Babies and Spitting Up

All babies spit up. Some babies spit up worse then others.The medical term for spit up is GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). There is no rhyme or reason as to when the baby will spit up nor when the baby will spit a small amount versus a large amount. Studies show that 98% of babies will outgrow GERD but it can take 12-15 months.

Concerns with respect to GERD:
* If the baby vomits bile/bright green material.
* If the baby’s vomit is projectile ie. lands several feet away from the baby.
*If the baby has trouble breathing or turns blue due to the vomiting.
*If the baby is not gaining or losing weight.
*If the baby is becoming dehydrated (no wet diapers, no saliva, no bowel movement)

Treatment of GERD
There is no specific treatment for GERD. Most babies will out grow it.
* Keep baby’s head elevated after feedings and do not lay them flat for about 20 minutes.
* Frequent burping of the baby during feedings.
* If the baby is taking any nutrition from a bottle, thickening the breast milk or formula with rice cereal. We would recommend 1 tsp. of rice cereal for every 2 oz. of breast milk or formula.
* Sometimes the pediatrician may recommend a change in formula. Please call the office to discuss this with our staff before making changes.
* Sometimes we prescribe medications like Zantac or Prevacid. These do not prevent GERD but they help the baby with symptoms.
* In rare occasions the use of a medication like Reglan is used. Due to potential side effects, we would want to see the baby before such a prescription would be given.