Pregnancy and Parenting Features

Why Does My Toddler Vomit When He Gets Told Off?

Toddlers can be frustrating creatures. One minute, they seem like little angels sent down from heaven intended just to bless you and your home. The next minute, they might seem like they came from somewhere altogether different. When a toddler is pushing your buttons or just misbehaving, it is not uncommon for a parent to tell him off.

Most toddlers don’t like to be told off. In fact, most toddlers don’t particularly care to have their behavior questioned at all. A toddler might throw a temper tantrum when she gets told off, or she might quietly sob. Occasionally, a toddler might vomit when he gets told off. If this is the case with your toddler, there are some specific things you should consider.

When anyone, toddlers included, experience anxiety or stress, there is often a rise in the levels of stomach acid that their body produces. This is the source of the long-held connection between stomach ulcers and worry – persistent anxiety leads to excessive amounts of stomach acid, which can irritate or even cause an ulcer. A toddler is no different. When a toddler becomes stressed, his stomach will start to produce more stomach acid. In some cases, this increased amount of stomach acid either leads to nausea, and hence vomiting, or it may lead to reflux of the stomach acid, which the toddler responds to with vomiting. Either way, vomiting may be your toddler’s natural way of reacting to stress.

Another possibility to consider is that your toddler might have special needs when it comes to sensory issues. If your toddler vomits when being yelled at, it may be that she is experiencing Sensory Processing Disorder. Children with Sensory Processing Disorder are unable to handle loud noises, bright lights, strong smells, and these sorts of sensory overloads. In some cases, a child with Sensory Processing Disorder may respond to these stimuli by vomiting.

If you are concerned that your toddler might have a problem with anxiety or with Sensory Processing Disorder, it is important that you discuss this with your mental health care provider or health care provider. She should be able to either assist you or to put you in touch with someone who can.

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