Baby Spit-up: Questions to Ask Your Pediatrician

Concerned about the fact that your baby keeps spitting up? Here are some key questions to help you get the answers you and your baby need for relief.

Spit-up, also called reflux, is generally not a cause for concern—in fact, 50% of babies spit up repeatedly in the first 3 months of life. But if you think your baby’s in pain or you’re worried about what you’re feeding him, you should feel comfortable calling your pediatrician at any time for information, advice, and assurance.  Here are some questions to consider asking:

"My baby keeps spitting up..."

  1. Is spit-up common in babies?
  2. What are the typical causes of spit-up?
  3. Is my baby losing any nourishment from spitting up?
  4. Should I switch formulas for spit-up relief?
  5. I’m breastfeeding; could something in my diet be causing my baby’s spitting up?
  6. He spits up after each meal; am I overfeeding him?
  7. Does burping help minimize spit-up?
  8. What’s the best way to burp my baby? How often should my baby be burped?
  9. I can’t get my baby to burp; is it OK if I don’t burp him?
  10. Is spitting up something babies outgrow? If so, at what age?
  11. What are warning signs that spitting up is something more serious?
  12. Will spitting up affect my baby’s growth and development in any way?

Before you see your doctor:

  1. Call the office and ask if you should do anything in preparation for your visit.
  2. Write down all your baby’s symptoms and your concerns, including answers to these questions:
    • When do you notice the spit-up? Is it always after eating? When he coughs, burps, or is highly active?
    • Does he spit up after every feeding or just occasionally?
    • Have you recently switched from breast to bottle? Have you switched formulas?
    • Is there anything in particular that makes his symptoms worse? Better?
    • Do you feed your baby in an upright position?
    • How much does your baby eat at each feeding? How much overall in one day?
    • Does your baby seem to be in pain when he’s spitting up? What are his other symptoms: clenched fists, arched back, crying, fussiness, red face?

Having a written outline of your baby’s symptoms and patterns before you see the doctor will help you clearly—and accurately—explain the circumstances. After all, you’re the one who knows your baby best.

  1. Also, write down your list of questions (a good start is the list above) and bring them with you.
  2. Make a list of everything your baby is taking:
    • Vitamins or other nutritional supplements
    • Medications
    • Type of formula
    • Breast milk
    • Any solids
  3. Note any changes in your baby lately:
    • Sleep pattern
    • Eating habits
    • Illness

With time, many babies’ reflux issues improve. But right now, your doctor can help you find a path to relief for your baby and ease your mind that there is likely nothing serious underlying your baby’s spit-up issues.

Ask your pediatrician if Enfamil A.R.™ may help reduce your baby’s spit-up.

And for the latest research on the subject, read “What Causes Babies to Spit Up: The Latest Research”.