Toddler Enjoys Vomiting?

(March 11, 2010)

Vomiting is a term used for the forceful expulsion of consumed food, through the mouth. In the case of a severe bout of vomiting, food or liquids may be expelled through the nose as well. There are various reasons for vomiting in toddlers, the most common of them being a bacterial infection or malfunctioning of the digestive tract or the stomach. However, in some cases, recurrent bouts of vomiting may not be caused by any infection or medical condition at all and may be brought about by the child itself. This would most probably be because your toddler enjoys the attention that follows the vomiting and not the act of vomiting itself.  

Children are very smart and sometimes use vomiting as a way of drawing attention. In most cases, parents lose their calm and are ready to do anything to make their baby feel at ease. Toddlers immediately judge the parent’s reaction and begin bringing about these bouts themselves. If a parent gets overly worked up, the child will definitely want to repeat the action so as to gain the parent’s undivided attention. Similarly, if the child sees someone laughing at the way he vomited, he will think it to be a joke and will surely try to repeat the action. Besides, a toddler may also use vomiting to ensure that he does not have to eat food that he dislikes.

However, it is essential to keep in mind that repeated vomiting bouts experienced by a toddler are not good as they may lead to dehydration or could indicate an underlying disorder. Hence, in order to avoid any complications, consulting a pediatrician is recommended. If the pediatrician confirms that your toddler is not suffering from any serious health concerns, you could resort to simpler means of putting an end to your child’s vomiting bouts. When your child vomits, keep calm and clean out the mess immediately. Ensure that he is cleaned up immediately and refrain from giving him more attention than needed. You will surely be able to assess if he is making a conscious attempt to vomit. If so, firmly tell him not to play with the food. If your toddler likes the food, try telling him that since he is vomiting, he should stop eating. On the other hand, if you notice this pattern with regard to foods that he does not like, ensure that he is made to continue eating after being cleaned up so that he realizes that he will have to finish his meal.   

Submitted by P T on March 11, 2010 at 11:29

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