You’ve finally mastered the latch, and now you believe you’re on your way to baby-feeding success just to be deterred by a whole lot of baby spit up. Like, an entire feeding projected all over your favorite sweats, the couch, your baby’s third outfit of the day, and anything else within a 3-foot radius. No amount of burp cloths can help this situation that keeps occurring, and you’re really starting to worry that Baby may have an underlying issue and/or isn’t getting enough nutrients. Sound familiar? Well don’t worry, you’re not the first mom to go through newborn vomit sessions, and you’re certainly not the only one wondering what in the world is going on!
So what could it be? Is it acid reflux? An allergy, maybe? Are you feeding your baby too much at one time? Or is this abnormal-seeming reoccurrence perfectly normal? Let's dive into a few of these possibilities, but be prepared for a lot of trial-and-error type recommendations, because not every condition is the same and babies wont always respond immediately to some changes, so patience is key in figuring this out!
It is very unlikely for your baby to be allergic to your breast milk, but they could be allergic or unable to tolerate something you may be eating. In many cases, cow’s milk or dairy products are the culprit and once they are reduced or cut out of your diet, you may see some vast improvements in your baby’s eating habits and overall mood. If it’s not dairy products you suspect, keep a log of foods you eat and how your baby responds to them; typically 3-5 hours after you eat it’ll be in your milk supply. Usually all it takes is cutting a menu item or two out of your diet for a few months for the allergy-like symptoms to subside.
As for formula: if your baby is allergic to formula, it may very well mean they are allergic to cow’s milk, but it doesn’t guarantee this fact. Vomiting will not be the only sign of allergies, you will also likely see rashes, hives, diarrhea, and likely more symptoms. You’ll for sure want to bring up these concerns to the pediatrician!
Of course, there’s always the option that the vomiting may mean nothing at all, which sounds ridiculous, but is a possibility. Babies spit up when they have bubbles in their stomach, so there could’ve been a few vomit-inducing bubbles and they may get through it just fine, or there could be more to the story. The pediatrician will likely tell you that to doctors, there isn’t a medical difference between a baby spitting up and a baby vomiting. This may come as a surprise to you, but it is a testament to how common baby vomiting really is. Being able to give your pediatrician as many facts and details as possible will be a good start in deciding whether there is an underlying issue involved. But he/she very well may tell you to try out a few different things before some tests or medications are given.