With our son, Zack, just getting over a bout of a stomach virus, what better time to talk about diarrhea and vomiting. Unfortunately, he did plenty of both over the last 4 days. Poor guy. Anytime your child is not feeling well, the number one thing to do is to keep him/her as comfortable as possible. Lots of rest and lots of love! All he wanted to do was cuddle and sleep. So that's what he did and we just made sure he got fluids throughout the day.
Diarrhea and vomiting can be treated in similar ways. There are many causes, but the most common cause is due to a stomach virus (viral gastroenteritis) which many people call the stomach flu. With a stomach virus, vomiting usually occurs first with or without a fever followed by diarrhea. This was the case for Zack. Because of the loss of fluids, you really want to keep your child hydrated. Also, because it is due to a virus, medicine does not help, so here are some helpful hints to help with the diarrhea and vomiting:
1) Stop foods especially solid (they'll just come back up or out)
2) Avoid dairy as it is irritating on the gut
3) Give frequent sips of fluids (water, breast milk, broths, soups, teas), but don't force it
4) Probiotics (I have a great infant powdered probiotic at my office)
5) Lots of rest
You should always monitor your child for severe dehydration (no tears when crying, altered or depressed mental status, dry diaper for more than 5 hours, skin that doesn't return to its position after being pinched) and you should seek medical care if you notice any of these signs.