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Spit up vs. Throw up?

How can you tell the difference between just excessive spit up or throwing up? My son is 6months old & I think he's been throwing up. It is more watered down looking than his usual spit up, & there is a LOT of it. It comes out quickly & in large quantities rather than just pouring out a little. He's been a little cranky, but nothing too much worse than normal (I think it's just crankiness from his teething), there is no fever, but he has had a little bit runnier poop the last few days. Could he be sick? Or am I just making a mountain out of a mole hill of spit up??

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Asked by WannabeMommy87 at 3:03 AM on Apr. 15, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 4 (38 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • I would say he could have a little stomach virus, but I am no doctor. Talk to your pediatrician about it. Throwing up comes at a pace, rather then just burping up a little bit. You will be able to tell the difference. Are you trying any new foods? That can sometimes trigger bad reactions.

    Answer by Hezekiahs_mom at 3:06 AM on Apr. 15, 2010

  • Spit up is usually thinner, and lighter in color with a less foul smell. Vomit, well, you can imagine. It sounds like your son is just spitting up but if it's coming in large quantities I'd call the dr. It might be like an allergy or something.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:09 AM on Apr. 15, 2010

  • BTW teething can cause bowl movements to be more runny than usual. Call the dr. anyway, explain the symptoms and let them give you advice from there. As long as you don't call FREAKING out over runny poo and fussiness they won't think you're crazy :) All mommies need some calming advice every now and then. It's easy to get worked up being a mom!

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:13 AM on Apr. 15, 2010

  • Usually throw up has that smell to it. Sounds like it cold be a light stomach virus along with the runnier poops. Could also be he is spitting up more if he is drooling more. As long as he seems hydrated then I would not worry. If you feed him solids I would stick to a BRAT diet (banana, rice, applesauce, toast). That is easy to digest and good for diarhhea(spelling ?).

    Watch though for signs of dehydration because it can happen fast in young kids.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:15 AM on Apr. 15, 2010

  • He hasn't tried anything new lately. I do feed him solids, but I've done the whole "wait 3-5days before trying something new". He reacted badly to sweat peas, but that was a month ago & I haven't given them to him since. The rest he's been fine, & nothing new for about 2weeks now. It's definitely not just a burp of some ick, it's enough to soak his onsie or make a puddle under his head if he's laying down. He's still eating just fine, & he isn't really acting like he's sick...I'm just worried. I can talk to the nurse at our clinic tomorrow after 9am, or I can talk to the doctor himself on Friday (he's only there Monday, Wednesday, Friday). Thanks for the help though!

    Answer by WannabeMommy87 at 3:30 AM on Apr. 15, 2010

  • Also...this may be a dumb question...but what are the signs of dehydration? I know what it's like for ME when I physically feel it, but I'm not sure what I'd look for in a baby...

    Answer by WannabeMommy87 at 3:31 AM on Apr. 15, 2010

  • Dehydration has varying levels. The ones that mean he needs to go to the doctor are: no tears when crying, doughy skin that retains its shape when pinched, dry chapped lips, an extremely sunken soft spot. Those are the four to really keep an eye out for. As for vomiting vs. spitting up, is he upset when he spits up/vomits? If he gets upset about it, it's more likely he's vomiting, because that feels bad, as opposed to spitting up, which will usually make a baby feel better. DD was a spitter for a while; she would laugh either before or after she spat up all over you. Just make sure he's staying well hydrated; food doesn't matter so much, but he should be getting plenty of fluids. If he won't do formula/breastmilk try some unflavored pedialyte.

    Answer by preacherskid at 9:06 AM on Apr. 15, 2010

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