spitting up vs. puking

amy_z6_swpaAugust 7, 2007

Hi all, I have a 5-week-old baby girl and I breastfeed. She has already gained 3 lb. (is that normal?) so she must be eating well. The past few weeks she makes a lot of clucky noises while feeding, which bothers me, but I think it might be related to fast flow. But my main question is, where is the line drawn between normal spit-ups and puking? Two weeks ago after she'd done her third large scary puke (three over three weeks) which includes coming thru her nose, I called her pediatrician and they said not to worry. She has now had 5 of those big pukes, 4 that included the nose. It is scary when it happens because it's like she can't breathe for a few seconds.

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Sounds like she's growing fine. "Normal" depends on the child!

Baby's can spit-up A LOT. My granddughter's nickname was barfin Bailey for the longest time. She'd eat and spit it up. She'd sit up, she'd spit up. SHe'd roll over, she'd spit up. You get the picture.

How do you tell the difference...really once you've experienced the difference you just know. There really is a smell to throw-up that there is not to spit-up.

You mention that she can't breathe when it happens...this is a defense mechinanism the babies body has so they don't automatically inhale the spit-up, and can be really scary. Happened to a guy at work, and his daughter actually turned blue. They ran her to the hospital and everything. It's like she can't breathe because she can't. She "SHOULD" be fine, but for your doctor to poo-poo it so readily does bother me. She should be going in for a check up pretty soon, and I'd bring it up then. She may need a different formula, different nipple (one that lets less foumula through) if you're using a bottle. If you're nursing i don't know if there is much you can do to control the flow (been a long time since I nursed my babies). I know the guy at work found out this daughter had GERD and had to give her meds for that. Possible a special formula also to control her excessive spit-up. Barfin Bailey's wasn't so much the quantily she spit-up, she just always spit-up. (She stopped finally, so she has a new nickname now whew!!)

Good luck...and go with your instinct..if you feel this is excessive, get her into the doctor sooner than a well baby check. Do NOT let them poo poo you away. There is a reason for a mother's instinct, and it has saved (LITERALLY) many a babies.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 3:52AM
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I'd try what Vickey suggested. If you're worried, insist on a doctors visit. If the doctor isn't responsive, find another one.

Your baby sounds like she is putting on enough weight. Babies usually double their birth weight at around 12 weeks. My oldest ds had refux. He would forcefully spit out what seemed like huge amounts of breast milk after almost every feeding. It was gross, but didn't really seem to bother ds for more than a few seconds. His pediatrician wasn't worried since he was gaining enough weight. DS quit spitting up after he was about 18 months old.

Check the attached link about spitting up. It may give you a little more information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spitting Up

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 10:56AM
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You've got a hungry baby there....and she eats so fast her stomach can't handle it....so it burps out...
It will help to interrupt her about 1/3 of the way through the feeding and put her over your shoulder for a burp....and do it again after another few minutes.
But I sure wouldn't worry....babies barf....that's just part of the package.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 11:52AM
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My middle DD puked so much that i referred to her as the Vomitron. What is normal for one baby is different for another. I always thought the hardest part was being prepared when ever you go out. My DD alway wore a bib to try to catch it before it got onto her pretty outfit. I had a large collection of bibs to try to match her outfits. I prefer the bibs made of cotton with a plastic backing to prevent it soaking through. The all plastic ones only made the puke run down the plastic and on her legs. I also had some old cloth diapers that i put over her outfits while she was in the car seat. You never know when it will happen. Oh yes- never leave the house without 2 extra outfits. They will be needed. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 9:34AM
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My grandson seemed to gain about 1/2 pound a week as a newborn. He too is breastfed.

My DD did huge spit ups too, and was breastfed. When we weaned her, we discovered she was very allergic to poultry and threw up for hours if she had any. I now wonder how much of her big throwing up - spit ups as an infant were from the poultry in my diet. Wish I had kept a food diary to make comparisons and find out.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 11:18PM
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Projectile vomiting (spewing with force) is a sign of trouble. Crying or fussiness (is that a word?) may also be a sign of trouble. Don't be so dismissive of it. If you feel there is a problem, talk with your pediatrician. Because although spit up is normal, vomiting is not.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 11:29AM
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Hi! Boy have we come a long way! Eva is doing beautifully and is a big happy breastfed babe. She did do that off & on until she was about 2-3 months and could handle my fast flow better, and around the time I was able to better regulate my milk. She has not done it at all since then, except for one time when we had to give her Tylenol.

I am so much more educated now about all things baby and breastfeeding and I am happy to say everything is great. And breastfeeding is the best gift you can give your baby and it is so precious to not only mothers but babies as well. If you can do it, do it! You won't know how wonderful it is until you do it. :)

Thanks for all the replies!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 12:08PM
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Had to reply as we have a bit of a sicky baby as well lol.

The nasty huge puking used to happen around once a week when he was just born, sometimes more on occassion but then gradually tailed off as he grew older over a few months.
It was quite frightening to see as it was a lot and just shot out of his mouth and nose.

A couple of weeks ago he really projectile puked for the first time in ages though and he did again the other day. He's absolutely fine though although it seems so violent and there seems so much of it!

He keeps most stuff down now though apart from the odd bit of spit up (he's started crawling and trying to stand so a bit of pressure on his stomach I suppose.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 5:43AM
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My son was born 12 1/2 weeks early. I was pumping since he was too small at 3.3 pounds. They would up his feeds and it seemed he wouldnt digest some of it. This keep going on til they said that I had to take dairy out of my diet. Funny thing was I was taking in dairy, the one thing I couldnt keep down due pregnancy sickness. So they just took him off my breastmilk saying he was allergic to it without reason which lead me to think I did something wrong. He was in the childrens hospital for a little over 2 months and still had this problem. He was put on special formula which if WIC wasnt there I couldnt have afforded the 80+ dollar small cans. After a short time he was what I called target puking and getting a good distance on it. Took him to the reg peds doctor and found out he had PS. Had that surgery and he seemed to do fine for about a month when what I would call regular puking. He isnt hungry, puting on weight, nor fussy and is eating baby food at 6 months. A few weeks ago the target started again. Took him back to doc only to be told that the special formula is what is causing it. Changed formulas twice since then. Be ause he was so early he is too young for the reflux meds. So at 8 months old we go through a lot of clothes. Both baby and mine. I wish bibs would work but for the most part they dont. I am glad the weather is nice cause it is easier to wash baby in a diaper only. I pray he grows out of this.
Good luck

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 6:15PM
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