12 Month Old with a Stomach Bug

Updated on February 24, 2009
N.C. asks from Winchester, VA
11 answers

Last weekend was my son's first birthday. I think that someone showed up to his party with a little bug because now he's sick. It started on Sunday with vomiting and diarrhea and here is is one week later and he still has diarrhea. He will only nurse He'll sip on water or breastmilk but all other dairy makes him sick. I took him to the dr on Thursday and they put him in hospital w/ IV to get him rehydrated. I'm at whits end b/c he's still acting whiny and tired all the time, he's only nursing, he won't eat anything solid therefore his poo is liquid like when he was a small infant.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

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answers from Washington DC on

I'm hoping your child is over it by now, but my 21 month old started it last Friday (and she had a similar bug last month!!). Vomiting ended Sunday but the diarrhea continues in a bad way. She started daycare last week, and here I am, a week off. I still nurse but only 2-3 times a day, and I doubt it's much milk, but my ped said to consider withholding breastmilk because it contributes to the diarrhea (the lactose in breastmilk cannot be processed during stomach bugs). Everything on the internet refutes this, so I've at least gone to 2 shorter nursing sessions a day. I'm offering lots of unflavored Pedialyte (no artificial colors or sweeteners) with a little white grape juice to flavor it, water, saltines, Nilla wafers, apple sauce and lots of rice or rice mixed with chicken broth. Unfortunately, my daughter refuses bananas and most bread, and frankly doesn't want to eat much in general. She has begged for yogurt and Kefir (her usuall milk - yogurt drink), but I only offered it a couple of times. It's more digestible than regular milk products, but now I'm sticking to 100% BRATT hoping to see some improvement. Ped says she is 5% dehydrated and 10% gets you a trip to the hospital. She's also 3rd percentile for weight, so watching what litte fat she has on her tiny body disappear is stressing me out. The comment about teething is interesting. The first stomach bug coincided with her I teeth cuting the gums all at once, now she has a molar coming in and the I teeth are still causing much discomfort.



answers from Washington DC on

Sorry to hear about your son being so sick. How scary it must have been to see your son hooked up to IV's in a hospital!!!
When my kids (now 3 and 6) ever had that sort of vomiting/diarrhea bug(keep in mind there are many kinds)the one thing that worked to keep them hydrated is the Pedialyte Freezer Pops. You can buy them at CVS, Safeway, wherever really. I score off the top inch of plastic, wrap the rest in a paper towel so they have a 'handle' and let them eat it on their own. If he doesn't like the sweetness of the pops, or of gatorade, try an electrolyte-enhanced water like Smart Water (get it at most grocery stores) or Whole Foods has their own 365 brand of this that's a little cheaper. My youngest was very picky and wouldn't drink anything from a bottle or cup when she was sick. I would take a medicine dispenser (like the one that comes with the infant motrin) and fill it with the electrolyte water or gatorade and give it to her that way. A little trick to get them to swallow: Give the baby the medicine and guickly blow air at his face. His reflex will be to swallow whatever is in his mouth.
It sounds like your son has a roto virus to me.
After something like that it always takes my girls a while for their intestinal flora to go back to normal, resulting in diarrhea or loose poops. I give them a pro-biotic to help with that, like yogurt or the Jarrow Pro-biotic from Whole Foods...these little tasty chewable purple tablets. There are many different kinds of pro-biotics for young toddlers, just ask the person working in the health aisle at WF(or whatever health store is nearby to you), or call them. Healthway stores employees have been a great help to me.

Remember that diarrhea can also lead to de-hydration, so of course it's a good idea to call the doctor to let them know he's still having some trouble.
I hope he gets better soon. Hang in there, Mommy!



answers from Roanoke on

The usual conventional routine for diarrhea is:
Clear liquids (pedialyte) x 24 hours. Then the BRAT foods:
Bananas, rice, applesauce and toast x 24 hours, Repeat process until diarrhea clears. Most viruses are 24h or 72h. However, there are a few such as Rotavirus that can last for 3-4 weeks. Rotavirus is noted for a vibrant green liquid stool with some mucus.

I also treat with homeopathics if you are interested, and have these available at my office in Dublin, VA.

The main unconventional wisdom I can provide is that viruses are seldom "passed" from person to person as we are taught by conventional doctors. Instead, they live in us naturally and "bloom" at their season, like algae in a pond. The best defense is having the good bacteria in your system (and your baby's) This is with HMF (human microflora). The standard lactobacillus in the conventional store is cow form and will not colonize your GI tract. Your baby is probably deficient in the good bacteria. Signs of deficiency are cradle cap, thrush, frequent colds. Since he gets inoculated with the good bacteria at birth, if the mom is deficient (through the use of antibiotics in life) or the baby is C-section, he didn't get inoculated through the birth canal.

I would first recommend getting HMF neonate for a couple of months, then HMF powder to continue, as he is getting older and the flora changes with age. You can find these only through practitioners that are trained in natural medicine, as the company that makes them does not just sell to the public. They have more professionalism than that.

My web site on alternative medicine and a healthy lifestyle is www.sevenpillarstotalhealth.com

L. S. Cheek, MD



answers from Washington DC on

One of the things I was able to do for my little ones to help keep up their electrolytes when sick with this type of bug was Jello. I would make some jello with Pedialyte instead of water and they loved it, even when sick. The jello is nice and soft, gentle on their tummies and making it with Pedilyte gets them the needed electrolytes without making them drink lots of unfamiliar fluids. That was my biggest problem with pedilayte, they weren't used to it, so they didn't want it.

Also, my pediatrician told me when I asked that it's ok to give them a tiny dose of Pepto here and there if they're really in a bad way and need to be holding on to more of their fluids. It doesn't effect a complete cure, but it helps enough to give a little relief. But ask your own doctor first. Every doctor is different.



answers from Washington DC on

This happened to my son recently also. I called the pediatrician after a week of diarhhea (the vomiting cleared up after about two days) and she said do not give the child milk. Just water, and Pedialyte to keep him hydrated. The milk will increase incidences of diarhhea. She said if it didn't help, then we needed to come in for an emergency visit. Thankfully, that advice worked, and we didn't have to visit the doc. No milk really cleared it up for him. Hope your baby reacts the same way!
For food, he ate only white starchy foods for a few days and that helped calm his stomach. Bananas will help!!



answers from Washington DC on

Everyone has given great advice. All three of my kids had this but my oldest was the worst. It took time and patience to get her through it. I dedicated my life for about two weeks to only making sure that she kept down liquid (for about 1 week, she had diarrea and was throwing up everything!!) Then we moved onto keeping down food. I found that saltine crackers were very gentle on the stomach for all three of my kids. Of course the brat diet too but give the food slowly, one bite at a time over the course of time. Keep him hydrated and everything else will fall into place. Good luck. You are not the only one to go through this and we all have made it through as will you and your son.


answers from Washington DC on

hi NC, you've had some great advice here! non-dairy milks, jello, and the BRATT diet should help him. it's very likely he's teething....when that gum barrier is broken it's a direct hit to the system, a nice highway for buggies to travel in.
i would just add that when looking for sugar-free treats like popsicles, make sure they are sweetened only with fruit juice. we're only beginning to scratch the surface of uncovering how poisonous most artificial sweeteners are. no need to put that stuff into our babies!



answers from Richmond on

N C,

First I'd like to say that everyone forgets that there are 2 Ts in the BRATT diet. They ALWAYS forget that Green Tea is part of that diet. I would not recommend pedialite because it is WAY too expensive. Koolaid w/o sugar or even gatoraide or even propel do just as well without paying extra money for a name.
Is your son teething? My son was teething with 8 teeth coming it at once when he got this bug. The bug lasted 3 months for him. After I had taken him to the doctor way too many times, I gave up and did trial and error to find what would make him better. I found that Fresh minced garlic on a biscuit was great. I also found that he was sensitive to chicken when he is sick and that any cow milk he was not allowed to have. He could have things like cheese or other dairy, but no cow milk. I used soy or rice instead.
To keep your little one hydrated when he will only sip his liquids is to every 15 minutes give him a a few tablespoons of liquid until he keeps it down. Increase the amount when he starts feeling better. Also try the jello that the previous quote suggested, or find some sugar free fruit popsicles.
Hope your little one feels better soon. God Bless.



answers from Washington DC on

Not sure if this will help, but we went through the same exact thing last week with my son (will be 12 months soon). All I can say is that this bug is bad and it takes a while to get over. My son is still taking extended naps and not staying up as much as he used to. He is also a bit clingy and grumpy. Sorry your little one got sick and hope he gets better soon. You may want to try some yo baby yogurt - that helped firm up my son's poo.



answers from Washington DC on

I am with you! My husband had it first, then my 9 month old got it and now I have it (and go figure, my bday is tomorrow).

Our pediatrician told us to stick with pedialyte and the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apples and toast). My son still have explosive diapers everytime he eats or drinks something, but we have been able in the past 12 hours to give him 2 - 2 oz bottles of formula.

Its just one of those things that has to run its course.



answers from Washington DC on

It is so scary when our little ones are ill. Your son is so lucky that you are nursing. Breastmilk is the perfect medicine. Dairy products from other animals are more difficult to keep down. In our house, we went from breastmilk to chicken broth, toast, rice, banana, apple sauce, and saltines. The cashier at the supermarket would always feel bad for me when I bought all those things. Ask your doctor what they prefer. Some doctors used to think of human breastmilk as a dairy product but now most of them realize it is closer to the iv fluid. Breastmilk constantly changes to meet the needs of the baby. The immunities in the breastmilk change as you and your baby are exposed to new illnesses. It's not perfect - babies still get sick but nursing probably helped him get out of the hospital quicker.

I hope your little son gets better quickly and that you get some rest too.


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