Solution for Spitting Up.

Updated on June 27, 2009
A.D. asks from Gig Harbor, WA
27 answers

I have finally found a formula for my 2 week old baby boy. I have him on Parent's Choice Gentle formula. It compares to Enfamil Gentlease. It has greatly helped his severe gas and overall he seems to be a much happier and content baby. I also ordered some Colic Calm for any future gas issues that he may have. Now the only issue he is having is the spitting up. I hav been adding one teaspoon of rice ceral that I grind into a powder and I add that to 2 ounces of formula. I also am using the Playtex Ventaire bottles. He seemed to be having trouble with the Playtex drop-in bottles, because the nipples are much bigger. So I am not sure if the bottles are the spitting up issue, maybe he is still getting too much air or if I simply need to add more rice ceral to the formula. Any suggestions? More ceral? Different bottles? I dont think I need to try a different formula. I had him on the Similac Sensitive and that gave him horrible gas pains. So the formula he is on now seems to be working wonders. Except for the spitting up. Any solutions?

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So What Happened?

So I had a doctor appointment yesterday for my son and since he was still having trouble with any and all of the bottles and nipples that I have been buying the doctor decided to try and feed him with the ready to feed bottles and nipples from Similac that they give you in the hospital. He took to it right away! Just sucking the formula down! So my doctor told me to put him back on Similac Advance and only feed him the loquid form of it right now using those bottles and nipples. And for the last 24 hours he has been eatting 2 ounces every three hours or so. He is also hardly spitting up anymore after his feedings. I burp him during his feeding and after and he spits up a tiny bit. Thats all. The doctor said that the reason he was having such severe gas and spitting up issues was that even though I have been using the bottles designed to not have air in them, he was creating his own air since he was sucking so hard on them and not getting anything. So far he seems to be doing great with everything that the doctor has figured out now! He seems much happier and content too and he finally has a full tummy! And to all that kept suggesting and telling me to breastfeed. I never produced and milk at all. I wanted to breastfeed, but since I never produced anything at all there just wasnt anything to feed him. But, thank you for shoving that fact that I am not breastfeeding and that I should be since it is the best thing to do in my face over and over. Thank you to all for all of your suggestions, advice and encouragement.

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T.C.

answers from Portland on

Dear A.,
I think that the spitting up is normal for any baby. Unless, he's spitting up his entire meal. Then I would consult a pediatrician. But it's more likely a sign that his tummy was full and couldn't keep in the little extra formula. I hope he's doing well. Good luck!

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J.L.

answers from Seattle on

He may just be a spitter-upper. You can try reducing the amount you give him per feeding and/or keeping him upright after a feeding for about 30 minutes. I don't think that putting rice cereal will do much help, as you are discovering.

As long as he is happy and gaining wait, you may just have a lot of laundry until his esophagus matures enough to hold down the milk.

A word of caution on laundry - don't wash formula laden items in hot water. The heat will literally cook the protein into the fabric and stain it permanently.

Good luck!!

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M.B.

answers from Portland on

A. I have 4 children and think that your little one is too young for cereal in his formula. That may be why he is spitting up. Or he may just be spitting up, babies are known to do that. You may want to talk to his doctor to see if it is safe for him to have cereal. Good luck

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M.L.

answers from Seattle on

He's going to spit up. That's just what little ones do for awhile until their systems get developed enough. He's much too young to have any rice cereal at all yet. Please talk with your pediatrician about how to help your little guy!

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B.S.

answers from Spokane on

Your son may have reflux (GER, there is so much information on the web). My son did and would spit up after every feeding. What I did was sit him up in his bouncer and leave him alone for 15 minutes. He needed to be elevated and not to get excited. It was kind of a post-feeding time out. This usually worked. He also slept on a wedge at night so he wouldn't spit up his last feeding then sleep in it. The wedge was something that could keep him elevated all night. GER/reflux is very common and is something babies outgrow. My son was much better by 8 months. Take care.

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D.C.

answers from Portland on

Unless your doctor recommended the rice cereal in his bottle, I would discontinue. That could be part of the problem. Also, as others have said, he may just be a spitter. My 2nd DD spit up after every feeding, no matter what. The ped prescribed Zantac because we thought it was reflux, but it didn't help--the only thing that did was Mylicon. Evenutally she outgrew it. You might also try different bottles--something with a nipple he takes to and with additional air venting. I always used Avent, but I know a lot of people that really like Dr. Browns.

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V.C.

answers from Seattle on

Hello A.,

My son spit up from birth till he was about 8 months old. He was diagnosed with acid reflux when he was born and was on meds for about 2 months, but after the meds stopped he still continued to spit up. Our pediatrician told us as long as he didn't seem to be in pain it was ok. Some babies spit up more than others. He spit up so much that we used receiving blankets at "spit rags." It was just something he did and then it passed. I would talk with your dr. if he/she is not concerned then your baby will probably just grow out of it. It became normal for us and then one day he stopped. Hope this was somewhat helpful.
As for the rice cereal ask your doc. My son had a little rice cereal added to breast milk to see if it helped, per the dr. We stopped cause we didn't notice any change better or worse.
Best of luck with your little one!
V.

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M.S.

answers from Portland on

Your baby may not be spitting up as much as swallowing backward. This can happen if the flap at the top of the esophagus doesn't close all the way. 2 weeks seems a little young for rice cereal, I would talk to his doc and have him checked out. Good Luck!

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F.N.

answers from Seattle on

Hi A.,

Unless your son is not gaining weight as he ought then spitting up probably isn't an issue yet. Some kids just do that my first didn't but my second did. We just kept a bunch of washcloths about to catch the burbles and used bibs so that we wouldn't have to change his clothes a lot. Please do let your ped. know that you've been giving him cereal even if you stop giving it to him because there are some studies out there that state food allergies can be brought on by early introduction of certain foods.

You might also have to experiment a bit to find a bottle that suits him my first liked a different one than my second who only liked Avent.

It sounds like you're doing a great job considering all the right things with your first. Is there a moms group in your area that you could get together with too? Sometimes it helps to be able to physically compare your kids to others children so you can see the broad range of normal.

Good luck!

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M.K.

answers from Seattle on

congrats on becoming a mom! my first thought was wondering why you are giving him rice cereal? new babies digestive systems are very immature and everything they need, and can process, is in mother's milk/formula.
i used Dr. Brown's bottles- they are supposed to help reduce the amount of air the baby swallows and i thought they helped a lot. they are also nice b/c they don't create any waste, altho there is more washing for the extra parts.
good luck!

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M.M.

answers from Eugene on

I really think you need to talk to your pediatrician. They usually say not to give any food, including rice cereal, to a baby until they are at least a couple of months old.

Make sure you are using the slow flow nipples for the bottles, this will keep him from getting too much and swallowing air at the same time. Also be sure to feed him in a semi-upright position and don't bounce him for the first 10-15 minutes after feeding, but do gently lean him against you and burp him. It may also help to burp him part way thru a feeding.

Keep in mind that babies do just spit up....sometimes nothing you can do will prevent it. A little spit up is ok...if it is a lot and constant, then be sure to talk to your pediatrician because something else may be going on.

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M.C.

answers from Seattle on

Don't put rice in his cereal (I am not against this at 6months plus) but there is absolutely no need now. You have a child you world will not be perfect anymore. Kids spit up, they throw up, they have diarrhea that shoots out of the diaper in all directions. They pee on everything! If you child is gaining weight he is just fine! A little spit up will not hurt him...sometimes what looks like a lot of spit up in reality is just a little bit usually less then an ounce.
You have got to be a new mom! Please STOP this for your sons sake...Some kids spit up! It's life.

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T.H.

answers from Seattle on

Hello - I think that maybe it is a simple case of reflux that your baby has. I dont think that you should be adding rice cereal to formula at all at this age either. Adding that is not going to help with reflux and your not supposed to be giving solid foods before 4-6 months old. I would talk to the pediatrician about the reflux first and see what they recommend. My first son had it pretty bad where he would spit up but it would not come out so it was burning his throat. We got him on medicine and it was fine. Took him off at 18 months old. My second son I believe had it as well and spit up. He grew out of it and is fine now. Babies naturally spit up a little bit so I would not worry so much!

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M.S.

answers from Portland on

Be sure to mention your use of rice cereal to your pediatrician, because giving it before 4 months is usually a big no-no! Exposing baby's tummy to food so early when it is not prepared to digest it causes allergies later in life. You really need to do some research on that before deciding to go against your doctor's advice. It is not something you can undo.

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P.L.

answers from Portland on

I went through the same thing and my doc recommended all the gent lease and I went through every formula, had to give up nursing and then she even gave my baby mylecon for gerd.. still didn't work. I did research and found out many children are lactose intolorant as babies but grow out of it.. I finally tried lactose free formula and it was a world of difference. I eventually just ended up getting the lactose free generic and it was an answer to all my prayers.. Trust me, I tried everything.. the most expensive formulas, every bottle out there, you name it and this was the only thing that worked.. I continued to pump but he didn't grow out of it till around 14 months old.. Now he drinks regular milk all the time, almost too much of it and has no problems what so ever...

I have also heard that you shouldn't give any type of food, rice cereal till they're 6 months old?? I know how frustrating it can be and I wish you the best of luck.. I have a 21 year old son and they just would tell me he was a colicky baby.. well, I don't believe in that word anymore, I think it's just an excuse for they don't know what's wrong. Im sure he may have had the same issue and I never knew it. I have one on the way and I'm going to nurse as well but if I have the same issue, at least I'll know what to do now..

Good Luck!!!

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A.B.

answers from Portland on

spitting up is pretty nornal at this age, make sure to do a good job of (gently) burping him. Also, you may reconsider the rice cereal, most experts would consider it too soon. Call your doc.

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T.C.

answers from Portland on

A.,

Have you tried sitting your baby up after feedings. In the car seat is usually enough of an incline. It worked for our son. About 20-30 min. after every feeding. It may take a few days to notice a real difference.

Good luck and God Bless,
T.

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L.R.

answers from Portland on

Something I don't think anyone mentioned (I only read part way down, maybe 1/3 or 1/2 way), was that giving cereal to a baby too soon (before 4-6 months) is a risk factor for diabetes. So I would definitely stop the rice cereal, whatever you do. I really think starting later is better. My daughter was 5 months 3 weeks when I started her on solids, and she ate like a trooper (more went down the hatch than came out on the first meal!). Formula fed babies usually sleep through the night sooner and longer than breastfed babies anyhow. Don't complicate things for your baby's digestive tract!

As to the spit up, how often are you feeding him? My son used to spit up after almost every feeding. When I spaced his feedings out a bit, he spit up less. If I nurse too close together, he spits up more. Some babies just spit up more than others. My doctor told me it means that he ate too much and he's just getting rid of the excess--at least in my case, since he was gaining weight VERY well. I learned to have a burp rag handy.

Now, at 5 months, he burps up less--especially if I don't feed him too soon. This morning we had a 2 1/2 hour gap between feedings instead of the usual 4 hours, and he burped up more than usual. But if I stick to the 4 hours gap, he is fine. Of course, 4 hours is too long for a 2 week old baby! Preemies are fed on a 3 hour schedule, and since you're formula feeding, I would say 3 hours apart is probably fine. Unless he is acting hungry before 3 hours, I would try spacing the feedings out as long as possible (but not longer than 3 hours during the day; longer stretches at night are okay).

See if that doesn't help. :) If not, you have a visit in a few weeks anyway, right? If it hasn't gotten better by then, ask his ped.

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W.C.

answers from Seattle on

He may be too young for the rice. Check with your doctor. I had a lot of success with the Nuk nipples.

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C.S.

answers from Medford on

I am curious why you are adding rice cereal to his formula? He is not mature enough for the rice cereal and any doctor will tell you NOT to ever put rice cereal in a bottle.
as for the formula. I used the Parents Choice brand and it worked great (every child is different though). It seems to me that the issue isnt the formula but the fact that there is rice cereal mixed in...that is probably what is causing him to spit up.
As for the bottle, I would recommend the Avent bottles. I used them for both my children and so did most of my friends. They are great. Make sure you purchase New born nipples.

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A.L.

answers from Seattle on

I would never give cereal to a baby so young. Ask your pediatrician, mine recomended waiting until 5 months to introduce cereal. There are many "old school" relatives who swore they did it so I should add cereal before 5 months but studies show there is nothing better than breast milk or formula exclusively at that young of age. Their digestive system is not mature enough to break carbs down yet. That is probably the culprit of the gas ..? Good luck :)

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K.G.

answers from Seattle on

Great that you found a formula for your son. As for feeding him rice cereal, his tummy is mature enough to handle it, back in the day babies were started on cereal at 3 weeks of age (with a spoon) and were just fine, actually they are the mothers now that write on this site that no longer think it is ok. Do what works for you and he will sleep better because he is full through the night.
I do have one question, in all of your writings you have never said how often you are burping him. He will spit up if you wait until he consumes the whole bottle before burping, really babies need to be burped every ounce or so. Also you need to never blow in his face to make him gasp and same with blocking the wind from his face, he will get colic if you do that and it won't go away until he is 9 months or so.

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D.A.

answers from Portland on

Add a probiotic, like Bifidus ir primadophilous to his formula once a day. If you go to a natural foods store, they will be able to help you. Get a powdered version rather than liquid. I've seen a few of the liquids mixed w/ cider vinegar, which is good for digestion, but wouldn't want to try it on the itty bitty system.

If you add the powder probiotic (about 1/4 tsp) to his formula powder and shake it a bit, then add the water to finish making it, it should mix in quite well.

I started my little guy on Bifidus, per his Naturopath, at 2 weeks. My little guy also had horible gas and spitting up from day one. He came out so fast (1 1/2 hrs total time- water breaking to first contractions to delivery) that he didn't have a chance to purge the amniotic fluid from his system.

The probiotic was tremendous at eliminating the spit up and the gas pains he was having.

Good luck to your little guy and you,
D.

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D.B.

answers from Portland on

Have you inquired about acid reflux? My son spit up alot and it was due to acid reflux.

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M.P.

answers from Portland on

I wouldn't be concerned about spit up at this age. Babies spit up alot after nursing. He's very new and just now learning to nurse. As you said some of it may be from the milk leaking either out of the bottle or out of his mouth. That's to be expected.

Are you burping him by holding him up to your shoulder? If it's actually spit up from his stomach you can try to continue holding him upright for awhile after he burps. If he's folded in the middle this may cause him to spit up.

Also, I remember babies spitting up a bit when they burp. The milk comes out with the air.

I would ask the doctor about giving him cereal. Feeding cereal isn't usually recommended until the baby is older, around 5 months because their digestive system isn't mature enough to handle the cereal and to prevent allergies to the cereal. He isn't gaining any nutrition from the cereal and it's one more thing for you to do that you don't need to do. It's even possible he is spitting up because of the cereal. As you've experienced, a baby isn't always able to digest just any formula. Adding the cereal puts more stress on his digestive system.

The pediatrician wasn't concerned about my grandchildren's spit up until they were over 6 months old and were spitting up constantly, not just after feeding and would cry after spitting up. That is when she did an allergy test that indicated an allergy to mdairy products.

Taking care of little babies is scary. We need a users' manual but we don't get one. So, try to relax and enjoy your little one. Babies are amazingly tough. They also pick up on the parent's anxiety and can become anxious themselves.

Enjoy this time with him.

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B.F.

answers from Richland on

Three out of four of my boys spit up a lot, they had acid reflex. I tried rice ceral but that makes them gasy. I used (thick it) in their formula you can find it a rite aid where the insure is. A lot of nursing homes use this becuz old people can not keep watery stuff down. My sons dr is the one that told me to use it. I works very well. It thicken the formula to help keep the fliuds in the stomach. I doesn't make the stop spitting up but cuts way down on it. Also let them sit for an hour after eating is the food can digest. The nipples on the bottle will need to be larger. Like i said it is called thick it and it was in a yellow can by the insure in the store. Hope this helps.

B.

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S.S.

answers from Portland on

I think I answered one of your previous posts but I'll mention it again because it really does help with reflux/spit up. Go to www.hazelaid.com and read about hazelwood necklaces. The wood is an alkaline wood that seeks to balance out its own Ph levels by absorbing the acidity in your body through contact with your skin. since spit up tends to be related to an overproduction of acidity, chances are good that it will help greatly deminish his spit up. Of course, some spit up is normal in most babies, but when there is a lot, it's often because of acid reflux. Again, the necklaces are made to be safe fr babies to wear, but you can also just wrap it twice around his ankle if you feel more comfortable with that.
Hope you find something that helps soon; I know how distressing it can be!

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