When a baby vomits, it can be very frightening for the parents as they do not know the reason for the vomiting episode. Also, the baby is unable to communicate the pain or discomfort he or she may be experiencing. The only thing that the baby can do is cry and this can unnerve the parents even further.
Vomiting in babies can be due to several health issues like infection of the upper respiratory tract, viral infection of the digestive tract or any other childhood illness. Most of these health issues are self limiting and not a cause for concern. However, vomiting in babies could also be a sign of a more serious health condition that could require immediate medical intervention.
So, what to do when your baby is vomiting? The first thing to understand is that no vomiting in babies should be neglected. Infants can get dehydrated really fast and this could cause a life threatening situation. So, ensure that you take appropriate steps when your baby is vomiting. Generally, resorting to home remedies should be more than sufficient to make your baby alright.
After your baby has finished vomiting, make sure that you do not give him or her anything to drink or eat for at least half an hour to 1 hour after the vomiting episode. Allow the stomach to rest and settle down before giving him or her anything to drink or eat.
Make sure that you keep a close watch on your baby for any symptoms of dehydration. The signs of dehydration include dry lips, not urinating frequently, the urine having dark color and/or strong smell, irritable, lethargic, having sunken fontanelle, dryness of the mouth, reduction in the tears when crying. If you notice one or some of these signs, then your baby is suffering from dehydration and should be immediately rushed to the emergency room.
After the episode of vomiting subsides, you can breastfeed your baby. Allow your baby to breastfeed from each breast every ten minutes. In case your baby is on formula, then give him or her just 0.5 oz of oral rehydration solution at room temperature every ten minutes. This should be continued for some hours before resuming the formula. Generally, you should wait for around 6 hours before re-starting the formula. During this time, the baby should not vomit.
If your baby is more than 6 months old and is eating solid food, then it is best to give him or her some clear liquid in the form of broth or soup. You can also give the baby some gelatin or a popsicle. However, this should be done only if the baby has not vomited for a minimum of 8 hours. Otherwise, let him or her have some oral rehydration solution.
You should wait for a minimum of twelve hours after the vomiting to restart the baby's usual diet. However, make sure that you give the baby food that is easy on the stomach. Such foods include cereal, bread, pasta, banana and applesauce. However, if after eating, your baby starts vomiting again, you should immediately rush to your pediatrician.
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