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

What can I do next?


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


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 -

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.

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.

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