My Son Wont Stop Spitting up So Much!!!

Updated on January 04, 2009
A.H. asks from Lakewood, OH
36 answers

hello my name is A. and my son, 6 months old, will not stop spitting up so much. i dont know what to do. i have been waiting for his insurance to finally pick up and cant take him to a doctor with out. i have tryed several formulas but nothing is working. i have just been giving him the formula during the day and dealing with it and at night just cereal so he will go to bed with no problem. well last night he wouldnt stay asleep. he woke up at 10 pm and i put him back down around 12. for the whole time he was repeatedly spitting up. im really scared for him at this point. i have him on wic and they wont change his formula until i get a doctors note. which i cant even get at this point. i really just hope someone can give me some kinda insight or suggestions of what i can try. thank you for reading this and helping me!!!

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D.I.

answers from South Bend on

What type of formula is he on? If it a milk based formula and he has been doing this since he was born,or shortly after, then he probably needs to be switched to a soy formula.I understand that you need to wait for ins. and wic etc., but if you can, buy him a can of soy formula and see how he does on that. It could be just the formula. I hope this may help you out. None of my kids could tolerate milk based formula (Enfamil), all they could use was soy. I used Isomil for them.

D.

I am 31 and have been married for 12 yrs. My husband and I have 3 boys ages 10,7, and 4.

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H.S.

answers from Cleveland on

My son was like that,and the only formula that he wouldn't spit up was the Nestle Good Start WITHOUT DHA & ARA. We found out that he was actually allergic to the synthetic forms of the vitamins found in breast milk. Took us 9 different formulas to find out! Couldn't breast feed though due to my own health problems.

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M.W.

answers from Indianapolis on

A., you need to just fit the bill and take him to the doctor. He could have acid reflux or he could be allergic to the protein in the milk. My daughter did the same thing and she would being allergic to the protein and had to be on special formula which WIC will cover as long as you have a persciption from the doctor. If he just has acid reflux they can give him medicine that will help. I hope this helps and I hope he does better.

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L.H.

answers from Dayton on

I agree with Mi R. I had a spitter also. He is now 7 1/2. I was so scared because it seemed like so much coming out of him and I was worried he wasn't keeping anything down. The dr. had me bring him in every 2 - 3 days for a weight check and he was gaining and not fussing so we deemed him a "Happy Spitter". (As of today, he has a high tolerance to stomach bugs - don't know if this has a correlation, but I like to think it does for all the burp cloths I used and clothes he ruined). He grew out of it around a year I think. But the older he got, the less he spit. Also, it may not be as much as you think. My dr reminded me that a teaspoon seems much more on a cloth than in a cup.I had all of my kids on Good Start and they tolerated it very well. OH - and also I found that anytime someone held him facing forward (arm around his midsection) he spit up whether he had just eaten or not.

Congratulations on you marriage and getting your education.

L. - working mom of 4 boys (9 - 7 - 2 1/2 - 18 months)

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J.W.

answers from Cleveland on

Try not to worry. My son was a throwing up machine when he was a baby. The dr said as long as he is gaining weight and it is not projectile spitting up, there was nothing to worry about. My mom, my sitter, everyone, could not believe how much he spit up. It seemed like so much and we had to change his clothes at least 3 times a day. Anytiem he had tummy time......BLAH.....he's spit up. The dr said it always seems like alot more then what it really is. I never changed his formular..he stayed on Similac. As long as your baby is gaining weight and is not aggitated....I would say he is fine. Something in there throat does not develop til like 8 or 10 months and exactly at that time, my boy completely stopped all the spitting up. Hope everything works out for you..

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M.H.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi A.,
my oldest son did the same thing....spitting up everytime he ate....I didn't realize, until years later, that he was sensitive to milk. I would try a soy formula, when you are able. I know it is difficult but I am sure that he will be okay. Does he seem to be in any pain or discomfort? If not, he probably has some type of intolerance or allery to dairy products. Take heart....I am sure that he will be fine.

have a blessed day.

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R.K.

answers from Dayton on

I'm replying to Laura P's post:

"Okay A., you won't believe what I am going to tell you. I had this same problem with my young son when he was a baby. My doctor told me to get McDonalds french fries, mash them up and feed them to him. I am telling you, it was like a miracle. There must me something about the combination of the blend of starch and the fats that his little system needed to balance itself. I normally tell people to stay away from fast food all together, but I cannot ignore this event. Try it. What do you have to lose? Then...once cured...stay out of those places! Good luck!"

I would love to know which doctor recommended this, so I can stay away from him/her! Please don't feed your baby french fries--McDonald's fries in particular have sugar and tons of junk in them. Not good for babies or adults!

Please take your baby to the emergency room if you need to, but don't feed the baby french fries! (Yikes!!!)

Good luck!

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M.G.

answers from Cleveland on

He needs to go to the doc. I understand he doesn't have insurance, but I am assuming that if you are on WIC you are eligible for low income assistance. Go to Metro Hospital and they will rate you based on your income and you may even be able to get care for free. Do you really want people online you don't know telling you what's wrong and how to treat your child? You get answers like that woman who said "feed him McDonalds french fries". Worse advice I had ever heard.

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K.H.

answers from Youngstown on

My best friend just had her second child. At 9 weeks her daughter was spitting up constantly and collicy. She started giving her optiflora, and it greatly reduced the spitting up. She is now giving her two a day which has helped tremendously. In fact, they both sleep throught the night now. And before Moriah was keeping them awake literally all night. I can give you more info if you like: [email protected]____.com or ###-###-####. If you contact me, I can give you my friends contact info too if you want to talk to her. My little guy, didn't go through that thankfully.

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K.Y.

answers from Canton on

your son may have acid reflex disease.or may be allergic to the formula.try ensure or get him to a dr immediately.

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S.D.

answers from Indianapolis on

Babies spit up more with formula. It's not too late to lactate and give him the best.

M.S.

answers from Columbus on

I had the same problem with my oldest (now 9). I agree with Mi R in all her suggestions....upright position, burping, overfeeding, etc. Many times if the baby does have true reflux, they will be very fussy after eating and while spitting up. When my son had this, the pediatrician gave me all those suggestions mentioned. Also, had me put cereal into the bottle with the formula. I had to experiment with the different flows of nipples, since the slow flows (0-3 month or so) couldn't accomodate the cereal, I went with medium or fast. I can't say for sure if this helped a whole lot, but his thought was that the cereal would help wigh down the formula/breast milk. I used receiving blankets for burp rags, since he spit up so much!! Just from my own experience and what I've seen in other babies who truly have reflux is that some babies just spit up a lot more. If your baby is gaining weight and not fussy with feedings, then try some of these suggestions. The nighttime waking may be just a fluke kind of thing. Some nights are better than others. Now, if the spitting up is more like vomiting, then he needs to be seen asap.

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R.H.

answers from Cleveland on

Well A. all babies spit up. some more then others. My grandson kept spitting up even though his formula was changed to soy. All my kids spit up. Expecially if they are teething. That is why there are burp rags. Do you burp him after ever few ouncec? That can help a little too. If you are waiting for insurance to kick in then you could call your local health department and asked them about it.

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A.N.

answers from Cleveland on

It sounds like he may have acid reflux. My daughter had severe reflux, and it can turn into a big problem as it did for us. She eventually stopped growing because she was just not keeping enough nutrients down. I don't say this to scare you but to encourage you to get him checked out as soon as possible. He needs to see a doctor and perhaps be put on a first-line medication like Zantac. Prilosec is what eventually worked for us in the end, and she grew out of her reflux at around 18 months. In the meantime, you can try keeping him upright for at least 30 minutes after a feeding, and you can prop some rolled up towels under the head of his bead to keep him on an incline. This helps to keep his food down, although it can be tough to keep him in that position if he rolls around a lot. Otherwise, do whatever you can to get him to a doctor. Good luck.

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M.P.

answers from Indianapolis on

My 3 babies spit up all the time, pretty much until they started moving around and standing up. I had stains on my carpet too. I think I overfed them. They were all big, not overly fat, but chubby. I don't know for sure if that was it, but couldn't think of any other reason.

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A.E.

answers from Cleveland on

Have you tried a)soy formula? Well, besides that (which is very expensive) - don't lay the baby down after eating. Keep him in the upright position, even if it means he may have to sleep in his carseat. Try to burp him every 2 ounces. He may have acid reflux - yes, little babies do get that. If that is the case (which you won't until a doctor sees him), they may prescribe medicine for him. If you are able, try to get the anti-gas bottles, I can't remember the name of them at this moment but they have a tube that goes down the middle of the bottle, to keep the baby from sucking in air. The tube takes the air from the baby and pushes it to the bottom of the bottle, away from the little one.

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C.S.

answers from Fort Wayne on

Hi A., my son had the same problem as an infant and we found out it was gerd. They had me feed him, dont mind the spelling, Nutramgin, its a predigested formula. Its not a cheap formula but it helped! As he got a little older I switched him to Good Start and he did really well with that. Good luck! C.

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R.M.

answers from Dayton on

Yeah-it is hard to change much of anything while on wic. My recommendaion would be to try one of the formulas that is soy-based.My daughter had her son on wic as a baby and the only formula se could use was similac or enfamil.They(wic)prefer the ones with iron,but we found that my grandson handled the one without iron better.He spit up alot too.She also gave him cereals and baby food which helped make up for less iron in the formula. If your son continues to spit to alot,try rubbing his tummy with a warm cloth,especially if he's fussy. Best of wishes to you. R. PS--Good luck in school.

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B.B.

answers from Indianapolis on

Have you tried Mylicon or some other type of gas relief drops?

Are you using powdered formula's or the "ready to feed"? The reason I ask is that the powdered versions tend to produce a LOT of gas. We had a rubbermade pitcher that we'd make a batch of formula in - it had a rubber stopper, and we'd mix up the formula, plug the lid up to go put it in the fridge - and the top would always pop off before we could because of all the gas it was producing.

If the ready-to-feed is just too expensive - there are a few things that can be done to make the powdered less gassy - like using warm water to mix it up with....going ahead and putting gas relief drops in it ....after making it, mixing it, and letting the gas "air out" - let it sit in the fridge overnight before giving it to baby. (Those were all suggestions that my pediatrician's office gave us when we were going through similar stretches with our girls.)

Good luck!

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R.B.

answers from Toledo on

If he just starting spitting up and has always been on the same formula, and this is unusual amounts of spit up for him, I would just go see the doctor. You could try pedialyte in the meantime. And water. You don't want him to get dehydrated. Your insurance may pay retroactively, so check into that. If you are on Medicaid for families, for instance, you will get reimbursed for up to 3 months of bills from prior to your acceptance in the program. Borrow the money for the appointment if you have to, or make payment arrangements. Is he "projectile vomiting"? This could be a sign of GERD (reflux disease). Try propping his mattress up at the head at night. It is worse when the baby is lying down flat. There is medication for this. He could also have developed a milk allergy to the formula. If so, try switching to a soy formula. Sometimes doctors or hospitals will have samples, so it won't cost you anything. Could also be a stomach (roto) virus, in which you can't do much but lay off food and formula and stick to pedialyte until it passes, which should be within a few days. Good luck!

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C.K.

answers from Cleveland on

Yes, get him into a clinic or Dr. appt. Sometimes kids develop something called pyloric stenosis where there's a narrowing thru a valve emptying the stomach--not very common, but needs to be ruled out--at the same time, they can check his weight and make sure he is doing okay.

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T.P.

answers from Canton on

I'm afraid to tell you this, but that's acid reflux and no amount of switching his formula will help. He'll probably have to be on a liquid form of Zantac or other acid reflux drug. Whether or not you have insurance, you need to get him to a doctor, ASAP, to make sure it's not a more serious form of acid reflux. My son was born 8 weeks premature and he had severe acid reflux for 18 months. It was hell! We went thru, on average, 10 outfits a day, because it was so much. He'd SPEW (it wasn't just spit up, it was out and out vomitting) at least 1/2 of every meal. Even with cereal. Even with Zantac. The Zantac helped him a little, but it wasn't enough. But it may work for your son. He had to sleep at in an incline, so he slept in his swing, car seat, and bouncy seats. We were afraid he'd aspirate, otherwise. So his doctor told us to let him sleep in those items, to help. Keep your son upright, after each feeding for about an hour. That's what was recommended to us. Sometimes it helps, other times not so much. But you definitely need to get him to a doctor.

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A.M.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hey A., Is you son upset when he is spititng up or does he just spit up and giggle and move on about his day? If it is the latter, really there isn't much you can do. Some babies are just happy spitters. YOu can try to feed him smaller amounts more times a day so that his belly gets full. You can also try to keep him sitting upwards, like in a bouncy seat, for a while after he eats. You can also try to keep him more upright during feeding.

HOWEVER, these will only work if there are no medical conditions such as reflux and gerd. BEFORE you just keep switching forumlas, which can add to the problem, you need to have that checked out by your ped...if you don't have insurance and live in KY let me know...I'm a social worker and I can give you some resources.

Normally, babies will grow out of the spit up phase as their digestive systems mature.

Finally, does your son have a cold/congestion? My ped let me know that when they are congested and have drainage, spit up will increase as it will when they are teething and excessively drooling. Sorry for the length but hope that helps.

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J.C.

answers from Fort Wayne on

Is he burping every single time he eats? My son and daughter both spit up a lot and all it was was the fact they were both hard burpers. As long as I got a burp out, no matter HOW long it took, they were both fine. Also, I had to limit how much they drank. When I was breastfeeding, I ended up having to time them. Once I started doing that, it really helped too. Otherwords, they would overeat and throw up.

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L.H.

answers from Cleveland on

My son did the same thing. If you haven't tried this see if it would work. Thicken his formula with his cereal. That might help. Another suggestion would be to get some Mylacon drops. And buy the generic brand. That might help as well. My son does see a Pediatric Gastrologist and these were suggestions that we got from them. Once your insurance kicks in I would recommend taking him to a specialist. They can do so much more than a Peditrician. We see Dr. Vera Hupertz at the Cleveland Clinic. She is AMAZING!!! She is at the main campus as well as at Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield. Best of Luck to you and your son.

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A.B.

answers from Indianapolis on

My son is 11 days younger than yours and has the same issue. We give him Similac isomil for spit ups and fussiness. It helps alittle bit but he still a spit up machine! I switched him to Soothie bottles, they have them Meijer, they have really helped, even more then the Advent bottles. We have found that if he really fussy, we will give him Mylicon drops, they seem to help him settle down whe he gets all worked up. We also find that if we let him lay down to play on the floor on his belly after eating for about 15 minutes (or as long as he will tolerate) it seems to help him keep it down. Our ped said as long as he is thriving, gaining weight, hitting milestones etc. not to worry. So I would say first off, there is probably an free child clinic that you could take him to, or if he is growing and happy, the ped will probably tell you the same thing. Try not to worry.

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S.F.

answers from Fort Wayne on

WIC should not need a doctor's note to know that he is lactose intolerant. They don't in Fort Wayne Indiana. He may have acid reflux. Pediatrician's can prescribe something. You might also consider putting him on an over-the-counter to see if it helps.

Many infants have an under-developed flap on top of the stomach. It makes them spit up whenever they lay down or lean over. In that case, the child needs to sit up for 45 minutes after eating. I used to put my infant in the car seat inside his crib, in a bouncer, in a walker, in a jumper in the doorway or I would wear an infant carrier. At night I used to sit up holding him, so he wouldn't spit up. When that became too tiring, I would fasten him into his car seat carrier and put it inside the crib. Also, it becomes dangerous when an infant spits up a lot because they can choke if they are laying down.

My son had problems with acid reflux and an under developed flap on his tummy. I tried all different kinds of formula, and nothing really helped. I finally ended up putting a teaspoon of cooked formula into his bottles, and he spit up less. It used to be like a fountain that would spurt out. After putting the cereal in his bottle, starting at 1.5 months or so, he finally started to put on weight. Then he only spit up maybe an ounces or so. I still had him on the meds and sitting up all the time. So the combination really helped.

You might try getting onto Hoosier Healthwise, which can be free insurance for children or dramatically discounted. Many health clinics give free immunizations. Business Health Clinics and Redi-Med near Cook and Coldwater Rd in Fort Wayne have free immunizations from 9am to noon on Saturdays. Since you will already be there for the immunization, you can ask other questions of the nurse. Usually they will ask the pediatrician or doctor in the office for free. You might also try calling the pediatrics department of a hospital and ask for the on-call doctor. Sometimes nurses of pediatric offices will answer questions as well.

You might consider supplementing your son's diet away from formula to more solid foods. At 4 months many children start eating the number 1 Gerber foods. You could try replacing a meal with mashed-blended potatoes, yams, carrots, bananas, applesauce, baby cereal, etc. Try to leave out the dairy and see if he still spits up.

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P.H.

answers from Cleveland on

Yes, I would be scared also. Get that insurance going. Call the insurance company right NOW.

Your son MAY have a medical condition called pyloric stenosis. It is a thickening of the pyloric valve between the stomach and the small intestine. This produces projectile vomiting and requires an operation to fix it. Read up on this. Look, I am not a MD, and I suspect if he had that, it may have surfaced earlier. Keep us posted.

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J.C.

answers from Cleveland on

Hi A.! I wonder if he is lactose intolerant. I had issues with my daughter and throwing up. Try soy formula as soon as you can get WIC to switch you. I would also make sure you are keeping him upright over your shoulder with no pressure on his belly for 15-20 minutes (not in the swing, bouncy chair or anything else). We had to do that with two of our three kids, and it helped quite a bit. It's frustrating! I wish you the best of luck!

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C.B.

answers from Lafayette on

my son was the same way. the doctors didn't do any tests (upper GI) until he was 10months old. after the upper gi they told me he had acid reflux & put him on reglan & zantac. what they didn't bother to tell me was that he was only supposed to be on reglan for 2 weeks on & 4 weeks off, he wound up being on the reglan for 2 years & wound up with 2 ulcers & had to get put on prilosec to heal them. he's 6 1/2 years old now & is fine in that dept. i'm not trying to scare you, just giving you a heads up incase they do the same for your son. my daughter is 1 yr. old now & she had a major problem with spitting up, i had to change her clothes at least 8 times a day, it was almost on the verge of her throwing up. i changed her to soy formula & the docs said to put cereal in it to thicken it. i did that and she slowed down greatly on spitting up(one or 2 times a day). have you started him on solids yet? i know that's one of the first questions the docs are going to ask when you are able to take him. if you want to talk more, just send me a note through here, i've been in the medical profession for almost 11 years now & might be able to help. good luck & God bless.

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R.W.

answers from Cleveland on

My daughter was doing the same thing! Her doctor scheduled her for an upper gi and we found out she has reflux! They have formula from enfamil called gentlease I would try to get that see if that helps until you can get to the doctor and get medicine.WIC wont cover it even if you do have a doctors note I have been down that road. But it is worth buying the formula and seeing if it works until you can get the baby in. Mt friends baby did that and she found out her baby was allergic to milk so I would try to get to the doctors!

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R.K.

answers from Cleveland on

What about a soy based formula? May have a lactose intolerance? worth a try.

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M.

answers from Cincinnati on

A lot of people in our culture, including pediatricians, seem to think that "spitting up is just normal" -- I completely disagree. I think it is COMMON in our culture, but that doesn't make it "normal" for babies to spit up/bring up their food on a frequent/common basis.

When I first read your description, I wondered if your baby has a sensitivity to cow's milk proteins and/or soy proteins. A lot of time, peds will diagnose "a lot of spitting up" as reflux or GERD but they fail to investigate further about whether baby is sensitive to their cow's milk or soy formula. Often, once a baby is on a formula that is FREE of cow's milk and/or soy proteins, their spitting up and reflux symptoms go away.

So I agree with some of the other replies -- definitely get in to see a doctor no matter what it takes, and INSIST that the doctor at least allow you to do a temporary trial of a hypoallergenic formula such as Neocate or Elecare.

Good luck!

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A.T.

answers from Columbus on

Is your son gaining weight? Is he crying a lot before, during and after spitting? These are two questions our pediatrician asked us.

My daughter (almost five months) is a big spitter as well. We've talked to the pediatrician several times and he said that as long as she is gaining weight, it's more of a laundry problem than a medical problem. It's definitely not fun, and I feel so badly for her. She's been coined a "happy spitter" because she doesn't really cry before and is definitely smiling and giggling afterwards, but I know it can't be fun for her, and it's definitely disruptive for me.

We use Similac Sensitive ready to feed formula, and it's helped with keeping food down. We also keep her upright for one hour after feeding and use a "slow" nipple even though she's older than the suggested range. Another consideration might be that she's allergic to cow's milk and needs to be on soy milk.

Are you in Columbus, Ohio? If so, email me privately. I may be able to help with your WIC situation.

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D.A.

answers from Cincinnati on

A., I don't understand why you can't take him to a doctor, you said you were getting WIC so you should be able to take him to City Clinic regardless of insurance. For God's sake get him to a Dr. or to the emergency room this could be serious. First question will be is he gaining weight and second will be does he have any diahrea?
Not to alarm you but you can't put this off. Good luck, I pray a solution will be found.

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M.R.

answers from Cincinnati on

When he spits up, how does he react? Is he his usual, normal self or is he crying and upset? If he is just spitting up but behaving normally, you might just have what is known as a happy spitter. As you probably know, some babies have an immature esophageal reflux and can't always keep down the contents. It doesn't hurt them or bother them, but it always looks like such a mess. If this is the case, he is probably fine although it is really annoying. Our baby was a happy spitter until 9 months. We had to keep bibs and cloths handy, and change clothes several times a day because he spit up ALL the time. It sucked, but he grew out of it.

Other things to consider:
-are you over-feeding him? Too many contents in the belly will for sure come out. Try smaller bottles with more frequent feedings.
-Are you burping him properly during and after feedings? Slow down the feeding by burping halfway through and at the end. Make sure you get a nice burp before feeding more or putting the baby down.
-Make sure he is in an upright position for 30 minutes after feeding so things can settle in his belly. Also, make sure not to have vigorous play immediately after a feeding.
-Try not to play too much formula roulette. Changing the formula constantly can have adverse affects and upset their tummy. A good choice might be Enfamil AR, as it is a formula thickened with rice cereal.
-The cereal before bed, although it seems to help him sleep better, might be a myth. Maybe the extra contents in the belly combined with being in a flat position are actually making the problem worse.

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