29 answers

2-Month-old Spitting up a Lot

Hello -- I am the mother of a beautiful 2-month-old boy. He was born 3 weeks early, tiny, (4lb., 15 oz.) but very healthy. We have had to change his formula 5 times so far and now his doctor has put him on Zantax for acid reflux. We would feed him, and sometimes he would spit up during each burping break. Sometimes it would be after he was fed, and most times it is usually a lot. We have changed from Enfamil LIPIL, to Gentelease, to Lactose free to soy and now we are on organic. My husband has an allergy (sensitivity) to corn and all these formulas have corn syrup as the main ingredient, with the exception of soy. We read that because of my husband's allergy, our son could have the same sensitivity. He has been on the soy formula for about a week and the Zantax for 2 days. I can honestly say that I have not seen a difference. We try to keep him upright for awhile after the feedings to prevent this, but it does not seem to help. He is also so active - (moving and bouncing a lot) that I think that does not help. I was hoping I could find someone who maybe went through this type of situation too and could give me some advice. Thank you!

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I want to thank everyone for all of the wonderful advice. It makes me feel better that I am not the only one going through this! We have a wedge for his crib that we bought before he was born and have been using it since day one. I will keep him on his formula now for a bit longer and see what happens, but it is nice to know that there are other alternatives. Thanks again, everyone!

Featured Answers

My son had acid reflux. What finally helped was Enfamil AR (now similac has one too-Sensitive RS) and Prevacid. Zantac didnt do much for my son. Good luck, this too shall pass.

Hi:

My first son did not do well on soy. This was more than 40 yrs ago. What help him and stopped all the problems was goats milk. We could buy it then in cans. I hope his alternative helps you.

H.

Just wanted to let you know that Zantac takes a full two weeks to work so don't give up so fast on it. Have you tried Similac Alimentum? Formulas could take over a week too to start working too.

More Answers

i also am a mom of a beautiful 2 month old preemie. he was born at 30 weeks. although doing well, he spits up at every feeding, sometimes several times during, especially if he gets the hiccups. sometimes 1-2 hours after and when i have held him for an hour. now it is projectile. we switched 2 weeks ago to enfamil ar. no real difference. he doesn't always cry, but the last week, he cries when i put him down and always spits up whenever i lay him down. enfamil ar also constipated him!! help!!! i want to switch to nutramigen, i have heard a lot of good things about it!! any other advice??? thanks!!

I'm SORRY! I can absolutely relate and gosh what a nightmare when it is you going through it with your baby. I found that people were so quick to kind of minimize how serious it all feels when it's your poor little baby. We also had to go through several formula changes. Ultimately what worked was Similac Alimentum (Purple). But my oh my what an expensive baby we've had! Also, we had to add a scoop of rice cereal to every bottle since she was 2 months old. My baby's reason was GERD (infant acid reflux). The heavier the formula, the more likely to stay down. Docs don't like it though (cereal before 4 months) but they don't have any life/death warnings either so you have to decide what's best for your little one. My daughter also had trouble with gas so we'd put gas drops in every bottle too.

If you haven't already heard, GRIPE water is another MUST have. Again, docs don't like it b/c they say it's just sugar water. But sugar water or not, it absolutley makes a difference in calming any stomach upset my baby has (including hiccups BTW, 1 drop & it dissapears). SO I always have on hand in every diaper bag, Gas drops, Gripe water, Tylenol (just in case) and extra cereal. Also, I don't know if your baby got constipated from all the changes but mine did. I used a glycerin suppository which worked great.

So main advice- start with adding cereal to his existing formula and see if that helps. Or, try Alimentum. And for certain get the Gripe Water. While you're at it, do yourself and baby a favor and pick up homeopatic teething tablets. They were a LIFE SAVER as nothing else really seemed to make a difference. And having things on hand ahead of time has been a trademark of my parenting and BOY am I glad. Best wishes and feel free to contact me if you have any further questions about any of this. -N.

My daughter was also diagnosed with the acid reflux. To be honest, she didn't have that much of the spitting up but would cry all of the time and did not sleep. I personally did not find the formula change that effective, but she was on Nutramagen. I also did not find Xantax to be effective at all either. I eventually requested a referral to a gastroenterologist and he put her on Prilosec. Within three weeks of taking that medicine, she was so much better and a different child. We managed to wean her off of the medicine at 10 months, and now she is a happy 20 month old who very rarely cries. I also used to hold her up after feedings and she liked motion (cars, sound of the dryer, swing, etc.). Good luck. I know reflux is not easy, but it does get better.

Hi R.- my daughter also was the "spit-up queen" when she was younger. She was breastfed until 12 mos- but every time she was fed- either breast milk or solids she spit up after every feeding. Our pediatrician said that she probably had a weak sphincter muscle between her esophagus and stomach. We tried a wedge under her mattress and that helped a bit. we were so scared that she would aspirate that we had her sleeping next to my bed in the carseat for a while before we got the wedge! the doctor told us that some babies have this weakened muscle and that it would go away by her first birthday. Sure enough a few days before her first b'day I realized halfway through the day that I hadn't gotten spit up on that day. It was a long road- always smelling like sour milk etc and the extra laundry for both her and me- but she'll be six in Oct and is very healthy. I would certainly check out any other options too in case it's not that muscle. Good luck

MY son spit up every day of his life about 10 times a day until he was about 11 months old. We tried every formula under the sun, and nothing helped. My doctor said some kids just spit up no matter what and will outgrow it by age one. It is annoying and messy, but they do stop.
My son was also put on Zantac. I was told to stay on it for 2 weeks before saying if it worked or not. At about 12 days the amount my son spit up did go down, so I would not give up on it just yet. Hope that helps.

Eric was also a preemie (33 weeks) and also 4 lbs. 15 oz. The pediatrician told us he, too, had acid reflux, but since he was gaining weight, he didn't put him on any meds. He would spit up (what seemed like a LOT, but, in reality, was not) as much as 45 minutes after nursing, and at night, he'd have to stay moderately upright for at least an hour (sometimes two) before he could/would go to bed. (Fortunately, my husband is a night person, and I would hand Eric off to him around 10:30 or 11 and he would stay in the recliner with him for up to two hours - semi-reclined, Eric laying on his chest.) Once we started cereal (YOUNG - four plus months adjusted, six months actual), the acid reflux went away (in about three or four days) and he's been fine ever since (he's now 3 years old).

HTH

Zantax side effects you might want to concider:

RESPIRATORY: Pnewumonia

NERVOUS SYSTOM: dissiness, insommia, vertigo, agitation, depression, blurred Vision, reversible motor disturbances

CARDIIONASCULAR: tachycardia, bradycardia, nausea/vomiting, abdominal, discomfort/pain, pancreatitus

HEPATIC: hepatocellular, cholestatic or mixed hepatitis, with or without jaundice

GASTROINTESTINAL: constipation, diarrehea, nausea/vomiting, abdominal, discompt/pain, pancreatitis.

HEMATOLOGIC: Blood count changes, leukopenia, granulocytopenia

Hi R. ... I don't know if this "advice" will help. I guess it's just a more like a point of view. My son had the same problam. Up until 6 months old, he just spit up a lot--not to mention all the gas pain/trouble the formula always seemed to give him. We also tried the soy, but didn't see any difference. My doctor put him on Prevacid for acid reflux, but I have to tell you that he still spit up, and I really was never all that comfortable giving such a tiny baby all that medicine. We even tried the Enfamil A.R. (with rice). Also didn't see any big difference. My husband and I discussed reducing his formula intake and increasing his baby food. That did the trick! He only has formula in his cereal (breakfast and dinner), and he has an 8 oz bottle of formula at night before bed. No more spit-up! My doctor said that he's getting plenty that way for his diet to be healthy. He's almost 9 months now. We went from 15 bibs a day to 1 since changing things up. No joke! I did a lot of reading up on acid reflux--unless the baby has projectile vomiting and seems to be in serious pain after eating, IT IS NOT ACID REFLUX! But, your son is still very young and needs his formula, so you may just have to put up with the spit-up for awhile, until he's ready for more solid foods. Of course, it never hurts to be safe--he may have an alergy. I'm rambling now lol Sorry! I know it will work out. Best of luck to you!

my daughter now 16 had the same problem and she was breast-fed! she out grew it when she turned 6 months old and her digestive system matured enough. Keep a lot of bibs and burp daipers handy and you'll spend many hours doing laundry but it should end.

Hi R.
I don't have a lot of first-hand experience with the issues your son is having - but I have researched a lot of formulas with both my first and second sons. THe only one I feel comfortable feeding them (I breastfeed but have to supplement for daycare) is Baby's Only Organic by Nature's One. You should check out their website and look at the ingredients. Their packaging says for older babies - but that's the deter people from giving up breastfeeding too early. YOu can look at comparison charts and talk to your pediatrician. Mine - both time's said it was completely find to give to younger babies. Mine first got it at 3 or 4 months. Good luck. It doesn't have corn syrup so hopefully that will help. The dairy version does have some soy ingredients but it's made from organic milk.It's getting more and more popular with all the issues with the bigger brands so I found it easiest to just order it directly from them online. naturesone.com

My son had the same problem. He was a healthly 9lb 5oz boy but he was a chronic spiiter-upper. He was on regular Enfamil, then the Gentlease, then the Doctor put him on Zantac and Levsin. Then right before they were gonna put him on Prevacid one of the Doctor's in our practice suggested trying Enfamil A.R. Lipil and let me tell you that made ALL the difference. It is proven to reduce spit up like 45% and it really worked. It reduced it more than 45% in our little boy. It has rice cereal infused into the formula which makes it really heavy and more likely not to travel upward. He hasn't taken his medicine in a really long time. (he's 4 months now) Speak to your doctor about it. It really worked for us. Good luck!

my daughter JUST stopped spitting up at 8 months! i was hesitant to put her on meds, and dr. said if she didn't seem uncomfortable doing it (which she didn't) then it was really only a problem for us (in terms of cleaning it up) and wasn't a big deal for her, so just wait it out. we were joking around that she was going to be spitting up while driving! but it did end! good luck!

I have twin boys and one would have frequent spit ups when he was an infant. (Many times it was more like projectile vomiting--yuck.) Some things we did that definitely helped:

I would pat his back until he burped at least twice. This would take a long time so I made up a song to sing while I was doing it. Even though I felt ridiculous patting and rubbing his back for so long, he really needed to get those burps out.

I also had him sleep on a wedge. When he was about that age we used something underneath his crib mattress to elevate the mattress from the springs. (Obviously we made sure that there was no way he could slip through.) Around 5 or 6 mths old, we switched to using a wedge. You can buy them at Bed, Bath and Beyond or a similar store for about $10. I, myself, was diagnosed with Reflux and the doctor had me sleep on the wedge. We tried it with our son and it worked wonders.

Finally, although it seems weird, we noticed that our son would spit up if he was constipated. Still to this day, if he does not have his normal bowel movements he will spit up or vomit. Hope some of this helps...good luck!

hi
i am mother of a boy who now is three yrs old,had also acid reflux. he was put on prevacid (which is stronger than zantac)it helped a little bit but they had to keep on highering the dose. my husband and i didnt like the fact that he was on such a strong medication.we started using homeopathic remedies..we made sure that after every feeding he was uprite. in the middle of feeding after an ounce or so we would stop and burp.its better for his stomach if he eats less and more frequently .he slept in his car seat for 3-4 months. we then bought him this baby hammock which really helped alot.as far as the formula there is nutramagin or alumentum,and i think that carnation has a formula that is for sensative stomach's.i hope i helped out ..good luck w/ him

Hi R.,

I'm sorry you're going through this - the first months of a baby's life is so tough for mommy and baby.

Alimentum liquid (ready-to-feed) doesn't have corn (maltodextrin). FYI.

Please don't give him any more medicine (Zantac). It's just too much for his little body to have medicine. I think it's just going to take some time for his tiny digestive system to get more mature.

Two more thoughts: Keep him upright as long as you possibly can after a feeding, and get him to burp more often - after every 1/2 ounce if necessary.

Good Luck,
J.

My first son spit up CONSTANTLY!!!! Docs refused to put him on reflux meds b/c they said he was not cranky and he was gaining weight. Spit up is very normal. My 10 month old still spits up from time to time. Just part of mommyhood.
But, I would give it some time to have the baby adjust to the meds and new formula. I think people are too quick to change formulas right away. Sometimes their bodies just need an adjustment period.
Good luck!

Hi:

My first son did not do well on soy. This was more than 40 yrs ago. What help him and stopped all the problems was goats milk. We could buy it then in cans. I hope his alternative helps you.

H.

hi, had that with my 14 year old when she was a baby, projectile vomiting. had leather couches...thank goodness. also, put her on nutamegin formula, and another friend of mine put her daughter on allementim. didn't see a difference. later, carnation came out with a formula that was easier on the stomach. i've heard from others how good it was, but by that time, my daughter was off formula. anyway, we had her checked for pyloric stenosis. very easy test and very easy solution if this is what your child has. we went to a gastroenterologist to have him prescribe this test. after, when all was well (she didn't have pyloric stenosis), the gastroenterologist informed us that her sphinkter (sp?) muscle was not as strong and the flap kept opening. he stated that a couple weeks after she started to walk it would go away because she would be in an upright position. hope all this helps.
mom of 2 girls ages 14 and 9 (the 9 year old wasn't as bad)

I had the same situation. At 2 months, my son was very fussy, spitting up a lot and crying when he ate - we beleive because of gas in his stomach. We went from milk based formula to soy and then to nutramigen at the suggestion of our pediatrician. When things weren't improving, he wanted us to see a pediatric gastrointerologist. They took a sample of his stool and confirmed that there was no problem with his digestion so we had no medical reason to keep him on the nutramigen and told us that it was acid reflux. We got the perscription for the zantax and after only a few days, he has improved dramatically.

Acid reflux is evidently very common in babies and, as we found out, peeks around 2-3 months and then should go away. It is also a good idea to try to prop up the mattress or let him sleep propped up - our son likes to sleep in his bouncy seat.

The next time you go to the doctor, ask them to test the babies stool to see if there is an allergy to corn. You might also want to ask about administering Maalox or Mylanta. Our doctor said that we can give him a little bit if he seems to be uncomfortable in between getting the Zantax.

If you learn anything else, please let me know - I am interested to hear if anything has worked with you that I can use!

My daughter who is 17 months had reflux. It was horrible and you could tell she was in pain. Unless you have experienced it first hand you have no idea how it feels to be a parent who feels helpless to making them stop feeling this way.

We but our daughter on Alimentum (the liquid one) because there is no corn syrup in it (the powder one has it). She was also very sensitive to corn. It is expensive and a pain to always have to heat up because it has to be refidgerated, but it worked great.

She also was on Prevacid (Zantac did not work for us). We HATE giving our children medicine, but when they are crying and in pain you will do anything to help them. Also, I have read that if you don't stop them from throwing up all the time, they can burn their throat and have throat ulcers from all the acid.

I hope this helps! Good luck it will get better.

Oh by the way...my daughter outgrew it by 8 1/2 months!

Dear R.,

I own a childcare center in which i have cared for many infants. We once had a child who did the same thing and through trial and error and testing he is allergic to all dairy and has something called celiacs disease. Which basically is a wheat allergy. He was put on a strick diet and is doing great now. Also with babies with acid reflux have you tried having him eat in his infant seat with his bottle propped up. I know you may think he is in a sitting up possition but if he is squirming he may be causing the milk to not digest properly. Try putting him in the infant seat with maybe a baby einstein video on which should keep him engrossed and very still and see if it helps. My daughter had to drink Neutramogen which was predigested for her sensitive stomach have you tried it? Good luck!!

My son had acid reflux. What finally helped was Enfamil AR (now similac has one too-Sensitive RS) and Prevacid. Zantac didnt do much for my son. Good luck, this too shall pass.

R.:
While my daughter does not have an allergy that we know of, she did spit up constantly. Sometime, what seemed to be most of her bottle. Though I never changed formulars, her Dr. told me that some babies spit up often but it does slow down around the 6 month mark. Partly b/c they'll be eating solids by then and partly bc their gag reflex will be more developed. My daughter is now 7 months and doesn't spit up at all anymore. Hang in there.
T. L

Hi R.,
My daughter who is a twin was also born 3 weeks early and weighed 5.14 at birth. She had many of the same problems you are describing. After changing formulas several times we found Similac sensitive did the trick for her. She was also put on Prevacid for her reflux. She would literally vomit across the room!! And very large amounts. We were always amazed that such a tiny thing was producing so much. We would hold her upright for 1/2 an hour after eating and she slept on a wedge at night to keep her head elevated. I would say to give the medicine a few more days to notice a change. It may take some time. I hope it all works out for you. and FYI she outgrew the reflux by the time she was 8 months old!! There is a light at the end of the tunnel!! Good luck :)

R.

I put my son on Enfamil Lipil AR and he was on Zantac for the acid reflux. I would try that and see what happens

Hi R., don't worry, you're not alone! I went through this with my first son and man it was not pretty! The doctor out him on Zantac @ 2 weeks old. 2ea we tried smaller more frequent feedings, more burping throughout the feedings, keeping him upright for a while before laying him down and about 10 different formulas. We wound up stuck on Emfamil AR. Because it stands for Added Rice, the feedings were considerably smaller and much more frequent. I know it sounds like its time consuming but it's not that bad when your baby is actually happy and content through the feedings. Yes Johnny was very hyper during meals. He would laugh, bounce, yell because he liked the sound of his voice, etc....another mother suggested that I turn off all t.v.s, music, dim the lights and try not answering or being on the phone or talking too much during mealtime. This should help relax baby and sit quietly while he wonders in curiosity why he can't hear?LOL! As far as the allergy thing, no idea really, sorry. Give the Zantac time. My son loved it because it made him feel good. He would come in the kitchen before dinner or early in the morning and open his mouth to me because he was hungry and wanted the medicine. If you have any questions about something I missed just email me. I love being a help to other moms. Good luck.

similac alimentum worked for my daughter and it is very expensive, but your insurance may cover it, if the doctor says it is medically necessary

Just wanted to let you know that Zantac takes a full two weeks to work so don't give up so fast on it. Have you tried Similac Alimentum? Formulas could take over a week too to start working too.

Hi R.,
Our first son also had the same symptoms you are describing. The vomiting after eating and very fussy. He cried a lot and as a first-time mom I did not know what to do either. I finally at six weeks old insisted on a consult from a GI specialist. It was only then did we find out that he had pyloric stenosis. He did have to have surgery but not another problem since. Pyloric stenosis occurs when the muscle after the stomach grows too quickly not allowing food to pass through. It doesn't neccesarily mean your child has this but just wanted you to know about the condition. Good luck. K. K

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