by Udita Saklani
Here is how to tell the difference between baby vomit and a spit up
Just fed your baby? And he spits it up? As a new mom, women can get overwhelmed with the sight of seeing their newborns spit up! This is primarily because as adults we have only heard of the term ‘vomit’. On the other hand, a ‘spit-up’ or a ‘reflux’ is a relatively lesser known term. No wonder there are lactation consultants who will guide you through the ‘A-Z’ of breastfeeding, feeding sessions among other things.
Doctors generally say that spit-ups are a very common issue in newborns and babies up till 6 months old. The main reason for spit-ups is overfeeding. The size of the stomach of a newborn baby is equivalent to a small ball. Since such a little tummy can’t accommodate an excess quantity of milk, that is the reason why spit-ups occur. In a nutshell, it’s not developed enough to hold large quantities. So, on a flip side, if you see, spit-ups are just a normal reaction to the newborns’ body.
Spit-ups might take parents for a surprise or fright also in some cases. But for the baby, it might be as regular as passing poop! Yes, you heard it right.
For a new mom, it could be hard to distinguish between a spit-up or vomit. Presenting our guide on how to differentiate between the two:
1. Watch out for your baby’s expressions:
As soon as the spit-up happens, always watch out for your baby’s expressions. If it is a spit-up, the little one would probably be very comfortable and it would seem as though nothing happened! As long as the infant is playful and his/her cheerful self, there should be no room for worry.
2. The timing:
When does your little one throw up? If it happened immediately after feeding session, then it is for sure a spit-up and not a vomit. Usually babies spit-up after a burp. This, in fact, can be considered a good sign of food getting digested by those tiny intestines. Spit-ups generally happen if the baby takes in too much milk or swallows air while feeding.
3. Watch out when the baby throws up:
There is a mild difference in the way baby throws up in case of spit ups or vomit. While the former is followed by a light burp and does not make the baby uncomfortable. In case of a vomit, the food might come out with a greater force and might as well make your little one weep due to discomfort in abdominal muscles and diaphragm.
4. The quantity of throw-ups:
Moms can very well be called a very good FBI officer! They do very good research and findings as far as poop and throw ups are concerned! No wonder new moms know the exact color of their newborns’ poop for the initial few days. Same goes for spit ups and vomiting. While vomit will have a larger quantity of food which would have been expelled by the kids’ body, a spit up would be just a mild bit of milk coming out post a feeding and burp session.
Knowing the difference between spit up and vomit is important because the former is very common and does not require the parents to rush to the ER. Vomiting generally comes along with a host of other symptoms which one needs to watch out for. Also, if your little one feels lethargic and irritated after a vomit, you might as well take him to the doctor for checkups.
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