15 answers

5 Month Old Spitting Up

My 5 month old daughter has been having a terrible time with spitting up. I've started keeping track of how much she spits up, and she averages 7 to 9 times in between each feeding. The weird thing is that it is usually not really curdled much at all, and it's usually not during the first 30 minutes. It is from about 30 minutes to an hour and a half after she eats. She does have a cold right now, so I think that is making it worse, but she was doing this before she was sick, too, but probably not quite as much. I've tried the following things: putting her in a swing, not putting her in a swing, feeding her with a #2 nipple, going back to feeding her with the #1 nipple that is slower, feeding her rice cereal (not in her bottle, but just spoon feeding). None of it seems to work. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Her doctor put her on Zantac, but I am thinking that is not the answer, from what I've read about it. It just reduces the stomach acid, and it doesn't seem like it is a stomach acid problem (she doesn't cry or seem uncomfortable from it, and like I said, it's not very curdled.) She is on Good Start formula right (because of the comfort proteins), but I have thought about changing to Enfamil Lipil AR (which I used with my first daughter), but I don't want to add one more thing to possibly upset her stomach.

I would greatly appreciate any help! I am getting very tired of going through multiple outfits (for her and me) each day, and countless numbers of washcloths and burp cloths.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

My daughter's spitting up has gotten a LOT better...not totally gone, still one or two spit ups each feeding, but not as much coming out and not as frequently as before. The two things that I think have helped are:

1. The Zantac: We have a friend who is a pharmacist, so I called him this past weekend and asked whether the Zantac should have started working yet (at that point it had only been 4 days). He said it can take up to a week to work, and he encouraged us to stay on it for at least a week, and if it still wasn't working, to call the doctor before we stopped it.

2. Enfamil Lipil AR: We changed to that formula, which I used with my first. It is the one that is supposed to cut down on spitting up. I think it has really made the difference, too, because when she does spit up, there is much less of it. Before, it would just go everywhere. Now it is just a little bit, and it is usually thicker so it isn't as messy and it's easier to catch before it goes everywhere. (One problem I am having with the Enfamil Lipil AR is getting it to dissolve so it doesn't clog up the nipple...if anyone has any advice on that, please let me know. Thanks!)

Thanks for all of the advice. It was nice to know I'm not alone with the spit up problem, and to consider all of the different options.

Featured Answers

I had the same problem with my little girl when she was younger. She spit up what seemed to me to be a lot but the dr. said it was probably not really that much..it just looked like a lot. He said it could be "over-flow" which I didn't really think it was because she'd spit up whether she drank 1 ounce or 8! Or he said the little flap above her stomach could not be closing well. (i guess that would be reflux) We never put her on medication because she never acted like it caused her pain. I did breast feed her till about 4 months and she was even spitting that up. I tried soy formula but she still spit that up and it smelled horrible. I did start using the Enfamil AR.. she still spit up but it didn't seem to be as much and it was thicker. So we were usually able to catch it better or she would swallow it down.. =( Eventually she grew out of it (around 6-8 months i think). Basically the dr said it's more of an inconvenience for us than anything. I remember the days of getting all dressed and ready and then having to change again! And all the laundry.. Hope it gets better for ya. Good luck!

More Answers

My son had acid reflux from the time he was 7 wks until he was about 14 months. I know how you feel about going through so many changes of clothes.

My son took Reglan which helped a little but then he stopped helping and Zantac did not help at all. I tried Enfamil AR which didn't help but Enfamil Soy helped TREMENDOUSLY.

To me a sounds like a possible allergy.

Good Luck and I hope this helps.
M.

My 5 month old has always spit up quite a bit. Her pediatrician just recently had us change to Enfamil AR and that's helped a lot.

If your baby isn't upset when she spits up then it's not reflux and the medicine is worthless. What you need to do is go to your doctor and request a modified barium swallow test. My son spit up from the day he was born until the day he was tested and the right thickness was found.

There is a condition called Pyloric Stenosis, but it's normally hereditary. Even so, I would talk to your doctor about it. Email if you want more info. my DH and son are home, so I have to go!

I had the same problem with my little girl when she was younger. She spit up what seemed to me to be a lot but the dr. said it was probably not really that much..it just looked like a lot. He said it could be "over-flow" which I didn't really think it was because she'd spit up whether she drank 1 ounce or 8! Or he said the little flap above her stomach could not be closing well. (i guess that would be reflux) We never put her on medication because she never acted like it caused her pain. I did breast feed her till about 4 months and she was even spitting that up. I tried soy formula but she still spit that up and it smelled horrible. I did start using the Enfamil AR.. she still spit up but it didn't seem to be as much and it was thicker. So we were usually able to catch it better or she would swallow it down.. =( Eventually she grew out of it (around 6-8 months i think). Basically the dr said it's more of an inconvenience for us than anything. I remember the days of getting all dressed and ready and then having to change again! And all the laundry.. Hope it gets better for ya. Good luck!

My son is now 7 months old and he has been spitting up since he was born we tried different formulas and different meds and i know everyone is saying to use the Enfimil but what has really helped my son a whole lot is the Similac Alimentum. Its a hypo-allergenic formula and it has helped so much. My son Zeke used to spit and vomit like 50 times a day and using this formula he only spits like 3-4 times and its not nearly as much as it has been.
My niece also had the pyloric stenosis and she had surgery when she was 2 weeks old and thats why we were so scared but they say he is just a happy spitter.

B., I have 20 month old twin boys and one of my guys was a big spitter upper. My pediatrician told me that as long as he was gaining weight inbetween well baby checkups then not to worry too much about it. She also said that spitting up peaks between 4-6 months which is where you are. She was right, once he got into that seventh and eighth month, it did slow down and then of course was nonexistent eventually. The way she explained it to me was this: the little "flap" that keep food from coming back up the esophagus (I know that's spelled wrong!! LOL)can take a few months after birth to continue to strengthen so for some babies it just means a little more spitting up but again if the baby seems comfortable and is gaining weight then you might just have to wait it out. Believe me, I sympathize with you, I wore old t-shirts the first 10 months of my guys' lives and washed burp rags like crazy. If you're really concerned this is not normal though, you know to check with your little girl's dr.

If the Zantac isn't changing anything, I'd stop giving it to her. It doesn't sound like reflux. If she's growing and developing normally, it's likely something she'll outgrow (even if it's pyloric stenosis, I'd ask if treatment/surgery is necessary or if she'll outgrow it). I have a friend whose second spit up a lot. It got a little better when he could sit up on his own, then it was gone by the time he was a year old.

My 7 month old has had a terrible time with spitting up from the time he was about 2 months. I switched him to the Enfamil AR and it has helped him tremedously.

Good Luck!

Hi B.,

Both my children had GERD and were put on Zantac which worked wonders for them. The children's pediatrician also suggested feeding them while they're practically sitting up and feeding them only a little bit at a time, wait 10-15 minutes or so, then try feeding them some more. That seemed to help, too.

Good luck,
Jacqueline

I son spit up from the moment he was born to shortly after he started walking. I think it just takes time for their little bodies to figure out how to do everything. Just be patient!

you might want to try soy formula. i breast fead my son and to make the switch easier on his tummy i used soy. it worked well with him.

My five year old little girl had collic, bad. She screamed a lot but she would also spit up a ton, I was supprised that she was gaining any weight at all. I put her on Enfamil's Nutramigen and the collic all but stopped and the spitting up stopped all together. The protiens in it are broken down small enough that the body usually wont reject it. It's really expensive but it was worth it.
Good luck!
R.

B.,

Both of my children on formula or breast milk spit up all the time. They also both stopped spitting up aroung 9 months old. It did not seem like a big deal minus the mess,but now looking back it probally had something to do with cows milk..either lactose(sugar)or casein (the protein in milk.)

Have you tried a lactose free formula?

Just in case someone said soy formula...do not go soy untill you research the dangers of it soy formula.

Also they put my first on Zantac and it did not help ,was not good for his little body especiallysince he wasn't even in pain while spitting up.

I hope this helps some. I know it is diificult to figure out the root cause of things like this,but you are a great mother to try! I wouldn't worry to much since she is not in pain.

When my son was about 3 to 4 months he had the same problem he was not in any pain but I wanted the Dr. to ran different test on him and he had acid reflex the milk was not coming up curled or any thing just all the time about 20 to 30 min. after he would eat and it seemed like he would throw up the hole bottle. After the testing they gave him an Rx to take before meals and put him of lactose free formula. They also told me that some times the kids will grow out of it when they are around one years old sometimes older. Well I took him off the Rx when he was about 10 1/2 months and he did just fine.

I hope this helps a little.

My daughter had acid reflux (what Zantac treats and what causes spit-up) and I have a really good friend with a son a few mos. older than my daughter who is a happy spitter like your daughter, (diagnosed GERD).
Your daugther DOES have acid reflux or GERD(simply reflux w/o true acid) according to our peditricians.
Both kids our were put on acid reflux meds and while it helped my daugther tremendously, it helped the family friend's boy just moderately but enough to make his mother more comfortable in social situations (the changing clothes, constant burp cloth carrying, and the smell thing like you refer to).

For your info, this is stuff we learned from our pediatricians on the subject:
Acid reflux/GERD is VERY common in babies and is the #1 reason for all spit ups. It is due to their immature stomachs.
It doesn't have to be painful (the stomach acid in lots of babies isn't very acidic but it triggers the gag reflex which leads to spit-up, like in you daughter).
There are several different med. options including generics which are cheaper than Zantac.
It (the meds) can take up to 6 weeks to work, so don't rule it out as not working right away and jump to other conclussions as to other possible causes.
Happy spitting is virtually harmless and the child will outgrow it eventually, esp. once more solid food is in the diet on a regular basis.
Though it masy look like they are spitting up a lot, most of it is actually stomach juices/mucos mixed with a little formula/milk and they are retaining more than you realize in their stomachs
Changing formulas can possible help but may not neccessarily help.
Keep offering rice cereal - it should help somewhat (according to my dr.) by adding weight to the food and making it harder to come back up.

Hope this helps!

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