24 answers

My 8 Year Old Is Throwing up at Night!

My daughter is 8 and about two nights a month she will throw up about two hours after going to bed. She is fine after. She doesn't really seem totally awake and she usually says she had a bad dream but she doesn't remember what it was about. Does anyone have anything similar? The only thing that keeps me from cleaning up a huge mess is that I hear her make a coughing noise - that I have come to distinguish and I can usually get to her with a trash can in time. If not, I think she would sleep through it.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Does she have nasal drip or possibly reflux. These were two problems I had as a child and feel very fortunate that my son did not inherit them.

My best advice to you is seek medical attention. If it is sinus related then that can easily be fixed. If it is reflux, then there are a multitude of treatments out there but they are best discussed with a gastrointerologist.

Does she get sick from eating similar foods each time? Maybe she should eat sooner so the food digests better before bed.

More Answers

It could be acid reflux and I would ask the Dr. on that one she may need a scope cause my son did and they can find out whats wrong try not eating for 3-5 hours before laying down . Youcan look stuff up under mayo-clinic too or acid reflux, Im not sure what ekse it could be but thats what my son has. tc gl and Godbless D. Try propping her head up too or elevate it till Dr. time gl

1 mom found this helpful

If it isn't acid reflux or allergies you might also consider migraines. Nausea is one of my symptoms, and fairly common in children too, as I understand it.

She's just old enough that hormones could be playing into their onset, depending probably on how developed she is.

I know I lived with them for several years before they were diagnosed. I am able to negate them with diet, extra sleep, vitamins & chiropractic. When all that fails simple OTC Aleeve seems to work best. It's different for everyone though.

It's a common misconception that migraines are always painful or that you need a dark room and quiet to get thru them. You can have visual "light shows" (bad dream?), feel like you're spinning, throw up... the list goes on.

And, if she doesn't have any other symptoms, the effort of throwing up may cause her body to create enough adrenaline to stop the rest of the migraine from developing!

Talk to her Doctor and keep investigating... you'll either figure it out, or she'll grow out of it. Just try not to freak her out worrying about it! Sometimes our bodies (especially kid's) do weird things.

I hope you find a solution and that she feels 100% soon!


Oh, and Rotavirus is accompanied by a very pungent smelling diarreah and fever. If you've ever had it in your household, you'll know the smell! *ick*

I am an RN and I would advise you to take her to a physician to make sure there is no treatable physical cause. I would not recommend chiropractic for this sort of disorder. Beth Cita

It sounds like it might be acid reflux. My daughter is 3 1/2 and had been coughing so hard at night she would throw up. For a while we thought it was croup but took her to the allergist and he diagnosed her with acid reflux. She now takes Prevacid every morning and the problem has gone away. Occasionally she will have a bad night of coughing but it hasn't led to throwing up. Does your 8 year old suffer from allergies. The 2 seem to go hand in hand.

I was wondering if you every found out why your child was vomiting?? My son is 7 and has very similar symptoms.

Not trying to scare you here, but I recently a saw a program on the medical channel about the same identical thing you are talking about. The child there was having small seizures, and that is why she thought she was dreaming, and didnt remember the dream. If that is the case, there are medications for that but its nothing to mess with if that is the case. Just something I saw, and wanted to let you just in case. Could also be acid reflux but if you get the medication for that from a doctor, and it doesnt stop, you need to get her checked. Good luck....

Hi A.!! I feel your pain. I don't know if this would be an option for you, but my daughter did something very similar to this. It sounds like rotavirus. It is a virus that you can get from 1. not washing your hands very well after the bathroom 2. chicken nuggets not cooked all of the way 3. around another child that doesn't wash thier hands very well. Heck you could have been at a store and all you have to do is touch something that has been affected. The only way that your family doctor can test for this is through a stool sample. Now the only thing we could do was let it run its course. So it seemed like a camped out in my little girls room for months. YES MONTHS!! I don't want to discourge you but talk to your family doctor. Good luck and let us know if she is ok.


Get her tested for epilepsy! I was watching a show called Diagnosis X awhile back and a woman's daughter was doing the same thing, except she was all the way asleep and never remembered throwing up at night. The mom would hear her coughing and go in her room, she'd sit up in her sleep and throw up. It went on every night for a year because they couldn't figure out what was going on, finally took her to a sleep clinic, and they found out she had epilepsy. Hopefully this isn't the case, but it can't hurt to get her tested. Hope everything turns out okay for her! :)

I know this sounds crazy, but I just watched one of those mystery diagnosis shows. I know they are far fetched usually, but this was happening to a little girl about her age. After a LOT of testing, they realized that she was having seziures and that is what was making her thow up every night, not remember it, and be fine during the day. It could be something to look into.

First, don't stress, and DON'T blame yourself for this. You're obviously a wonderful mom, very attentive to your child. your daughter might have a type of asthma. I would get that checked out because if that's what it is, it's easily treated. Also, it's dangerous for her to be throwing up in her sleep as she could aspirate. But, that's a smaller concern since you have been very vigilant, hearing her when she coughs, getting there quickly. She might also have GERD. Keep a food diary on her: what she eats, and when. The more info you can give the pediatrician, the better.

Hi A.,

We just went through a very similar thing and were really stressed out over it. Our 5 year-old son was doing the same thing. He would wake up in the night and throw up and then be fine the next day. We saw our doctor who did call for a CT scan of his head to rule out anything serious. After some more drama we were finally sent to a pediatric GI specialist up at St. John's who told us she believed it was reflux and put him on pepcid once a day right before bed. She said after one month he could go off of it. And it's been nearly two months and no throwing up episodes. It was definately a relief after all of that. I hope this helps and that you get this resolved!
Take care,

Does she have nasal drip or possibly reflux. These were two problems I had as a child and feel very fortunate that my son did not inherit them.

My best advice to you is seek medical attention. If it is sinus related then that can easily be fixed. If it is reflux, then there are a multitude of treatments out there but they are best discussed with a gastrointerologist.

Please contact her doctor.

Are you married? Is there someone else (adult)living in the home? Could it be she is nervous to go to sleep or scared? Maybe nervous about the next day in school? Or needs a higher pillow, possibly choking on her saliva? I'd ask a dr, sounds very stange.

I know that others have already mentioned this but I also think that acid reflux might be the cause. My daughter suffers from this. She's fine until she goes to bed at night. It can be very random. Sometimes she's fine for months and then again she may vomit every night for a week. She always sleeps with lots of pillows to keep her head elevated and we keep a trash can next to her bed. With time we have also learned some foods to avoid. Hot dogs for example are something that always cause her problems. Good luck.

My daughter did a similar thing starting at 9. It turned out to be similar to acid reflux. In her case it started at about 2am a couple nights a month. Make sure she doesn't drink too much liquid with her meals or go to bed with too full of a tummy. If it persists or gets worse call your Pediatrician for a check.

My daughter did the same thing at about 6 years of age. I took her to the chiropractor and he adjusted her and that was the end of that. When the chiropractor laid her down on the table, he straightened out her legs and one was longer than the other. After adjusting her, the legs were even. It sure worked for her.
D.-mom to 9

Depending on what time you eat?? She could very well have acid reflux. My advice is that she is checked by her doctor if you haven't already done this.

Also, if your home is stressful and she is very sensitive, this could cause it too. Children internalize stress so easily.

My son at a very early age developed stomach ulcers because he has high anxiety even at that age. But didn't know for several years...

You have a lot of different options here. I am writing because my niece whom is 6 yo does this every once in a while. She vomits when she gets really upset about something. She doesn't cry or say anything when she gets upset ..... we just find her vomitting. This is just another option. I hope your daughter gets better and I hope it's not as serious as some of these.

I would say what about getting her checked out by a pediatric GI specialist but apparently the last one in this area via KU, Shawnee KS is leaving and no one has replaced him yet. can you believe that, huh? anyway at very least maybe a dr can check her out. my thoughts only.

also someone told me the esophagus can be damaged long term with the throwing up depending on frequency and even a regular M.D. can prescribe something to protect it.

Not to freak you out but I did see something recently on mystery diagnosis where a girl threw up every night for months. After months and months of different doctors and finally a neurosurgeon the girl had epilepsy and the vomiting was her brains way of dealing with it. Again not trying to freak you out but it never hurts to rule anything out. Also could be something that she is eating and has deveoped an allergy to. Hope that helps E.

My first suggestion would be to speak with her pediatrician about acid reflux. If she is laying down with a full tummy, and has reflux, that could cause the upset; just like a baby. See what your doc says.

Hi A.. Have you talked to your pediatrician about this? Although very rare, I have heard of throwing up like this being a sign of seizure. She may also have reflux or something similar that can be treated with some common medicines. Of course, I am not a doctor at all, but I do think you should talk with her doctor about these symptoms.

Does she get sick from eating similar foods each time? Maybe she should eat sooner so the food digests better before bed.

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