It is common for babies to be sick in the early weeks as they get used to feeding and their bodies develop. Bringing up small amounts of milk is known as possetting. When your baby vomits there will be a much larger amount. It can be frightening for your baby, so they are likely to cry. Lots of things can cause your baby to be sick.
Make sure your baby is positioned correctly when breast or bottle feeding. Incorrect positioning can cause a baby to be sick. Your midwife or health visitor can help with this.
Being sick often or with large amounts may be due to ‘gastric reflux’ where acid from the tummy can come up again. Babies can be grumpy and it can sometimes lead to poor feeding. If your baby is feeding well but doesn't seem themselves, you may just need to change the baby's position during a feed to make them more upright. Feeding smaller amounts and more often may also help.
After the first few months, if your baby is suddenly sick it is more likely to be caused by a stomach virus rather than possetting. Gastroenteritis is a tummy bug which can come with diarrhoea (runny poo).
This is more serious in babies than older children because babies easily lose too much fluid from their bodies and become dehydrated. If they become dehydrated they may not pass enough urine, lose their appetite and have cold hands and feet.
If your baby is unwell, or if vomiting has green bile stained fluid or has lasted more than a day get your GP’s advice straight away.
Possetting is ‘normal’ during or after a feed. If this carries on at other times, between feeds it may be a tummy bug. It is important for babies to have plenty of fluids to stop any dehydration.