27 answers

Vomiting Infant

Hello everyone. I have a newborn son who just turned three weeks on Friday. I have not had any problems with him eating (I'm breastfeeding) or with anything coming back up. For the most part he is a very good baby, doesn't cry more than a normal infant would. On Friday he was extremely fussy and nothing seem to satisfy him and then yesterday he vomited what seem like two or three meals for an infant. Ever since then he has severely vomited about four times and keeps down maybe a fourth of what he eats. Does anyone know what might be causing this or had this happen. If it continues today I am calling the doctor in the morning just thought I could get some advice now. Thanks!!

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He could have a flu bug. Infants can pick up things really easily. He probably looks like he is throwing up so much because there is a lot of muscus and spit that is combined w/ the vomit. I would worry about dehydration with such a young infant, if he will take some liquid I would give it to him, and definitely take him to the doctor if he is not better, it is always better to be safe than sorry. I hope he is feeling better soon.

More Answers

Hi K..
When my son was about 2 or 3 weeks old, we had a very similar problem. I wouldn't say that he was vomiting, but he would forcefully spit up what appeared to be a good part of the meal he just ate (both breast and formula). He would also seem really fussy and nothing would soothe him. Knowing that acid reflux runs in both families, I told my doctor the symptoms and suggested maybe it was reflux. He agreed and we switched formulas (from Good Start to Enfamil AR Lipil which is prethickened with rice starch so that it stays down better) and he prescribed Zantac (yes, just like the adults use except in a syrup). The combination of these two things worked great and know, a year later, he rarely needs the Zantac (wish I could say the same for myself).
I would suggest definitely taking him to the doctor. It might be something simple, like reflux, but it may also be something serious. And remember, what may seem like a lot coming out is probably considerably less than what went in (pour an ounce of water on the counter...you'll be amazed how it looks like so much more).
Good Luck!
N.

K.,

I hope your son has stopped vomiting by the time you read this, but even if he has, call his doctor asap and get him checked out. Vomiting like what you described is not normal. Have you changed something in your diet? You may want to look at your diet and see if you are consuming anything that your son may be allergic to. When I nursed my second son, I discovered, through process of elimination, when he was about 5 weeks old that he couldn't tolerate dairy. He would get really fussy and spit up/throw up continuously. As soon as I cut diary out and switched to soy milk and soy yogurt, he was much better. His first 3-4 weeks showed no sign of dairy allergy, because I wasn't eating as much of it, but once I got back to eating regular yogurt and drinkin milk daily, he was a mess. Good luck, and I hope your baby is OK.

C.

Hi K.,
I'm an emergency Medicine trained Physician Assistant and a mother of 2. I Breastfed my two children until 10, 14 months respectively. From the sounds of your e-mail a medical condition/illness should be ruled out. Small ones such as yours needs an evaluation with abrupt changes in well being. That said here's a little more informaion.
If it is an illness? Does he have a fever, rash, cough, snotty nose, swollen glands, diarrhea? What about exposures? Has he come in contact with children or family who are sick? Can he breath? If his nose is stuffy start the bulb suction they'll scream but at least they can breath afterwards. Babies at this age are nose breathers.
If it is a mecial condition.... Has he not been gaining weight or growing normally. When he vomits is it projectile across the room, exorsist style....we often think pyloric stenosis. Does he wake up vomiting from sleep, or the slightest change in body position he erps? ....think reflux. There are others but medial folks work their list of possible causes from the most common to the least.
One final thought pay attention to your diet. Food allergies are on the rise big time. The Top food allergins in this day is MILK, EGGS, PEANUTS, NUTS, SHELLFISH, FISH, SOY, WHEAT. If you diet has been heavily ladden with one of these back off. Pay attention to any family allgies....apples don't fall far from the three. Also gass producing veggies and fruits like onions, cabbage, broccoli... I learned the hard way that if medicine can't explain it allergies will. Traditional medial training doesn't give adequate training on food allergies. My daughter was diagnosed with severe reflux for a year before I figured out she had a milk allergy. We have no food allergies in the family so this was weird. Today I have a son who is allergic to most soaps & detergents (family allergy) and eggs and a daughter who has severe allergies to milk, eggs, and peanut allergies. Had someone thought of allergies or warned me to check my diet I could have spared my daughter a year of severe GI colicy pain and vomiting.

I hope your little one gets better.

Best wishes
B.

If he is being fussy, I would check his ears and teeth. He may have an ear infection or teeth my be coming in early.

He could have a flu bug. Infants can pick up things really easily. He probably looks like he is throwing up so much because there is a lot of muscus and spit that is combined w/ the vomit. I would worry about dehydration with such a young infant, if he will take some liquid I would give it to him, and definitely take him to the doctor if he is not better, it is always better to be safe than sorry. I hope he is feeling better soon.

K.,
Try to limit his intake and burp more often. You may also have to much milk at first. Have you tried to express some before he eats? I had a problem with too much time in between feeding mine and she got too much milk at first. I started expressing some so it didn't gush out and burping her more often and it seemed to work. Have you ruled out a fever or something more threatning? If so try feeding less more often and burping more. Hope that helps.

My son had the reflux...or so I thought...was even put on meds for it....didn't really help. Took him to a woman who helped test him for allergies at under 6 months old (non-invasive - kind of 'out of the box' body work --- dealing with kinesiology) and she determined he wasn't lactose intolerant - he was allergic to the milk protein.
So - changed formulas a fourth time - and he was a new baby!
It could be having to do with the 'reflux' issue...and more often it's caused by allergies that either the child is intaking or you might be intaking for him while breastfeeding... Her name is Jude Boutwell and she's based in Carmel --- I can get you her info...
ps. And of course, it could just be a 'flu bug' right now that's going around... both my sons have had a bit of something that even caused diarrhea...

A very close member of our church family has an infant (whom is now 6 months old) who vomited like your baby...and when it didnt stop, she took her to dr and dr said baby had "reflux" and was put on meds for it.

BUT.before we jump to meds,,,,.have you eaten anything different? When my Sophie was nursing, I had to be extremly careful of what I ate....certain spices...milk products, chocolate, caffene, oh,,the list was long! When she got older,,around 6 months, she got more used to things,,and I could eat what I wanted. If you baby is at a stage of using his arms and legs more,,sort of flailing around it would look like, sometimes they get thier nice full bellies all shook up, so to speak.

And the dr will probably tell you that it LOOKS like alot of spit up,,,but its not. :-)
I remember being so worried about everything about my infant. Trust your instincts as a Mommy. :-) You know what is best for your baby.
Sending wonderful wishes for you and your new baby :-)|
Jenny

There has been an awful stomach virus going around--friends of ours daughter had it two weeks ago. My son had it last week. I had a mild version--no vomiting. I hope that's all it is. Other than that, not sure what would cause it. I hope he gets well soon.

K.

K.,
I have 4 kids of my own and am a doula for 10+ years. PLEASE call your doctor today. Projectile vomiting is not of concern once but not all day. Newborns get dehydrated very easily. If it were spitting up, I would suggest a schedule of feedings not closer than 2.5-3 hrs apart. Baby's tummies are small and will give back the excess if there is snacking all day long without real meals. Hope that helps.
S.
____@____.com

Hi K.,

Did your son have any bumps on the head around the time the vomiting started? Even a small bump, or maybe he rolled off the bed or sofa? My oldest son started doing that and we took him to the doctor several times. They never found anything wrong and just said he had reflux and gave us a prescription. The prescription made him worse--long story short, we ended up at an osteopath and she did some gentle cranial manipulations on his head and adjustments around his hips and it stopped immediately and never happened again. She said it was from a bump to the head but I couldn't think of a time it happened. She said sometimes just going through the birth canal can put something out of whack. Anyway, best of luck. We lived in CA at the time so I don't know any osteopaths here but I'm sure there are some if you end up pursuing it.

Take care,
T.

If you haven't done it already then call your doctor now --- this kind of vomiting can be serios in a baby so young. There is a risk of dehydration
Thanks,
M.

K.,

I am so sorry your son is sick. I also have two little boys, and they are now 2 & 4. My first one was born 1 month early and had an emergency C-Section. He then had to be in the ICU for 2 weeks. Since I have been through a lot of hospitalization and sickness with them, I can only recommend that you don't wait until the morning. I am sure you know but when infants get sick, especially that young the doctors take is very seriously because they get "dehydrated" very quickly. If he has not been seen when you read this, I would call the doctor right away and if you don't get any anwser from the pediatrian then take him to Urgent Care or the hospital. Since he is so young, I really would not wait until Monday. I hope this helps.
Good luck. A. - ____@____.com

My only advice is keep feeding him! Even though it seems like he'll just throw it up anyway, you need to make sure he's still getting his fluids.

Hi K., Bryce my 9 week old did that at about 4 weeks old too. I was so worried. After a couple hours of doing that he was fine. Thinks he just had a really bad gas bubble backed up in his system. If your son contues, get him in, you may want to give him a bottle of water with just a touch of sugar to help him bring up the bubble if thats what it is, if not water will not hurt. K. T

Hi, anytime the baby is vomiting more than once, you should contact the doctor. He can dehydrate fairly quickly. Also, check what you are eating since you are breastfeeding; I couldn't eat salad when I was breastfeeding my child; she would get very gassy and fussy.

Has your child had immunizations lately? Sometimes, unexpected reaction occur after immunizatons.

Dear K., when my son was an infant he suffered from acid reflux. He is now 19 months old and has totally grown out of it. He would projectile vomit breastmilk, formula and even food if he had too much in his belly. It is very frustrating but talk to your doctor. I can't say if this what you are experiencing but could be a cause for the constant spitting up. Keep the baby upright for atleast a half hour after eating. Good luck and let me know if i can offer anymore advice about acid reflux.

K.,

Infants dehydrate very easily. You really should call the answering service for your doctor and have him paged just so he can do a "phone consult". It's probably a short term illness, but infants are very vulnerable to dehydration and things can "turn a corner" very quickly. I have 11 yrs experience as a medical asst and 3 children of my own... call your doctor just to get input until his office opens in the morning since this has gone on for more than 24 hours.

L.

Hi K.,
I'm not sure what is causing the vomiting, but you should take him to the doctor or at least call the doctor as soon as possible. The danger is dehydration. The younger the child, the easier it is for them to become dehydrated from vomitting and diahrea. He may just be fighting off a bug, but better safe than sorry! Make sure they see him at the doctor's! Good luck and hope he feels better!

If the vomiting is occuring during breastfeeding or right after, you are probaby letting him feed for too long. I had this problem until my mom told me to start timing my feedings. I did 5 minutes on one side, burped until my baby burped, which since they sleep so much could sometimes take 10 minutes, and then five on the other side and burped them until I got them to burp. I think a lot of the problems with vomiting stem from not properly burping them. It's easy to burp them for a couple of minutes and think, "well, they must not need to burp" but in actuality, it's not a natural thing for them to do, it's a learned act. So, until they learn to let the burp come out, you have to do it until it works its way up. I would get so frustrated, especially at night when I'd be burping for 20 minutes total, but it was a lot better to take the time to wait for a burp, then to clean up a large amount of projectile vomiting. I hope this helps!

Had a similar problem w/ my infant when he was 3 weeks old; and my pediatrician explained to me that babies are born with a sterile "gut" and they don't form good bacterias until about 3-4 weeks old, which is usually when food allergies and/or milk allergies are evident. My son had a slight milk protien sensitivity and terrible acid reflux. I was given Axid (prescription like Pepcid) and given some great advice about feeding. #1) burp often, about every ounce with a newborn and since you're breastfeeding, burp between breast changes and after he's done. Sit him up for at least 30 minutes after each feed, this was easier for us in a bouncy chair or his carseat, or this was my special mommy time with him on my shoulder asleep. Avoid foods with alot of spicy ingredients, and avoid alot of greasy foods to see if that helps. Prop him up slightly on his side when a wedge when sleeping, this helps with digestion. We ended up with a gastro-intestional pediatric/infant specialist after the ped eliminated alot of possibilities, he wanted us to see a specialist just to be sure and I got LOTS of great advice. Our sons digestive problems were quickly followed by consitipation... all of that went away literally overnight at about 3 months old - keep your head up! There's lots of great advice on here from mommies!

It could be what you ate that is being passed or maybe just the flu! I hope your baby feels better!

Better safe than sorry! Check with your doctor immediately, as he could become dehydrated pretty easily at that age.

My daughter started this at about 4 weeks old and was fine when she came home as well. After nearly 3 months of fighting with doctors and my daughter only sleeping for 10 minutes at a time ,she was diagnosed with refulx and colic. There are medications out there to help with this, after my daughter started it was like a new baby had been given to me, the vomiting stopped and she was able to sleep. I hope this helps.You might wanna check out reflux on the net and see if your babies symptoms match up and ask you ped. Best of Luck!

It sounds like your child is having a reaction to the breast milk. Some children do not reject it at first, but after a few weeks, the infant's body seems to (for whatever reason), reject it. It is normal for an infant to throw up because this is how their digestive system continues to develop. However, please do not take my advice as this being true. I would go to your doctor immediately to make sure their is no underlying problem. Hope everything works well!

K.-

I would definately take him to the doctor if you believe he's holding down such little food. I can tell you though that with the experiences I have had with such a sick baby for the first few years of his life, he was a puker from about one month to about 10 months. Every once in awhile it just looked like his little face had errupted; and I mean vomiting so much and so quickly it was coming out of his nose and mouth.
I learned pretty quick that he was just a pukie baby. But at that he usually only spit up maybe 2 ounces of his formula per feeding. Sometimes a little more when he was 1 to 4 months, and he never spit up cereal or food, just formula.
Everyone has this little thing in the bottom of their stomach (I forget the anatomical name for it) that controls how much food (digested food) is allowed into the intestines. Normally it lets very small amounts of digested food throughout the day, but some babies have to have theirs surgically "corrected" to function properly, otherwise they end up with food backed to far up into the stomach causing repeated episodes of heavy vomitimg. I have had three friends in the last 5 years who have had to go through this, so I think it's important the doctor sees him with as much as you say is coming up. They usually catch this pretty quickly in babies though.
Other than that, he may not be tolerating the formula or he may just be a puker! Keep an eye on it, even if the doctor says he is fine just monitor how much you think is coming out. Usually as long as he is gaining weight and has normal bowel movements, the doctor won't be too worried.
I can say from experience, always keep a change or two of clothes handy, and cloth diapers you can buy in 8 paks at WalMart or Meijer are the best burp clothes because they are so big. Hang in there!

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