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Baby vomit vs Spit up: What’s the difference?

baby spit up after burping

Key points:
1. Differentiate between vomiting and spitting up: spitting up is normal, occurring in small amounts without effort or crying.
2. If spitting up is frequent, avoid moving the baby suddenly after feeding and control the amount they eat.
3. Vomiting is forceful and larger in quantity. Usually stops without treatment, but if recurrent or with other symptoms, consult a doctor.
4. Watch for signs of dehydration, high fever, weight loss, strange-colored or persistent vomit. Call a doctor if needed.

We know that some childhood ailments can provoke vomit and that seeing your baby vomit might be alarming.

You might get scared or think something’s wrong. However, we recommend you keep calm and first verify if you’re dealing with vomit or a simple spit up.

Sometimes it’s easy to confuse vomit with spit ups, so pay attention to the signals. Spit up is an easy flow of 1 or 2 spoonfuls of liquid. Spiting a little amount of milk at once after being burped and without any effort or crying is a normal symptom in young babies, especially during the first year of life. There’s no need to worry if the spit up happens from time to time and it doesn’t interfere with your baby’s weight gain.

If your little one spits up often, some things you can do to help them are:

  • Don’t move them suddenly for 20-30 minutes after feeding them. This will prevent them from swallowing air.
  • Make sure they don’t eat too much. A full stomach is more prone to spit ups.

It’s important to know that this is temporary and that, as your baby grows, their stomach will mature, and the spit ups will decrease until disappearing.


On the other side, vomit is a forceful flow of stomach contents and it’s presented in larger quantities. Don’t worry, most of the times, it will stop without any medical treatment. If it was just one episode and it doesn’t happen again, you can rest assured. It’s worth mentioning that some children vomit occasionally, but if it is recurrent, your baby has a fever or other symptoms, it’s best to call the doctor as soon as possible.

Pay attention to the following symptoms:

• Dehydration
• Decrease in urination
• Dry mouth
• High fever
• Weight loss
• Sunken eyes
• Extreme thirst
• Yellow or green colored vomit
• Blood or bile in the vomit
• Severe abdominal pain
• Frequent vomiting
• Lethargy
• Seizures
• Unable to drink liquids
• Vomit is present for more than 24 hours

The causes behind vomit vary depending on your child’s age. Sometimes it can be a stomach or intestinal infection, rotavirus, or another ailment. Make sure to identify the symptoms of your baby and consult your pediatrician. With this information, they’ll be able to give them proper treatment.


Infant vomiting
Treating vomiting
When to call the pediatrician
Why babies spit up

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2 Responses

  1. My bby she is vomiting thick things what am supouse to buy for get out things plz help me

    1. Hi Athanathi! I’d suggest you to take your baby and seer the pediatrician to make sure everything is fine.

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