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Thread: Vomiting after and between feeds

  1. #1

    Default Vomiting after and between feeds

    I posted recently about my 4 and a half year old son who had been really fussy with his feeds. Recently he seems a lot better (at least at home he is, still not good at feeding when we're out) but he has developed a new problem. He is vomiting large amounts which look to me like an entire feed - sometimes looks like milk, other times clear with curdled bits in. Most of the time this happens after a feed, sometimes during, and sometimes between feeds. This can be up to four times a day. It has been happening since last week and he can go a couple of days without vomiting at all so I'll think he's better but then it starts again.
    He has no other symptoms that I can see, like fever or diarrhea. Still having wet & dirty nappies.

    Could he develop reflux suddenly at this age? Could it be something I'm eating though I haven't changed my diet?
    Prior to this, he was not a sicky baby at all. Even bringing up tiny bits of sick was extremely rare for him.

    I really want to get to the bottom of this as having to change all my clothes and his in the middle of the night is not fun for me and I'm sure he doesn't enjoy it either.

    Have spoken to doctor but he is not concerned as he's not dehydrated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Vomiting after and between feeds

    4.5 months old, not 4.5 years old, right?

    Spitting up is normal for babies. It's probably not anything you're doing or not doing or eating or not eating. It's just that in young babies, the muscle sphincters which keep tummy contents down where they belong are, like all of a baby's other muscles, relatively weak. Even if your baby wasn't a big spitter before, it's not too surprising that he has become one now: at 4.5 months he's probably a lot more mobile than he was a couple months ago, and as babies start to squirm in new and exciting ways and jostle their digestive system around, spit-up frequency can increase.

    I wouldn't suspect reflux unless he is always fussy, showing evidence of discomfort (e.g. back arching, crying in pain), having other reflux symptoms (e.g. bad breath, poor weight gain). But it wouldn't hurt to bring the possibility up with the doctor.

    This could also be a tummy bug. If it the spitting up suddenly stops, or you see some diarrhea, a viral or bacterial infection would be a good explanation for what you're seeing.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Vomiting after and between feeds

    Thanks for replying. Sorry, I did mean 4 and a half months, not years!
    It's reassuring to know this is normal... I have seen friends' babies spit up a lot but it tends to be small amounts that might make a little mess of the baby's sleepsuit or mum's top. What my boy is doing though is very large amounts - we both end up drenched and sometimes the carpet too! Does this sound ok? He doesn't seem to have any of the other reflux symptoms you mention. I'm still hoping it will pass.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Vomiting after and between feeds

    As long as baby is gaining weight normally, there's probably no reason to worry about large volume spit-ups. I know it looks like a huge amount, but it's usually not quite as much as it looks. To test that, pour a couple of oz of cow's milk out on the counter and watch it spread- it's likely to look like more on the counter than it did in the cup.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Vomiting after and between feeds

    Thanks mommal. Sorry for the late reply.
    I'm after some reassurance... Here's the latest:

    The vomiting is much better and has only happened twice in the last week. He has also had a cold & cough recently with the cough still lingering. Not sure if this matters.

    He was born quite big (75th centile) but settled on the 25th centile and has been following this line until recently

    Recent weights are as follows:

    7 January (aged 19 weeks) 6.72kg / 14lb 13oz - this was around the time he started vomiting
    21 January 6.75kg / 14lb 14oz
    12 February 7kg / 15lb 7oz - the most recent weight was taken at home on our bathroom scales so probably not entirely accurate but this has always roughly tied up with the "official" weights in the past.

    Feeding has been pretty good I would say and not very different to how it was when he was gaining steadily. He feeds on demand which can be quite frequently but feeds are generally short; around 5 minutes and often one side only. I always offer the other side but he decides what he wants to do! He's very distractable and will rarely feed when we go out but feeds at home have gotten better recently. I now try to time outings around feeds so he doesn't go too long without feeding.
    We often co-sleep at night and he feeds 3 or so times in the night. Not sure how long for as we both fall asleep.

    I'm just a bit worried as he was already quite small. He has plenty of wet nappies & seems very happy and well in himself. Has just started to roll and is always smiling and laughing.

    Hope I've included enough info and that it's not too jumbled.

    Thanks for any advice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Vomiting after and between feeds

    I don't see any reason for concern. The spit-up has decreased, he is gaining weight steadily, his feeding frequency is great, you're taking care to not let him go too long without eating, and his development sounds like it's on track.

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with being small. Healthy babies come in all shapes and sizes, and statistically speaking the are just as many babies in the 1st percentile as there are in the 99th, just as many in the 25th as the 75th, etc. One thing that can make a big difference is the size of the baby's parents. Larger, heavier people tend to have larger children, smaller, lighter people tend to have small children. So look at yourself and your baby's dad- if you are on the smaller end of the human size spectrum, then it makes sense that your baby would be, too.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Vomiting after and between feeds

    Sounds like my DS who was diagnosed with reflux. He also wasn't loosing too much weight initially so at the beginning no one, including our doctor was concerned. He was also very active, distractible and fussy during feeds.
    His vomit started out milky, then over time turned to the curdled stuff then eventually to a clear liquid that smelled like adult vomit. Really nasty smelling. It got so bad that we were changing his sleepers and sheets several tomes a night and some days we couldn't lay him down to change him without it pouring out! He was constantly crying and did not sleep for more than an hour and a half at a time.

    After seeing a specialist he was put on solid food at the end of 4 months. Three simple solid food feedings (usually oat or rice cereal) have kept the milk down and he's thriving. The WHO (world health organization) now says to start solids as early as 4 months.

    I know what heartburn feels like and my heart broke for him. Honestly for us something as simple as a few solid feedings changed his little life and ours and now I have the piece of mind of knowing every oz. of my breast milk stays in his belly! He is now 8 months old, no longer has to wear a bib 24/7 and vomits maybe once every 2 weeks.
    Last edited by @llli*bbbeans; March 2nd, 2014 at 10:41 PM.

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