How to Deal with Toddlers Who Make Themselves Vomit when Upset
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Elevated emotions could cause your toddler to toss her cookies.

A toddler often keeps her emotions right near the surface, ready to erupt and spew at the slightest provocation. If a toddler melts into a puddle of frustration or anger, you’ve got a raging temper tantrum on your hands – not fun. A common byproduct of toddler temper tantrums is the oh-so-lovely literal spewing, otherwise known as vomiting. Sometimes little ones become so upset that they not only lose emotional control, they lose physical control as well, states Joni Levine, author of “Mommy Rescue Guide Tantrums.”


  1. 1
    Chill and remain calm when your little one loses her lunch in response to a tantrum. She’s already upset enough – you going off on a rant won’t help matters.
  2. 2
    Help your toddler calm down after vomiting. She might be freaking out even more because the vomiting scared her. Wrap your arms around her securely and hold her tightly but gently until she calms down. Try speaking softly in her ear to help her quiet, too.
  3. 3
    Clean up the mess in a matter-of-fact way. Remove her messy clothes and give her a warm bath, if necessary. Put clean clothes on her so she’s warm and dry again. Clean up any messes on the floor or furniture, too.
  4. 4
    Resist the urge to comfort your child too much or overcompensate for the vomiting, warns Dr. Kenneth N. Condrell, with the Fisher-Price website. By giving the vomiting episode too much positive attention, you may unwittingly reinforce it. Bottom line – you could be in for repeat performances of vomiting from your little one because it worked so well the first time. A more modified approach that simply deals with the mess and doesn’t coddle the child might help discourage future vomiting and keep it from becoming one of your tot’s tantrum tricks.


  • Consider consulting with your child’s physician if the puking becomes a habit, recommends Ellen Bowers, author of “The Everything Guide to Raising a Toddler.” Although this is probably a pure emotional response turned physical response, it can’t hurt to talk to your doctor about it.

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