Babies Spitting Up
Berkeley Parents Network >
Babies Spitting Up
I have an 8 week old baby who has begun to vomit large volumes a
few times a day, as well as, seems to show a lot of
distress/pain with each spit up after breast-feeding. There
have also been a few projectile vomits. Though we were use
to the colic-y period from 6-10pm each night, in the last 2-3
weeks the 'fussy' hours have been starting in the early
afternoon and ending around 2am. Every other day seems to
really bad. The baby screams with what seems like extreme pain
after each large spit up or vomit. The baby has also started to
make odd wheezing when laid flat (e.g., for a diaper change)
especially after feedings.
I went to our pediatrician twice, but the doctor says to wait
and see since baby is still gaining weight. The doctor did
indicate that it may be ''gastric reflux'', but that babies
usually grow out of it; though the baby's symptoms seem to be
getting worse over time and is in a lot of pain the majority of
Has anyone else had a baby with these symptoms & what sort of
tests and treatments did you try? I'm debating whether to get a
second opinion with a pediatric gastroenterologist because I
feel that there is a problem. Appreciate any advice/information.
I would try eliminating dairy and wheat fom my diet for
starters. It seemed to help my now 3 month-old son to stop
having so many tummy troubles. Vomiting is not good. Reflux
itself can be caused or excacerbated by food sensitivities.
I had a similar problem of a baby in frequent gastic distress --
it wasn't until my baby had the pain with the screaming at the
Dr's office (at 2 months) that I got more than this is something
normal -- one of the down sides of being a first time mom. At
that point, the doctor prescribed some medicine (I can't
remember the name) that we used for 2-1/2 months until the
baby's digestive system well better developed. You didn't
mention if your baby was a little early -- if so, this is very
common; you have to add a month or two to the due date to
calculate when the baby will catch up.
You could consider Zantac at about 4-5 mg/kg/day, divided three
times a day. Screaming and wheezing is enough reason to start it.
It can (and is) used in preemies and is reasonably safe. If it
is reflux, you should see immediate relief. If not, your
pediatrician should consider an ultrasound for pyloric stenosis
which is rare and doesn't sound exactly consistent with your
baby's symptoms but should be considered especially if there are
an increasing number of projectile vomits. If you decide to get
a second opinion, a
pediatrician is probably enough, it doesn't sound like you need a
pedi gastroenterologist at this point. But I wouldn't wait for
the baby to outgrow it if s/he is in pain--a lot of babies don't
outgrow it until 6-12 months. You are probably already doing
this, but make sure you keep the baby upright for the hour after
feeding (car seats work well for some babies for this). Good luck!
Our 4 month-old has had a spit-up problem since he was born. He
was breast fed until he was eight weeks old (combination of
breast milk and Carnation Good Start). Then, we switched him to
Good Start only. He was on Good Start for the next eight weeks.
When the spit-up problem did not abate, we switched him to soy
formula. Immediately after the switch, the problem appeared to
have been somewhat resolved as the amount of spit-up was less
with the soy formula. However, approximately one week after
switching to soy, the spit-up problem is now no different than
when he was on Good Start. Our doctor advises that this is
developmental and that our son should grow out of this during
the second six months of life. We are frustrated by the constant
mess and wonder if there is anything else we should consider?
Perhaps your baby is swallowing a lot of air. If you can slow
down and burp him every few minutes, he might keep more down.
Also, maybe he is drinking too much, and he spits up the
excess. You could try feeding him less and making sure that he
Good Luck, my nephews were all big spit-uppers, and they grew
out of it.
My now 13 month old was the ''king of spit-up'' at that age. It
seemed that no matter how much he had eaten, anytime
anybody would pick him up or put any kind of pressure on his
tummy area, out it would flow, all over everything. My
pediatrician also told me that he would grow out of it, and she
was right. Once he started eating solid food, even just a little,
the spit-up noticeably decreased. It was frustrating, especially
since every article of clothing I and he owned was constantly
stained and smelly, and bibs did nothing because it was
oftentimes projectile spitting. The only thing I can tell you is
keep lots of kleenex on hand and keep a blanket underneath him
as often as you can. (My pockets were constantly filled with
kleenex and washcloths) One thing, maybe, is he might be
sucking too fast, so try using the ''Stage 1'' nipples that have a
smaller hole; it takes longer but might work.
my son was a major spitter-upper. he went through several bibs
a day and they all got soaked. he eventually slowed down when
he was 8-9 months old.
My daughter was a huge spitter-upper. I think it went on until she
was about 6 or 8 months old and then just tapered off. We were
constantly changing her clothes and cleaning up big spit up
splashes on the floor. She was breastfed only, until 6 months and
then used to gag a lot on solid foods. It drove me crazy and I
really think, unless there is some allergy or serious medical
problem (sounds like your baby's doc has ruled that out) that some
kids are just more ''spitty'' than others and you have to wait it
Our son spit up large quantities of milk 3-4 times a day for
almost 18 months. Despite this, he increased slightly in weight,
head size and length. Parents and friends thought he must have
something seriously wrong but the pediatrician was patient and so
were we. We kept cleaning it up, carrying several changes of
clothes for him and for me. We also packed extra cloth diapers
for floors, chairs, walls, car seat, airplane...you name it. It
was bad while it lasted (forever) but he suddenly stopped and we
rejoiced. My advice is that if your baby is growing...just keep
cleaning it up!
Our 7 1/2 month old baby is still spitting up. He's a formula-
fed baby who also eats lots of solid food including organic
bottled concoctions and fresh avocado, cantelope,
applesauce, peaches, cooked carrots, cooked potatoes,
and Oatie-O cereal.
He has been spitting up since he was a tiny little guy but
hasn't ever seemed very bothered by stomach aches (at
least as much as we can tell). I'm wondering if we should
switch him to soy formula or just let it stop on its own.
Also - is it normal for him to poop with almost every diaper
change some days? I have associated it with his eating so
many different solids, but I'm wondering if he has some
kind of irritable bowel syndrome (as I do).
Note: I would have breast-fed him if I could have, but it was
not an option so formula is necessary.
My son spit up all the time until he was about a year (I think -
he is 3 now and it is hard to remember). I know it was long past
7 months, though, and long past when I thought it should stop.
He was breastfed until 4 months and then formula and solids
after that. It bothered me a little but it never seemed to
bother him. It's my understanding that as long as it's not
interfering with growth you need not worry, and that it seems
like he's spitting up more nutrition than he really is. My
husband reassured me by telling me he was spitting up a lot less
than his older brother (my husband's son from his first
marriage) who is now 21 and quite healthy! Also, we had the same
thing with the frequent poops. In response to advice on this
digest, I cut out all juice except OJ and that seemed to help. I
do wonder a little about IBS (it's in our family, too) but again
if it's not interfering with growth you probably don't need to
worry right now.
I wonder if your baby could be allergic to some of this food.
My first child had, and my now seven-month-old baby has a lot of
food allergies. One of the symptoms is spitting up. Another is
runnier poops. Other symptoms include rashes (especially dot-
like rashes around mouth or on torso), a red ring around the
bottom and patches of eczema. There are several books about
feeding babies that include a program for systematically
introducing foods to babies in order to detect allergies (the
one I use is called ''Mommy Made''). In the case of babies under
a year who have allergy symptoms they suggest going back to the
beginning and introducing foods one at a time (in the suggested
order) and keeping a food diary so that you can track down the
problematic foods. You may want to try this to see if it
helps. Sometimes even if a baby is not strictly allergic to a
food, there may be some kind of sensitivity that can trigger
some of the symptoms you describe. The good news is that babies
grow out of most of these reactions by the time they are a year
My older daughter spat up constantly till she was around 1 &
began walking. Her pediatrician said some kids are just
spitters, and it generally lets up when they spend more time
standing & less time sitting or lying down. She was on soy
formula as well as solids.
My now 3 year old spit up lots until he was close to a year,
maybe longer. He was exclusively breastfed until about 8 months
and then had just fruits and veggies. i don't think that diet
had much to do with it in our case, as he doesn't show any sign
of allergies and his cousins were eating almost the same way,
and weren't nearly as spitty. I just chalked it up to increased
pressure from sitting and once he started walking it was
Does anyone have an older baby that still spits up? My 10 month old
spits up all the time. It seems like it's worse since he started crawling.
He doesn't seem to have any stomach distress so I don't know if it's an
allergy. My doctor says it is still normal but it seems too much to me.
He eats fine and drinks several bottles a day of Carnation Good Start.
I tried several formulas when he was little and the Good Start seemed to
agree with him the best. Could that have changed? I was wondering if I
should try soy formula again. He really doesn't seem bothered by it
except for having his shirt changed all the time (since he likes to take off
his bib!). Any suggestions?
My daughter was a real spitter-upper till she was about 15 months old,
when she started walking. My pediatrician said it was normal for some kids,
especially when they spend lots of time crawling or sitting with their
stomachs kind of scrunched up, to gently regurgitate several times a
day. It was a wet, smelly nuisance, but not a health problem.
My son also spit up past the time I thought he would, around 10 months
and even beyond, I think. He also drank formula. With our doctor's help we
discovered that we were actually overfeeding him the formula. He just
kept gulping it down and couldn't make room for any more, so he urped up!
We needed to give it to him more slowly and then not give him more if he
pushed it away, which we were also guilty of. I don't know if this helps,
but it is one thing to check out.
I have a 7 month old baby and have tried to feed him rice cereal
a few times, just a small amount mixed with my breastmilk, and
he has gotten very sick, vomiting for 2 hours (2 hours after I
fed him) I am thinking he is allergic or gluten intolerent, but
I really don't know. We have done a Upper GI and he looked fine.
Has anyone had any experience with this??
I have heard that rice cereal is actually not the greatest first
food, as grains are difficult to digest. Try starting with
mashed banana, then sweet potato or squash, then avocado. Add
only one new food a week, since there were problems.
Good Luck with solids!
Our 6 month old has thrown up each time she has eaten extremely
small amounts of rice cereal. We waited a few weeks between
each attempt to feed her, but still got the same result. I know
this could be the sign of an allergy, but rice cereal is
supposed to be one of the least allergic foods. My pediatrician
suggested trying barley, but she turned her head away and didn't
want to eat any. Has anyone out there had a similar
experience? Or does anyone have any suggestions? Should I try
giving her some other foods like applesauce or banana and just
skip the cereal? Our daughter is thriving on breastmilk (22
lbs. at 6months) so I'm not worried about her weight gain, just
what this throwing up could signify. Thanks for any advice.
I don't know what is causing it, but I would skip the cereal.
There are some pediatricians that recommend starting with fruit
anyway. Go for bananas!
I am a lactation specialist and am thrilled to hear you baby is thriving on
breastmilk. If you are concerned about iron deficiency, a simple heal
prick on your baby can determine if she is anemic. Many babies
(particularly exclusively breastfed babies) do not care for solids at all. A
baby can live on breastmilk alone for the first 12 months of life! I would
take a break from the rice cereal for a few weeks and introduce it , or
something else later. I cant' encourage you enough to talk to a La
Leche League Leader or attend a local LLL meeting. You will receive
tons of support from LLL. You can find a local leader and or group at
lalecheleague.org Congratulations on the great breastfeeding. Your
baby is thriving for sure. My son weighed 21 lbs at 6 months and was
not really crazy about cereal in the beginning. If you have not done so
already, try mixing breastmilk in with the cereal.
Certified Lactation Educator
La Leche League Leader
We had the same problem with our daughter. So we introduced her
fruits for a while. I found that no matter how long we waited to
try the rice cereal she would still throw it up. Finally we gave
her the cereal in the jar premixed with fruit and we didn't have
that problem anymore.
My daughter had the same experience with rice cereal when she
first started solids. She vomited quite violently each time we
tried, even when we waited a few months in between tries. She
also vomited the baby oatmeal cereal and, later, a rice
cake...so I could never pinpoint if it was the rice bothering
her or the texture of the cereal or what. Drs. couldn't explain
it either. Anyways, we just avoided baby cereal altogether.
There are other first foods for babies I'm sure your
pediatrician would OK. Some of my daughter's favorites were
bananas, applesauce, pears, carrots, butternut squash, green
beans. Later, I gave her other forms of carbs like mashed
pasta, melba toast and she loved to gnaw on baguette. By the
time she was 1 or 1 1/2, we braved the rice route again and she
was fine with rice, rice cakes and regular cereals (like
cheerios and regular oatmeal.) She is 3 1/2 now and has
absolutely no allergies or problems with foods. I can't explain
the rice cereal problem but in our case just avoiding it and
waiting until she was older to try rice again worked.
Mothering's Natural Family Living book is a great resource.
Regarding Baby's first foods, they suggest fruits and veggies
and not cereal. Also, babies are really fine with only
breastmilk for the first year according to La Leche League. You
could always wait a month and try again. Do you mix the cereal
with breastmilk? Maybe that would aid digestion. Good luck!
Many rice cereals including organic brands such as Earth's Best
have soybean lecithin. Perhaps the soy is the culprit. My
(and I imagine many) pediatrician was not aware that soy is a
common allergan. After searching high and low I found the
brand Healthy Times (www.healthytimes.com) at Andronicos and at
Fairfax's Good Earth Grocery. This brand has no soy. However,
it is brown rice as opposed to white rice which may be harder
for young digestive systems to digest.
You can always make your own rice cereal (I think the ratio of
water to rice is 6 to 1) and then food mill or puree it. The
disadvantage is that your own rice cereal will not be iron
fortified--which is the main (if not only) reason why
pediatricians want you to feed your 6+month old with rice
Apparently, babies at 6 months of age need to have iron source
other than breastmilk (I don't presently recall if their iron
stores are no longer adequate or if breastmilk doesn't provide
enough at this age). So the other option is too give other
iron rich foods (dark greens, meat sources) which may not have
a high ''yum'' factor for our young babies.
I have also heard the arguement that most babies do fine around
the world eating soley breastmilk for the first year. If your
baby isn't getting iron rich food and you are concerned (you
just ''feel'' your baby is not him/herself or your baby is
lethargic, pale, basically ''iron deficient'') have your
pediatrician do a blood test after 9 or 10 months. You can
then know if iron is the issue.
Though some babies are ready for solids at 6 months or even a
little before, many are not. Your babies digestive system just
may be a little more sensitive than some, and you are probably
best off waiting another month or two before introducing
solids. MANY babies will go 8, 9 or even 12 months before
solids are introduced, and if she is thriving on breastmilk
there is no need to push solids at this point. You are right in
that rice is one of the least allergenic foods, but a family
history of allergy is another reason to postpone all food
introduction. You also may want to start with freshly mashed
veggies or fruit, as the digestive enzymes in those foods may
help her digest more easily.
My son at 6 months would have nothing to do with rice cereal
either. Finally I started him on fruits and then mixed the
rice cereal and some breastmilk in together. THis gave him the
iron from the cereal but with a bit sweeter taste that he
really enjoyed. It seemed to do the trick with him and he is
now at 10 months a great eater and I still mix in rice cereal
and oatmeal into all his fruits and veggies. A friend of mine
had more success with oatmeal than rice cereal which her
daughter always refused.
--Just my 2 cents
My baby didn't throw up rice cereal, but definitely didn't like
it. I wonder if your baby's bad experience with rice made her
turn away at the barley. Perhaps she thought it was the rice
again. My baby (also breastfed to 23 lbs at 6 months!)ate mashed
banana, avocado, sweet potato, PEAS, green beans, plums, pears,
etc. plus some of the barley cereal. If you are still nursing
alot, that will be the baby's best and primary source of
nutrition. The food stuff is just a learning experience for
quite a while. I found that bananas and applesauce were
constipating to my baby, pear sauce was a tasty option that
wasn't (also pureed apricots, plums, and all the vegetables
countered the banana effect).
We had a very similar experience with our daughter, and couldn't
find any information from doctors or other sources about what
might be causing the problem. Most people said rice allergies were
extremely unlikely, as I am sure you have heard too. We began
feeding rice cereal to our daughter when she was 5 mos. old. At
first she tolerated it quite well. Then, when she was close to 6
mos. she began throwing it up, even the smallest amounts! Our
pediatrician suggested we switch to oat cereal, but she had the
same adverse reaction so we completely stopped giving her cereal
for about a month. In the meanwhile we tried other first foods-
carrots, squash, bananas etc. which she handled fine. Then at 7
mos. we tried the cereal again, and much to our relief she kept it
down. She won't eat it mixed with breastmilk (too bland I guess!)
so we mix cereal with applesauce or bananas. She still doesn't eat
large amounts of cereal but no more throwing up. She is now 9 mos.
old. We still don't really know what caused her to throw up the
cereal. Maybe her digestive processes just needed to mature some
more. Some people suggested an intolerance to the iron that the
cereal is fortified with. What has your baby's doctor said? It
still feels like a bit of a mystery to me, but the good news is
the problem resolved itself. I hope you too find that as your
daughter gets older she is able to tolerate the cereal, and that
there isn't an allergy or some other problem. Your baby sounds
like she is thriving so that is the most important thing!
Please recognize that your daughter's vomiting may
not ''signify'' anything at all. She may simply not be ready
and/or desirous of solids at this stage -- regardless of
whether eating solids is ''age appropriate'' behavior. Your
approach (making attempts every few weeks) is consistent with
the advice that I received from both pediatrician and other
parents when faced with a not entirely dissimilar situation. I
did decide to, effectively, skip ahead to the orange
vegetables -- yams, butternut squash, carrots, etc. After a few
weeks, I began to incorporate cereals (rice, oatmeal, etc.)
back into the meals. One important thing to note, though.
Despite all the books suggesting that bananas are a good first
food, they are very acidic and, apparently, commonly cause
vomiting in new eaters. So, you may want to delay introduction
of bananas until your baby is a bit further along the solids
path. Just a suggestion.
Try baby oatmeal. My son had a terrible episode of throwing up
after rice cereal and pears. I've been feeding him baby oatmeal
which he seemed to do fine on. (I've tried the pears and rice
again recently, this time separately. He DID NOT want the pears
but seems to be okay with the rice. I don't know if he's really
allergic to the pears or if he just doesn't like them. My
feeling is that we have to trust their bodies to tell us what to
feed them and what not to feed them.)
this page was last updated: Oct 7, 2008
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2013 Berkeley Parents Network