Vomiting in children 0-1 years

Children under one year may be vomited for a variety of reasons. It is almost always normal and rarely serious. It is common for children to vomit a little after eating and usually they are not bothered by the vomiting. Of course, children may also be vomited by a stomach illness, or other infections.

The vomiting may look different depending on the cause. The child may also have other symptoms, for example, they may have a fever, be tired and unable to play.

When and where should I seek care?

If you are going to seek care depends mainly on how the child is feeling otherwise, but also how long and how much they have vomited, and whether they get any fluid in them.

Contact a health care center or telephone number 911  to get medical advice if the child is vomiting and at the same time has one or more of the following signs or symptoms:

  • The child has a chronic illness and you are not sure if they need care.
  • The vomiting is great.
  • The vomiting comes in conjunction with the child having started with breast milk replacement, supplementary nutrition, porridge or gruel.

The risk of fluid deficiency increases if the child cannot retain any fluid at all. It can cause them to become dehydrated, which is a serious condition. The younger the child, the more sensitive he is to fluid deficiency and dehydration.

If the child is vomiting and immediately have one or more of the following symptoms, contact a health care center or an on-call hospital immediately.

  • The child has a fever or is tired, powerless and unable to take an interest in the surroundings.
  • The child cannot retain any fluid and pee much less than usual.
  • The vomiting contains blood.

If it is closed at the health center or on-call reception, seek care at an emergency room.

Call 911 and ask to be connected to the Poison Center if you suspect the child has eaten something poisonous. Feel free to have what you think the child has eaten in front of you when you call.

Why does the baby vomit?

Children under one year may be vomited for a variety of reasons. Therefore, it also differs from what you can do yourself and how the vomiting is treated.

Here are the most common reasons why children under one year are vomiting:

  • excess vomiting and gastroesophageal reflux
  • stomachflu
  • other infections
  • food allergy
  • stenosis
  • intestinal obstruction
  • constipation
  • poisoning and food poisoning
  • concussion
  • congenital metabolic disorders
  • congenital damage to the brain.

Excessive vomiting and gastroesophageal reflux

The most common form of vomiting in children for one year is so-called excess vomiting. This is when children get more food than they can digest. The child then vomits up the excess food immediately after the meal, often in connection with a rape.

Some children sometimes vomit, others vomit after every meal. Otherwise, the child will feel good and grow as they should.

Excess vomiting is because the mouth between the esophagus and stomach does not close as tightly as in older children and adults. It also allows the stomach contents and stomach juice to enter the esophagus more often without the baby vomiting, so-called gastroesophageal reflux. It is also sometimes called gastric juice reflux.

The fact that children under one year are vomiting, getting hiccups or raping while eating or afterwards is common and harmless. Excess surges decrease as the child grows older, usually disappearing before the age of one year.

What can I do for myself?

Here are some tips on what to do if your baby is often cramped, but otherwise healthy and growing as they should:

  • Give the child less amounts of food, but more often.
  • Have the baby scream a few times during feeding.
  • Let the child sit half as they eat.
  • Sit with the baby in your lap or let the child sit in the high chair for a while after eating.
  • Let the child take it easy after the meal.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is when the reflux gives the child other troublesome symptoms than excess vomiting. The most common symptoms are that the child shows dissatisfaction and crying. The child usually does not want to eat either. It is quite uncommon for children under one year to have gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Stomachflu

The child may have a stomach ailment if they require larger quantities and with greater force. The trouble often comes quickly. The child may also have a fever, become generally tired and uninterested in the surroundings. After about a day, the child may have diarrhea.

Stomach disease is usually due to a viral infection, but can also sometimes be caused by bacteria or parasites.

Try to get fluid in the baby from the first vomiting. This reduces the risk of the child getting fluid deficiency and becoming dehydrated. This is especially important for children under one year because they are more easily hydrated. Give the child small amounts of fluid often.

Wash your hands regularly if the child has an infection. Washing your hands is effective in removing both viruses and bacteria.

Other infections

Children can be vomited with different types of infections. Often, the child has other symptoms, such as coughing and fever, and being tired and uninterested in the surroundings.

Here are examples of infections that can cause the baby to vomit:

  • cold
  • respiratory tract infections with cough
  • pneumonia
  • otitis
  • urinary infection
  • meningitis.

Food allergy

Vomiting is one of the most common symptoms of food allergy. For example, the vomiting may be a symptom of cow’s milk allergy if the child begins to vomit when they begin to receive breast milk replacement. The child is also vomited if they eat other foods containing cow’s milk.

Allergies to other foods such as eggs, fish or soy can also cause the baby to vomit.

Celiac disease is another food allergy that can cause the baby to vomit. Celiac disease means that the child does not tolerate the protein gluten. Gluten is found, among other things, in flour, porridge and bread. It is unusual for children under one year to vomit due to celiac disease. Celiac disease is sometimes also called gluten intolerance.

Pylorusstenos

If the child has severe cascade-like vomiting, it may be due to pylorus stenosis. It is a narrowing in the lower abdomen of the stomach that partially prevents food from passing on to the intestine. When the stomach is trying to empty, the stomach contents are turned upwards instead and the baby vomits, often vigorously.

The vomiting begins when the baby is between two weeks and two months. Initially there are small vomiting, but they become stronger with time. Other symptoms are that the child does not gain weight properly, and that they are tired and uninterested in the surroundings.

Obstacles in the gut

Vomiting and stomach aches that come every few minutes or so can be a sign that there is an obstacle in the child’s gut. The stomach contents can then not continue through the intestine but come up and the baby vomits. The stomach contents usually contain bile which colors the vomiting dark green or yellow.

Obstacles in the gut may be due to the child having any of the following:

  • volvulus
  • invagination
  • squeezed groin.

Newborn babies may have a congenital obstruction in the passage through the duodenum or small intestine. It already appears when the child is a few days or at the latest at the age of one week.

Constipation

Children who get breast milk replacement or have started eating regular food can sometimes get constipated. If the baby is constipated for an extended period of time, they may get stomach upset, lose the appetite and even vomit, although it is unusual.

Children who only eat breast milk rarely get constipation.

Poisoning and food poisoning

Children can vomit and feel ill from food poisoning or from eating a poisonous substance or drug.

Food poisoning can occur if the child eats foods containing harmful substances from common bacteria. Such poison can be formed if the food is not cooked or taken care of properly, as bacteria can then grow and form poison.

Concussion

The vomiting may be due to a concussion if the child is vomited after being hit in the head. Other symptoms of concussion are that the child is tired and unable to play. Sometimes the vomiting may occur several hours after the baby has struck his head.

Congenital metabolic disorders

Vomiting can be the first symptom of a congenital metabolic disease, known as metabolic disease. It is unusual for such diseases and most are detected with a so-called PKU test. It is a blood test taken when the baby is a few days old. Other signs of metabolic disorders are that the child is often tired, sleeps a lot and is difficult to contact.

Read more about PKU tests in the text Surveys of the newborn child.

Congenital damage to the brain

Congenital damage to the brain causes the baby to vomit, although it is very uncommon.

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