Is it normal for my baby to vomit?
It’s common for babies to vomit often in the early weeks as they adjust to feeding and as their bodies develop. You can tell when your baby is vomiting, rather than just bringing up small quantities of milk (possetting), because there will be a lot more coming out. Vomiting can be frightening for your baby, so he’s likely to cry.
Everything from car sickness to indigestion can cause your baby to be sick. Even a prolonged bout of crying or coughing can trigger this reflex. So you may see quite a lot of vomiting in your baby’s first few years.
An attack of vomiting will generally subside six hours to 24 hours after it starts. Your baby shouldn’t need any particular treatment, apart from drinking plenty to ensure he stays hydrated. As long as your baby seems otherwise healthy and continues to gain weight, there’s usually no need to worry. Trust your instincts, though, and call your GP if you are worried.
How should I deal with vomiting?
Usually, vomiting is nothing to worry about, and soon gets better. Here’s what you can do to help your baby recover:
- Keep him hydrated: When your baby vomits, he’s losing precious fluids. It’s important to replace them so he doesn’t get dehydrated. To do this, you may be able to give him sips of oral rehydration solution (ORS), a few times an hour, alongside his usual breastmilk or full-strength formula, and water. Check with your pharmacist or health visitor before trying this, though. Don’t give your baby fruit juices or fizzy drinks.
- Ease him back into his routine: If your baby hasn’t vomited for 12 hours to 24 hours, you can begin moving back to his usual diet. But keep giving him plenty of fluids such as his usual milk. If your baby is eating solid foods, start with easy-to-digest foods such as cereal or yoghurt. You can also try using frozen clear liquids, such as ice lollies, if your child is over 12 months.
- Help him rest: Sleep may also help to settle your baby. The stomach often empties into the intestines during sleep, relieving his need to vomit.
Don’t give your child anti-nausea medicines (prescription or over-the-counter), unless your GP has prescribed them.
If your baby attends childcare or nursery, keep him at home until at least 48 hours after his last episode of vomiting.