If you buy something through a link on this site, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. (Disclosure policy).
  • Post last modified:December 12, 2020

Mom’s Question:

Why does my 5-month-old keep making himself throw up? He sticks his fingers in his mouth till he throws up. He does this with breastmilk and formula, before and after feeding, all time of the day.

Please help!!!

Baby Helpline:

Baby Makes Himself Throw Up – What To Do

What an interesting problem! However, babies at this age are experimenting and your baby has discovered he has control over something, which is pretty clever for his age!

I would suggest you try not to make a big deal out of it, he is probably getting a lot of attention when he does this, so you are reinforcing it.

Instead, play lots of games with him and give him lots of attention when he isn’t doing it. It is usually easy to distract a young baby with exciting noises and games and toys. He will learn that it is much more interesting to play peek-a-boo with you or banging on a pot with a spoon, or clapping hands.

If you can head him off by distraction rather than drawing attention to his putting his fingers in his mouth then he will switch focus. Babies at this age naturally put everything in their mouth, so it is a normal thing to do, however you little boy is very bright in that he has learned to take this a step further and gets lots of energy and fuss happening when he does it.

He is at the age of needing a lot of stimulation and interesting things to play with and needs lots of interaction with you. Far better to be putting energy and attention into play and learning activities that are more productive.

The only other thing to check is if he could possibly have a sore throat or mouth that could be the reason for his behavior. Teething, throat infection, or even oral thrush could be painful or itchy and make him feel better when sticking his fingers into his mouth and throat.

Enjoy your little boy,


Find comments below.

Comments for
Baby Throwing Up Voluntarily

Oct 06, 2013Our baby did the same thing!
by: Anonymous

Our baby did the exact same thing and I can tell you Paula is right; trying to make him stop by pulling out his fingers didn’t help one bit.

What helped was a distraction. I had a toy that I gave him only after feeding; a nice one that he loved chewing on and after a while I guess he forgot about the fingers. But it took me quite a long time to figure out this solution! I spent a lot if time saying “no” to my baby and pulling out his fingers. No point at all!

So get him a feeding toy.

Nov 07, 2013What’s wrong with my baby

by: Anonymous

My 5-month-old baby is gagging and then throwing up every time he eats solids. He never used to do it and its been going on for the past 3 days now. He usually loves his food. Also, he has diarrhea too, what’s wrong with him? :(

Baby Help Line: Sounds like a stomach bug!

We have changed to a new commenting system. Add your comments below or return to Infant Vomiting Q&A.