Upset stomachs are usually caused by an infection and can happen at any age. In most cases, the upset itself will be harmless and will only be a serious problem if your little one is dehydrated. Of course, it’s natural to be alarmed if your child stops eating but it’s important not to panic. “As long as they are keeping fluids down they will be ok for a day or two”, advises GP Dr Uzma Ali. Keep your little one dehydrated by giving her lots of water. Avoid giving her fruit juice as the high sugar content can actually irritate the bowel. Heard the old wives tale about administrating flat cola? According to trusted GP’s, you should ignore this advice-it will only make things worse.
You will want the tummy bug to pass out of your little one’s system as fast as it can so don’t give her anti- diarrhoea medications as the upset may stay for longer.
If diarrhoea is still present and she still has a tummy upset (perhaps with vomiting as well), you could try taking her off dairy foods for a while. In some children the gut doesn’t recover completely after gastroenteritis and may trigger a short spell of lactose intolerance. Keep her dairy free for a few days and see if things improve.
Babies who are breastfed can have a huge range of normal bowel motions- some may be naturally runny. If your doctor tells you that your baby is well, it might just be normal.
If things don’t improve in 48 hours you should take your child to see a doctor. If there is blood in their poo or if they have a high fever they may have an infection that requires antibiotics. If your baby has diarrhoea and is vomiting at the same time, or shows signs of dehydration like not passing enough urine you should also take her to see a doctor.