Baby Vomiting

As your little one is trying to get adjusted to face a new world, she has to face many challenges. She may face mild difficulties in digestion, respiration and excretion. During the initial one year, you may notice her vomiting a few times. Continue reading to know why it happens and what care she requires.

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2020 11:29 GMT

Baby Vomiting
Baby Vomiting


There is nothing to worry about vomiting. Many common childhood illness can cause vomiting. Coughing, prolonged crying and indigestion can sometimes lead to vomiting. You can notice vomiting even if your child does not have a fever. Seeing your child vomiting may make you feel tensed and anxious. But the good part is it usually requires no treatment and will subside on its own.

Vomiting vs. spitting up

There are some differences between vomiting and spitting up.

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Right after a burp, you can notice your baby spitting up. Spit up usually occurs easily from your baby’s mouth like a white, milky drool. Spit up is commonly seen in babies who are less than one year old. In contrast, vomiting happens forcefully and pulls whatever in the stomach to hurdle out. Vomiting happens when the muscles around the stomach are triggered by the “vomiting center” in the brain.

Your baby may spit up anytime. But vomiting happens if there is any digestive issue or illness.

Causes of vomiting Feeding issues

Some babies may face certain difficulties in feeding during the first month. After feeding, some babies may vomit. This is because your baby’s stomach is getting tuned to digest the food. To avoid vomiting, give them frequent smaller feeds.

Stomach Flu

Gastroenteritis can cause vomiting in babies. This is due to a viral trigger and may last for a week. Your baby may have few cycles of vomiting that is seen on and off for 24 hours. Some of the other symptoms include diarrhea, irritability, poor appetite and crying. Sometimes gastroenteritis can lead to dehydration which requires medical attention.

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In the first few weeks or months of life, some babies may have infant reflex. This is because the muscles at the end of the esophagus can become too relaxed, allowing the stomach contents to back up. This is termed as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. GERD can be controlled by allowing your baby to sit in an upright position for at least 30 minutes after feeding, burping your baby frequently, providing smaller and frequent feeds and thickening the milk with small amounts of baby cereal. 

Cold and Flu

As your baby’s immune system is developing, she may catch a cold or flu during the initial years. Along with a runny nose, some babies may have vomiting. Accumulation of mucus in the nose can lead to a nasal drip in the throat. This can in turn trigger intense coughing than can lead to vomiting in babies.

Ear infection

As your baby’s ear tubes are horizontal there may be ear infections in the initial years. Ear infections can lead to nausea and vomiting. Most forms of ear infections subside on their own and some infections may require treatment with antibiotics.

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Motion sickness

Some babies may have a tendency to vomit during a car ride. Motion sickness can make your baby dizzy and nauseous, leading to vomiting. If your baby already had an upset tummy from bloating, gas or constipation, the vomiting trigger can be even worse. Smells in the car, bumpy roads and the wind can make your baby dizzy and make them vomit. You can avoid motion sickness by avoiding a full feed just before the travel and keeping your baby’s head well supported in the car seat.

Milk intolerance

Some babies may be deficient of the enzyme that is necessary to bread down the sugars in the milk. This sort of milk intolerance is termed as galactosemia and these babies may be even sensitive to breast milk.  Milk and dairy products can cause nausea and vomiting. It is better to avoid milk to help them stop vomiting.

Pyloric stenosis

When the opening between the stomach and intestines is blocked or narrow, the condition is termed as pyloric stenosis. This condition is rare and it can lead to vomiting after feeding. This rare condition is treated with surgery.


After the first few months some viruses, bacteria and parasites may cause vomiting. These infections can also cause nausea, fever and abdominal pain. Rotavirus is the leading cause of vomiting in infants. Sometimes infections in the respiratory tract, urinary tract can also cause vomiting.


Vomiting is a common problem and it usually requires no treatment. One thing to remember is to keep your babies hydrated. Feed them often and if necessary provide oral rehydration solutions to avoid dehydration.

When to consult a doctor?

If your baby has been vomiting for more than 12 hours and if you notice the symptoms listed below, it is necessary to consult a pediatrician.

  • Blood or bile in the vomit
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Swollen or bloated stomach
  • Frequent, forceful vomiting
  • Refusing to feed
  • Weakness or floppy
  • Lethargy or severe irritability
  • Convulsions
  • Symptoms of dehydration, like dry mouth, absent tears, depression of the "soft spot", and decreased urination

Vomiting is a common issue. But if it persists for a longer duration, seek medical advice.

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