August 14, 2007,
J.M. asks from Antioch, IL on August 13, 2007
3 Week Old Spitting up Constantly
Help! My son is 3 weeks old today and he is exclusively breastfed. The last week he has been spitting up constantly. Sometimes he spit up more than others but it seems like it never stops. Is it something that I am eating? Could he be allergic to my milk? Is he eating too much??? He nurses on both sides for 8 to 10 minutes about every 3 hours. No one in my family has breastfed before so they have no answers for me and my other 2 children never spit up at all. Am I freaking myself out or is there something wrong?
P.D. answers from Chicago on August 13, 2007
D.W. answers from Chicago on August 14, 2007
I know how alarming it can be to watch your tiny baby seem to spit up non-stop, and at times spit up what appears to be a gallon of breast milk. Yes, I am exaggerating but my daughter spit up constantly and it always appeared to be so much liquid I would be beside myself. I exclusively breast fed my daughter as well, on demand, and from only one working side. I had all the same worries, does she have reflux, is she allergic, is she eating too much, is she getting nourishment since it's always coming out of her. I was assured it was a normal thing. She spit up whether she nursed for a short time, or nursed for longer stretches. She spit up sometimes immediately, and other times an hour or two later. It was just part of the feeding process, and of course, the tidal wave of spit up always came right after I changed into a clean shirt. :) I did ask my pediatrician, and they had said as long as it wasn't projectile (like flew 3 feet across the room), and was more like vomiting that I had nothing to worry about. I would honestly ask your pediatrician at your next well baby visit, and just have them put your mind at ease.
J. answers from Chicago on August 13, 2007
My daughter had the same problem - and after a few days of zantac I couldn't bear giving her I tried the following.
Try eliminating ALL dairy from your diet for 24 hours and see if it stops. If it does try eating a dairy at breakfast and see if it happens again around dinner time. If so he is lactose intolerant - so don't stop breast feeding just don't eat any dairy or if you do take Lactaid which worked for me and my daughter. But it was a long year without dairy. But well worth it. My daughter grew out of it at age 1 and drink milk everyday with no problems.
Also always try to change the diaper before you feed instead of afterward (if you can) that will help the food digest some before he is laid flat on his back and jostled around for the change.
Keep the baby upright as much as possible - I had my daughter sleep in her car carrier in her crib (0r between me an my husband) so that she was propped up more = or have the baby sleep in the swing in your room too. Anything to keep the head about the stomach helps.
The other problem you will have is switching to formula or using formula with cereal - the only one that my daughter tolerated was Nestle good Start - try that before any of that really expensive formula.
M.G. answers from Chicago on August 14, 2007
Spitting up is usually nothing to worry about. I would say most babies BF or formula fed will spit up. It is b/c the valve at the base of the esoughagus and stomach isn't done developing. As the baby gets older the spitting should decrease and for the most part be done by one year. My two girls were projectile spitters and my son likes to keep it in his mouth. Both are gross. My second daughter did have reflux, so just keep your doc informed with what is going on. Good luck and enjoy the stink of spit up!
N.S. answers from Chicago on August 13, 2007
been there done that. Relax - it's common!
M.R. answers from Chicago on August 13, 2007
My child spit up, both on breast milk and formula. He's what doctors call a 'happy spitter'. The spitting up never bothers him, in fact he enjoys spitting up then immediately sticking his hands in it - gross huh? After consulting our pediatrician, we try to burp him really well and keep him upright for at least 45 mins after a feeding (note, he NEVER spits up from his bottle just before bed!). At 3 weeks I imagine he likely isn't moving around too much - just try to keep him upright after the feeding. Many times babies (both breastfed and formula fed) spit up because their digestive system is still immature. He'll likely grow out of it, but if you're concerned have your ped check.
K. answers from Chicago on August 13, 2007
Some babies are just spitters. My daughter was one of them. I couldn't believe how much came out of that tiny little body. The good news is that as long as they are gaining weight and don't seem to be in pain, there isn't a problem. The bad news? He might still be spitting up when you start solids. You think it's bad now? wait until it's orange!
D.P. answers from Chicago on August 13, 2007
Please don't be worried. I have a son who was exclusively breastfed and I had the same problem with him. It is not that he is eating too much or anything or allergic to your milk. Boys tend to spit up more than girls do. Also it may look like a massive amount of spit up but it isn't as much as you think it is. You might want to ask your doc if he has reflux problems...some babies have a problem with it. But don't worry, honestly, my son grew out of the spit up phase when he was 6 months or so. I hope this helps!!
N.P. answers from Chicago on August 14, 2007
It could be a few things. He may be reacting to foods that you are eating. Try and keep note if you notice a pattern. He could just be a spitter-upper. I thought the same of my son but then after his spit-up sessions continued and continued we determined it was more of reflux. Make sure you get a good burp out of him and keep him sitting up or at least inclined for at least 15-20 minutes or more after he eats. If he is having plenty of #1/#2 diapers, then he is still getting what he needs but if you notice a change in that area... definitely call your pediatrician. Good luck!
L.C. answers from Chicago on August 13, 2007
At three weeks it is very common! Keep a log of what you are eating until you learn to eat in a bit of a rotation! Every three or four days repeat the food and you will be able to tell if the BABY IS REACTING TO IT WITHIN A 24 TO 48 HR PERIOD AFTER NURSING. It can be just one food, or a strange combination. And worry or caffeine can be big offenders. You can be sure that on a rotation diet it will get easier to identify any real concerns and you will not feel like you are going crazy trying trying to figure it out. Overfeeding is the biggest reason they spit up in the early months, so feed water in between nursings to see if the baby is getting hungry enough! :o)
K.C. answers from Chicago on August 13, 2007
First don't panic. I have a 2 year old and an 8 week old and they are/were both "spitters". My daughter spit up constantly, with every feeding, breast milk or formula, it didn't matter. And she would launch it too. We tried a couple of medicines with her and they made no difference so we dind't continue with them. She kept growing and gaining weight so the doctors weren't really all that concerned. They told me I had more of a laundry problem then a medical problem and boy were they right. She would spit up immediately after a feeding ALOT and then moderately between feedings. Her spitting up never bothered her, she wouldn't cry or act like it hurt or anything like that. She continued spitting up like that even after we introduced solids. I believe it wasn't until she was 8 months old when she finally stopped. We celebrated by having our carpets and couches cleaned! ha ha.
Now my son is a little different. He's been diagnosed with reflux and he too spits up a lot but not always immediately after a feeding and when he does spit up, it's often painful for him. My doctor prescribed Pepcid for him. We give that to him twice a day and though we haven't noticed too much of a decrease in spit up, we have noticed that it doesn't hurt like it did. My doctor also has me put rice cereal in his bottle to help keep it down. That can be pretty controversial so don't do that without first getting the ok from the doc.
You'll have a well visit in another week so make sure you note when he spits up the most (morning feeding? night feeding? all day?) and if it seems painful for him. My understanding is that this is a fairly common thing and either it just has to run it's course as the case with my daughter or he should receive medicine as with my son. Just don't worry, as long as he's gaining weight he's fine!
P.D. answers from Chicago on August 13, 2007
you should contact a lactation consultant... spitting up can be from any number of things from eating too much to reflux... without someone seeing you, taking a history and watching a feed there is no way to tell.
P., RLC, IBCLC
Pres. Lactation Support Group, Inc