Spit Happens
by Karla ° Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Nate has recently started spitting up alot. He’s always had a bit of spit up after he eats, but recently it seems to be getting worse, like more voluminous with instantaneous ejection out of his mouth after every feed.

When he eats, we start off with the cross cradle hold and switch to something that is a mix between the football and cradle position, because I am stubborn like that and refuse to believe that the happy and smiling moms in breastfeeding pictures and centuries of tried and tested positions are comfortable. It is exactly the second that I sit him upright to burp him that his meal comes right back up and lands in equal parts on the front on his sleeper and my sleeve. And then my mommy panic alarm goes off because I don’t know how much he is keeping down versus spitting up. I wish my boobs printed out a lactating spreadsheet of consumption to study and troubleshoot.

And I know the whole kid poo thing has been a topic so overused it is beyond boring now, but maybe you can help this lactating apprentice out. What constitutes diarrhea and how much water is too watery? It’s not like breastfed baby poos are solid. They are the colour of mustard mixed with a hint of chocolate and sometimes they are wet, and sometimes they are wetter. Sometimes they even explode up the backside of his diaper. Recently his poopy diapers have decreased from 10 or more a day to maybe 5 or 6.

After scouring all of the breastfeeding books I own and then spinning down the information spiral that is google, I have come to the conclusion that I have no conclusion because the information on the internet scares the bejesus out of me.

So, I have come beg for your feedback and experience with spit up and baby poo. Is my baby normal, sorta kinda normal, or a slushy poo/spitting anomaly?

Because I just had to shell out $1200 for a surprise hospital bill, I have nothing to offer but this picture of eternal cuteness as payment for your advice.

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Totally normal kiddo. My son too was a fan of the exploding diaper syndrome. In fact he regularly exploded out the top and sides of his diaper and shot poo all the way up his back to his neck (I have pics to prove it). Anyway Nate is just getting bigger and digesting more of his meals so of course there won't be as much left to poop. And my son also had the spit up issue and when I called the doctor they said, As long as he is still peeing a normal amount and having a few healthy poops a day all is well. Also his stool won't get hard until he goes on solid foods, it will be then you will learn the difference between a soft poo and a diarrhea.
Its all good Karla, you are doing great!

I agree with above poster. Everything you are experiencing is completely normal. Poo situation = normal. I have also had the "poo up the back to his neck issue"...once in his car seat as we were about to walk into the mall for some shopping. We ALWAYS carried extra clothes (2 outfits) whenever we went somewhere. Spit up situation = also normal. Every baby is different in the amounts of spit up. With my son it got better at around 3 months.

Have fun doing laundry! :)
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 23, 2007

Abby was a huge puker. Sometimes right after eating, sometimes an hour later, but the puke would always show up. She was consistent. It does get better though, I can assure you of that. AS she got better at digesting her food, it slowed down then stopped altogether.

The poo thing is completely normal; we too had the "crap up to the neck" on many occasions. Like Anonymous said, we carried an extra set of clothes at all times.

The picture of your boys together is adorable. Being a daddy, I always love seeing dads and their babies. Having your child laying on your chest is the best feeling EVER.
Posted by Anonymous ccap'sboy :  January 23, 2007

I didn't breastfeed Ty very long, but he was also a spitter/puker. I ended up changing his milk to a soy based milk early on because it was so bad, and even then the kid puked like he was in a contest or something.

Ugh.. I remember the days so well now just thinking about it. I don't know who went through more laundry, me or him. You know its really bad when it goes down your shirt and under your boobs... hopefully you don't ever have to experience that!!!!!

I wish you luck with everything, I am sorry but I don't have much advice in regards a breastfeeding baby's puke and poo, maybe someday you can give me tips and reassuring comments! I hope!!

((((hugs - I'm practicing))))
Posted by Blogger Melanie :  January 23, 2007


Obviously I have no personal expierence with this BUT my nephew was the same way when it came to spitting up. He spit up everything, and he spit up in large quantites. I thought for sure that this was "not normal" but apparently I was wrong and he was perfectly fine. He has since gotten over spitting up and is perfectly healthy & a big chunk! Hope this helps!!

Hugs to you!
Posted by Anonymous Beth :  January 23, 2007

My first son was a spitter. I have no idea how the child gained any weight his first year of life but he was a chunky baby yet he would spit up as soon as he ate and small amounts every hour or so between feeding. But still they say it was normal. The stools for my boys always seemed wetter to me. I worried at first but was always told it was normal. It was so wet that usually it went up and out the back of the diaper. Kinda gross right.
Posted by Blogger Heather :  January 23, 2007

I will agree with everyone else - totally normal. That said, our Abby was not just a puker, she was a PUKER. She was also colicky and would just cry and cry for hours and hours. What we discovered was that she had fairly severe reflux and also a dairy sensitivity. I cut dairy out of my diet and we also put her on medication for the reflux and it was honestly like getting a new baby. I was very against putting her on medicine, but my mother put it in perspective for me - would I rather put her on medication and have her happy, or keep her off medication and let her be in pain and unhappy because of some vague "principle"? Um, yeah. When you put it that way...

So - as long as he seems generally happy, then I'd vote for totally normal. If he's spitting up AND not happy, then do yourself a favor and look into diet sensitivity etc.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 23, 2007

It seems I was very lucky, because Mr. P didn't ever spit up. He was hard to burp, but I never got spit up on.

And, as far as the poo goes, isn't it supposed to be a poo after every feeding? Like, the number of poo sessions should approximately equal the number of feeding sessions? It's been a long time, though, so I could be off my rocker.

And yes, the lesson was learned the hard way to carry more than one outfit at all times. And perhaps for you, too! ;)
Posted by Blogger Gina :  January 23, 2007

My sister told me that when my baby was regularly exploding her diaper that it was time for me to switch to a larger diaper size which totally cast me into irrational grief because she was wearing 1's and they weren't NB's and she was growing up and I was still stoned on hormones and waaaa!

It was a good idea, though. I have never regretted upping her diaper size. Your babies poops sound like hers were in the first three months, so, no worries there. And if they're pooping and peeing, then they're taking stuff in and processing it, so I would cling to that as hope and comfort when the panic tries to bite you.

My pediatrician was really nice and said, "seriously, if you're worried, call us." If you're really worried, call the doctor's office and make someone professional sounding reassure you. That's what they're there for, and if they aren't nice to you, call a different doctor.

You deserve someone to be nice to you. Hang in there. You are doing a really, really good job at being a Mommy. Really.
Posted by Blogger erica :  January 23, 2007

The poop thing sounds totally normal.

On the spitting up thing-- there's one trick I've heard that might make you feel better: Take a measured amount (maybe one ounce) of some liquid and pour it out on your kitchen counter. Once you get an idea of what a certain amount looks like you'll be better able to gauge just how much is coming back up. It's probably less than you imagine.

Posted by Anonymous susan :  January 23, 2007

Ok, I have a tip on the puking. Determine how long he usually stays on one breast, then divide that time in half. I found that if I stopped halfway through (on EACH breast) and went ahead and let her go ahead and burp, then there was MUCH less spitting up. So, you take a short break to GENTLY burp him, then let him resume. Then, burp again and switch to the other breast. Then, halfway through THAT one, burp again, and then finish. That should help a little bit. Also, a reason he could be spitting up is because he's taking in too much at one time. So, taking little breaks may help him not become too full too fast. I hope that make sense. Let me know if it works or not! The ONLY problem I found with this was that my breasts were staying rock-hard full from not letting her completely drain me. So, I started saving it in bottles for the months ahead when I wanted to get out for a night. Good luck!

He is SUCH a looker! Wee little baby eye candy!!! SO sweet.
Posted by Blogger Jules :  January 23, 2007

My daughter was the same way... on both counts. She would spit up after eating all the time... if it worries you, get out a scale and weigh him (or take him to the doctor and weigh him). Seriously... that's the best way to quench any fears you have.

Secondly, the poo thing definitely decreased from like 11-12 diapers a day (comprised of poo) to about 5 or so. It's normal... especially once he acclimates himself to the whole feeding thing.

I know being a mommy is hard, and you have all these questions... I never thought I'd be the one giving advice, but hey, all of us have been down the same road you are on! Don't worry -- you'll make it!

Karla, I have had 2 spitters... and 1 non spitter. Your Nate sounds completely normal, just like everyone else has already told you. I do agree though that boobs should have some sort of system of telling you what your baby has been up too.
I just recently found your blog again. I was an avid reader of your other blog and was so sad about Ava, but was also sad that even though i kept checking back there was no update. I've been thinking about you and your husband ever since that last post, I have spent the last year and a half wondering how you were doing. Finally my curiosity got the best of me and I did a search for your name.... was I ever happy to find this new blog and even more excited to see beautiful pictures of your new son! I am so happy for you and can't wait to read on about how things are going. I wish you all the best and am so very elated for you you. You have such a way of writing that really draws people in.
Posted by Anonymous Amy :  January 23, 2007

hi karla - what a beautiful picture - just dropping in from donna's blog - i do now and then - congratulations on such a gorgeous gorgeous baby. i have 2 boys - 2 and 6 mos. - breastfeeding like you - both spitter uppers. sometimes it seems like they just spit up everything they ate. but they have both grown fat and chunky. and my dr. told me not to worry about it, so i don't. and the poop thing is totally normal. sometimes israel would poop straight up his back. like he'd have a yellow spot on his clothes in the back, but not even on the top of his diaper. SO WEIRD. so ya, it is watery. that's just how it is til you add solids. and my pediatrician said that babies can poop as often as every changing (10x/day) to as little as every 3rd day! isn't that weird? but true, b/c my first one was 10x/day, and E poops once a day or once every other day. no joke. i thought something was wrong with him. anyway, enuf said. blessings to you and the new little sweet pea.
Posted by Blogger Bek :  January 23, 2007

My son was to a very spitty uppy baby, as we liked to refer to him as. :) His after feed burp would always include some amount of liquid coming out. He did grow out of this at about 8 months, and we were told by our doctor that kids who spit up simply have an esophogas (sp?) opening that hasn't completly grown over and it just takes time for that to happening. My daughter has hardly ever spit at neearly 20 months, so go figure. Both of my kids have had their share of weird, liquidy, squishy, strange coloured, and disgustingly stinky poos, so I am sure Nate's are pretty normal :) Take care.
Posted by Anonymous AidoEllaMomma :  January 23, 2007

He sounds totally normal to me, but my advice is always if you are really concerned to get him checked out. The Drs/child health nurses are there to help and its so worth it for your own peace of mind. And don't look on the internet....scary, scary place to go. Your best guage is Nate himself, if he's content at least some of the time and not acting like a baby who is in lots of pain then all is probably fine. Kids need to come with a status monitor so we can know exactly whats going on inside those little bodies!
My oldest daughter was slightly premmie and we had quite a few feeding concerns - I desperately wanted a gauge on my boobs so I could work out what % actually stayed in. I was SHOCKED when she had a tummy bug (at 2 months, poor baby) to see how much her little tummy really did hold. She would literally soak me with milk when she vomited (sorry for the tmi) so that I'd need to change and could wring breast milk out of my hair. Unbelievable!
Posted by Blogger Robyn :  January 23, 2007

Hi there. The pooping sounds normal. The spitting up, while it is normal for babies to do so, it is NOT normal for them to projectile spit-up. Just keep an eye on that. Call your doctor if that's happening. Nate is a beauty; you are doing an awesome job! =)
Posted by Blogger Keri :  January 23, 2007

The poo... normal.
Spitting up... irritating and concerning, but also normal for the most part. Even projectile still can be something that you can't do much about. As long as he is gaining weight and seems happy and healthy you are ok. If he does it after every meal and starts to lose weight, then you become concerned.

1 out of 3 kids were projectile vomiters and spitters here. We went from breast milk to formula... then a different brand... and a different brand... and then soy brand.... blah blah blah.

Put her on whole milk at 9 months and it got much much better. By the time she was 11 months it stopped completely.

She did end up with eczema - which I've heard that if a child has eczema they usually have a sensative tummy to dairy as well. It was true in our case.
Posted by Anonymous meritt :  January 23, 2007

I tried to remember that far back, but I can't.
Posted by Blogger Kurt :  January 23, 2007

I will pay you $2200 for a framed version of the picture accompanying this post.
Posted by Blogger Egan :  January 23, 2007

Too cute for words.
Posted by Anonymous Jen :  January 23, 2007

I haven't read the other comments but...

In my experience, the diarrhea of a breastfed baby is green (as opposed to the regular mustard color). I think I read that originally on askdrsears.com and I've found it to be true in our case.

Nate is adorable!
Posted by Blogger Stephanie :  January 23, 2007

1) Nate is so freaking cute I want to come up there and smell his little baby head.

2) A hospital bill!? This is Canada! Oi!
Posted by Anonymous Ashley :  January 23, 2007

What a precious picture! One of my sons exploded out of both ends and I was concerned. I brought him to the pediatrician who took one look at this chubby, rosy cheeked baby and said, "He probably just eats too much and it's got to come out. This baby is now 6' 4" and weighs over 200 pounds. I wouldn't worry too much.
Posted by Blogger Linda :  January 23, 2007

OK, even though 24 people have already said what I was going to say, I couldn't resist commenting because OHMAHGOD do I remember those days.



One thing that was very helpful for me in the spit-up dept. was to remember that one ounce looks a hell of a lot bigger when spilt (or spit, as the case may be). Also, keeping my boy horizontal for a few extra minutes before sitting him up helped to avoid some of the eruptions.

Don't worry, you're kicking ass.

Don't you wish your boobs had little mL marks on them so you could gauge the amount that he's eating?
Posted by Blogger Jezer :  January 23, 2007

Just to be redundant-yes, that all sounds totally normal. If you are really concerned about how much he's getting (although it doesn't sound like you do), lactation consultants often have very sensitive scales that you can weigh a baby on before nad after a feeding to give you an idea of how much the baby is taking in. I never actually did it myself, so I can't vouch for the accuracy, but it was something I considered when I the spitting up started.

He's super cute!
Posted by Anonymous Shalini :  January 23, 2007

Just in case the previous comments of 'normal' haven't helped...lol

Totally normal. Just like everyone else suggested: less time on each side to slow him down, letting him stay horizontal for a little bit before burping, etc. The horizontal thing totally worked for my Noah. It got better about 5 mos old.

The poop, normal. they digest breast milk better so they can go almost THREE DAYS without pooping!!!! Watery-ish is ok unless it's constantly filling diapers and literally like water. You'd know.

You're doing a great job! He's a cutie.
Posted by Anonymous JenniferW :  January 23, 2007

NEVER hesitate to call your doctor for anything. It is what they are there for. 24/7.

That said, my oldest son was a spitter/vomiter poop behind the ears kind of a baby.

I never could understand those ads of naked parents hugging a naked baby.

Then, with the next two and the grandson... They were the most constipated human infants on the planet. Very money saving in the diaper/laundry department though.

Nate is a darling little baby!

Judy - Anybody Home
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 23, 2007

OKAY I looked back in my book from when Brandon was about a month old (I take a book to document every doctors meeting) and I wrote down that the doctor told me IT IS NORMAL FOR BREASTFED BABIES TO GO A WEEK WITH OUT A BOWEL MOVEMENT. So like I said, your little man is perfectly normal, and of course, handsome as ever.

Thanks for reminding me about exploding diapers. I thought I had put those memories behind me. My daughter was breastfed and had those explosions you wrote about. Sometimes even twice a day. She finally gew out of it, but I remember it happening as old as 6 mos. Also, the spitting up sounds normal. It probably isn't as much spit up as it seems at the time. If he is gaining weight he should be fine, but some kids do have reflux or whatever and spit up abnormal amounts and frequency. Maybe keep him in your nursing position for a few mins before trying to burp him.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  January 23, 2007

It sounds totally normal, but if it were me (paranoid), I would take him to the doctor to be weighed anyway. Just to put your mind at rest.

ummm...I'm going to buck the trend here and say that spitting up after every feed is not normal. And I can say that because I distinctly remember being told it was normal by friends and family...and then going to the pediatrician and seeing that horrified look on her face when she asked, "He's not spitting up after EVERY feed, is he?" He was gaining weight just fine...wet diapers, etc...so I didn't think anything of it. But, as I understand it, the real problem is that the spit-up contains acid from the stomach. At about two months old, the pain showed up and it became a "problem" for Sam. Think about it...if you threw up several times a day, every day...you start off ok...but how would it make you feel physically after a while? I would definitely talk to your doctor about it now.
Posted by Blogger Catherine :  January 24, 2007


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