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Baby Vomits Then Passes Out

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by Christina

My 3 week old will vomit then pass out and become limp immediately for about 1-2 minutes, he has done this 5 times.

We took him to the hospital, but got different answers from different student doctors there, I wanted a experienced one, but my pediatrician was not affiliated with hospital, so I didn’t have a choice.

When he was released one doc said it was reflux. He also has eosinophilia and docs don’t know why he has it either. Has anyone had this happen or anyone know what it could possibly be, I’m at my wits end. Thank you for any help.

Baby Help Line:

Newborn Vomiting And Passing Out

I would keep persisting with getting good medical advice since your baby is so young. All babies vomit from time to time, and it can look like a lot, when it is only a couple of teaspoonful. You didn’t say how much and how frequently your little boy vomits.

Reflux is something babies grow out of, and is basically forceful regurgitation of excess milk, due to the muscle or valve at the entry to the oesophagus still being undeveloped. More frequent burping can help but don’t put baby over your shoulder as this puts pressure on the tummy and he is more likely to bring up milk rather than air. Usually development is not affected unless your baby has very severe reflux.

You can try small feeds every two hours rather than a big feed all at once and you can also elevate the head of his crib.

Eosinophilia itself is not a diagnosis, but rather a symptom that is characteristic of a number of health problems. It is typically seen in patients with allergies and parasitic invasions. While an invasion is very unlikely to be seen in such a small baby, an allergic reaction to the food he is receiving may be the cause. I don’t know if you are breastfeeding or not, but if you are you could try eliminating dairy from your diet (but you will need calcium supplements). If you are bottle feeding, then you need to get a special formula that is non dairy and non soy – babies with this kind of allergy also rarely tolerate soy formulas.

Although the loss of consciousness and muscle tone may result from GERD, the situation is quite serious and should be handled professionally. I do not know what was done for your baby in the hospital and whether the approach was correct or not, but in this case it is better to get a second opinion of an experienced and trusted doctor.

Good luck getting medical support, it is important you persist to get help and advice as to what is best for your baby. Try not to get too distressed with it all as you little boy will be picking up on your anxiety.

Hope this helps,
(Answer approved by our Medical Reference Team)

Find comments below.


Comments for “Baby Vomits Then Passes Out

Feb 28, 2011

Baby vomits then passes out

by: christina

Thank you Paula for responding, and I will try a few of your suggestions.

Well, he vomits a lot and I mean like exercist type vomit, not spit up, we have reduced from 4 ounces to 2 ounces per feeding and feeding him more often. He is burped at every 1/2 to 1 ounce after ingestion. He has been on rice cereal mixed in with formula per peditrician orders. (he has finally gained weight thanks to this) He still vomits 2-4 times a day like this. He also vomits at diff times, not just after feeding.

He has already been tested for pyloric stenosis, and it came back negative. He also goes blue all around his mouth at diff times but his lips are normal color.

We have tried him on breastmilk, and a couple other formulas and now is on soy. I dont know what type of formula you are referring to, but I am willing to try anything at this point.

They did an allergy test at hospital, but will be weeks before results will come in. He has an mri scheduled, and they will be calling me back to schedule an ekg.
I must say I really like his peditrician and he is trying hard to find out whats wrong with him, and he also doesn’t think he has reflux. He also said at my babys appt yesterday he thinks he has a condition called sanderfords syndrome that causes passing out after vomiting, but I can’t find any info on the net about it. I hope it is this condition cause peditrician said if it is this, he will outgrow this.

Well thank you, and if you have any other suggestions, I will listen and probably try it out.


Baby Help Line: Christina, it is called Sandifer’s Syndrome, and it is a spasm related to acid reflux in babies. You can see it on film in the video clip below:

Mar 06, 2011

Same Here

by: Anonymous

I can understand you completely. My 6 year old has these episodes. She has been having them since she was born. The doctors have done EEGs on her and still cannot tell me why. I watch now for the indicator that it is going to happen. She yawns, and i know that she is going to vomit and pass out. The area around her mouth turns blue and she goes completely limp then after it is over she seems fine. I have been told she may be having a form of seizure but it never shows on the EEG.

Feb 02, 2012

We have just experienced this

by: MomToRefluxer

We just had a similar episode with our son over the weekend. He got a tummy bug and was vomiting violently and so frequently and then he would go unconscious for a few seconds after these episodes. We took him to the ER and they kept him and ran bunch of tests to make sure it was not a seizure (EEG, ct-scan, blood work, etc).

My little guy also suffers from reflux, but this is the first time that he has actually vomited like this. It was very scary! His lips turned blue and he turned pale color and went limp.

I am curious as to why this happened and what causes it.

Jun 22, 2012

unresponsive baby
by: niamh

hi all,
i just feel really lost at this time. I have a beautiful baby daughter alanna rose who is 18 wks old. At 3 wks she became unconscious while i was winding her, she became completely limp and turned white, my 1st response was that she choked or aspirated but she was still breathing although this was hard to determine, she did not become blue but would not respond to any stimuli.

i ran to my local doctor with her (who was 2 minutes away), she called an ambulance. I am a nurse and gave gave ananna 2 rescue breaths on the way to docs, i was unsure of what to do. we were brought by ambulance to the local pediatric unit (30 mins away). alanna was unresponsive on arrival but breathing (just). After 5 minutes in hospital she came back to herself crying normally(she had been unresponsive for 40 – 50 mins at this stage… no exaggeration, very scary)

During her 1st feed in the hospital the doctors witnessed her do the same but she responded after 5-6 mins. She was diagnosed on clinical examination as having reflux but they could not explain why this happened!!? can anyone shed light on this or should i just forget it and thank god for what i have.

Jul 31, 2012

limp episodes

by: shelly

my daughter has has 3 episodes where she goes completely limp and barley can hold her eyes open. she is 1.she will give a weak cry thru this bc she knows something isn’t right..and then after about2 minutes she comes to. We as well have no answers from drs. My daughter has spinabifida so we r not sure if it is connected with that or not. and info would be greatly appreciated.

Nov 02, 2012

1 year old son

by: Teresa

Our one year old son has just done this twice within the last 2 weeks. He get a temp, vomits 3 or 4 times over a period of 30 mins or so then all of a sudden passes out.

I have been to my GP who is referring us to a pediatric specialist. So now we await tests to see if they can find out anything.

He has never vomited like this before up to now and has never passed out for no apparent reason before either.

Was very scary the first time it happened, but he was still breathing and eventually came to after a few minutes.

Very horrible knowing you can do nothing about it and now just have to wait and see if they find anything.

If anyone has had similar instances and has had results, would be very interested in hearing them.

Thanks, Teresa

Nov 04, 2012

Baby vomits and goes limp
by: Cecilia


I had something like this happen to my son when he was 5 months old. He got up from a nap and then vomited exorcist style and went limp, I knew something was not right especially since he never even spit up before. I called his dr who sent us to the hospital. There they ran every test imaginable, x-rays, MRI the works and they could not find anything wrong with him. Finally after 3 days in the hospital and being poked and probed with no answer I requested to be sent to the Childrens Valley Hospital.

We were not even there for 4 hours when they had already found out and fixed the problem, and all it took was an ultrasound. My son had intussuception. Basically it is when your intestine turn in on itself, like when your turning a sock inside out, they inserted a hose through his bottom and blew it back out like a balloon. Problem was fixed and it has never happened again. There is no known cause for this, they called it a freak accident with a very easy fix if caught on time.

I don’t know if this helps you but I just want to tell you not to give up and keep looking for an answer. Nobody knows your child better than you do, so follow your gut reaction and if one dr can’t give you an answere try another and another. Wish you the best of luck.

Edited by EasyBabyLife: For anyone who wants to know more about intussuception, read this article at DrGreen.com explaining intussusception in detail. (Opens in new window)

Dec 26, 2012

Baby passes out after throwing up

by: Shelby

Hi my name is Shelby and my 5 week old does almost this same thing.. It started a week after I got to bring her home from the nicu. We have been to the hospital three tines in the last three weeks..

If I were you ask for a upper gi to be done and if they still insist it’s reflux tell them to do a ph probe.. I would hold off as long as possible they will have to sadate him to do that maybe ask for a EEG instead.. My daughter has had a EEG EKG upper gi complete blood and urine work ups. I think the only difference between our situations is that my daughter does not projectile vomit.. She chokes and will go blue and sometimes go limp.. We just spent the holidays in the hospital.. We now have an app. With a gi specialist down at the childrens hospital.. If I were you I would tell your doctor to refer you to a gi as well

Dec 26, 2012

fixing/adding on to my last comment
by: shelby

You should hold off as long as possible on the mri they will have to sadate him and with how young he is that will be hard on you as well as him. you should also wait on any cat scans because his brain is still growing and they dont know how the radiation will effect that’s developement. I would go with the upper gi ph probe and an ultra sound. do these as well as a complete blood and urine work up those things will help them find something out. also could your son be consitpated they were always asking me that while we are there.

These are some of the things we are doing at home to help with the reflux they think my daughter has. elevating her bed keeping her upright for at least 30mins after every meal. they have her on some medication and this last time they told us to never lay her flat not even while changing her or for tummy time. also make sure his diaper in not tight around his tummy. i have been doing these things with my daughter but they dont seem to be helping much in her case but i also dont believe that she really does have reflux but we continue to do them in hopes that it will help. i hope that your son gets better soon. I know how hopeless it feels when you don’t think the doctors are right.. i have been dealing with this for the last three weeks and my daughter does it two or three times a day on average. so keep your head up and it i find out anything new i will be sure to write you a comment in hopes that it helps with your son as well.

May 30, 2013


by: Abbey

My 1st child use to do exactly that. Very scary. Took him to royal children’s. He had many tests, like MRI etc. We were in hospital for a week. Finally the diagnosed it as silent reflux seizures. He was put on losec, which helped a lot. We were then seen by the pediatrician for months to make sure he had put on weight. Very scary tho. Good luck. Unjust put my 9 week old girl to bed and she vomited out her nose and mouth. Let’s hope she’s not the same.

Sep 20, 2013

Same here…

by: Heidi

My little boy is 8 weeks old. He went completely limp and was unresponsive a few days ago. I drove to the hospital just up the road thinking he might be dead. It was the most terrifying experience of my life. He was out for about 10 mins. We were sent to the Bath RUH and kept over night so they could do observations. They diagnosed him with reflux and prescribed Ranitidine.

I have to say, I’m skeptical about the reflux thing. They did nothing to prove that this was the case. Only monitored his blood pressure, pulse and temp! 🙁

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