Is It Spitting Up or Vomiting?

All babies spit up as part of their normal pattern of feeding but how do you tell when a baby is really sick with a colic or in great pain from an acid reflex problem? Actually, all babies have reflux to some degree. On one end of the reflux spectrum are normal babies who just spit up a little bit. On the other hand are babies who are absolutely sick with reflux – that are losing weight, pale and listless.

One of the telltale signs of reflux-induced colic is a baby who vomits. This is different than a baby who is just spitting up. Vomiting works more muscles and is harder on the baby's stomach.

Seventy percent of babies spit up and it is normal. However what is considered normal and how do you tell the difference between spitting and vomiting?

The technical term for spitting up is regurgitation and it represents the passive flow of stomach contents up through the esophagus and out the mouth. It occurs when the valve above the stomach relaxes at the same time pressure is produced around the stomach.

There are several types of spit up and all of them are normal and are NOT indications of GERD or colic.

Spit up that looks like clabbered is normal. This spit up looks like white cheesy material and is no cause for concern. It is partially digested milk curds. It is acrid smelling but normal.

It is also normal for babies to spit up through their noses. It is part of the normal GER process and just means that the regurgitating material decided to back up into the sinuses to discharge instead of flowing thought he mouth.

It is also quite typical for spit up form babies to contain mucus. The stomach contains mucus that helps lubricate and move the intestinal contents along. Mucus can also comes from sinus drainage.

Many parents also become concerned if a baby spits up two or three hours after eating. This too is normal.

Vomiting is a little different than spitting up because from a physiological perspective it is a lot harder on the body then just spitting up. Vomiting involves retching, gagging and choking for the baby. This is why vomiting is a little more serious.

Some babies just vomit in the weeks after being born and it does not necessarily indicate any kind of problems.

There is something wrong with your baby if it is unable to feed and gain wait, if the vomit contains yellow bile or if the baby has distension of the tummy or poor skin color. If these symptoms are persistent you should take the baby immediately to a doctor.

Despite the fact that all babies experience hiccups from time to time, babies with colic caused by reflux tend to experience them moor frequently.

It is important to add that infants don't necessarily have to regurgitate or vomit to have. However if your baby is vomiting or burping it is likely caused by reflux.