18 answers

Should I give my child milk or milk substitute if he has stomach flu

Hi, there's a stomach virus going around and my 1 year old first threw up, now he has diarreha. I called the on call nurse when he first got this and this is the stages she warned me he'd go through. She told me when he was all done throwing up and had diareha that I needed to keep him on the BRAT diet. He hasn't had milk in 4 days and today he's really not understanding why I won't give him milk. Can I give him soy or rice milk for now? He' cry on my shoulder for 20-30min and I don't give in and then eventually he falls alseep on me. He is drinking water, a little pedialyte and eating toast and applesauce. Thank You

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Summary

The problem is often caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites from infected food or water. If the pediatrician suggest to give BRAT diet, stick with it. Call your health care provider if diarrhea persists for more than several days or if dehydration occurs

So What Happened?™

Thank you all, He's doing better today so I'm going to try and give him Milk after his nap but definetely for next time I'm going to go out and get him some rice milk. Thanks again, BTW I teach him baby signs and he hasn't gotten milk quite down but today when I put him down for his nap, he kind of hung out and then looked at me and CLEARLY signed milk LOL

T.

Featured Answers

Contrary to popular belief babies don't need their milk--they can get calcium and protein about a million other ways. In the meantime though, rice and almond milk are great, as well as goat's milk which is closer to breast milk. In fact, if the stomach and diarrhea don't clear up soon, I'd bet money that he's having a reaction to milk. But if the doctor said the "BRAT" diet then you shouldn't give him milk because milk can irritate already upset digestive systems. Stick to pedialyte.

If he's not throwing up the pedialyte or toast I think you should try giving him a little milk and see how he reacts to it.

More Answers

My daughter at 18 months had the stomach flu and everytime I gave her milk she got sick and threw it back up.

You could give her a little and see what happens. Everything that I have read states to stay away from milk products because it upsets the stomach. I gave my baby gatorade because she would not drink pedialyte and that is about the only liquid she would keep down. You just have to do a trial and error with him. If you give him milk I would not give him very much.

I would not worry overly much on how many days that he has not had milk because as soon as he feels better he will make up what he missed mine did.

Hi T., the BRAT diet, (bananas, rice, applesauce and dry toast) is great for diarrhea. But, is he still having diarrhea? If not, you may want to try small amounts of the rice milk, and see how he tolerates that. At least Rice milk is from rice, which is part of the BRAT diet! Usually when their poops start to form again, you can start them on easy to digest foods...clear liquids, then progress into his regular diet. It could take days to get to that point. Try not to give him any fibrous, or milk foods for a few days until he is formed again.

If he'll take the rice milk, I'd try that. Rice is one of the things that's great for diarrhea, since it helps with the binding. And you may want to hold off on the applesauce, just in case. my family can't eat it due to a sensitivity in the tummy. It gives us cramps. Pear sauce is easier on the tummy.

I would try soy or rice milk. When my son came home from the hospital last summer from open-heart surgery, he picked up something and we ended up back in the hospital (he was 15 months old) It's hard not to give them the milk, but it's not good to give it to them when they're so sick. We tried the soy milk and he's been on it ever since... he love's it. Good luck.

If the diarrhea is still with him, it's important to watch his sugar intake. Whichever milk alternative you choose, I would get one unsweetened and one sweetened and mix them. My daughter has a pretty severe milk allergy and really likes the almond milk that Trader Joe's sells. It's a good price and a good product. Fruit juice, gatorade or any other heavy sugar item are the worst for diarrhea. It doesn't matter whether it's natural sugar or processed.

Maybe even try mixing some cows milk with unsweetened almond milk. Best of both worlds. Good luck and good health :-)

I would give a little milk and see how he feels. I personally have never kept milk from my kids. If you consider soy milk, do some research on the effects of soy, esp. for boys. If you give any milk alternative, look at the ingredients. Watch for sugar. Gatorade has high fructose corn syrup in it, so I'd avoid that. Do what feels right to you, after doing some research.

Hi T. -

You can try Rice Milk. It is usually the cassin (sp?) in the cow's milk that upsets the stomach. Also, some ginger and/or peppermint tea will help settle the stomach. Here's some info on Ginger from Wikipedia -

Diarrhea
Ginger compounds are active against a form of diarrhea which is the leading cause of infant death in developing countries. Zingerone is likely to be the active constituent against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin-induced diarrhea.

Nausea
Ginger has been found effective by multiple studies for treating nausea caused by seasickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy.

A little sage and ginger tea will taste good and since sage has astringent qualities, it will help solidify the diarrhea.

Hope this helps,

M. M. Ernsberger
Certified Clinical Herbalist

Is it possible to give him breastmilk? It's the perfect food for lil sick ones. Not only is it hydrating, but it digests so quickly that even if some comes back up, he will have already started absorbing the nutrients.

The BRAT diet has been shown to lack enough nutrition. More and more doctors are NOT advising using this after stomach flu. You are probably better off having your son eat any sort of nutritious stuff he can.
Just as an aside, there is rarely an reason to stop breastfeeding, stomach flu included...so milk can't be all that terrible.
After seeing advice posted before me, I'd say the almond and rice milk ideas sound better than the soy milk. Unfermented soy foods are not all that safe...just think of the soy allergies we have in the population.

I would call the nurse back and make sure this really means "no milk". My boys have been through this, but both love milk and I found that a little didn't hurt anything. Babies still need that milk.

I would think you would only use the BRAT diet for 24 hours or so. If you think he needs or wants milk I think you should go ahead and give it to him. When my son had the stomach flu I went ahead and gave him all of his bottles, my pediatrician recommended making them with less formula and more water (i.e. if you make a 6 oz. bottle only use 2 scoops of formula). Since he is one, and off formula probably I would think you could still give him milk but make sure you give him pedialite or water in between bottles and just make sure he is hydrated constantly.

My son had the stomach flu for the first time when he was only 4 months - it happened to be Halloween and he projectile vomited (only once) but how fitting huh? ha ha. Poor babies luckily they get better and forget it very quickly.

Contrary to popular belief babies don't need their milk--they can get calcium and protein about a million other ways. In the meantime though, rice and almond milk are great, as well as goat's milk which is closer to breast milk. In fact, if the stomach and diarrhea don't clear up soon, I'd bet money that he's having a reaction to milk. But if the doctor said the "BRAT" diet then you shouldn't give him milk because milk can irritate already upset digestive systems. Stick to pedialyte.

I'm not sure why they don't want you to give hin milk! To make sure it doesn't bother his belly, I'd water it down a little, but I don't see why you can't give it to him if he wants it. The most important thing is that he doesn't get dehydrated. If he drinks milk and can keep it down, keep giving it to him! If he throws it up, then water it down. Good luck!

we went through a similar experience. Our son LOVES his milk and when he got really sick it was so hard to not offer it to him, because thats all he would drink. But after he went a day without vomitting, we would just give him milk mixed with half water. SO he still gets a tiny bit of the taste, but its not full strength. WE did this eventhough he had diarreha, it eventually went away. But 4 days seems like a really long time to be off milk. I would try watering it down and slowly introducing it back into his diet.

Rice milk should be fine, it's pretty easy on the digestive tract and part of the BRAT diet. Also have you given him any probiotics? They are important for colonizing the digestive tract once he's been sick. Life Sculpting has some great classes on infant nutrition, growth and development if you're interested in learning more, www.lifesculpting.biz.

as far as milk substitues go- they are not all made equally! rice and nut milks have hardly any nutrients. soy milk is nutritious, but you need to be careful with boys, because a lot of it can raise estrogen levels. i give my 2 yr old (who is allergic to all dairy) hemp milk, which just came on the market and has 50% daily allowance of calcium per serving. you should also know that it tastes different, so your 1 yr old might not like any of the alternative milks. stick with vanilla, not plain, and you should be fine.

another good substitute is almond milk, my 3 year old loves it, it is a little sweeter than soy and rice but does not have alot of sugar.

If he's not throwing up the pedialyte or toast I think you should try giving him a little milk and see how he reacts to it.

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