My 2 week old baby is sick after every feed

Reflux in babies - NHS

Reflux is when a baby brings up milk, or is sick, during or shortly after feeding. It's very common and usually gets better on its own.

Check if your baby has reflux

Reflux usually starts before a baby is 8 weeks old and gets better by the time they're 1.

Symptoms of reflux in babies include:

  • bringing up milk or being sick during or shortly after feeding
  • coughing or hiccupping when feeding
  • being unsettled during feeding
  • swallowing or gulping after burping or feeding
  • crying and not settling
  • not gaining weight as they're not keeping enough food down

Sometimes babies may have signs of reflux but will not bring up milk or be sick. This is known as silent reflux.

Things you can try to ease reflux in babies

Your baby does not usually need to see a doctor if they have reflux, as long as they're happy, healthy and gaining weight.


  • ask a health visitor for advice and support

  • get advice about your baby's breastfeeding position or how to bottle feed your baby

  • hold your baby upright during feeding and for as long as possible after feeding

  • burp your baby regularly during feeds

  • give formula-fed babies smaller feeds more often

  • make sure your baby sleeps flat on their back (they should not sleep on their side or front)

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if your baby:

  • is not improving after trying things to ease reflux
  • gets reflux for the first time after they're 6 months old
  • is older than 1 and still has reflux
  • is not gaining weight or is losing weight

Urgent advice: Ask for an urgent GP appointment or call 111 if your baby:

  • has vomit that's green or yellow, or has blood in it
  • is projectile vomiting (being sick with more force than usual)
  • has blood in their poo
  • has a swollen or tender tummy
  • has a very high temperature or they feel hot or shivery
  • keeps being sick and cannot keep fluid down
  • has diarrhoea that lasts for over a week or has signs of dehydration
  • will not stop crying and is very distressed
  • is refusing to feed

Also call your GP or 111 if you have any other concerns about your baby.

Treatment for reflux in babies

A GP or specialist may sometimes recommend treatments for reflux.

If your baby is formula-fed, you may be given:

  • a powder that's mixed with formula to thicken it
  • a pre-thickened formula milk

If the thickening powder does not help or your baby is breastfed, a GP or specialist might recommend medicines that stop your baby's stomach producing as much acid.

Very rarely, surgery might be needed to strengthen the muscles to stop food or milk travelling back up. This is usually only after trying other things or if their reflux is severe.

Causes of reflux

Reflux usually happens because your baby's food pipe (oesophagus) has not fully developed, so milk can come back up easily.

Your baby's oesophagus will develop as they get older and the reflux should stop.

Page last reviewed: 13 December 2021
Next review due: 13 December 2024

Newborn Illness - How to Recognize

Is this your child's symptom?

  • How infections and other serious diseases can present in newborns

Why Newborns Need to be Watched Closely
  • Newborns are at higher risk for infections. Infections may present at any time during the first month. Watch your baby carefully for signs of illness. This is especially crucial during the first 7 days of life.
  • Newborns that get a blood infection (sepsis) can get very sick quickly.
  • The symptoms of serious illness in newborns can be subtle. The question below deals with sick newborns:
  • "Age under 1 month old (newborn) and starts to look or act abnormal in any way." Look for this question in the "Call Your Doctor Now" section. It is listed in at least 10 topics.
  • Feeding is the one reliable measure of a newborn's well-being. Newborns should be eating machines. If your baby isn't feeding well, call your baby's doctor. Also, call if your baby has an abrupt change in his feeding pattern. (Exception: never a good feeder, but takes enough milk and nothing has changed).
  • If how your baby looks or acts changes and it's not normal, call now. Don't wait to call your baby's doctor for expert advice.

When to Call for Newborn Illness - How to Recognize

Call 911 Now

  • Can't wake up
  • Not moving or very weak
  • New moaning or grunting noises with each breath
  • Bluish (or gray) lips, tongue or face now
  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Any symptoms of illness such as coughing, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Changes in feeding. Signs are having to wake up for feeds or can't finish feeds.
  • Sweating during feedings
  • Sleeping more than normal
  • Change in color (such as pale, bluish or gray arms and legs)
  • Soft spot on top of head looks swollen
  • Fever in baby less than 12 weeks old. Caution: do NOT give your baby any fever medicine before being seen.
  • Low temperature below 96.8° F (36.0° C) rectally that does not go up with warming
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Urine color is pink, orange or peach
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent. Child has none of the urgent symptoms listed above.
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Your baby is feeding, moving and sleeping normally
  • There are no signs of illness
  • Your newborn is well

Seattle Children's Urgent Care Locations

If your child’s illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.

  • Bellevue
  • Everett
  • Federal Way
  • Seattle

Care Advice for Newborns Without Signs of Illness

  1. What You Should Know About Newborn Illness:
    • Based on this review, your baby doesn't have any signs of illness right now.
    • The symptoms of serious illness in newborns can be subtle. Watch your baby carefully for signs of illness. If how your baby looks or acts changes and it's not normal, call now.
    • During the early weeks of life, careful watching is always the best approach.
  2. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Your baby has a fever
    • Your baby has any symptoms of illness
    • Your baby starts to look or act abnormal in any way
    • You think your child needs to be seen

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.

Last Reviewed: 01/17/2023

Last Revised: 12/30/2022

Copyright 2000-2023. Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.

A newborn vomited up - what to do, causes and how to help

The urge to vomit in a newborn is an alarming symptom that should not be ignored. They may be the result of accidental ingestion of a small object by a baby, intoxication, acute appendicitis, intestinal obstruction, or other diseases. The most harmless reason that a child vomited is overeating.

Physiological causes of vomiting

Sometimes vomiting is a short-term phenomenon that is not associated with pathology or disease. What could be the reasons that a healthy newborn vomited:

  • overeating - the baby ate too much breast milk or formula;
  • the baby is teething, and vomiting is a sign of temporary malaise;
  • child swallows air while feeding;
  • wrong daily routine, severe fatigue;
  • active play and activity immediately after eating.

If the baby feels well, you need to help him calm down and give him a drink of warm boiled water. Put the baby to sleep on the side. The baby will relax, the contents of the stomach will move into the intestines, and vomiting attacks will not recur. Try not to bathe the baby, do not shake immediately after eating. Keep track of the amount of food he gets to avoid overeating. nine0003

The introduction of a new mixture can also cause vomiting. Check with your pediatrician to make sure there are no other causes. Your doctor can help you find other foods that are right for your child.

Sometimes babies feel sick after crying for a long time, for example, the mother left, and the baby is very bored or hungry. If there are no other alarming symptoms, calm the baby as soon as possible, shake, feed, sing a gentle song. If vomiting recurs later, you need to call the pediatrician. nine0003

Symptoms and possible causes of vomiting

Most often, vomiting is a signal of diseases that can be identified by additional symptoms.

Poisoning or intestinal infections

The symptoms of poisoning and intestinal infection are very similar: the newborn is sick, his stool changes, his tummy hurts and his temperature rises. The child should be given constant water to drink so that dehydration does not occur. In any of these conditions, you need to urgently call a doctor. nine0003


Babies are very mobile, if a child hits his head or falls, you need to urgently call an ambulance. A concussion is accompanied by vomiting, crying, temporary loss of consciousness, pallor, drowsiness, and impaired coordination of movements.

Foreign body

Swallowing a small object can also cause vomiting without vomiting in neonates. The baby may begin to salivate profusely, have breathing problems, he may vomit with mucus and blood in the vomit. If you suspect that the baby has swallowed any object, call an ambulance. nine0003


This phenomenon is rare in newborns. If appendicitis is inflamed, the baby has a very sore tummy, when stroking or probing, the pain and crying intensify. There is nausea, weakness, restless behavior. Inflammation of appendicitis in infants is life-threatening, you need to urgently call an ambulance.

Allergic reaction, food intolerance

If a child has an intolerance to certain foods or an allergy to them, vomiting is accompanied by diarrhea, skin rashes, the baby is capricious, restless. With such symptoms, you need to contact a pediatrician and an allergist. nine0003

Acute infections

SARS, pyelonephritis, pneumonia can provoke a gag reflex without vomiting in a newborn from severe coughing spells and general weakness. With a high temperature, sore throat, cough, you need to call a pediatrician at home to examine the child and prescribe appropriate treatment.

Intestinal obstruction

This is a dangerous disease. It can be congenital or acquired. Accompanied by severe bloating, bile impurities are observed in vomiting. The baby cries a lot, the stool changes to a state of red jelly. Feeding is stopped and urgently seek medical help - the disease is life-threatening. nine0003

Congenital pathologies of the digestive system

Congenital pathologies lead to serious digestive problems. If you notice that the child is restless during feeding, his stool is broken, his tummy is swollen, he is gaining weight poorly or losing it, consult a doctor. It is necessary to undergo an examination of the gastrointestinal tract and pass additional tests.

Neurological disorders

The main causes of gag reflex without vomiting in the newborn are neurological disorders. They occur most often in premature babies, in children with underweight. The cause of such disorders may be birth trauma, asphyxia or fetal hypoxia. With such pathologies, gag reflexes are accompanied by hyperactivity, chin tremor, strabismus, convulsions. You need to contact a neurologist and undergo inpatient treatment. nine0003

Heat stroke

Heat stroke is accompanied by nausea, skin redness, dizziness, rapid breathing. Also, the child develops lethargy, dry skin. Call the doctors, before they arrive, put the child in a cool place on the barrel.

How to distinguish vomiting from regurgitation

Spitting up is a natural process. The baby spits up a few minutes after feeding. It is not dangerous, it is a normal physiological process. If the baby gets a large amount of air into the tummy (swallowed while eating), then after regurgitation the discomfort disappears, he immediately feels better. nine0003

Vomiting is the result of reflex contraction of the muscles of the abdominal cavity and diaphragm, it is accompanied by rapid breathing, profuse salivation.

The main differences between vomiting and regurgitation:

Why vomiting is dangerous

Vomiting is a protective reflex of the body. So he gets rid of foreign bodies, removes toxins, microorganisms, excess food. Most often, vomiting is a symptom of diseases that are dangerous for the baby:

  1. Vomiting itself is dangerous due to possible dehydration of the body. The baby loses not only the liquid, but also the mineral salts dissolved in it. The water-salt balance is disturbed, this affects the general condition of the crumbs. For newborns, this is especially dangerous, because dehydration occurs rapidly, and replenishing a full supply of fluid is not so easy. nine0006
  2. The second danger of vomiting is the inhalation of vomit. During an attack, the baby should be held upright, for safety reasons, you need to ensure that the baby's head lies on its side in a dream.
  3. Weight loss due to food rejection is also dangerous. This is especially important for premature babies or babies with a small body weight.

If the baby has vomited, carefully monitor his condition and well-being. Make sure it's not spitting up. If in doubt, it is better to call a doctor anyway, rather than wait for more serious symptoms. nine0003

When to call a doctor

It is always better to play it safe and call a doctor if you are not sure about your baby's health. In which cases it is necessary to seek medical help:

  • the baby is vomiting, but he did not poop;
  • the child is crying, restless, his stomach hurts;
  • repeated vomiting;
  • symptoms of dehydration appear;
  • vomiting accompanied by diarrhoea; nine0006
  • vomiting is a fountain;
  • before vomiting the child fell or hit his head hard;
  • there is blood in the vomit, brown or black blotches;
  • the child does not eat or drink;
  • everything that the child ate and drank comes out with vomiting;
  • he has a high temperature;
  • baby is lethargic, sleepy.


Vomiting in children may require enterosorbent. It is believed that this tool binds and removes from the body toxic metabolites, allergens, bacteria, viruses and other harmful compounds that can provoke vomiting. nine0003

For the smallest, that is, children under two years old, when choosing an enterosorbent to alleviate the conditions that caused vomiting, you can be guided by the statement of ANSM (France). So, in March 2019, this French regulator published information that raw materials for the production of clay-based powder enterosorbents may contain lead. This harmful substance can penetrate into the bloodstream and in certain concentrations have a depressing effect on the development of the baby.

The Russian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ROAG) designated the Russian "Enterosgel" as the first choice for the treatment of conditions requiring the use of an enterosorbent in young children, pregnant and lactating women. "Enterosgel" is a molecular sponge that is not absorbed into the blood and works only in the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract. A homogeneous gel-like form with a neutral smell and taste simplifies the use of "Enterosgel" even for the smallest. It is important that "Enterosgel" promotes the healing of microtraumas on the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract and minimizes the risk of constipation during use due to the formula saturated with water. nine0003

The main danger of vomiting is dehydration. It is urgent to call a doctor so that he establishes the cause of vomiting and prescribes the appropriate treatment. Also, the doctor prescribes electrolyte solutions, which need to replenish the fluid lost by the body.

What to do while waiting for the doctor

  • make sure that the child is in an upright position;
  • after each bout of vomiting, wash the child, clean his mouth and nose;
  • try not to disturb the child unnecessarily, do not carry him from place to place;
  • it is possible to feed milk or a mixture familiar to the baby if there are no other dangerous symptoms;
  • try to give the baby some water to drink;
  • do not give any medication until the doctor arrives;
  • do not give the newborn prebiotics, probiotics, zinc, enterosorbents, antidiarrheal drugs (if diarrhea has joined) - the doctor should prescribe treatment, it is dangerous to experiment in the treatment of such a small child. nine0014

What to give your baby to drink

Give your baby plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. It is best to put the baby to the breast more often. If the doctor has already suggested which pharmacy solutions of electrolytes can be used, use them. If there are no such appointments, you can make the solution yourself. How to cook:

  • take 1 liter of boiled water;
  • add 1 level teaspoon of salt;
  • 4-5 level teaspoons of sugar. nine0014

Mix everything thoroughly, store in the refrigerator for no more than a day. Give your child a few milliliters every five to ten minutes. To do this, take a syringe, remove it from it and put the tip with a needle away and gently squeeze the liquid into the baby's mouth with such a harmless piston.

Signs that the treatment is not working

Sometimes the situation does not improve or even worsens after a doctor prescribes treatment. Carefully monitor the well-being of the child. You need to re-call the doctor and change the treatment regimen if:

  • vomiting and diarrhea do not subside within 24 hours after treatment;
  • condition worsens;
  • vomiting worse from drinking too much;
  • the baby became lethargic and drowsy.

Pay attention to your baby's signs of illness. Call a doctor, follow the prescribed treatment. Track how the child's condition changes. With timely treatment, babies quickly recover and recover from illnesses. nine0003

Why does the baby spit up after feeding?

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Regurgitation is a common condition in newborns and infants and is most often a normal variant. However, it is not uncommon for parents to worry if their baby is spitting up frequently, believing that it is due to nutritional or health problems in general. Sometimes these fears are not unfounded, and regurgitation really has a pathological origin. What is its cause and when should you really consult a doctor about this? nine0003

Regurgitation - Return of a small amount of food (uncurdled or partially curdled milk) from the stomach up the digestive tract: into the esophagus and further into the oral cavity. According to statistics, at least 1 time during the day, at least 50% of babies from 0 to 3 months old can spit up, more than 60% of children 3-4 months old, and 5% of children spit up up to a year 1 .

Regurgitation in newborns is considered a physiological process. It is caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Features of the structure of the upper digestive tract in babies
  • In newborns and infants up to a year of age, the stomach has a spherical shape. It holds a small amount of food, besides, the release from it into the duodenum is slower in comparison with children after the year 2 .
  • Weakness of the lower esophageal sphincter that separates the esophagus from the stomach
  • Normally, the lower esophageal sphincter should tightly "close" the esophagus, allowing food to pass into the stomach and not allowing it to enter back into the upper digestive tract. However, in young children (up to a year), the muscles of the esophageal sphincter are poorly developed, and it does not do its job very well 2 .
  • Slow movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract
  • The neuromuscular system of newborns is immature. It does not ensure the proper movement of food through the esophagus, causing regurgitation.

One of the important risk factors contributing to regurgitation in newborns is aerophagia. This is the swallowing of large amounts of air during feedings. This happens when the baby is not properly attached to the breast, the mother has a lack of breast milk, or the bottle is in the wrong position in the child who receives the mixture. The size of the opening in the nipple also matters - if it is too large, the newborn swallows a lot of air 3 .

With aerophagia, the baby becomes capricious, restless immediately after feeding. Noticeable bloating. If the baby spits up immediately after a feed, the milk (or formula) remains practically fresh, uncurdled 3 .

Promotes post-feeding regurgitation and predominantly horizontal position of the baby during the day, combined with relatively high intra-abdominal pressure 4 . Therefore, the correct position of the baby after feeding is so important. To avoid regurgitation of an excessive amount of stomach contents, after feeding, it is necessary to hold the baby in an upright “column” position for some time (10-20 minutes), lightly patting on the back and allowing excess air to “exit”. nine0003

Regurgitation in many newborns can be provoked by other situations in which pressure in the abdominal cavity increases and stomach contents are thrown into the esophagus, in particular 3 :

  • tight swaddling;
  • stool disorders, in particular constipation;
  • prolonged, strained cry and some others.

Want to avoid common feeding problems? nine0007

Start with a baby bottle with an anti-colic system that helps you avoid common feeding problems such as colic, gas and spitting up*

How can you tell the difference between normal spitting up and vomiting?

Sometimes regurgitation is considered a manifestation of disorders in the digestive tract of children. Due to the constant reflux of acidic stomach contents into the upper sections, inflammation and other complications may develop, including growth retardation, a decrease in hemoglobin levels, and others. Therefore, it is important for parents to understand where the line is between physiological and pathological regurgitation 1 .

If the mother is worried that her baby is spitting up, keep track of when this happens and count the total number of spit ups per day. Normally, regurgitation usually occurs after eating (the child burps after each feeding), lasts no more than 20 seconds and repeats no more than 20-30 times a day. With pathology, the problem manifests itself at any time of the day, regardless of when the baby was fed. Their number can reach 50 per day, and sometimes more 1 .

The amount of discharge during regurgitation also matters. With normal, physiological regurgitation, it is approximately 5 - 30 ml. If this volume fluctuates between 50 and 100 ml, it is already defined as profuse vomiting. When the range of the jet of vomit is up to 50 cm, doctors talk about "vomiting a fountain." A variant of atonic vomiting is possible, when the contents of the stomach flow "sluggishly". It occurs with atony of the stomach (decrease in muscle tone of the stomach wall) and disruption of the esophagus 1 .

Vomiting in babies is a warning sign. Doctors are especially alarmed by repeated vomiting, a fountain, with an admixture of bile, in combination with constipation. Vomiting can lead to the development of dehydration, acid-base imbalance and other consequences, therefore, if it occurs, you should urgently contact a pediatrician to find out the cause and begin treatment. A doctor's consultation is necessary if the child is spitting up a lot (more than 15-30 ml at a time), with a frequency of more than 50 episodes per day 1.3 .

Physiological regurgitation: symptoms

Neonatal regurgitation, which is considered normal and not of concern to pediatricians 3 :

  • usually lasts for a certain period of time;
  • is characterized by slow, "passive" leakage; if the baby spits up a fountain, it is better to consult a doctor;
  • has a sour smell of curdled milk;
  • occurs without the participation of muscles - the baby does not strain during regurgitation;
  • does not affect the general well-being of the baby.

How to help a newborn who spit up often?

If the baby is healthy, no medication is prescribed for spitting up. To help the child allow simple measures based on lifestyle changes and feeding.

  • Frequent feeding of the baby
    It is known that babies are more prone to spit up if their stomach is full. To improve the situation, it is recommended to feed the baby more often, avoiding oversaturation, best of all - on demand 5 .

  • Correct feeding technique
    Every feeding, the mother must ensure that the baby does not swallow too much air during suckling. When sucking, there should be no loud, smacking, clicking sounds. You also need to control that the baby captures the nipple along with the areola.