13 answers

Son Won't Eat or Drink 6 Days After Stomach Flu

My 17 month old son had the stomach flu 6 days ago and still will hardly eat or drink anything. When we do offer him food and drinks he starts crying. He is eating a decent breakfast, usually most of a banana and some cheerios. But then it goes down hill from there. At lunch he eats just a few bites of whatever is there. And then at dinner all I've been able to get him to eat is a small bit of applesauce. He looks at food and says "yummy!" but when he puts it in his mouth he gags and spits it out. He was drinking pretty good, but now that seems to be getting worse also. Today he didn't want to drink anything. Each day around dinner time he still has a little bit of a spit up, but nothing compared to the vomiting he was doing 6 days ago. I've taken him to his pediatrician and he said it is normal for them to not eat much for several days after having a stomach virus, and the main thing is to watch for dehydration. I am terrified that he will get dehydrated. I don't know what to do anymore. Is this normal for so many days afterwards? What are other parent's experiences with their children after they had a stomach virus? He is too young to be able to tell me what is wrong, or possibly hurting him, and I feel horrible that I can't seem to find anything that will help him to eat and drink. Does anyone have any suggestions of what I can try to get him to eat and drink?? Please help!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone for your advice. It really helped me calm down a bit after reading other parents' suggestions. He is doing much better now. Popsicles, pedialyte and applesauce did the trick. Today for the first time in a week he ate 3 full meals and drank all day long. Hopefully we've run our course with the virus and will get a break from any more for a while! Thank you all again!

Featured Answers

hey there, I would call the doctor on that one. When my son gets sick he wont eat much but when he is over it he will eat like crazy! Good luck with it!

More Answers

hey there, I would call the doctor on that one. When my son gets sick he wont eat much but when he is over it he will eat like crazy! Good luck with it!

try giving him that pediacure thats supose to help with dehydration, just make sure he gets somthing maybe popcicles

Our 10 month old is going through the same thing. Every couple of days she will have a normal BM but still has diarhea in between. She is on and off with the eating and still pushes the bottle away at times. At first she would gag if I gave her anything but baby fruit. Now it is on and off with eating something other than baby fruit. As someone else said, as long as he is having wet diapers, you shouldn't worry. Since he is over 1 yr, you could try the pediasure. These are the milk-like drinks that come in chocolate, strawberry, vanilla and banana creme. I think your son would be more likely to drink those than the pedialyte. Our son loves them. You can check out Walmart or Target for their store brand which is cheaper. Walmart has the best deal. Our son (2 yrs) isn't sick but he is in the phase right now where he barely eats (of course he always wants snack foods) so our doctor recommended that we suppliment with the pediasure.

Good luck,


my daughter had rotavirus wehn she was about 11 months old. she was a very sick baby and she refused to eat or drink anything. she was showing signs of mild dehydration and it had me pretty worried. well my grandma remembered how much she loved to crunch on ice. We got her 2 big cups of the crunchy ice from sonic and she loved it. she liked the cool crunchy feeling and it got fluids into her without her realizing it. she started peeing more and in a couple of days she started to feel better. also, her ped had me switch her to lactose free formula for several days until her tummy starting feeling better, so maybe you can your little guy some of that lactose free milk or flavored soy milk.

Don't worry - He will be OK. It is normal for him to be "afraid" to eat since when he had the flu, everything that went in came back out. He still thinks this will happen and is afraid to eat for fear of getting sick again. Try popsicles, they are fluid and soothing to the throat. He may still not feel 100% so he is taking it slow until he feels better. If he likes milk shakes, try making a milk shake with a food substitute like ensure or slim fast and throw in a banana. That will give him calories and vitamins.

Good Luck!

Our doctor as told me several times too that the eating is not as important as the drinking. You might want to try pedialite (i think I might have spelled that wrong) anyways my son will drink those down no matter what. I buy the individual ones because it makes it fun for him to drink from the bottle they come in on his own. Good luck and I would not wait too much longer to call the doctor regarding his poor drinking habits right now.

Hey there! We just had a stomach bug here, too, and my DS (22 months) had three or four days where he wouldn't eat. Then yesterday he woke up STARVING and seemed to eat all day! :-) So hang in there, he will come around on his own time.

As far as making drinking more interesting to him, have you thought about trying out different cups? If he's used to a certain kind of sippy cup, maybe offer something else -- like a straw cup, or even a few sips with your help from a normal tumbler or mug? Drinking "like a big boy" might be exciting even if he's still not feeling too well.

Other than that, I'd say just keep a cup nearby all day so that you can offer him sips as he plays, while you read him a story, whatever you're doing. If he drinks just little bits, but all day long, he should be getting enough liquid.

Hang in there, I know it's so hard to see them sick and not be able to "fix" it!

I would say take him back to your pediatrician. I think it is pretty normal, but when you write that he is still spitting up food it makes me wonder if he is still sick?

He may just be wanting bland foods as his system gets back to normal. I would try rice, bread, bananas and give him Pedialyte and apple juice with his water. See if that helps. I know Pedialyte helps to keep them from getting dehydrated and gives them vitamins they need when they are sick.

Watch for white poos, too. That means he still has a virus.

Try giving him some yogurt, preferably an organic one that doesn't have fruit in it. Yogurt helps to get your stomach's good bacteria built back up after an illness and while on antibiotics. There are some advertised as having acidipholis (sp) which is what I think you are supposed to look for. Also my son just got over the stomach flu and he would eat cottage cheese and applesauce but not much else. Applesauce is a good option as it is very liquid and will help replace the lost fluids when you can't get them to drink anything.

Having 2 sons, I understand where you are coming from. Both of mine refuse to eat when ill, or after getting better. My 2 BEST FRIENDS at these times are Pedialyte and Pedia Sure! Your son may have a problem with the pediasure as it doen't taste great(mine love it, but I'm told that is odd) since it has NO sugar. Pedia Sure is a meal supplement, so they get the nutrition. Tell him it is a milkshake, if he's ever had even a sip of one, and it should work ok. If he's not experienced a milkshake, try milk or something he's usually fond of. This still works for my boys and they are 8 and 3....almost 9 and 4!
Here's a secret, if cost is a concern, you can go to Wal-Mart, Walgreen's, and Target and buy their own brands of both! They have the same ingredients. The generic Pedia Sure is like Boost or Ensure, but again, same ingredients!
Good luck.

My kids won't drink Pedialyte, so instead I give them Gatorade which they do like. It's not exactly the same thing, but it is replenishing electrolytes and packs a little bit better punch than plain juice. It also comes in more flavors.

Our daughter (18 mos.) has been sick with a combination of vomiting then diarrhea for over two weeks. She's fine in between but at some point during the day she does one or the other.
She isn't crazy about Pedialyte either, but Gatorade etc. is high in sugar which can, in turn cause diarrhea or make it worse. I found a similar product that is 80% lower in sugar and seems to at least be keeping her hydrated and she likes it a lot. It is Powerade Option P. . .it's a low calorie sports drink and BONUS, it is CLEAR. So if you are still dealing with vomiting, you don't have to worry about stains all over their clothes and your carpet. Best wishes. . We're going through the same thing. I hope your little guy feels better soon!

This is very normal. There are so many viruses tht are going around this year and they are lasting up to 3 weeks. Our pediatrician always tells us not to worry about dehydration as long as you have at least 1 wet diaper a day. You can also tell if your son is dehydrated by looking at him, his eyes will look sunk in and his mouth will be very dry. you could also try pedialyte, pedialyte popsicles or Gatorade (I know there is ALOT of sugar in that but it will help replenish the electrolytes from vomitting and diarrhea. If he is not drinking good by Wed I would call the pediatrician again. A lot of people worry about the kids being sick for so long but the viruses are lasting longer and longer and remember, they can't give meds for a virus because they don't work, the virus has to work itself out.
Good Luck!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.