Spitting up small amounts of formula or breast milk after being fed is quite natural. Occasional vomiting may occur during the first month. If it appears repeatedly or is unusually forceful, the child should be taken to the doctor.
Between two weeks and four months of age, persistent forceful vomiting may be caused by a thickening of the muscle at the stomach exit. It needs immediate medical attention. Surgery is the only way to open the narrowed area. Forceful vomiting for approximately fifteen to thirty minutes or less after feeding is a clear indication of this condition.
Another most common cause of vomiting is a stomach or intestinal infection. Viruses, bacteria and even parasites are the infecting agents. The infection also may produce fever, diarrhoea, and sometimes nausea and abdominal pain.
The paediatrician should be consulted if there is:
- Blood or bile (greenish in colour) in the vomit.
- Severe pain in the abdomen
- Repeated vomiting (beyond twenty-four hours)
- Swollen or enlarged abdomen
- Lethargy or severe irritability
- Signs of dehydration
Babies often vomit in the early weeks as their body takes time to adjust to feeding. Car sickness, indigestion or even a prolonged bout of crying or coughing can cause vomiting. The child should stay hydrated. As long as the baby seems otherwise healthy and continues to gain weight, there is no need to worry.