Vomiting is not uncommon for toddlers. However, if you notice your toddler is vomiting frequently, it could be a sign of an underlying issue that will require medical attention. Frequent vomiting can mean that your child is not getting the necessary nutrients into their system, which can lead to more serious health issues. Usually these symptoms are temporary and can be treated with a bit of home care.
What May Cause Your Toddler Vomiting at Night?
You may notice that your child is awakened at night due to nausea or vomiting. When this happens, they may have a slight temperature. This is normal and should not be cause for concern, unless they experience a severe increase in temperature. In order to help determine what type of treatment is necessary, you should make note of any accompanying symptoms.
In most cases, your child will only vomit for a few seconds at a time. They may vomit more than once if the diaphragm is fluctuating heavily, propelling the contents of the stomach forward at an intense rate. These episodes tend to be more frequent at night because your child is lying flat, making it easy for stomach acid to travel up the esophagus.
- If the vomiting is caused by a stomach flu or gastroenteritis, then the symptoms will usually subside after 24 hours. Vomiting will probably not be very severe in this case. You may notice your child feeling nauseous or having a decreased appetite throughout the day. This is also true if your child is dealing with a mild case of food poisoning. More serious conditions may lead to frequent vomiting over the course of several nights.
- Children who are starting to develop acid reflux disease may experience more frequent vomiting at night. These episodes will be more frequent as they first lay down because undigested food will begin to travel back up through the esophagus, causing discomfort. You may also see the effects of an ulcer forming or signs of heartburn. Ask your child if they feel any pain or discomfort before vomiting and keep an eye out for high fevers or diarrhea that could indicate a more serious condition.
- Some parasites can also cause vomiting at night. Many types of worms become more active at night, making the digestive system more sensitive. The more discomfort these parasites cause, the more likely it is that your child will begin to vomit. Check the contents of the vomit to see if there are any traces of parasites visible. If you notice something out of the ordinary, pick it up with tweezers and secure it in a zip lock bag to show to your doctor.
- Children who suffer from headaches or migraines may be prone to vomiting as well. Make note of whether or not your child frequently holds or rubs their heads. Your child may also be more sensitive to light and sound, an indicator that they are starting to get headaches. You may notice that your child has to squint in order to see, which might indicate that vision trouble is causing them to develop headaches.
Home Care and Treatments for Toddler Vomiting at Night
In many cases, a vomiting toddler is nothing to be concerned about. If the vomiting lasts under 2 nights and is not accompanied by any other symptoms, then do your best to keep your child comfortable until the symptoms pass. Any vomiting that exceeds 2 nights should be evaluated by a doctor. You will also need to immediately consult a doctor if it appears as though your child is vomiting up blood or is suffering from abdominal distress. Children who appear to be suffering from headaches should have scans or an eye exam to start treatment.
Mild vomiting symptoms can often be treated at home. Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids to help them stay hydrated. You may also want to invest in fluids containing electrolytes, such as sports drinks, that will help them regain a balance in their system. Have them drink these fluids slowly so that they do not upset their system again. If you choose to give your child an antacid, make sure that you read the instructions carefully to ensure that you give them a dose that is appropriately sized for small children.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Toddler Vomiting at Night?
If your child is prone to vomiting then you may want to lay them in an upright position when they go to bed. This will help prevent stomach acid from travelling into the esophagus and causing discomfort. You can accomplish this by propping their pillows up slightly. Have your child drink electrolyte and salt solutions throughout the day to help keep their condition stable. You can also introduce them to chamomile and peppermint tea to help curb their nausea. Ginger tea or ginger ale soda are also known for helping to combat nausea and vomiting. If you opt to give your child soda, you may want to stir it until it goes flat, as children with sensitive stomachs may not react well to the carbonation. If you are using a chamomile, peppermint, or ginger product, read the ingredients to ensure that they are flavored with the real product instead of a flavoring agent to obtain the best results.