Most vomiting is caused by a viral infection of the stomach (viral gastroenteritis) and may last up to one week. Vomiting may be present with a combination of symptoms that include diarrhea, fever, and generalized abdominal cramping.

Treatment is focused on supportive care and adequate hydration.  Replacement of fluids is important in the vomiting child. Do not give your child ANYTHING to eat or drink for 30-60 minutes after vomiting.

Your child will not become dehydrated by waiting, in fact giving their bellies time to rest and then offering small amounts of clear liquids is the best way to ensure adequate hydration. A teaspoon every couple of minutes will suffice then gradually increase the amount as it is tolerated.

The vomiting is usually greatest in the first 24 hours.  If your child does not eat any solids for several days, don’t worry! As long as they are drinking liquids and staying hydrated. Their weight will return to normal when their appetite returns.

Less than One Year: Breast Fed

  • No solids or liquids for 30-60 minutes after vomiting
  • Provide breast milk in smaller amounts (shorter feedings) more frequently than usual
  • After 4 hours of no vomiting, return to normal breastfeeding

Less than One Year: Formula Fed

  • No solids or liquids for 30-60 minutes after vomiting
  • Offer oral re-hydration solutions (Pedialyte) or other clear fluids (like sugar water or tea).
    Avoid plain water.
  • Give small amounts one tsp every few minutes and increase gradually.
  • After 4 hours of no vomiting, return to formula

Older Children

  • No solids or liquids (especially milk) for 30-60 minutes after vomiting
  • Oral re-hydration solutions or clear fluids (Gatorade, chamomile tea, popsicles, Sprite or Ginger ale) NOT plain water.
  • Give small amounts: one tsp every few min and increase gradually as tolerated
  • When your child feels hungry, start feeding them.
    Give them whatever they like, you don’t have to start with bland starchy foods (crackers, toast, rice etc)
  • Resume regular diet after 24 hrs of no vomiting

Common mistakes in treatment of vomiting

  • Giving liquids or solids too soon
  • Giving as much liquid as your child will take instead of starting small and gradually increasing the amount
  • Using medication, the most effective way to deal with vomiting is changing the diet.
  • Giving a whole bottle/cup of liquid. If they see a whole bottle/cup, they will want to drink it and subsequently vomit again.

When to Call Our Office

  • No urine for over 8 hours
  • Any blood in the vomit

  • Fever for more than 72 hours
  • Localized abdominal pain (generalized cramping may be normal)