What if a baby throws up when pooping? The baby in this Q&A is throwing up when straining to poop.

What can this be, and how can you help your baby?

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Mom’s Question:

It started a little over 3 months ago. My baby would strain so hard trying to poop that he would throw up everywhere. Out his nose, his mouth, all over the place. He would push, grunt, be red-faced, and couldn’t breathe. The doctor told us it was Reflux, but nothing helped. He did tests for Pyloric Stenosis. The tests came back negative.

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How can I help my little man?

He then put him on a strict eating schedule. Only eating every 4 hours and eating 3 oz. Plus, he was on Zantac. My son then became underweight. Soon the symptoms cleared up, and we went back to regular. He ate 6oz every 3 hours, was a happy baby, and had no problems.

Three days ago , the symptoms reappeared. Just as my baby was finally up to par on weight. Now he doesn’t eat; if he does, it’s no more than 3oz. This is happening as I’m trying to introduce him to solids, so now that’s got to be put on hold. He has a hard time pooping and gets sick every time he strains.

The doctor says his Reflux is back. But my friends who have babies with Reflux said that theirs are not like my son when he poops. That’s his only problem is when pooping.

We don’t really know what to think or do. Any ideas?


Baby Throws Up When Pooping While Introducing Solids

Acid Reflux Sounds Reasonable

Poor boy (very cute little fellow!). I find it completely possible that your son has a mild form of acid reflux. But whether that is, the only problem is, of course, impossible to tell without an assessment by a pediatrician. Have you tried talking to another pediatrician to get a second opinion?

It sounds like a strange comment by the Dr that the “reflux is back”. I don’t think reflux mysteriously comes and goes. It is more a matter of your baby’s stools now being harder and the reflux making your baby throw up when straining to poop.

But do get a second opinion!

How to Help Constipated Baby with Baby Food Introduction

The fact that your son has become constipated now that you are introducing solid baby food is completely normal. Some babies really need a very slow introduction of baby food to avoid tummy pain and constipation.

My youngest was like that. He didn’t throw up but cried and cried while pooping both the first and second time I tried to introduce baby food. (Yes, I went back to only breastfeeding him twice due to his pain.) The third time I mixed anything I served him with prune puree. That worked.

Since your son is getting constipated and might have a reflux problem (or something related), be very careful and go slowly with the baby food. Don’t give him anything that may cause constipation, such as unripe bananas, carrots, dairy products, blueberries, potatoes, rice cereal, and white bread.

Instead, let him try prune puree, apricots, sweet potatoes, peas, avocado and, possible oatmeal cereal, which doesn’t cause constipation the way rice cereal does. Or at least ensure you always mix the rice cereal with some fruit puree to mitigate the risk of constipation.

You can find more foods that soften baby stools here.

And again, I want to send you some strength to continue trying to sort out what is wrong with your little son. Since you are not convinced that this is reflux, you won’t find peace of mind until you’ve found the problem. Take him to another pediatrician.

Keep a diary of when he throws up and when he poops, and his problems. And don’t give up!


More Babies With Tummy Issues After Introducing Solids

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Ally

    Maybe they try to hard to go poop and when they try vomit comes out because the pressure. I’m not sure. Or maybe they ate or drank to much and they have to throw up because they ate or drank to much so try feeding them less or give them less fluids but if this doesn’t work I would take the baby to the doctors and have the doctor find out what’s the problem

  2. similar mom

    My baby girl has the same problem. She struggles to poop and then vomits too. The struggle to pass her stool is constant, even when her stool is soft. We’re having a barium enema done to check for problems in her intestines. She has always struggled to poop–true with you?

    1. Stephanie Jones

      Hi just wondered if you got anywhere or any answers following the barium? We’re having similar problem with our lo she’s 7 months now and has been on zantac since 8 weeks for silent reflux and we think she’s sensitive to cows milk so I’ve been on dairy free diet as still bf. The throwing up when she poops is a new thing just last couple of weeks but she’s notconstipated. Gp prescribed gaviscon but that did make her constipated so have got paed referral now but not for another 4 weeks Ahh!! Would love to know if you got some answers.

  3. Daniella

    My 11-week old daughter has the same issue. Her problems started at about 1 month. She would strain to poop or poot so hard she would spit up the formula.

    The problem was she aspirated on it because it was thin after being processed in her tummy. (she was already on thickened formula rice for spit-ups and Zantac ) when this would happen she would choke or laryngospasm. Basically, cut off her larynx to keep the aspirated fluids out….. the scariest thing I have ever seen/felt!

    When I first saw it I thought it was a seizure or allergic reaction. We took her to the er when it happened again ten days later. After an upper gi they discovered she had pyloric stenosis, and performed the surgery.

    All was right for three days. Then suddenly the choking even straining to poop returned. I took her back to the er. After a week in a half in the hospital, we really had no answers. They did an upper gi, EEG, video EEG, swallow study, and ph probe. They were betting on reflux, but the ph came back normal for a number of refluxes and acidity levels.

    All the tests were normal except for the swallow study. She had a coordination problem with swallowing thin liquids that caused her to aspirate. She would choke on her thin refluxes. So they gave her an nj probe and higher Zantac.

    They sent us home with time (to strengthen the larynx and esophageal sphincter) as the hope. Basically to grow out of it. They say sitting up and pacifier training helps to improve the swallow and keeping spit-ups down.

    So after a couple of weeks she is now 2 1/2 mo. She has never stopped straining to poop or pass gas. Even reflux/choking on saliva. So she is doing well enough now with no choking for 2 wks we are seeing how she does off the tube. They prescribed her Miralax 1/2 tsp in thick btl 4x a day.

    Today is day one and she is staring just as bad and formula comes up constantly through nose and mouth…we were told to give it a few days before we decide if it works.

    I am sorry I was so long in the posting. I have scoured the web for examples like hers with very little luck. So I wanted to help if I can. I hope this sheds some light for you. Laryngospasms can be deadly. So get to a gi specialist if you notice your child has this problem. God bless.

    1. Christelle

      Hi Daniella. My 10 months old is going through almost tte same thing. Just wanted to see if you can share an update ? Treatments? Did it eventually go away . He seen 2 dr and both keep staying he will outgrow it . But to be honest I’m concerned and it’s very painful to watch .

  4. Petra

    My breastfed 7-month-old started vomiting when she pooped around the time we introduced solids, but not each time. I thought it was just from the straining & pushing needed for firmer textured BMs. I will definitely try the Foods to Avoid and the Foods to Enjoy. She seems to do better with lots of applesauce (to the tune of four ice cubes worth).

    Thanks!!! Hopefully, soon I can wave bye-bye to the “Hey, you just pooped” puddle of vomit signal.

  5. Shawn

    I’m researching this because my 9-month-old son is the same way. It’s just awful to watch. He was at Dr today and she did not seem concerned. He got sick again when we got home. It’s only when he strains to poop. He has no history of reflux. By 9 mos I’d know if that was it don’t you think?

    I’m trying to remedy constipation as soon as possible, but the straining and vomiting are so scary.
    Thx for the info/advice.

    1. Christelle

      Hi Shawn. My 10 months old is going through almost tte same thing. Just wanted to see if you can share an update ? Treatments? Did it eventually go away . He seen 2 dr and both keep staying he will outgrow it . But to be honest I’m concerned and it’s very painful to watch .

  6. Bibi

    Thanks, Paula! You really helped me out!
    My 5-month-old is having the same issue! And it’s only when she needs to poop. She is straining to poop and vomiting out of her nose and everything at the same time. I am now convinced that adding the cereal, along with the fact that the formula has iron in it, has caused it to be difficult for her to poop. I am now wondering what the appropriate age is to add the prune puree…and I will change from rice cereal to oatmeal immediately…
    Thanks again!