Baby Throwing Up Milk – Causes And Tips For Prevention

Vomiting occasionally is normal in babies. It is not a serious sign and lasts for just 1 or 2 days.

Gastroenteritis is one of the most common causes for vomiting in babies. It is infection caused due to bacteria or virus. This is also responsible for diarrhea in babies. Though the symptoms of this condition in unpleasant, your baby will start feeling better in few days.

However, repeated vomiting can dehydrate your baby and this can be sign of some serious condition.

‘My Baby Is Vomiting’

There are several factors that can be a cause for vomiting in babies. As a parent, it can get difficult to find out the cause when your baby in throwing up milk. Let’s talk about some of the common reasons for vomiting in babies.


Babies vomit milk time to time when they burp and this is normal in babies that are less than a year old.

The reason for this is due to the still developing food pipe where the milk and stomach acid flow back when your baby’s tummy is full.

Whenever your baby throws up milk he may hiccup, cough or even wheeze but as long as your baby has a healthy growth you don’t have to worry about reflux.

However if the reflux is more severe after feeding your baby, he may cough a lot. This can usually affect premature babies and you need to consult your doctor is such cases.


An infection can also cause your baby to throw up. A baby’s immune system in still developing during his early years and so he is likely to catch a lot of infections. The immune system will fight against such infections and gets stronger over time.

All babies under 5 years of age are likely to catch infection at some point. If your baby is less than 6 months old then you should consult your doctor. Older babies can be taken care at home. Encourage your baby to drink a lot like milk and water so that he is always hydrated. If you sense that your baby is not drinking enough then you can consult your doctor.

Some serious infections like meningitis can cause vomiting in babies. This infection is rare but needs to be treated immediately as it can be life threatening.


If your baby’s immune system is allergic to cow’s milk, it can mean that his tummy is sensitive to milk protein. This is different from lactose intolerance. This is rare in babies thought they can sometime come intolerant to cow milk after infection.

Most formula milk can contain milk protein. If you consume dairy products then such protein can also make way into breast milk.

Pyloric Stenosis

This is also a rare condition which can cause forceful vomiting in babies. This can happen when the lower portion of the stomach that connects to the intestines has thickened. What this means is that the milk doesn’t pass through the intestine stays in the stomach

This will happen mostly between birth to 6 months of age. In the beginning stages your baby can vomit small amounts of milk and can get worse a result in projectile vomit.

Pyloric Stenosis can require minor surgery so if you think your baby has this condition then it is important to talk to your doctor.

Difference Between Spit Up And Vomit

Spit up is nothing but reflux where the food travels back to the mouth from stomach. This is common in babies and nothing to be worried about which usually happens till your baby is 1 year old. This can happen due to overfeeding or a still developing digestive system.

What Is Spit Up?

Spit Up happens commonly in babies due to under developed gut. It gets better as your baby grows. Other terms like “regurgitation”, “spit-up”, and “gastroesophageal reflux” mean the same thing. Spit up refers to food that spills out of baby’s mouth.

Why Babies Spit Up Milk?

A baby’s tummy is very small and can hold very less amount of milk. If a baby is fed too much it will cause the baby to spit up.

Babies can spit up milk due to:

  • Overfeeding
  • Burps
  • Swallowing of air

Spit up is not painful and there is nothing to worry about. As long as you are sure that your baby is putting on healthy weight, just think of it as a part of your baby’s development process.

Vomiting In Babies

If a spit up is making your baby uncomfortable or if the spit up is forceful, then it means that your baby is vomiting.

If your baby is vomiting more than once, then it means that your baby is infected by virus. Even though such infection is not dangerous, it can lead to dehydration in babies.

Babies under 1 year old are more under risk of dehydration and you should consult your doctor immediately in such cases.

Baby Throwing Up Breast Milk

If your baby is spitting up a lot of breast milk and you are concerned about it, then there is no need to worry.

It can be stressful for parents when their baby spits up. They are worried about their baby’s health and growth. Spitting is common in health babies and there is nothing to be concerned about their health or growth. As I already told earlier, this due to immature digestive system which makes the food travel back to the mouth.

Some of the reasons your baby spits up breast milk are:

– Your baby is drinking too much milk too quickly. This can be due to overflow of breast milk or if the baby drinks too fast.

– If your baby is sensitive to cow’s milk and if you consume dairy products like curd or yogurt, it can flow from breast milk to your baby.

– If your baby is distracted during breastfeeding, it can cause your baby to swallow air resulting is spitting up.

– Forceful feeding can cause reflux like symptoms that can result in spit up.

Baby Throwing Up Formula

If you are feeding formula milk to your baby and he is spitting up, then here are some possible reasons:

– If your baby is fed using bottle, there is a chance that the hole of the bottle is large and the baby must be drinking milk too fast. This can cause your baby to spit up. How can you check if the hole is large or not? Simply fill milk in the bottle and hold it upside down. If you observe that milk is dripping from the hole, it means that the hole is too big.

– If a bigger hole is not the issue, then another possible reason could be acid reflux where the food travels back to the mouth easily. This is common is babies and can be solved by feeding in a more upright position. If the spit up is more frequent, then consult with your doctor regarding acid reflux.

– If you baby is new to formula feeding, then spitting up could just means that he has not yet got the hang on drinking from a bottle. Just don’t worry and feed your baby in a calm environment by having skin and eye contact.

Baby Vomiting Curdled Milk

Milk becomes curdled when it gets mixed with stomach acid. While spitting up curdled milk is not a problem, combined with frequent vomiting could mean that something is not right.

Some of the reasons for baby spitting up curdled milk are:

– Your baby is intolerant to lactose or milk protein. Changing formula milk is not a solution for this. If your baby is allergic to cow milk and you are planning to breast feed, the make sure to avoid dairy products from your diet.

– Babies can spit up curdled milk due to acid reflux. You can try switching to formula milk in such cases as they are thicker than breast milk.

– Pyloric Stenosis can also be an issue. It needs a minor surgery to be treated.

– A tight diaper or cloth around the abdomen are can put pressure and cause milk to spit up.

– Other common reasons like underdeveloped digestive system, overfeeding, allergies, feeding position or swallowing of air can also be the issue.

Baby Vomiting Mucus Milk

While vomiting milk is common in babies, vomiting mucus milk is alarming and disturbing for parents. Vomiting mucus milk is not uncommon but it is a cause of concern only when your baby is vomiting frequently.

Some of the reasons for baby vomiting mucus milk are:

– Your baby is infected by bacteria or virus, who is an easy target. Such infections can affect respiratory system which can lead to excessive coughing resulting in vomiting.

– Pyloric Stenosis is also a cause for vomiting mucus milk.

– There could be some kind of blockage in the intestinal path of your baby. This can make the food to be stuck causing to vomit.

– Your baby has swallowed something toxic or unhealthy and the only way the body can get rid of it is by vomiting.

– Motion sickness can also cause vomiting in babies which is another common reason in babies.

– Excessive crying for long duration can cause the gag reflex in throat to be stimulated resulting in vomit.

– Allergic reaction can also cause vomiting mucus milk.

Baby Vomiting Blood

Babies can vomit small amounts of old blood after the first few days of birth. This can happen if the baby has swallowed blood during birth. The color of the blood can be dark red or brown. This does not harm your baby in any way.

There can also be blood in baby’s vomit due to bleeding nipples. It may not be obvious but you can feel soreness due to baby sucking. This again doesn’t harm your baby in any way but you need to take care from further damaging your nipples. You don’t have to stop breastfeeding your baby just because he is swallowing blood.

How To Reduce Spit Up In Babies?

There are some very easy ways to reduce spit up in babies.

  • Hold your baby in a more upright position while feeding.
  • Burp your baby after every feed.
  • Make sure that the hole in bottle’s nipple is not large. You can check this by holding the bottle upside down. If you find that the milk is dripping it means that the hole is large.
  • Do not let your baby lie on his stomach after feeding and keep him in upright position.
  • Don’t allow for too much activity after feeding.
  • Feed less but feed more often.
  • If you are breastfeeding the pay close attention to your diet. If you feel that some foods are affecting you baby, it is better to avoid such foods for a while.
  • If you observe any kind of loss in weight, forceful vomit or other symptoms then consult your doctor immediately.

Knowing why your baby is throwing p milk is as important as knowing about solving them. By now you must have understood that this is a common condition and you don’t have to worry. It is best to stay calm and find out the reason behind the spit up and find a solution or talk to your doctor.

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