Spitting Up, Is It Normal?

Updated on January 24, 2009
A.W. asks from Painesville, OH
5 answers

Hi! I just had a baby girl, she is four days old. I have a question though, she always spits up after I nurse her, I found that if I hold her upright for at least 20 minutes after each feeding the odds of her spitting up decrease. Sometimes the spit up seems to be the whole feeding (oh by the way I am nursing) while others it is just a little bit. My son never spit up so I am not sure if this is normal or if I am doing something wrong. I know she is eating enough though because of her wet diapers and poopy ones too. I am just nervous that she may be lactose intolerant or maybe I am doing something wrong. Any advice or encouragment would be appreciated, I tend to be a big time worry wart and I am driving my husband and mom crazy (they say it is normal). Thanks!

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answers from Columbus on

I know our son has gone through this that it seemed everytime he ate he would through it back up. He was gaining weight and getting taller but I knew there was something to this puking all the time because we have fostered infants who have been on medication for acid reflux (GERD). We were instructed to sit the child upright while feeding and about 20 minutes afterwards, as well as raising the head of the crib mattress somewhat so that the infant is not sleeping flat. With our son who is now 3, he was finally put on acid reflux medication after we dealt with this issue, and I kept telling the Doctors that something was wrong, for 2 years we dealt with him throwing up all over everything. The medication really helped this issue, now he only does it when he has over eaten or has been playing really hard and gets to hot. Congratulations on your new little one and good luck with the Doctors. Debbie



answers from Fort Wayne on

Is she crying or acting like it hurts when she spits up? My daughter was a puker. It was awful! She was never in any pain and gained weight just fine, so the doctor wasn't concerned. She eventually grew out of it and doesn't have any problems at all. Try burping her more frequently during feedings. She could be getting some air while she's nursing. My doc told me to nurse for 5-7 mins, then burp, then nurse, then burp. It was a lot of burping, but it did help. In the meantime, baby wipes are wonderful for cleaning spit up out of clothes! And cloth diapers make fabulous burp rags (you can get them at WalMart in the baby section). And finally, Congratulations on your new baby!



answers from Toledo on

My son also spit up...and the dr said it was normal. I didn't think that it was so I kept bringing it up and finally at like 6 months when the dr. thought he should have somewhat grown out of it gave us some reflux meds and it was a miracle. He is 1 and is no longer on the meds, but it helped wonderfully.

If you feel that he is sputting up a ton, monitor when it is. Right after eating, an hour later (my son was always got sick an hour or so later). Is she taking in too much? Sometimes babies spit up if they eat too much. If she starts to fall asleep while nursing, take her off and just hold her close if she is wanting to be close to you.

I would just monitor how often and how much and bring it up to her 10 day appontment. IF she seems super fussy though, you may want to call sooner.



answers from Cincinnati on

If it seems like she is spitting up a lot (I know this sounds gross) but keep it and measure it. Many times, spit up seems quite voluminous when it is actually not that much at all. How do I know? I had a happy spitter...for 9 months.

How does she act during the spitting up? Is she upset or fussy? Is she arching her back? Does it come out projectile? If so, there may be an issue. If she isn't upset, isn't fussy, and it dribbles out quickly, then there likely isn't any need to worry.

Don't forget that the baby's epiglottis is still immature and learning how to work properly. It is the little floppy flap covering the esophagus and sometimes it doesn't keep the contents in the belly because the digestive system is still so immature. You say you've noticed that sitting her upright helps - that is one of the first tips given to moms of spitters.

Other things you can try to do in addition to the upright sitting after feeding would include no bouncing or active play (of course at 4 days old, I'm sure this isn't an issue!) and make sure that you get good burps while feeding.

Obviously check with your child's pediatrician to be sure there aren't any other issues. I cannot tell you how many times people tried to CONVINCE me that my son had reflux and get him on drugs when I knew and his pediatrician knew that he was just a happy spitter. We had to feed him in smaller amounts, keep him upright after feedings, and always had burp cloths and changes of clothes on hand. Our son would spit up, giggle and laugh, then try to rub his hands or face in it. Totally gross. He had no problem gaining weight whatsoever; he was in the 95th percentile. The spitting up finally stopped around 9 months when he started eating more solid foods and started pulling up/cruising and spending less time on his belly.


answers from Columbus on

I had this with my first. He spit up so much that I used receiving blankets for burp rags. He was never cranky or seemed to be in any discomfort. It was just a lot of spit up. Then again, he wanted to nurse a lot, too. The doctor said it could be reflux or it could be normal for him, so we can test for it. I would have had to not feed my son for 4 hours prior to the test. That seemed absolutely impossible to me, and decided..forget it. I'll wait to see if he outgrows it. Sure enough, he did. I have heard of friends/aquaintences, etc. who've had their children have reflux and usually the baby seems uncomfortable or in pain with it. It seems to me from what you said that you may just have a spitter-upper. Good luck and enjoy your baby (spit up and all!) :)

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