Toddler throws up when I try to get her to do anything she doesn't want

Me and my partner had our daughter during the first lockdown of may 2020. As being in lockdown she has some separation anxiety which we knew may happen

Fast forward to 18 months and my little relaxed easy going girl has changed overnight. She is extremely stubborn and if she does not like to do something she makes herself vomit! I can’t get her in a pushchair, high chair or a bath! She goes in to complete meltdown mode and to the point of sticking her fingers down her throat!

The only other people she is around is her grandparents for 3 hours twice a week and she is as good as gold with them! Goes in a pushchair and everything! When they arrive to take her I have to hand her over and leave the house as she gets so distressed as she knows I am going, as soon as out of view she calms down

Have taken her to a GP and they said it’s severe separation anxiety and that I am also giving my daughter phobias due to the way I leave when with grandparents, I am the only one who ever baths her or gives her dinner so I don’t see how she has become scared of those daily things.

The GP has made me feel awful like I’m scarring my daughter for having 6 hours away from her a week

Has anyone else had any similar issues or any advice as I am trying to handle the situation and persevere with it but I am worried what I am doing to her mental health after seeing the GP

Nursery won’t have her as she vomits they class as a bug and send her home even though behaviour so I have started playgroup to help social skills! I feel guilty for going to work!!


Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. Toddler throws up when I try to get her to do anything she doesn't want

You definitely are doing the right thing by exposing her to separations. Even if she vomits, continue the activity. Don’t let her learn that vomiting gets her what she wants because she will never stop. Maybe a therapist will help.


I’d see a new physician. It’s not realistic in today’s society to think a child couldn’t be separated from a parent to go to work


Play therapy may be beneficial

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The Dr should have given you a better way to tell your daughter you will see her later and explain that to her… You only can mess her up if you keep doing that.

Continue with the activity. Even if she stomps, screams, throws up… Continue. Don’t speak to her or argue. Just do.
Over & over. Yes, it’s stressful. But she has to learn her behavior won’t do what she thinks.
Also, talk to her throughout the day about these activities.
Prepare her…leave the high chair out so she can see it. Pushchair too. Talk to her about what they’re for and that she is safe. Try to get to why she acts like that. Same with a bath, talk it up. Make them fun. Ask her what she’d line play with in the tub and give 2 or 3 options. No more. She can’t comprehend more choices. So, bathtub markers. Foam letters and numbers. Color tablets. Squirt toys. Have them out up and start asking her around lunch time what she would like.
The key is to find out why she’s upset. She can’t tell you so look for reasons.
Also, ask her GP and a child therapist. If you can’t get any change, it’s 100% ok to ask for help. :black_heart:


Sooo nothing super helpful other than my 3 y/o gets super anxious sometimes when I’m dropping him off to daycare or family and asks if I’m coming back. I used to drop him off at my grandmas and sneak out of the house so he wouldn’t cry for me, and now he gets nervous about it. It can cause issues later on, but I also understand not wanting the meltdown every time you leave her because you need a break too.

They grow so so so much from 1-2 that they don’t really know how to process things either.
Someone else said don’t let her get what she wants when she throws up every time and that’s good, because she’ll learn to continue.

Have you tried sitting on the floor and explaining to her what you’re doing/going to do? I found that helped tons, even if he wasn’t able to respond or wouldn’t respond.

Just an example, he’s become difficult with taking meds if he needs them so I start off by trying to calm him down (I’ll set the meds down so he knows I won’t sneak them) and tell him I’ll go slow, I’ll be gentle, and we can take breaks if he needs them. He’s become really good at telling me if he needs a break or if the situation is too much and he is unsure about something happening.

Kids respond really well to adults getting down on their level and talking to them like you would any other human being when you’re trying to be kind and patient. I’d try that, if you’re not already.

Sorry this was so long😂


She needs therapy, separation anxiety in children is real but a good therapist will really help.

My 3 year old is the same way but only when she doesn’t get her way or if she gets in trouble

Talk to her before each separation, let her know how long you will be gone and when you come back greet her and soothe her a bit before leaving. When it comes to the vomiting I was always told it is like cursing. It is to get a reaction so do not react. Go clean it up and leave it at that. Give no extra attention. When she does something good or does well during separations give more attention when back so to promote more of the wanted behavior.

Well, babies have tantrums unfortunately but giving into her crying is not going to help. She HAS to get a bath so let her cry it out, if your out and about she HAS to sit in her stroller so let her cry about it, eventually she will see mom’s serious and she will get it together. Let her puke if she wants, don’t acknowledge it other then to obviously clean it up. It’s a tactic to get her way. She knows you hate it. As far as you going to work, meeting new people can be scary, but she NEEDS the socialization. Absolutely nothing wrong with you working or getting me time.


She will pick up on your anxiety so please stay calm. Dont sneak out on her…always tell her you’re going to work. Say see you soon , love you lots be a good girl for Grandma…then leave blowing kisses and smiling . Make a fuss of her when you get back.
Its hard…but giving in and getting upset will only make her worse.
Bathing is a necessity life…just get it done tantrums or not. Make it fun with toys, bath books etc . Make sure she feels safe in the water .
Routine is a must…always doing /saying the same things at the same time …she will settle . Dont give in to the tears or it will only get worse as she gets older .

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As a 27yo who has suffered with anxiety sickness for as long as I can remember, think it started at around 4/5yo.
I’m gonna go against the grain as that type of thinking didn’t help me as a child, it made it worse.
It was a behaviour I couldn’t control, I just knew in that particular way of feeling I needed to be sick. Happened with many different things. Even now I can really struggle and I can fight that feeling for so long but when it hits a higher point I will still be sick. Then I feel better and can relax to think more rationally. I wasn’t diagnosed until 17yo because the doctor told my parents I was a hypochondriac, so I didn’t talk to anyone about it.
Try and distract her and make it fun.
Like Bath together, or ask her if she’d like to go super fast in her pram, with grandparents get some fun activities to make you for your return but start smaller, and lots of talking. They’re only little with big feelings. I’d also look in to someone for her to talk too.
My 3yo is currently being seen my an osteopath because her mood swings and feelings got too big for her (her words) since having the osteopath work on her head,back and chest she’s been so much better and has multiple times mentioned how much better she feels.
Sometimes adults forget children’s feelings are just as important and ignoring them doesn’t always help especially when they can’t use the correct words to explain.
I hope you both are ok :heart:

I think they more so mean the WAY you’re leaving her. Not that you’re leaving her elsewhere. Basically maybe start saying goodbye, tell her you’ll be back. Those kinds of things. Rather than just handing her over and leaving.

I’ve never dealt with this with any of my children, but my advice would be to get a new pediatrician! Who does that?! Who tells a mother that her child has separation anxiety and that it’s their fault for leaving their child for SIX hours a week? I mean, what’s going to happen when it’s time for her to go to school for 6 hours a DAY?? Find a new pediatrician, one that will help you with the issue and help you and your daughter learn coping mechanisms. I would suggest though, that even when she throws these tantrums and makes herself sick, that you continue with the activity at hand. As long as she throws a fit and forces herself to throw up, and you stop what you’re doing, she will continue to do it because she realizes that’s all she has to do in order to get out of doing what she doesn’t want to do. When dropping her off, arrive about 10 minutes early. Okay walk her in, sit for a minute, have her give you a hug and remind her that you’ll be back. My 8 year old has separation anxiety and abandonment issues because her biological father bounced in and out of her life for a while and then just disappeared. Before my husband, I was all she knew. I was her safe place. Now, when we leave for like the grocery store, she HAS to have a hug and a kiss and always asks where we’re going and when we will be back. I remind her that I’m not leaving her, I will be back and that I love her. I’ve noticed slight changes, like when she gets out of the car for school or when she walks out the door to get on the bus. It used to be tight hugs, not is a quick kiss and “bye mom”. With issues like this, it takes time. Especially during lockdown when the kid has been with you 24/7 and now it’s changing.

I learned this the hard way with my son. Don’t just disappear: tell her your leaving and when you’ll be back and then barring any complications for not coming back on time. be back at the time you said you would be and show her you came back when you said you would.
It worked miracles for my son and he’s now 4 and we have to do the same thing and talk to him each time we leave and tell him when to expect us back though it’s rare we both leave like once every couple months IF that, but it helps tremendously

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The physician is wrong, it is always best to leave quickly and easily. We did it that way for years with daycare kids. Try to find a different dr who actually cares to help the both of you. You aren’t doing anything wrong!

My son is an 19 month old pandemic baby as well. We were both home the entire first year of his life too. It’s definitely hard and he still cries when we leave him but bit by bit it will get easier. I don’t know if your daughter understands yet. I know my son doesn’t really comprehend yet but front loading before you go or even the night before is helpful for kids. As she gets older continue to frontload her ahead of time. & remember….the time you do have together is so valuable. Spending quality 1:1 time with each other giving her undivided attention will help her as she gets older. I’m not saying you do but please don’t get upset with her or allow others to get upset with her over this. It’s not her fault, she doesn’t know how to handle such big emotions.

If she makes herself vomit, there is a real big problem there, talk to her/a pediatrician not a GP. about this, maybe something else is going on