If you buy something through a link on this site, I may receive a small commission. (Disclosure policy).

Mom’s Question:

I have a happy infant son who just turned 12 months old. Occasionally (rare) he will gasp for breath and begin crying and choking and then have fluid from his nose.

I am not sure if this is a symptom of reflux or GERD in babies?

He is very upset when this happens and I am not sure if it is panic or pain or both. It can happen in the bath or in his highchair or with a pacifier in or out. It makes me very concerned.

Baby Helpline:

Symptoms Of GERD or Acid Reflux or In Babies

Some babies do continue spitting up long after they started sitting up and eating solid foods. And yes, it may be related to reflux.

What you describe – the gasping, pain, and fluid sound very much like symptoms of acid reflux in babies. (You can check out a long thread with babies gasping for air and some of them having reflux here.)

Did your son spit up a lot when he was younger? Most kids tend to grow out of acid reflux at around 12-18 months, so hopefully, you will be able to see an improvement soon. GERD is a more serious form of acid reflux, and if your son’s only issue is spitting up occasionally, I do not believe that he has GERD. If your son just recently started to spit up, and he hasn’t done that in the past, then you should discuss this with his DR since it could be related to e.g. some allergy rather than acid reflux.

The spitting up may sound really bad, but it isn’t dangerous.

If you haven’t discussed the matter with your son’s health care providers, I think it could be a good idea to do so. If not for anything else, then to take some of your worries off your chest.

I can’t say for sure, of course, if it is reflux that your baby is suffering from. If you want a diagnosis, talk to a pediatrician. Filming your son, if possible, can be quite effective then. Also take notes of any related symptoms, such as your son not gaining weight, or vomiting yellow, green or blood-stained fluid.

Symptoms of GERD are e.g.:

  • Frequent vomiting
  • Frequent or persistent coughing
  • Difficulties to eat including gagging or choking, or even refusing to eat
  • Crying while feeding
  • Pain
  • Weight loss or failure to increase weight at the expected pace according to the baby’s individual weight curve
  • Heartburn and gas

Many of these symptoms can also be signs of other issues, so do let a doctor help you sort out the situation if you think there is one.

You’ll find a thorough guide to acid reflux in babies and toddlers here.

And if you want to connect with other parents who worry about their children throwing up, check out the following related threads:

I really wish you good luck,


Find comments below.

Comments for “Help With Symptom – Reflux?”

Dec 21, 2018 Reflux I would say

by: Cindy

I just had a baby 13 weeks ago and the same thing was happening to my little one… Scared the S*it out of me I will tell you she was hospitalized so they could monitor her but of course she didn’t do it there did she..I changed her formula to S26 AR, its a reflux formula and also started using dr browns bottles they are specially designed for reflux…Since doing this she has not had another episode and is a much happier baby and also sleeping through the night.
Hope this helps and best of luck to you :)

Sep 28, 2019 My 11-week old baby keeps choking on his vomit and gasping for breath, please help

by: Worried mum

My little boy keeps gagging and not able to breathe for a few seconds until what looks like regurgitated milk comes up which looks more than 2 tablespoons worth, he is on Gaviscon sachets. Other times it is projectile vomit which is not yet digested. I’m not sure what this could be? Reflux maybe?

Any suggestions? I have put an appointment with my GP but I am afraid to go to sleep at night in case I don’t hear him!

Sep 29, 2019 Possible reflux

by: Paula (Baby Help Line)

Hi worried mom,

You are certainly doing the right thing by taking your baby to the doctor. In the meantime; have you tried raising the head end of your baby’s crib or cradle somewhat. For babies with reflux, this can really help to prevent the vomiting and gasping for air while sleeping.

You may also want to check the related forum threads displayed above. Some babies with these symptoms do have reflux, while others have other issues. It can be good for you to know about other possible diagnoses when discussing the doctor.

I hope this helps,


Sep 30, 2019 6 month old spitting curdy white after every feed

by: Anonymous

My daughter has just turned 6 months old (exclusively breastfed ) and has started with solid food. I give her fruit puree only once a day. But after 2hrs of having solid food, she spits up a lot of curdy white puke and then every feed is followed by this puke. Also, she has lately started to shove her fingers in her mouth. I am very concerned if she has acid reflux or food intolerance or is she teething. Til now she was gaining weight normally.

Please help !!!

Answer by Baby Help Line: If your baby starts to vomit suddenly after introducing new foods, then the first thing to do is to take away that food immediately and see if it helps. It can certainly be intolerance, just like you mention.

On the other hand, if she has started shoving her fingers into her mouth and throat, then maybe this is why she is vomiting! Babies do test odd things sometimes! I would still stop with the puree and see if it helps. Then reintroduce it again very slowly, but preferably some other sort first. One option is to test puree made from sweet potato – very easy to digest for babies! You can find a recipe for baked sweet potato for babies here.

Good luck!

We have changed to a new commenting system. Add your comments below.
Share with your friends! :-)

Leave a Reply

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Hanna Seth

    My son had colic and really bad acid reflux. When you feed your babies, make sure that they are in an upright position. He used to wake up every two hours in pain. Babies magic tea did however work for my son, but I also switched him to Similac Sensitive formula. With the formula, I used to put one oz of tea and mix it in 8oz formula. The consistency helped him keep in down.