Vomiting in Children 3 Months to 1 Year: Care Instructions

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Overview

Most of the time, vomiting in older babies is not serious. It often is caused by a stomach infection. A baby with a stomach infection also may have other symptoms. These may include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. With home treatment, the vomiting will likely stop within 12 hours. Diarrhea may last for a few days or more.

In most cases, home treatment will ease the vomiting.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • If your baby is breastfed, keep breastfeeding. Offer each breast to your baby for 1 to 2 minutes every 10 minutes.
  • If your baby still isn't getting enough fluids from the breast or from formula, ask your doctor if you need to use an oral rehydration solution (ORS). Examples are Pedialyte and Infalyte.
  • The amount of ORS your baby needs depends on your baby's age and size. You can give the ORS in a dropper, spoon, or bottle.
  • If your child eats solid foods, slowly start to offer solid foods after 6 hours with no vomiting.
  • Do not give your child over-the-counter antidiarrhea or upset-stomach medicines without talking to your doctor first. Do not give Pepto-Bismol or other medicines that contain salicylates (a form of aspirin) or aspirin. Aspirin has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child seems very sick or is hard to wake up.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child seems to have new or worse belly pain.
  • Your child seems to be getting sicker.
  • Your child has signs of needing more fluids. These signs include sunken eyes with few tears, a dry mouth with little or no spit, and no wet diapers for 6 hours.
  • Your child seems to have stomach pain.
  • Your child vomits blood or what looks like coffee grounds.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.