Treatment options for infant vomiting

Many infants typically spit up after every feeding but vomiting which involves forceful projection of food from the mouth occurs less and requires treatment if it occurs regularly. Reflux, intestinal issues or certain illnesses can all cause infant vomiting.  It is important to note that an infant who vomits repeatedly can end up with dehydration quickly. Parents should try to reduce the vomiting episodes as well as prevent dehydration. You can learn ways to prevent dehydration by simply enrolling in a first aid class today.

Changes in feeding

Babies who are breastfed should continue to be breastfed unless a doctor advises differently. If breastfeeding is done every few hours, it can be changed to every half an hour for 5-10 minutes. Since breast milk can be easily digested than formula, switching to an electrolyte solution is not always needed.

As for bottle-fed babies, they should be given an electrolyte balanced solution in place of the formula until the vomiting improves. In case there is no improvement after 24 hours or the infant appears dehydrated, a doctor should be consulted. Always remember that certain foods such as sugar-rich drinks and high-fat foods can increase vomiting, thus should be avoided as much as possible.

Vomiting

Babies who are breastfed should continue to be breastfed unless a doctor advises differently.

Fluid replacement

An infant who is sick and vomiting frequently can become dehydrated if rehydration measures are not started right away. The indications of dehydration include excessive thirst, dry lips as well as sunken eyes, crying without tears, decreased urination and loose skin.

The replacement of fluids should be done slowly or the frequency of the vomiting will increase. Take note that large quantities of plain water must never be forced on a child since this will only disrupt the electrolyte balance in the body and instigate more problems. You can also provide electrolyte solutions specifically made for infants. Make sure that you will start with small amounts and steadily increase. If in doubt on what to provide to the child, it is best to consult a doctor as soon as possible for the proper recommendations.

Positioning

It is best to raise the head of the infant’s bed by placing a blanket or other object beneath the mattress. A sick child who vomits is less likely to choke on vomit if his/her head is slightly raised or placed on his/her side instead on his/her back.

Do not place a pillow directly under the head of the infant since this is considered as a smothering hazard. When feeding the baby and after feeding, you have to hold in an upright position to reduce vomiting. Additionally, avoid jiggling or handling too much if the child vomits from reflux.

Medications

In most cases of vomiting, the doctor will prescribe medications to reduce the vomiting with serious chronic reflux. Over-the-counter medications to help reduce the vomiting must not be used for infants unless recommended by a doctor.

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