Vomiting occurs frequently in infants and small children. Viral and bacterial infections most often cause vomiting, but acute allergic reactions and chronic conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux can also cause vomiting in an 9-month-old baby. Vomiting once or twice won't harm your child, but persistent vomiting could cause dehydration, a serious condition in infants. See your baby's doctor if he doesn't improve within 24 hours. Simple measures often help reduce vomiting.
Your baby needs liquids to stay hydrated while vomiting, but if she's vomiting every five to 30 minutes, withhold even liquids. Once vomiting slows to every one to two hours, then start liquids, pediatrician Dr. William Sears says. Continue breast-feeding, since breast milk is very digestible. You might find breast-feeding more often but for shorter times allows the feeding to stay down. If your baby drinks formula, substitute oral rehydration fluids instead, if her doctor agrees. Avoid fruit juices high in sugar and sports drinks, which often contain large amounts of sugar as well as an electrolyte balance that might be harmful for an infant. Babies less than 1 year should not be given milk or milk products, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Restart formula mixed half and half with oral rehydration solution when vomiting slows to two to four times per day, Sears recommends.
A normal diet for most 9-month-olds includes both fluids and solid foods. If your baby is vomiting, he probably won't feel like eating his usual solid foods. While this might alarm you, not eating for a day or two is fine as long as you can keep him hydrated. Hold the solid foods until your baby's vomiting slows to two to four times per day, Sears advises.
If your baby has severe vomiting and is at risk of serious dehydration, her medical provider might prescribe medications that ease vomiting by calming the centers in the brain that trigger vomiting. Since your baby might not be able to keep the medication down taking it orally, anti-emetics can also be given in rectal suppositories. Do not give anti-emetic drugs unless your baby's medical provider prescribes them; in some cases, it's better to continue vomiting to remove the irritant from the body.
Restarting Solid Foods
Start solids slowly, avoiding foods high in fat and offering foods high in complex carbohydrates, such as pasta or rice, lean meats and vegetables. Most physicians no longer stress the BRAT diet, which stands for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast, for vomiting infants or children. Your baby might eat best if you offer foods he likes. If your baby starts vomiting again, stop solids and return to a liquid diet until vomiting slows again.