Breastfeeding Question: Why Do Babies Vomit?

Why do babies vomit? It may not be a pleasant question, but, it is one that almost all parents have asked at one point or another.

Check out this video with Katie, our educator and lactation consultant, about why babies vomit and what’s normal and what’s not...

Why Do Babies Vomit?

This is a really common question from many parents. After all, it can be scary to see your baby vomit! Also, it can look like a lot of vomit for such a small baby too! So how do you know what is normal?

Firstly, nearly all babies will “posit.” This is where they spit up a bit of excess milk. This normally happens when you pick them up from breastfeeding and the movement causes any excess milk to spill over and come out! Oops!

The sphincter or band at the top of the stomach is really loose in babies and it doesn’t take much for them to posit after feeds. This is normally only a little bit of milk, likely just a few millilitres and will cause baby no problems.

Some baby’s vomit what seems like loads of milk after feeds. These are usually the situations which get parents worried!

Try not to worry! Most vomiting though is still in the realms of normal, despite what it may look like!

Understanding the Warning Signs When it Comes to Vomiting

There are some rare vomiting patterns which if you think your baby is doing should be investigated by your baby’s GP or paediatrician:

  • Projectile vomiting – is baby vomiting where it flies out of their mouth and lands a fair distance away from them?
  • Is baby losing weight or not gaining weight efficiently?
  • Is the vomit any colour other than milk colours; i.e. green, red, orange?

If your baby is vomiting occasionally but is otherwise content, happy, growing well and gaining weight according to the child health growth charts and is breastfeeding as per usual then the vomit you’re seeing is likely nothing to be concerned about.

If your baby’s vomiting pattern changes or you notice any of the signs highlighted above then speak with your health care provider for more information.

Have you ever worried about your baby vomiting? What other questions do you have for Katie, our educator and lactation consultant? Please join the conversation below or on our Medela Australia Facebook page.