25 answers

Throw up or Spit Up?

I have a three month old who just started throwing up (spitting up) after he eats. I am wondering if this is a virus or if maybe it is reflux. How can you tell the difference between throw up and spit up? The stomach bug is going around at my husbands work so I am thinking it's that since it just started yesterday. He doesn't have a fever and he is taking 3-4 ounces every 2-3 hours. I have been giving him some pedialite too. but he throws some of it up every time. He really isn't too grouchy and he has plenty of wet diapers but no poop yet. What do you think it is?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

He is doing better- he hasn't been throwing up in the last three days. I am thinking maybe something just upset his tummy. If it's reflux I guess time will tell :) Thanks for all your help.

Featured Answers

It sounds like it's just spit up. Throw up would be a large quantity. My little girl started spitting up more around that age and sometimes it was just because I was feeding her too much and she was spitting up the excess. Hope I could help a little.

If it is coagulated it is throw up and if not then spit up. Once it hits the stomach it coagulates, so if it is milky it has not gone all the way down and is being spit up. If possible keep him in an upright postion for 30 mins after he eats and this should help with the spit up. I have a 7 month old little boy who went through the same thing. My son did have a stomach virus also when he was 2 months old, so keep an eye out it is possible. Keep a count of his wet diapers and if they are unusally less usual than take him to the doctor. Keep giving him the pedilyte if you are worried they take a lot more down than we think.

That happened to me with my 9 month old several weeks ago...it was a bad ear infection and he was teething at the same time. He didn't do very well when I fed him and when I laid him down. That's usually when he would throw up but it was mostly formula mixed with snot as opposed to the nasty looking greenish stuff. Ick!

Just an idea. Hope he feels better soon!

More Answers

It would be rare for the baby to have the stomach bug since babies have approx 6 months of antibodies built in at birth. More if they are breastfed. I think it is reflux. Have you tried giving him less food more often. Take his weight and times it by 2.5 this is how much he should eat in 24 hours. If it continues talk to his pediatrician.

1 mom found this helpful

Take your baby to the doctor. My cousin went thru this recently with his infant and he was diagnosed with thrush. Evidently this is very common in babies, especially those who are in a daycare setting. The biggest issue is that the baby could become dehydrated. They had to give their baby and ounce at a time and wait 5-10 minutes to make sure he kept that down then feed another ounce.

Good Luck!

With him only being 3 months old, I would take him to the doctor to find out. Babies can get dehydrated really quickly.

My baby boy started spitting up around that age. I did some research on it. It turns out that 40% of babies just spit up. Something about the vavle where the esophagus and the stomach meet - it just relaxes at the wrong time. Babies grow out of it around the age of one. My baby has his good days and his bad as far as spitting up goes. Sometimes he spits up a lot, but sometimes not much at all. Try sitting him a little more up right when feeding and keep him up for a while after eating. Definitely give him time before giving him tummy time - pressure on the belly will make it worse. If he is acting and feeling fine, I am sure that it is just spit up. Especially if he is doing it right after he eats.

The difference is the amount. Spit up is usually a small amount and just comes out of the mouth while baby is lying/sitting. Throw up has a little more force and will saturate his clothes, your clothes, and maybe (if you tried to catch it) the burp cloth. My 2 month old just went to the dr. for vomiting. The dr. said not to worry unless baby is fussy, has a fever, or acts different. It doesn't seem he is eating too much at 3-4 ounces. My girl is breastfed, so it's hard to tell how much she eats. The doc said she is probably eating too much and her stomach can't hold but so much so the rest comes out. Also after feeds try to leave him sitting up and calm for 30 mins. that has helped for me! Good luck.

If it is coagulated it is throw up and if not then spit up. Once it hits the stomach it coagulates, so if it is milky it has not gone all the way down and is being spit up. If possible keep him in an upright postion for 30 mins after he eats and this should help with the spit up. I have a 7 month old little boy who went through the same thing. My son did have a stomach virus also when he was 2 months old, so keep an eye out it is possible. Keep a count of his wet diapers and if they are unusally less usual than take him to the doctor. Keep giving him the pedilyte if you are worried they take a lot more down than we think.

V.,
It's most likely just spit up. When he starts spewing for no apparent reason, like an hour or 2 after eating, then it's throw up. My oldest son had GER (gastro-esophageal reflux);
he was spitting up anything he ate up until his next meal. But this didn't affect his appetite or weight gain. It was just a huge inconvenience. He did this well after his first birthday and it took 4 different doctors to diagnose him.
But I don't believe your child has this. I think it's just your regular run of the mill spit up that ALL babies do. It's caused by air they swallowed while drinking and a short esophagus. While the air is trying to escape from his stomach, some liquid comes up with it and ends up all over you and your furniture. I recommend you keep a towel or burp cloth handy for when this happens for quick clean-up. And don't fret, it's completely normal!

If he is not spitting up half or more of what he eats, all he is doing is spitting up the extra liquids he does need. HE'S EATING TOO MUCH. My daughter will be four months on the 12th, she does the same thing and she just started in the past month. If he doesn't poop like you think he should, give him a couple of ounces of juice every day. I have been giving that to my daughter since she was two months old (we put her on formula and that constipated her). She does have ANY problems now. Spitting up is natural for a baby that starts "picking" how much they get to eat. This is my forth time around, so I'm use to is. Just keep burp rags around after he gets done eating.

Throwing up is when everything gushes out, like a water hose. When spitting up there can be a lot but it is not like a projectile. Once your baby throws up for the first time you will know a BIG difference, but until he does I can understand not knowing the difference.

It sounds like it's just spit up. Throw up would be a large quantity. My little girl started spitting up more around that age and sometimes it was just because I was feeding her too much and she was spitting up the excess. Hope I could help a little.

HI! i would say the volume of the "spit up" determines the difference between just spitting up and throwing up. if he is spitting up LOTS, it is probably vomiting. i think you are doing all the right things-continuing to keep him hydrated, etc. i would probably give your pediatrician a call, just in case. before you do, take his rectal temp.-they will probably ask you for it.

That happened to me with my 9 month old several weeks ago...it was a bad ear infection and he was teething at the same time. He didn't do very well when I fed him and when I laid him down. That's usually when he would throw up but it was mostly formula mixed with snot as opposed to the nasty looking greenish stuff. Ick!

Just an idea. Hope he feels better soon!

When my middle child was 6 months old he started doing the same thing and every time I fed him he would spit up throw up whatever. I finally took him to the doctor and they admitted him to the hospital because he was getting dehydrated. Take him to the doctor to make sure. My doctor always said there aren't any stupid questions. Just take him and have him checked out. Good luck!

Well the difference between spit up and throw up is, spit up will fit in a teaspoon and throw up will fit in a cup. My son threw up until he could sit up on his own,about 6 months old and the only way I could help him keep his milk down was to let him have about 1 1/2 ounces at a time and give him about 10 mins and then give him the rest. Also I started giving him cereal and that made it better. I know doctors don't want you to give babies food early but I started giving my children cereal has soon as 4 ounces of milk, every 4 hours was not enough. Good Luck

I have an eight year old who was born with acid reflux. She couldn't keep much of anything down the first year. When she was a baby, I couldn't tell much difference between vomiting and spitting up from reflux.. it just seemed to not be as much when it was the reflux and there was no fever. What you are describing sounds like reflux, but you can't rule out the virus, though. To be safe, I would take him for a check up. If it is reflux, he needs medication.

Hello, both of my girls had GERD(reflux) as infants. They are 2 and 5 now, and have outgrown this. Their reflux was apparent right away...by the end of their first month. I stopped nursing and switched to Enfamil A.R. If your baby doesn't act uncomfortable when he spits up, it most likely isn't reflux. My girls would scream after their bottles and arch their backs in pain. Hope this helps!

My reluxy baby started throwing up within a few weeks of birth and it lasted til 9 months, so maybe your son is just going through a phase or an illness. Also, in my experience with reflux, she spit up or threw up every few minutes until she fell asleep in the cycle, IF she fell asleep. If you are breastfeeding, some foods you eat can cause mild temporary reflux, but if it is just formula, I'd hang tight with a happy, no-fever, wet-diaper baby for another day or two. He'll get better or worse and I've found that if I complain to my doctor for mild symptoms, she puts my baby on a med, which often causes even more problems, so I'd give it a chance to resolve itself if he is still wetting and has no fever.

when my little girl was on formula she did the projectile vomiting. that is bad. what you need to know 1st is a baby needs x amount of food a day. if you give your baby 3 ounces and she throws up 2 ounces, you've gotta do something. talk to your pediatrician about the spitting up and the amount and the constipation. even at 3 months there may be something in a low dose that may help! most importantly don't let the baby's weight drop and go to the dr. because if the constipation continues then the baby is uncomfortable and that
's not good either.

God Bless and Protect You!
L.

How I always could tell the difference between spit-up and throw-up was the smell.... If it smells sick, then he is probable sick... But not all babies smell, if you know what I mean... When my 3rd had reflux I had to get off all dairy and switch to soy for about 3 months, that was with breast feeding, but you can change to a soy formula.... But I would talk to your DR first..... Good Luck, and you are doing a great job!

Mom of 3 boys! C

As long as he is eating and the urine in his diapers isn't dark yellow or strong-smelling, it shouldn't be a problem if he has a stomach bug unless he doesn't get over it in a few days. Spit-up is usually characterized by milk coming up without the baby wincing. Vomit is more projectile and volumous.

My baby girl has always spit up alot, as did my son. Throw up is projectile vomiting whereas spit up happens really soon after they eat. If it comes out the same consistency it went in then it hadn't yet made it to the stomach. if it comes out like curdled milk then it's coming back up from the stomach. With no fever and he's acting his normal self, I'd think it's just spit up. Wet diapers are good. That means he's not dehydrated and is getting enough to go through his system. Call your pediatrician if it would ease your mind. Hope this helps!

my daughter spit up quite a bit for the first few months, but there was a definite odor when it was actually vomit. you will be able to smell the difference when it is vomit, if it's the same i wouldn't worry about it. now if he can't keep anything down, then you may want to talk to your dr. about it.

You need to get with your baby doc. He may be allergic to the formula or is colicy. The doc can change the form. Also your baby needs to poo. I will pray for you to get pro. Help

My daughter (who is now 10) was diagnosed with reflux when she was about 4 months old. What that meant was she had not developed the valve that closes after material enters the esophagus. We had to give her a liquid prescription (I'm sorry I can't remember the name of it - I remember it was red!). One sign we had was everytime she would eat (even thickened formula with rice cereal) she would ooze some out of her mouth -especially when she was placed on her stomach - even 30 minutes after she ate. She always acted fine and happy too! The bad thing about the medicine is we had to give it to her 30 minutes before she would eat. Who knows when a 4 month old will eat?! She eventually grew out of it at maybe 8-9 months. Ask your doctor about the development of the valve on the top of the esophagus and see if that may be it. Good luck!

throw up is usually projectile. Spit up is a like a leaky faucet.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.