30 answers

Newborn Throwing up Milk Thru Nose

My son is 8 days old and he has had a problem spitting up. I am not too concerned at his 4 day visit his weight gain was OK except that I find it very disturbing that he nurses and throws up quite a bit of milk and often it comes out of his nose. It seems like it is probably not a big deal but I noticed that it is much more severe when I have to wake him up to fit in the feeds (if it has been more than 3 hours since start of last feed). I sit him up for at least 30 min after each feed and he still throws up (not spit up like curdled milk- this is fresh in fresh out). Any thoughts?

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if it keeps up or increases to every feeding or becomes projectile...you may want to ask his doctor about the posibility of pyloric stenosis. I know my son had it at 3 wks old & thats about how it started. its scarey to see them throwing up like that. Hope he gets to doing better. C.

1 mom found this helpful

Since he is a newborn I would talk with the doctor. Rule out all possibilities.

On a side note I'm 36 years old and when ever I throw up I still throw up through my nose. Yuck, but true!

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if it keeps up or increases to every feeding or becomes projectile...you may want to ask his doctor about the posibility of pyloric stenosis. I know my son had it at 3 wks old & thats about how it started. its scarey to see them throwing up like that. Hope he gets to doing better. C.

1 mom found this helpful

good morning,
my name is S..i found my grandson use to do the same thing.my daughter times her sons feedings.she will feed him for a little burp him,wait a minute and start over again.we also do that wait at least 30-45 minute rule to assure digesting and do the burping process over again.i read where you have tried some of these methods.have you spoken to a pediatrician concerning this matter.he/she may order a gi series to see if there is any abnormality.please keep me posted and i hope all goes well with you.

You son sounds very much like my daughter did at that age. She would throw up 1/2 a feeding or more after every feeding. Sometimes it was instantly and sometimes it took 30 minutes. Sitting her up didn't help at all. I had to feed her every 1 - 1/2 hours. She was always gaining weight, but an ounce or less a week isn't what I consider good weight gain. Her pediatrician didn't agree. As she got older it got worse and became projectile vomiting. She turned out to have sever GERD, but they generally won't medicate for that until they are six months old. My daughter was an extreme case having been diagnosed with esinophillic esophagitis. She is allergic to milk and soy and it turned that she was allergic to breast milk. If you are nursing, eliminate dairy from your diet to see if there is an improvement. You can get calcium and vitamin through foods like broccoli, Total raisin bran, honey nut cheerios milk 'n cereal bars, spinach (cooked), canned salmon, tofu, wonder kids bread, kix cereal, sunflower seeds, white beans, almonds, flour tortillas and supplements. If you see an improvement, then stick with the non-dairy diet. Usually if it is baked in or cooked in it isn't as much of a problem. If your baby is still having trouble, you'll have to go to a hyper-allergenic formula like Neutramigen or Alimenten.

One thing I learned the hard way is how to communicate with your doctor. If your child is still spitting up after 20 minutes of feeding, it is throwing up. They view this very differently. If your baby spits up and can't stop that reflux, tell your doctor that. We went 8 months with out pediatrician treating us like lunatics and pacifying us because I wasn't speaking in their language. I had to seek out specialists on my own because our pediatrician didn't think anything was wrong with our daughter. She is generally healthy now, but has some other health issues caused by not being diagnosed properly at a younger age. She is very happy! That was always a problem too. Apparently doctors think that happy babies aren't sick. Her weight gain is still very slow. She's been in the 3rd-10th percentile all her life (she is 3 now). Whatever you do, don't panic. All you probably need to do is modify your diet or the baby's slightly. Also, try to let your son sleep in his infant carrier or a bouncer seat inside the crib. That really helps with reflux babies. Good luck!

my son did a lot of that but he was gaining weight just fine and the dr saw no damage to his throat. So he would not give us any meds. I was amazed at how much could come out of a little babys stomach. I started out with my son sleeping in a crib and i raised one end to elevate his head. This did not help much. I started having my son sleep in a swing, which improved the acid reflux a lot. he slept in a swing until he was 16 months and to big to stay in it safely. At 16 months, I moved him to our bed and slept him on a pillow and i inclined his part of the mattress. Until my son was 6 months, my working husband and I took shifts watching our son while sleeping because we were concerned he would choke on spit up. My son will be 3 in a week and he still has acid reflux that makes him throw up. He has an allergy to wheat - celiacs disease. I am sure that me eating wheat while I nursed him made the conditions worse, but he was not diagnosed until 2. They have meds out there for the acid reflux, but there are side effects. My sons Ped GI dr put him on mylanta and it has worked wonders - no more juicy burps or sitting up and throwing up in bed. The Dr. said he put him on mylanta because there are no side effects. If you baby continues to spit up alot, you may ask your dr about it. I mix my sons in his koolaide and he is none the wiser! By the way, acid reflux hurts, so if your son is very cranky you may know why. Good Luck.

I would consult with your pediatrician. With regards to waking him up to feed, I would recommend against that unless your dr. is advising due to insufficient weight gain. Let him set his own feeding schedule. When he is hungry, he will let you know. Children are fantastic self regulators when it comes to hunger. Good luck and congratulations!

Hi, I am a mom of 6 and my youngest is now 13 years old. I would definetly check with your doctor to make sure he isn't having reflux problems. If he is more severe after waking him to feed him every 3 hours, he probably doesn't need that much food. I never woke mine up to eat. I let them decide when they were hungery. All six of mine were premie and all were healthy and very chubby babies. He may be getting more milk than he can handle. But your doctor would be the best expert on this question.

R.- Congratulations on your new arrival! My son (now 19 months old) did the same thing. He was in the NICU for 8 days following his joyous arrival and that is where it started. Almost everytime he spit up it was through his nose. He didn't have the suck-swallow thing down pat yet and wanted to keep his tongue "locked" in the roof of his mouth- therefore it came out of his nose- like you it scared us to death! The nurses raised the end of the bed swaddled him and placed him on his side, that way if he did spit up he didn't get choked. We continued the same thing when we came home and it worked until he was able to move around from the position he was placed in. He stopped spitting up so we stopped doing it... he would not sleep! We had MANY sleepless nights until someone suggested that we raise his mattress up and put blankets under one end to elevate it- (also helps to prevent ear infections!) From that night on he started sleeping through the night! You may still want to mention acid reflux though- even though my son stopped spitting up everytime I layed him flat he would scream- I thought he was spoiled but after raising the mattress I realized it wasn't that. It delayed having to have him put on meds for a little while but he is now on 2 pills a day for acid reflux. Good luck with your little one, I hope this helps!


I think keeping him up after feeding is a great idea. You may just want to have him checked by the pediatrician next week, if this persists. Godd Luck!

I would not wake him up to feed him (unless your doctor has said you need to, because the baby has weight gain issues or something like that).

You don't mention if you are breastfeeding or formula-feeding him.

Because artificial formula is harder for the baby to digest than natural breastmilk, it may be staying in his stomach longer. Although I b/f both of my kids, I think the recommendation for scheduling formula feeding is every 4 hours or so.

If you're breastfeeding, I still wouldn't wake him up, because babies usually have a time when they sleep for a longer period of time (say, a stretch of 5 hours at once). Both my children would do this -- they would sleep for a long time, and then make up for not eating by nursing a long time and/or nursing several times within a few hours. I didn't schedule either of my children -- I figured that they would let me know when they were hungry; and they did.

Im a little late, but I will answer anyways, because this one is Easy! Your baby is only 8 days old. Until about a month post-natal, your body is producing more milk than your baby needs. This means that it tends to come out pretty fast, and he is still small and learning to nurse. He could be gulping while eating, which could cause him to swallow more air. Also, when it comes out fast, chances are he is getting a very full tummy, in a short amount of time. This means he will spit it up while it is still fresh. The nose and mouth are connected, and because babies' mouths are small, it is common for it to come out the nose as well. The reason it is worse when you wake him up for a feeding is because you are going longer in between. Your breasts have had more time to fill up! The more milk, the faster it tends to come out. Your milk supply will adjust itself in the next few weeks, but until then, dont worry. If he doesnt seem distressed and is gaining weight, it is just a matter of waiting it out.

If it is projectile(meaning when he spits up it can go accross the room) then he needs to be ealuated immediately for pyloric stenosis. If it is just a little a would have the doctor check him for reflux. I would not think it is pyloric. that usually does not show up until three weeks old

Since he is a newborn I would talk with the doctor. Rule out all possibilities.

On a side note I'm 36 years old and when ever I throw up I still throw up through my nose. Yuck, but true!

He might be safer sleeping in a car seat rather than on his back, as he would be a little more upright. You could put the carseat next to your bed, or in the crib next to your bed. After the last response, it sounds like you'll definitely want to have this checked out with the doctor - until you get some real answers and feel comfortable.

My dd did the same thing when she was born. She spent her first month in NICU and I would go there to feed her. I told the nurses about and of course they said spitting up was normal. I've seen babies spit up, and this wasn't it. It took four months before the pedi office reffered us for swallow study. Turns out he throat muscles were week. No surprise being two months early and having a feeding tube run down her throat. Before that they put her on relfex meds. The symptoms of the two are a lot alike. She is for now, and still having some reflux issues. She is not as bad as some, the worst is care sickness. My dd was allergic to food thinkner, so we used AR formula and it helped.
I agree w/alot of the other replies, except one. It is an important issue. My dd had pneumonia during Christmas and the np that just did her swallow study says it could have been caused by reflux, or trouble swallowing. You also need your sleep and so does the baby. Get a 2 or 3 opinion (dr) if you have to!
Good luck

Congratulations on your new little one!!! I would eliminate 100% of dairy and wheat from my diet and only feed my son when he was hungry. My daughter started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks because I only feed her when she was hungry... my first child didn't sleep through the night until 18 months. I woke him up to feed him and he had a LOT of projectile vomitting!

Well my daughter did that alot when she as a newborn i had to switch to a thicker formula i use enfamil a.r she stopped spitting up completely

My seven week old is doing the same thing now. Not big deal unless it's affecting his breathing. Check with your pediatrian if unsure.

I it sounds like your son may have reflux. My first daughter did the same thing in the hospital and at home. She would look up like she was looking at the ceiling and shake her head from side to side and then spit up like nothing I've ever seen, through her nose and mouth and then she'd scream because of the pain, I guess. If you haven't done so already ask your doctor to see if this could be what he has. They have medication for reflux and it usually works very well. I have a friend who's premie twins had it very bad and when she put them on the medicine, it was a lot better. I hope this helps. Take care. Reflux usually ends around 1 year of age if not before. J. A.

my 12 mo old did that. They didn't want to put her on med for the reflux as long as she was gaining weight fine. They will probably tell you the same.
I stopped waking her up to feed and just let her nurse when she woke up hungry. You may be making more milk than required and since babies love to suck, they just keep sucking, not realizing they are full. I think that is what happened with us.
If you are very concerned, you should talk to the dr of course.
Good luck

My daughter is 11 weeks old. She did the same thing and would get choked and start arching her back and body. Also she acted like she could not breath. The spit up would come up in her mouth and some out her nose. She had to be admitted to Levine Children's Hospital where they did a barium swallow. They found out it was gastroesophageal reflux. She is on Axid and other GE precautions like sitting up 30 minutes after feed and sleeping on a 30-degree angle. Hope you son gets better. It could also be pyeloric stenosis. Look that up on the Internet.

A little about me: WAHM of 3 wonderful children.

he's probably got a weak spincter muscle in his stomach, namely the cardiac spincter, AKA - spitting up.
Sometimes when it comes up it will come up harshly and the milk doesn't have to be curdles as sometimes it could come up within minutes after eating so that wouldn't be curdled, therefore it is not really 'throwing up' and when it comes out it could possibly even come out through the eyes, hopefully it won't but it would be possible. That is a system within itslef and those ducts are all connected.
Now if you get some bad smelling vomit, curdled and thick..... I would consider that to be throw up and the baby may be sick then. Otherwise what you are describing just sounds like a weak muscle, which is very common for babies. It will strengthen as it gets older.

This is just my opinion on the waking up to feed. I would never wake a sleeping baby to feed them. They know when they are hungry. I know docs are nuts about getting them on a schedule but every child I have had (4) has put themselves on a schedule. Maybe you are feeding him too much and it is filling his little tummy so full that he is vomiting. Just my thought. Also another thing is boys tend to have acid reflux 10x more than girls. It could also be that. First I would slack off on the feedings. If that did not help then I would take him to the doc to see about acid reflux. Again Im not a doc just speaking from experience.

My son did that and come to find out later he had food allergies so whatever I ate he reacted to. Pay particular attention to what you eat. Make a diary. See if some foods you eat make it worse for him. My son is allergic to eggs and peanuts so whenever I ate either of them he got sick. He wasn't near as bad as he is if he ingests the food directly. But he did have upset stomach with it passing through my milk.

I think it is too soon to test your child for food allergies but I may be wrong. So you may just have to figure it out with process of elimination. God bless~

Hi R.,

Have you spoken to the doctor about this? Though I am relatively sure that this isn't the case for you, I'd like to just mention it anyway, if you don't mind. You may want to have the doctor look and feel into his mouth to check the palate to make sure that there is not a cleft. Sometimes milk through the nose indicates a cleft palate.

My own son has a hidden submucous cleft, which is why I bring this up. With a submucous cleft, skin covers the cleft - he did not throw up out of his nose, but he did have trouble nursing. We didn't know about the cleft at the time because he did not have the tell-tale sign of a split uvula (that thing that hangs down at the back of the throat.) We ended up having to use bottles with nipples that had larger holes so he could suck easier.

It's just a thought to have the doctor check that for you. He's so young that without a cleft lip that is so obvious, they may not have looked or felt far enough into his mouth to see it.

All my best,

um why are you waking him up to feed him? when hes hungry he will get up. sounds like you could be over feeding... plus when you throw up it does come out your nose i would lessen the feedings... let him tell you when hes hungry and see itf that helps if not talk to the doc about it

Hi R..

I'd check with le leche league, 877-452-5324. http://www.lllofnc.org/LocalGroups.html
They would probably have not only a reason why but something to help you out with. If it's a medical problem, they'll refer you back to your doctor.

God bless,



I am a mother of three little girls. My first one did not spit up at all. But baby number 2 did just like your is and so has baby #3 who is now 19 weeks old. WHat helped me and what the doctor agreed with me about. Is My milk was coming in (out) to fast and they could not keep it in. So I started pumping a little bit before the first morning feeding and that has helped greatly. If you are worried about it contact your Lactation consultant ( if you don't have one you can call your hospital they should be able to put you in touch with one or I can give you the number I call) or talk to your Ped. about it.
He is still young and is still learning to shallow. HAng in there you can do this. Also, I would not wake him to feed him. If he is sleeping let him sleep unless he is not growing like he should. My Baby has been sleeping 5-10 hour at night since Thanksgiving she was born Oct. 8th. She now weighs 19lbs and is very very healthly. Her Ped. still does not want me to give her any cereal or other foods yet (breast milk Only) If I can help anymore please let me know.

When I was first born I had acid reflux very badly. My mom said that in turn I couldn't nurse because it caused me to have another allergy to "her" so to speak. Anyway, she said it didn't matter what she tried she could hear my stomach/feel it and it would projectile across the room...out every orfice (nose, mouth, etc.). Eventually the doctor had her put me on soy formula and also start rice cereal early. She said it took a while for me to get use to everything, but eventually it worked.

As for my son, he had reflux as well. He was able to nurse for 12 weeks and also use regular formula. Because he had weight issues in the beginning as well as reflux the doc had me start him on rice cereal after he was 1 month old. That in itself worked better than anything I tried. He wasn't bad enough to warrant medicine, but I know that they make some stuff that can help.

I hope this is helpful to you. I'd definitely ask your doctor before you try anything. Good luck!

well my 3 mounth old dois that the docter put her on some meds they put her zantac and that did not work and then they put here prilosec jest talk to you docter utting hem on one of them med.....

My son did the same thing. I had to use the football hold to nurse him because I had a terrible c-section that still isn't completely healed and he's ten weeks old. My pediatrician said not to worry about it and now that I sit him up more to nurse and also bottle feed (breastmilk) he doesn't do it any more. I worried about it too because it seemed painful and I was afraid he would choke but he's either outgrown it or stopped doing it because I don't have him lying down to nurse. Maybe check with the doctor first but if the doctor isn't worried, then try not to worry about it.

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