My Baby Doesn't Eat and Doesn't Drink for Several Days Already.

Updated on May 13, 2010
L.R. asks from Brooklyn, NY
22 answers

My 18 month old baby was diagnosed with stomach virus. It's a third day already. The first day she was vomiting the whole day. She refused to eat. The second day she had a fever, she eat a little bit. Today she refuses to eat and drink at all, the wholed ay. I don't know what to do, I am afraid she might have a dehydration. Does anybody know when usually they feel better after a stomach virus? How to make her to at least to drink? Thanks a lot.

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answers from Albany on

Go and see a doctor straight away. If she is not drinking she WILL get dehydrated and that is very dangerous. Good luck.

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answers from New York on

If you are worried about dehydration then don't hesitate to go to the ER ASAP!. Dehydration is DANGEROUS and it sounds like she isn't even taking the smallest amounts of liquid. If she is tired, lethargic and not wanting anything then go see a dr. Try ice pops, ice chips, juice, gatorade (yes it has sugar but my son HATED pedialyte so the dr recommended it over nother)...put a little on her lips or run a cube over her lips to get SOMETHING in there...she needs fluids! The dropper idea suggested below is a GREAT idea that I never thought of before!

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answers from Raleigh on

Try whatever you can, white grape juice, 7-up, even a cola to get your toddler to drink. If the baby does become listless, she needs to go to the Dr to be checked, ASAP! You have so many good suggestions here in the other answers. Eating is not as important as drinking at this point in time. KAR

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answers from Dallas on

try juice, popsicles...

"Any of these signs could indicate that your toddler is dehydrated or is becoming dehydrated:
• More than six to eight hours without a wet diaper
• Urine that looks darker in his diaper and smells stronger than usual
• Lethargy
• A dry, parched mouth and lips
• No tears while crying

Signs that your toddler may be seriously dehydrated:
• Sunken eyes
• Hands and feet that feel cold and look splotchy
• Lightheadedness, dizziness, or delirium
• Excessive sleepiness or fussiness

here are some things you can do to help with dehydration:

Young children can quickly become dangerously dehydrated, so if you think your toddler shows signs of serious dehydration, take him to the emergency room immediately. He may need to receive liquids through an intravenous (IV) tube until he's rehydrated.

If you're concerned but don't think your toddler is seriously dehydrated, give his doctor a call for advice. She may want to see your child to make sure he's okay. If she decides that he's mildly dehydrated, she may instruct you to give him a special liquid to replenish the water and salts (electrolytes) that his body has lost.

Electrolyte liquids are available in most pharmacies. Pedialyte, Infalyte, and ReVital are some of the name-brand products. (Ask your pharmacist about generic brands, too.) Don't substitute sports drinks such as Gatorade. Although they do contain electrolytes, sports drinks have a higher concentration of sugar than the electrolyte liquids that are specifically made to help rehydrate children.

Not all kids appreciate the taste of electrolyte liquids, so if your toddler refuses to drink them, be sure to ask your doctor about alternatives. Increase the amounts of the liquids he normally drinks as well.

Make sure your toddler drinks plenty of fluids, especially on very hot days and when he's ill. Offer him water frequently.

If he drinks juice, don't increase the amount in a day, but you might try diluting it with water to make it go further. So if he's drinking 3 or 4 ounces of juice a day, for example, you could dilute this to 6 or 8 ounces of liquid.

Don't give your toddler carbonated drinks, though, as they're terrible for his teeth. And remember, once your toddler becomes dehydrated, he's lost electrolytes as well as water, so he'll need a special liquid to replace them.

Be especially alert to symptoms of dehydration under these circumstances:

• Fever: Offer your toddler plenty of liquids whenever he has a fever. He may prefer an ice-cold drink, or he may find warm liquids more soothing. If he's having trouble swallowing, you may want to give him a pain medication such as children's acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help with the discomfort.

• Overheating: Too much activity on a hot day or just sitting in a stuffy, sweltering room can lead to sweating and fluid loss. Give your toddler more fluids than usual during hot weather.

• Diarrhea: If your toddler has an intestinal illness, especially acute gastroenteritis, he'll lose fluid through diarrhea and vomiting. Don't give him fruit juice, which may just make the situation worse, and don't give him over-the-counter diarrhea medicine unless his doctor recommends it.

Just encourage your toddler to drink plenty of water. If you think your child may be becoming dehydrated, you might give him an electrolyte drink as well.

• Vomiting Viruses and intestinal infections can lead to vomiting. If your toddler is having trouble keeping liquids down, he can easily become dehydrated.

Try giving him very small amounts of fluid frequently. (Electrolyte liquids work well to rehydrate children who are vomiting.) Start with 2 teaspoons every five minutes. If he's able to keep this liquid down for an hour, double the amount and wait 15 minutes between drinks.

• Refuses to drink A sore throat or ailment such as hand, foot, and mouth disease can cause so much pain that a child stops drinking. Give your toddler some children's acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease the discomfort, and then offer him liquids, frequently and in small quantities.

Cold liquids may be soothing, but avoid citrus drinks, like orange juice and grapefruit juice, because they'll sting and burn the irritated tissues of his throat."

from here:

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answers from Kansas City on

As long as she is having a wet diaper at least every six to eight hours, she is not dehydrated. Give liquids in small amounts, but NOT cola since caffiene is a diuretic which can cause more dehydration. 7-up or Sprite is okay, Coke or Pepsi is NOT! Start with a little tiny bit, like an ounce at a time. Watered-down juice, water, pedialyte, popsicles, milk (chocolate or strawberry gets some kids to drink more), broth, soup, or any other liquids you can get down will help. My ped always said when a child is vomiting, liquid is far more important than food to get through the rough days. HTH!

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answers from New York on

Go to the doctor or emergency room. It happened with my 3 year old and the doctor told me to immediately go to the emergency room. It took them 10 minutes to find a vein to get her hydrated intravenously. Dehydration is serious business and you need to be safe. Hope everything works out.



answers from Raleigh on

Take her to ER. MY 3 year old had a Rotavirus that is going around and was throwing up, had diarea and did not eat for 7 days. But he was drinking ALOT (smart water is the best) Dehydration in the little ones can be very serious.



answers from Atlanta on

Have you tried Pedialyte, Gatorade -Kool-Aid even? Something sweet and fruity that maybe she isn't used to getting to drink could possibly do the trick. Give her popsicles as well. Sometimes kids will eat those when they won't drink anything -and it is liquid once it's melted.



answers from Buffalo on

If she has gone a whole day w/o drinking she is probally dehydrated. You should take here to the ER ASAP. At the very least, call your doctor. Dehydration can be very serious. Please don't wait too long! Good luck.And let us know how it goes.



answers from Houston on

you can try making her popsocles - you can get pedialyte pops in walgreens too, she might like those



answers from Denver on

Hi L. - if her eyes look sunken or if you pinch the skin on the back of her hand and it sticks together before falling flat again, then she is dehydrated. We had good luck with ice pops and also with just giving them a teaspoon or two of gatorade from a syringe.



answers from New York on

Hi, when they are sick like this it is ok if they don't eat. However, it's important they stay hydrated. Try having her lick an ice pop or drink pedialyte or something similar. It doesn't have to be a large amount, as long as she's getting some hydration. I hope she feels better soon.



answers from New York on

Keep checking the diapers... if she's still wetting them, then she's not dehydrated. Try to freeze her juice or get pedialyte ice pops... she might want an ice pop more than drinking. Good luck



answers from New York on

3 days is long for an 18 month old. if her urine in less frequent and concentrated, if there are no tears when she cries then she is dehydrated and should be in the hospital. hope all works out well



answers from New York on

Pedialite is usually given to drink (has the electrolytes baby needs). Eating doesn't matter much - drinking does. As long as she has wet diapers, she is hydrated. But if she goes half a day without a wet diaper, then call your physician. They simply give the child an IV in hospital.



answers from Indianapolis on

It can take a long time:( When my son got a stomach bug around 18 months, I was told to give him nothing to eat except that I could nurse him as much as he needed and he could have 1 ounce of baby food twice a day. The nurse called it "gust rest". She said that their stomachs are just too sensitive and it can take quite a few days to get back to usual.



answers from New York on

If the baby really hasn't drank anything in that long, she really may be very dehydrated. Others have posted on the signs to look for, so pay attention to those. You might want to try giving her a teaspoon of water every few minutes... Pedialtye, though, is better. She might not be able to drink a whole glass at a time, which is why I sometimes just dole out teaspoons.



answers from Jacksonville on

I would put some gripe water in a measuring spoon or that medicine drop thing...and give him so it can settle his tummy and get him eating again. Maybe he is nauseated from the vomitting and nothing taste good. Also, try to brush his tongue to get rid of that taste in his mouth. That may help.


answers from San Francisco on

You can maybe try the fruit punch Gatorade with her. At least with this it is tasty and it will keep the electrolytes in her system otherwise yes she could dehydrate. Also try yogurt (flavored) it is good at any time for their bowels. Make sure you try to get this in to her no later than tomorrow. If you find that her eyes look dry (no water) same with the saliva in her mouth I would definetly take her to emerg at the hospital. Normally a stomach virus goes away within 24 to 48 hrs. Jello is very good to, she should take to one of these. I would say the Gatorade for sure or jello. I wish your little one well, and I hope this virus ends soon for her but make sure you check her eyes and mouth. Very important. Either call your Physician or go to hospital. You can also buy Pedialite at any drugstore which is good as well.



answers from New York on

Give them pedialyte with a dropper every 30 min to an hour. He will not like it, but you need to keep him hydrated. You should be seeing wet diapers every 4 hs at minimum. If not take him to the Dr immediately.



answers from Gainesville on

Try giving her just a tablespoon of something that will be easy on her tummy like cool gatorade or pedialyte. If she can tolerate it give her a tablespoon every 15 minutes. Give it to her via spoon or use a medicine syringe or see if she'll drink it from a cup. She needs to stay hydrated. Little ones can dehydrate so fast. If she is lethargic, her lips are drying out, etc. you need to contact her doctor at once.

The eating is not as important and don't rush it. When she does eat start with the BRAT diet and include yogurt as well to get the good back in her system. don't rush back to "regular' foods too soon as they can irritate her system and start the vomiting back up.



answers from Chicago on

my mom used to make jello that we drank out of cups. strawberry or cherry always tasted good. she would make it like the directions except use twice as much water as it calls for. but don't put it in fridge in baby bottles lol. she did that once and they firmed up like jello. no sucking that out of a nipple lol. it was funny watching my little brother try though.

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