Don't Panic - Happy Spitters
Quote of the Week
~ Douglas Adams
Why There Might Not Be A Need To Worry
There is very little more terrifying than sitting your baby up after a feed and watching them projectile vomit EVERYTHING they just ate. There’s also not much more gross than that, especially when you end up wearing it.
There’s a couple reasons why this happens, and some of them are even avoidable. There are a few cases where there is cause for concern, which I’m not going to cover because I’m not a medical profession, so if you’re already doing some of these tips and tricks and baby is still vomiting a crazy amount, is losing weight, and just generally unhappy then definitely follow up with your pediatrician and have baby looked at. I usually air on the side of caution. So if you don’t know, better to just get baby checked out.
Peace of mind is priceless.
What I DO Know
From both experience, the internet, and momma groups…
Just to be clear, I’m not talking about a little bit of spit up every now and again. I’m talking about full blown throw up, where it literally looks like the entire contents of a bottle. And I’m talking about on a regular basis. Not once or twice ever… more like once or twice a week (at least).
No reason to panic if baby is happy - most of the time. They’re not fatigued, extra cranky, and most importantly, they’re still gaining weight.
Now if baby is any of these things don’t Google, because it could have NOTHING to do with the vomiting or the vomiting could be a symptom of something else.
There are so many “could bes”. Make a doctor’s appointment and take baby in with a list of ALL symptoms.
If baby is happy and still gaining weight then here is a list of things that could be happening and some adjustments to possibly help.
Let Down Town If nursing, your let down could be too fast and if baby is lying down during a feed they’ll take it in too quickly and throw it right back up. This was my baby’s problem. Straight in and straight out. From what I read, and what I tried that helped, is to sit baby up while nursing. There’s a number of positions you could try.
Over Eating My son loved his bottle and would not take a pacifier so he’d confuse the bottle for nursing and pacify on a bottle, taking in too much milk and throwing it up. If he just had a bottle and he started crying for more, we’d try giving him just the bottle top first and if he started crying a minute or two after that then we’d know to try ounce by ounce until he stopped.
There are apps out there that help you monitor in take so you can measure daily how much they’re eating and can see, oh, he threw up here and he had 3 more ounces than normal! I think as over tired parents we panic too, because we think them not sleeping through the night means they’re not eating enough during the day so we try and over feed them to get them to a place where they’ll sleep so ultimately we can sleep.
Happy Spitter These are babies who are happy, content, and growing well but seem to spit up and vomit pretty much with every meal. Their little bellies are still developing. Especially the esophagus which is what can cause milk to come back up. They’ll grow out of this as the muscles develop and get stronger. You can help by burping baby after one or two ounces. Slows them down. Also, keep them upright for thirty minutes after a feed. Finally, monitor their intake so you don’t over feed them. —
Tricks of the Trade
Here are some helpful products:
- Nursing Pillow: This helps to support you and baby so you can get them in a more angled position while nursing so they’re not laying too flat. And this is the same pillow my friend Kate swears by.
- A chair: Something that props baby up so you don’t have to hold them for those 30 minutes after a feed. We had this bouncy one that also helped with other things like gas and constipation. Not to mention gave us time back to get things down when baby was a wake, fed, and happy to hanging out.
- If you’re bottle feeding, try different formulas. Baby could have lactose issues which causes them to spit up more or there’s something in a particular brand baby’s belly doesn’t like. Baby’s bellies can be so finicky! We used Baby’s Only because it’s only 5 ingredients, they had a soy version, and it was free of Palm Oil. It was also cost effective when bought by the case.
- If you’re nursing, try dropping dairy from your diet for starters.
Find Your Happy Medium
At the end of the day you need to trust your own gut. You know your baby best. If baby starts vomiting and they never have before, if you see blood, if they’re fussy all the time, won’t eat, not gaining weight, etc. then get them to a doctor or urgent care. If you’re not sure, the nurse line at your pediatrician is a great friend to have.
You do you. You got this!
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