My 3-month-old baby won’t stop throwing up. He simply cannot seem to keep a meal down.
I’ve been feeding him 4 oz. of Enfamil Prosobee, but the doctor recommended that I switch him to Enfamil Nutramigen and add rice to his milk, but it got worse than before.
This is his third time I have switched his milk on a doctor’s recommendation.
What can this be and what should I do?
Ideas When Baby Won’t Stop Throwing Up
I am sorry to hear that your baby continues to have problems despite switching formulas. Obviously that doesn’t seem to be the solution, as it made your baby’s vomiting even worse.
There are a few questions that you need to think through to get to the root of this. Let’s start!
1. How Much of The Formula Does Your Baby Keep?
The most important question in your situation is what portion of the meal eaten does your baby actually throw up?
If it is just a small portion of the meal and he is gaining weight properly and does not appear to be dehydrated, it may just be a temporary problem that he will outgrow.
However, making sure that this is not a more serious matter is still necessary.
2. Possible Reasons For Baby’s Excessive Spitups
Has your child been properly screened for pediatric GERD (often called reflux)?
I suspect, due to the advice to add rice cereal to the formula that the doctors at least suspect reflux.
But switching formulas is not everything you can do in such a case. Holding your baby in an upright position while feeding and feeding only small amounts and frequently are other measures to take.
You can read more about GERD and how to help your baby here.
Your baby should maybe also be checked for allergies, as worsening of his condition on a milk-containing formula over the soy formula may be suggestive of him having a milk allergy, and possibly others.
Does he have any rashes or tummy pain?
You can read about the symptoms of both lactose intolerance and milk protein allergy here.
Other Medical Conditions
Other possible conditions include pyloric stenosis (narrowing of the opening from the stomach to the intestines), and laryngomalacia (underdeveloped throat/larynx muscles).
Pyloric stenosis is a likely condition for your child, as it prevents the food your child eats from passing from the stomach into the intestine and causes him to throw it up.
Delayed weight gain may or may not be present in such children. The screening for pyloric stenosis includes ultrasound of the stomach or stomach x-rays.
If your child has not been checked for this condition yet, it might be a good idea to discuss it with the doctor.
3. How Much Is Just “Normal” Spitting Up in Babies?
This is a good question and one that is important to relate to. Because if your baby is healthy and growing, alert, and not in pain, then maybe he is just a baby that spits up a bit more than the kid next door.
So how to know if the baby’s throwing up is normal or not?
Well, his overall wellbeing is the most important clue. If he is happy, thriving, happily eating, and gaining weight, his spitting up – even if the amount seems to be quite substantial in your eyes, is not really a problem.
Another clue is how he vomits. If he vomits forcefully, then it is a clear sign of something not being right. Normal spitting up in babies is like an easy flow of a baby’s stomach contents through his or her mouth, possibly with a burp.
4. Warning Signs that Your Baby’s Throwing Up is a Real Problem
MayoClinic (Source) has a good checklist for when a baby’s spitting up can indicate a problem:
- You baby is not gaining weight as he should
- He is spitting up forcefully, rather than with an easy flow
- He/she spits up green or yellow fluid
- He/she spits up blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
- Your baby has a low appetite and refuses feedings repeatedly
- Your baby has blood in his or her poop
- Your baby has difficulty breathing or other signs of illness
- Begins spitting up at age 6 months or older (obviously not relevant in your case)
- Your baby cries for more than three hours a day and is more irritable than normal
- Your baby might be dehydrated and has fewer wet diapers than usual
5. How to Mitigate Spitting up in Babies
Here are a few things you can do to minimize the spitting up:
- Burp your son halfway through the feeding. Quite often the spitting up comes from air beneath all the formula.
- You can also try to feed your baby in a slightly more upright position to help him swallow less air.
- Make sure the bottle nipple hole is of the right size, dripping fast but not more than that when you hold it upside down.
I can’t say what is wrong with your baby. Instead I would like to empower you to not give up!
You have already searched second opinions, but since you keep getting the same advice but it doesn’t help, try to educate yourself about GERD, and other conditions, keep a diary over how much your baby throws up and head back to yet another doctor.
One thing you should know; if your baby does have GERD/reflux, but is still happy and gains weight, most doctors advice not to medicate, but rather let the condition grow away.
You are not alone! Here are links to similar questions and problems here at Easy Baby Life:
- Why Is My Baby Vomiting?
- Baby Throwing Up After Drinking The Bottle
- Feeding Problem – Baby Throwing Up
- Acid Reflux In 8 Week Old
I wish you good luck! Please come back and let us know about your progress.
Who else’s baby won’t stop throwing up? Share your thoughts and experiences by leaving a comment below!