need to be treated as soon as possible.
Related: Blood in Toddler Stool: Causes, Treatment, and When to See a Doctor
When one segment of the intestine folds over another, it is called intussusception or telescoping. Telescoping may occur anywhere in the intestine, but most commonly occurs at the junction of the small and large intestines.
It may also appear floppy (hypotonic) when you notice vomiting, paleness, dehydration, and red salivating stools in babies.
Fever, on the other hand, is not always an indication of vomiting or the necessity for medical attention. As a result, fever cannot be taken as definitive evidence to diagnose vomiting or to indicate the need for medical intervention.
When to seek medical attention
The baby must be taken to a doctor immediately if he or she is younger than three months old. Vomiting in babies is normal at times, but a dehydrated or sick child should be taken to a doctor. (3)
If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
- It may be an indication of an infection or structural anomaly if vomiting lasts more than a day or is frequent.
- A projectile vomiting pattern in babies may be an indication of pyloric stenosis.
- An abdominal obstruction that causes greenish-yellow or green vomit can be the result of an obstruction in the intestines.
- In breastfed babies, there may be cracks in the skin or bleeding in the nipples, which may cause blood to be swallowed while feeding. If you notice blood in the vomit, make sure that there is no bleeding in the nipples.
- The presence of blood in your diapers can indicate that you are suffering from infection or an allergy since such events could cause blood to form in your stools.
- GI issues in babies can also manifest as diarrhea or constipation.
- A brief period of refusing to eat or consume breast milk.
- Evidence that you are dehydrated, such as sunken eyes, dry mouth, and excessive crying.
- Irritated by the feeling of touching the abdomen or the swollen belly.
- The baby doesn’t pass urine or dark urine is produced.
- An individual that is fed up or has a fever.
A child who is constantly vomiting is at risk of becoming dehydrated and the chance of contracting aspiration pneumonia also increases with continuous vomiting.
The Best Home Remedies For Baby Vomiting
The main goal of home treatments for baby vomiting is to prevent dehydration due to electrolyte and water loss. If you consult your pediatrician about the treatment, they may also suggest home care for your baby based on his or her weight, age, and symptoms.
You may need to take the following precautions to prevent dehydration:
- If your baby has started vomiting, you may need to feed them more frequently once you have stopped.
- For formula-fed babies, the doctor suggests an oral rehydration solution every 15 to 20 minutes during these first hours when the pancreas is broken down. While the ORS can be obtained at the drugstore, consult your healthcare provider for the correct dosage.
- As vomiting decreases, it is possible to gradually introduce solid foods to weaning babies.
How Soon Can A Baby Be Feed After Vomiting?
If you have a baby who is vomiting, you may wish to consult the following tips.
- If your child is hungry and ready to eat, you can offer breastfeeding or bottle feeding after throwing up.
- Observe if they are vomiting again after breastfeeding or fluids and give a small amount of it.
Feeding milk or fluids to babies after vomiting may ease this nausea and soothe the throat. To older babies, you may offer water on a spoon or in a bottle.
- Try again after a while if the baby refuses to be fed after vomiting.
You should seek assistance from a doctor for severe vomiting. If your baby doesn’t feed after vomiting, he/she may suffer dehydration. Acetaminophen relieves ear pain and fever until you can feed.
How To Treat Vomiting in Babies
If your baby has normal vomiting without any concerning cause, your pediatrician could prescribe medication. Otherwise, they will examine the baby and ask about the signs and symptoms before beginning treatment.
These treatment options are recommended following the cause (4).
- Babies who can drink enough without vomiting can be given oral rehydration solutions.
- Those with severe dehydration may require intravenous fluids and electrolytes, while those with the refusal of oral fluids may require intravenous fluids.
- Antibiotics are prescribed in the case of bacterial infections.
- Fluids and other supportive therapies are routinely administered to individuals with viral gastroenteritis and other viral infections.
- The vomiting can be cured with surgery if structural abnormalities and conditions are present.
Note: Since antiemetics can cause side effects in children younger than two years of age, they should not be given to kids younger than two years.
Vaccinations against the growth-promoting rotavirus and proper personal hygiene may reduce the risk of vomiting with rotavirus. In case of any concerns regarding your infant’s vomiting, contact your pediatrician without delay.