The Dreaded Spit Up

Updated on November 09, 2008
M.S. asks from Collinsville, OK
34 answers

I have an 8 week old son who has been on 2 different types of medicines for over 2 weeks now. He is still spitting up and vomiting profusely all throughout the day. The doctor is urging us to dry formula, which my husband and I almost refuse to do. I tried it for the first time last night, and we only lasted one feeding because my baby did NOT want it at all. He then fed off of me for about 20 minutes! Any suggestions?

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So What Happened?

Right now, I am removing milk completely for my diet and my try eggs later, as I have read that these are the most common food allergies. I did tell me doctor that there is almost nothing she can do to get me to quit breastfeeding, something she got very defensive about! I will only quit if they can convince me that it is a medical emergency. The spit-up alone is not that bad, it's the continual fussiness all through the day because he continually needs to spit up. Also, he has not been having bowl movements, it's been 6 days, so we are going to try a suppository for infants! Oh the life of a parent!

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C.C.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I couldn't breast feed, but had my baby on the dry soylac. He was 36 lbs at 6 months. He is not overweight now, 36 years
ago. Carolyn

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S.P.

answers from Oklahoma City on

My son did the same thing for the first 2 1/2 months of his life and come to find out he has a milk allergy. We got him neutrimagen (spelled wrong) and he didn't want it first but finally he started taking it and was keeping it done. It was the best thing ever.

He is now 9 years old and still allergic to milk. There is not really a test for this allergy it is just trail and error. Hope this helps.
S. Jane

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A.D.

answers from Enid on

My son had the same thing. It is a little valve (or his was) that had not fully develeoped that was not shutting off keeping the food in his tummy. The Dr. watched him very closely for weight gain and as long as he gained, we where fine. If he had stopped gaining, they where going to do a simple surgery to fix that valve. After I nursed him, I would hold a pacifier in for about 15 to 20 minutes with him in an upright/slant position. It did not stop the beach towel burping clothes, but he kept enough down to grow and eventually the valve developed and he out grew the problem. When I did switch to formula, we use the ones with AR (added rice) they seemed to be heavier and would stay down easier. By a year and table food, he was great and he doesn't have any issues now as a 9 year old.

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L.D.

answers from Tulsa on

Try a different doctor.

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M.K.

answers from Monroe on

First of all, what meds is he on, and second of all is he gaining weight. My dd was on reflux meds until 6 years of age and still takes tums or rolaids periodically. So I totally understand. Here is what I would do...Since you are nursing, buy a pump if you don't already have one...an avent isis will work great cause you won't need it much. Pump 1oz before you let him nurse. What this does is keeps him from getting too much foremilk, which is thin not as filling...it allows him to suck longer without getting over full, and makes certain he gets hind milk which is more fatty and thicker and therefore stays down better.

Also, you might just try limiting the time he nurses...With dd if she nursed more than 6 minutes she threw up more...with my nephew if he went more than 8 minutes he threw up, but his twin sister could go for 10-12 with no problem.

Most people think that reflux meds are miracle drugs that solve problems overnight...THEY DON'T!! It takes a minimum of 2 weeks for acid reducers to reach their full effect and can take over 1 week for motility drugs like reglan to start making a big impact...All doses must be adjusted every 3-4 weeks because they will only work in a certain weight range...and there is a big range of acceptable doses per weight...My dd always had to be on the high end of the zantac dose, but did fine on the low dose of reglan. If your baby "projectile" vomits--meaning consistently vomits in forceful manner that would cause vomit to travel more than 3 feet in the air...that can be a sign of pyloric stenosis and indicates that an ultrasound of the belly be done to determine if the muscle around the bottom of the stomach emptying into the intestines is too tight for enough food to pass through.

feel free to send an email to [email protected]____.com or send a personal message from here if you would like to talk further

M.

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T.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Have you considered a pediatric chiropractor? Chiropractics for infants/children is so different than adults. My last 2 babies were adjusted at a very young age and it was so gentle, I never would have known they were getting an adjustment. One of my daughters was adjusted at 4 months after she started refusing one side and she was extremely frustrated at the lack of let down I was having and it was night and day difference within 24 hours. I never would have believed it if I hadn't experienced it. My last baby I believe was having reflux (not spitting up) and I do believe that her adjustments helped.

It will probably take more than one adjustment for something like this and make sure they are trained/certified in pediatrics.

T.

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A.C.

answers from Little Rock on

I, too, was like that about my breastfeeding; if it wasn't breastmilk, it wasn't good enough, and NO WAY!! you might want to consider a little formula per day mixed with breastmilk and see if that helps-that is what I did. As far as the b.m., my son was the same way--it is actually considered normal for breastfed babies to have one dirty diaper a week!! Most of what they are getting is absorbed, so there is not much waste...Do not, however, just give your son a suppository after 6 days or so, unless he looks lie he is in pain or straining!! It can cause his body to become dependent on one for him to go!

Good luck, honey and keep us posted!!

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N.M.

answers from Texarkana on

sounds like there might be something wrong with your breast milk cause with my second son my breast milk did knot agree with him he was spitting all the time to me doctor to him off my breast and that hurt my cause I wanted to breast feed all my children and there was an excuse every time but my last baby was tongue tied to she had to be breast fed and I did it for 26 months only quit then cause I ran out of milk so you need to ask your doctor for your breast milk could be causing this that may be why he told you to put the baby on formula good luck

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T.D.

answers from Jackson on

Unless your baby is not gaining weight there is absolutely no reason to put your baby on formula. Some babies are just spitters. I have 2 kiddos, one never spit up and the other spit up just thinking about food. We called her the happy spitter. I was very concerned about the amount she spit up until I took her to my lactation consultant. I weighed her, fed her and weighed her again to see how much she was taking in. Then I weighed her after she spit up to see how much she lost. I was very suprised to find out how little she lost in what I thought was such a large volume. I heard it put that she spits the skim and keeps the cheesecake. You can try taking dairy out of your diet but still, if he is gaining weight and is happy and healthy keep up the breastfeeding. Doctors down here push way too much formula! Good luck!

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K.C.

answers from Jackson on

Hi M.. I hate to hear what you are going through. I am a little confused though. I think you are saying that you are breast feeding but I'm not sure. If you are then I would look at your diet and make sure that it is not something that you are eating or a medicine that you might be taking that could be doing this. And sometimes it is better to ask your OBGYN what can go through breast milk instead of the Pediatrician. You could also pump your breast milk and add a little rice to it in a bottle and see how he does. If you need to try a formula I would try and premixed formula, one that is for fussiness and gas. Some of these have rice that can help with spitting up. I have a 6 month old who is strictly breast fed and when I had to have surgery recently we used premixed and she did real well. We tried powder first and she wasn't having it. If nothing else works I would make sure his doctor checks everything but hopefully it will get better as he gets older. Good luck and let me know if I can be of any further help!

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K.S.

answers from Oklahoma City on

my son spit up a lot like your son.. we changed him to soy formula and that worked some but he still spit up quite a bit. Finally he is now on Zantac every morning-- somedays i mix it with his juice or formula or just give it to him straight. It seems to be working wonders... he's been on it for several months now! Talk to your doctor about reflux, that is what my son has. Keep lots of blankets and burp clothes handy until you get it all straight.. My son also was having a hard time going to the restroom so I stopped breastfeeding at 7 weeks and went to soy formula which helped him go to the restroom, then we introduced the zantac months later because the spit up continued and quite a bit was coming up. Good luck!

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A.R.

answers from Tuscaloosa on

Hey M.! We have a 4month old and went through this with him. We switched formulas and nothing seemed to work (It is harsh on their little tummies when you switch also). We did finally find one that seems to be workin. It is Simulac in the Purple Can for Colic. He has done great on it. From time to time he does still spit up but nothing compared to how he was. Good Luck!

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B.S.

answers from Hattiesburg on

I am not sure I understand right, but when you say he "fed off of me" does that mean he is breastfeeding also? If so I offer that breast milk is meant for babies, and cows milk is meant for cows. All kinds of problems come about when you mix cows milk formula and breast milk or try formula alone. I would stop the formula completely, and just nurse the baby. Your problems will evaporate. As a former lactation consultant, I know that if you are not nursing, you still can begin. Mom's can nurse adopted babies. Consult with a lactation consultant in your area as to how to do this. Breast milk is so far superior in many ways. It is not possible that the breast milk would be causing the problems either. It may be something y ou are eating that is causing an irritant temporarily, but nothing is better than breast milk for your infant. He will grow beyond the sensitivies to something you may be eating and in the mean time you can try to eliminate them. It is usually the gas forming foods that offend the baby. Call La Leche League for a complete list. When he is 3 months old, many of these problems resolve as the GI tract matures. There is no substitute for what God made for our little ones as you are discovering. Hope this is helpful and that you can resolve your feeding difficulties, as it must be severe concern for you.

Sincerely,
B. S. RN CCM

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M.O.

answers from Baton Rouge on

Your baby is only 8 weeks old, PLEASE DON'T SWITCH TO FORMULA...KEEP BREASTFEEDING!! Flat out tell your pediatrician you do not want formula, you know breastfeeding is best and ask what other options and advice does he/she have that do not involve switching to formula? Read this: "Breastfed babies with reflux and GERD generally seem to cope better than those who are formula fed. Perhaps this is because they get more comfort from the closeness that nursing provides over bottle feeding or because breast milk acts as a natural antacid. Perhaps it is because breast milk is digested much easier and faster than formula or because suckling is soothing. For whatever the reason if you are having a difficult time nursing your newborn with reflux and have considered quitting and switching to formula, or think that your baby will do better on formula, we're here to tell you...DON'T. Don't quit! Just about anyone you talk to who has switched, and any expert who knows anything about reflux and breastfeeding will tell you that switching from breastfeeding to formula will almost undoubtedly make reflux worse!" (an excerpt from infantrefluxdisease.com) And, did you know...most babies outgrow reflux by 9 to 12 months? Check out the e-mail I sent you with more info.....

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J.S.

answers from Enid on

i have a friend who experienced the same thing. she suplemented with goat's milk and her child has been much more tolerable of that. it's definitely worth a try. my best parenting advice is 'roll with the punches, be flexible' you have to do what's best for your baby and not be so 'hell bent' on nursing. i was devastated, i mean devastated, when i couldn't nurse my son after nursing my daughter. i cried for days and felt like a horrible mother. he's fine, happy, healthy, roll with the punches, my friend :-)

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S.P.

answers from Shreveport on

Hi M.-

I am a breastfeeding peer counselor and would love to be able to help you. It's been a few days since you're post, so how is your baby doing? What kind of medicine is he on and for what? Let me first tell you that above all else, breast milk is best for your baby. However, I'm not a doctor nor do I want to replace the advice of your doctor. Please let me know what's going on so I can help you.

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L.J.

answers from Birmingham on

If your milk is not agreeing with him, you are not doing him any favors by continuing to breast feed. Put him on anything that helps him to maintain the nutrition. Both of our children would do that terrible projectile vomiting and had a very hard time until we found what worked for them. Our daughter was about 6 weeks old when we had to start her on a series of different formulas to find one that would stay down and not cause her to get sick and have tummy pain/screaming spells. We ended up with Alimentum (spelling?) for the rest of a year. It was the only thing she could keep down. For our son, I couldn't nurse and he was immediately put on formula after a few days and again, it took several brands before we settled with a soy formula that agreed with his system. You will find that your baby will not be born with some allergies, but they will develop as their system matures. This may have occurred with your baby. If it is not virus related and is purely what the baby is drinking, by all means .. switch to something else. His throat and esophagus will become irritated. It might take a few times of introducing different formulas before they realize they like it. Adults are the same way with new tastes. It's natural to do that even for babies.

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A.M.

answers from Fayetteville on

M.,
I have been there! My daughter (now 14 months) was nursed. From the time we brought her home from the hospital she would vomit at least once a day- and it was a LOT of vomit!!! I was concerned and took her to the DR. at 3 weeks old and he gave me some sort of medicine that was supposed to keep her stomach from "spasming" but it didn't work. He reassured me (many many times) that she was gaining weight well and was healthy and would eventually grow out of the vomiting. Finally at 7 months old (I still remember the day!!) she vomited for the last time. I would suggest eliminating everything from your diet that he could be reacting to (bland foods only) and see if that helps. If he is happy, healthy, and gaining weight I wouldn't worry too much. I hope this helps!

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J.B.

answers from Montgomery on

Hey M.:
Since you have already tried two meds, you probably have also tried what I'm going to suggest. But, on the off chance that the doctor didn't mention these things...

The sphincter between the esophagus and stomach is not strong yet in infants. So it is easier for things to come back up (especially when laying down). It is very important to sit the baby up (propped in car seat or on Boppy)for approx. 1 hour after each feeding. Also, reducing the length of time on each breast, but offering feedings more often can sometimes help. Another possibility is burping the infant more often. Make sure you hear a burp ( a tiny one will do) before feeding some more.

You are going to have people tell you to put your child on formula and then add rice cereal to weigh it down in his tummy. I would only resort to this as a last resort, because of the breast milk benefits over the more empty calories of rice cereal. This is not to say don't do it at all, but your little one has only been here 8 weeks. He needs more time.

Good luck and God Bless your family. You are trying to do what's best and that speaks volumes as to what a wonderful mother you are.

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B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I would recommend a different pediatrician -- We use Dr. Stanford - not sure were you are at. Both of our kids did the spit up - I was convinced the new carpet we had put in did not have one inch that our dd had not gotten - my sister kids also did the same thing - Is your kiddo gaining weight? Some eat to much and they then need to spit up...

B.

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C.T.

answers from Fayetteville on

I think that reflux is over diagnosed-every time you turn around some baby has reflux-now I'm not saying your doesn't but consider the possibility that he doesn't. My nephew spit up all the time-he spit up everything, when he started on baby food the threw up in technicolor-it was disgusting! He did this for close to a year if not longer. Did his Dr say reflux-no-he said put drop cloths over your furniture, some kids spit up more than others. He was never on any medication he simply grew out of it. BTW he was formula fed. If you feel strongly about it tell your Dr. formula is not an option. If he's gaining weight and seems to be happy don't mess with nature. God Bless!

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J.M.

answers from Fayetteville on

Don't give up girl. I have read through some of the responces and decided that I must share my experiance. Both my boys had a milk proiten intalorance to Cows milk called Casine. Instead of putting them on a soy formula I took all Casine out of my diet. It is a little tough because almost all products that are procesed have casine in them as a perservited... But my Boys where so worth it. I saw a specialist in Little Rock who worked with me on this and I do belive it is the best thing in the world for them. She was the only Doctor that was supportive of me to keep Breast feeding. All the other doctors befor her wanted me to try differant formulas. The sad thing is that most babys who spit up have this allergy and the reason why it clears up with formula is because Soy and other allergy formulas do not have casine in them. The good news is that they out grow this between 6 and 9 months... What it is is that their bitty bodys see the cows milk protien as a foriegn object and it fights it by getting rid of it or even attaking it in the colin(my boys also started putting very small amounts of blood in their stools at around 8 to 12 weeks of age, this was due to their colins fighting the protine to the point of iritation.)
Ask your doctor if it could be this and cut back or take out all milk products.. espically Cows milk, Cheese and Butter, yoguert... It will take about two weeks to get it all out of your system but if your baby starts acting better after one week you will know.
We just got back from a follow up and the doc has told me that I can start to add milk slowly back into my diet. He is 8months now and shows that he has out growen it.
Just a warrning.. The first Pediatrition I saw said it was imposable for the cows protien to go through my breast... So my first born when a month before I got to the Pediatric Gastrologyst(?spelling) who was sure that was what it was. After two weeks my screaming, spitting up, progectial vomiting infant was a quite happy baby.
If yo do keep breast feeding make a food/spit up/diaper change diary/chart with times. I can help to narrow it down.

I will you the best of luck finding out what it causing this.
J. E Miller

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B.W.

answers from Huntsville on

Does the baby have GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease)http://www.gerd.com/ ?

A friend of mine and my cousin had babies with the symptoms you described. They used the Amby bed..and the problem was resolved. http://www.ambybaby.com/

I use this website and the Dr. Sears series of book..they have been so helpful. There is information about GERD and the Amby bed on the Sears website. http://www.askdrsears.com/

I wonder if the baby is allergic to something in your diet..ask your pediatrician..a friend of mine had a baby who was allergic to dairy products and once she eliminated that from her diet the baby was fine.

Hope this helps. I encourage you to check out Dr. Sears's website. And, if you are not satisfied with your pediatrician, I recommend Dr. Dudley..husband or wife are terrific!

Take care! B.

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A.A.

answers from Baton Rouge on

My little boy that I adopted did the same thing when we got him. We got him when he was four days old. Anytime he was on meds he would spit up and vomit. The doctors ran a test to make sure his little flap in his tummy from the esophagus was flapping open like it should because, only in boys' does it sometimes happen that the flap is shut and it causes them to vomit, spit up, etc. It turns out everything was okay but he had reflux, and anytime he was on meds, he vomited, spit up. Also we had to try five different formulas till one worked with him. It was the Similac with no iron for fussy babies with gas, sensitive stomachs, etc. It is at Wal-Mart. We tried all the expensive ones like Neutramigen, etc. but none worked with him except the one I named. For his first year the reflux was under control, we stll had occasional spit ups but nothing like at the beginning. I had to learn when he ate I had to make sure he was almost sitting up in my arms, once he finished I had to sit him very still in one position with no movement for a half an hour, once he started getting older I would put him sitting up in a highchair, etc. with toys. While he was on babyfood I had to add cereal to the thin things, like carrots, sweetpotatoes, etc. and I had to make sure not to overfeed him, because that could cause his reflux to act up. Once he started eating table food (at ten months) the reflux seemed to disappear. The pediatricians said I could expect that. Also when you introduce juice to him/her (around four months of age) make sure to put half juice, half water and start off with pear juice. It's the least harsh on the belly. Anything acidy will trigger the reflux.

Good luck,
A.
(mother of three adopted children)who I love with all my heart. All I did not do is carry them in my belly, but I carry them in my heart each and everyday.

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M.H.

answers from Pine Bluff on

Hi M.,
My youngest daughter was a breastfed baby and had reflux as well. One thing our doctor told us to do was to make sure that she was in an upright position for at least 30 minutes after she ate. It didn't eliminate the problem but it did seem to help. Also keep in mind that some babies just spit up more than others. I hope this helps.
M.

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L.B.

answers from Monroe on

My daughter did the same thing for the 1st year of her life. They said she has acid reflux and put on prevacid and that helped a little. We finally took her off of all milk products. And the problems went away. You will have to check everything you cook with because it is in almost everthing. She is 18 months old now and she is doing great with a soy milk diet. If you have more questions email me at [email protected]____.com.

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A.C.

answers from Oklahoma City on

breastmilk is always best, and easier to digest with reflux than formula. don't give up nursing, for you or your son's benefit. ask a lactation consultant or try a different dr. your's must not know too much about reflux or breastmilk.

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D.D.

answers from Dothan on

Hi! I am on my second child with reflux (this one is 3 1/2 months) and there are some easy things you can do to help.
I would definitely not stop breast feeding - the milk is most easily digested, so your little one will get he most they can from it. If you need to supplement, then do that, too. See another pediatrician and get a second opinion, for sure.
Here are some of the things we do:
Up until 3 months or so, your baby can sleep in his car seat. This is the most effective move we made for sleeping through the night with reflux. I know this sounds crazy, but it is actually comfortable for them (they feel snuggly) and the angel of the seat keeps the milk headed down not up! This helps heal any irritation they might have, and helps prevent the spit up. After 3 months, you can use a wedge under his mattress or elevate one end of his crib just a little. Don't use a blanket if you do this - buy a halo sleep sack so baby doesn't roll under a blanket.

Sleeping at an angle also helps with the congestion that reflux babies are prone to having. We still put her in her car seat occasionally when she is really congested (like now).

You can also treat any congestion with saline, which will also help calm the reflux. Babies hate this, so be warned! It is a 2 person job sometimes! Spray one nostril at a time three times a day or more - you can't OD them on saline. It helps clear passages and get rid of the snot, which can irritate the reflux.

Feed him in a different position - more upright, however you are comfortable. Call a lactation consultant for help or do a search on reflux/breastfeeding positions.

DO keep him upright for at least 20 minutes after eating, even if this means he stays in a swing or chair. I know sometimes you can't just sit for 20 minutes! However, if you can, this great cuddle time!

If he's gaining weight, don't be too alarmed. My oldest daughter was the princess of puke - all the time, every ounce she ate, etc. The medicines helped OVER TIME, and the rest of the time we just put up with it. The special formula for spit up stained everything orange (did not come out) and she didn't like it! We tried all the tricks in the book and a lot of them helped.
You can also try pumping and using bottles to feed baby more upright. We did one bottle a day (Dr. Browns 0r the new perfectly clear BPA-free Evenflo) of breast milk mostly at bedtime and it seemed to help both kids. My Medela pump-in-style was expensive but it has survived two kids and multiple plane/road trips. It also has large breast shields you can buy separately if you have large nipples - much more comfortable.
I don't know where you are but we use Dothan Pediatric Clinic in Dothan, Alabama, and they're wonderful. Dr. Barron is great.
Also, go get a copy of BABY 411 - this book saved our lives when we were new parents and we still use it. It's fabulous and written by a pediatrician and mother in Austin. It has a section on reflux, too.

Just be patient and trust yourself. Babies do out grow this! Give the medicine time to work (mine took Zantac, which helps but isn't a cure). They still spit up a lot but they stopped fussing from the pain and fed well - which is the most you can ask for if they're growing. Good luck and feel free to email me if I can help any further!

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V.O.

answers from Tulsa on

HI M..
Your instincts about refusing to switch from breast to formula are right! Your baby can digest breast milk much easier than milk based formulas.
You may try writing down what you are eating and staart eliminating some dairy... my son had horrible acid reflux as an infant. eliminating dairy products really helped us. I wish someone had suggested it to me sooner, I could have avoided placing him on prevacid - which did not relieve the sweet baby.
Dr sears has a great website and so does motheringmagazine.com that may help you with your dilemma.
Good luck and remember that even if you wanted it to, this will not last forever!
V.

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N.R.

answers from New Orleans on

Read this article it might help
http://children.webmd.com/guide/baby-spitting-vomiting

My aunt had 7 kids and she breastfeed every one of them.
I 'm so happy that you are stay strong and keep doing what you feel is right cuz you are right. What my aunt did is if any of the babies had a problem she would take out a lot of foods in her diet at one time and write what she took out so after the baby started feeling better she would introduce one at a time to see which food it may have been. She would eat like eggs then wait 2 weeks before she would try something else.

Also dont forget about things you are washing with and any kind of lanlins you are using for your nipples.

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L.P.

answers from Jonesboro on

I would not take your baby off the breast. Formula is way harder to digest than breast milk I would think your problem would get worse. You didn't say what kind of medicine he is on. Have you tried gas medicine?

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F.S.

answers from Tulsa on

My first son was spitting up terribly too so I know how tough that can be. My only advice for that, if you're not already doing it is to burp him several times while he is nursing. That will help a little. I noticed when I did that with my son wouldn't spit up as much.

My only concern for your little one is if he's getting enough nutrition and retaining enough fluids. For as little as he is to not be having a bowel movement for that many days isn't good. He may not be constipated, I think he might not keeping enough down. Have you aked your doctor about that issue? Also, could you consider supplementing your breastfeeding with formula just to see if it helps?

I hope things work out soon!

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S.R.

answers from Jonesboro on

My son was a bottle fed baby and he had the spit up also. I only used Dr. Brown's bottles and he was on zantac. The dr. wanted him to be put on reglan also. I am one of those people that check, check and recheck. I was totally against reglan after i researched it. (Causes depression in teens and adults) I found this miracle stuff called Gripe Water by Baby Bliss, you can get it at the medicine shoppe. It is all natural so that eases your mind. I used that instead of zantac and eventually he just stopped spitting up.

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G.F.

answers from Tulsa on

I was lucky, my daughter never spit up but I had to go back to work when my daughter was 6 weeks old and I wanted her to continue to have breast milk for as long as possible. I used a breast pump and mixed that with the formula and she did just fine (you can freeze the breast milk, just be sure to date it and use the oldest first). She got the breast milk that I wanted her to have and she also got the nutrition of the formula. I used the Carnation Good Starts rather than Infameal. I also used the Playtex nursers rather than a regular bottle. You can squeeze out the excess air which will also help with the spitting up. The transition from breast to bottle was much easier on her because the nipple was shaped almost like mom. Try that and see if you don't see an improvement.
G.

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