Baby throwing up only in the evening?
October 25, 2011 9:25 PM   Subscribe

Blech. Why is our 10-month-old baby vomiting at night all of a sudden? More foul-smelling details after the jump...

She's otherwise totally, awesomely healthy. But at night, when my wife has fed her off to bed with the same formula we've used (Similac sensitive) for the past four nights, the poor thing is emptying her stomach all over. We took her to the doctor and as usual, it produced shoulder shrugs.

Her ears are fine (we'd heard from other parents that it could be an ear infection).

It's only at night, and she's eating the formula fine the rest of the day.

Of the three nights, she's thrown up while sitting on my wife's lap. And one night she made it to bed, slept fitfully for 20 minutes and then threw up.

She's not a baby prone to gassiness or spitting up, and most definitely not to vomiting. Until now.

Thoughts about cause? Thoughts for a solution?
posted by thomsplace to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Has she been tested for lactose intolerance?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:37 PM on October 25, 2011

Can you go back to whatever you were using before? Maybe she has problems with this formula and it's just at the end of the night when it bothers her.

Have you introduced anything else new in her diet?

It could be a bug or something, but, when I read your question, it sounds like the formula was introduced in the past four days. So I'd try ruling that out first.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 9:52 PM on October 25, 2011

Bad wording: This is the same formula she's used since she was about 2 weeks old. OK, we bought it at Costco instead of Fred Meyer, but I'm hoping that's not the problem.

We haven't had her tested for lactose intolerance. Mostly because this seems to only manifest at night. Nocturnal Lactose Intolerance is a very good band name, however. ;-)
posted by thomsplace at 10:05 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm wondering if it could be something in her diet. At 10 months, I seem to recall introducing new foods every week or so. My little ones didn't always react right away - and the combination of some foods seemed to throw them off. Have you introduced anything new in terms of food?
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 10:15 PM on October 25, 2011

Is she eating solids at all yet?
posted by KathrynT at 10:16 PM on October 25, 2011

Yes, been there, cleaned that up. My baby was 100% breastfed, but I don't think it's the food itself that caused this for us. I think it's laying down with a really full tummy (though somehow it never happened for naps...).

Things that worked for us:
-Feed baby whilst baby is sitting up.
-attempt smaller, more frequent night feedings (my son was not amenable to this idea in the slightest).
-put a rolled up towel under the "head end" of the crib mattress to elevate it some, hopefully encouraging gravity to do it's job in keeping that food down.
-put some kind of wetness blocking liner under the baby to ease the whole clean up process.
-wait it out.

It got better in about a month- some kind of night time vomit inducing trifecta of awful was going on for us right at this time: teeth, growth spurt, stomach too small for night time calories required/desired. I am not a doctor, but our pediatrician was similary unhelpful, so I experimented.
posted by LyndsayMW at 10:17 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I had it with my daughter, too, though I don't remember how old she was exactly, but it was also only at the bedtime feeding.

She was going through a phase of being on and off the boob all day long and I was kind of losing it. She'd cry, nurse for three minutes, lose interest, only to cry again a half hour later, and do it all again. I was doing that whole attachment parenting breastfeeding on demand routine.

Then, one night, out of the blue, she nursed for forty-five minutes. I was pretty stoked, thinking she'd maybe sleep for a couple or five hours in a row. Instead, like your daughter, she was up and puking in about 20 minutes. She'd also never been a spitter-upper. Never even a burper. But so much vomit!

It took me three or four nights to realize there was a correlation between the length of time she was nursing and the puking. And between that and her popping on and off the boob all day long.

It just seemed totally outrageous to think that an infant could be over-eating--all the breastfeeding books go on about feeding on demand, they know what they need, blah blah blah--and wrong in some way to stop her when she was still eating. But then it occurred to me that she just wanted to suck. Little sucky bits all day long when she wasn't really hungry, so then she'd get distracted and want to do something else, until 20 minutes later when she wanted to eat again. And then much longer at bedtime when she still wanted to suck and suck, but was too sleepy to be distracted.

So, the next day I bought her a soother, which she happily chomped on all day long, fed her less at bed time and popped the soother in then for a while, too. And that was the end of the puking.

The non-stop suck-a-thon turned out to be a phase. Maybe something was happening with her teeth (they weren't coming in, though, that didn't happen until she was just over a year old), but after about six weeks, she was done with the soother, she just lost interest.

lt;dr Try feeding her less at bed time, and if that upsets her see whether a soother helps.
posted by looli at 11:06 PM on October 25, 2011

My initial reaction was to wonder whether or not she is teething. My daughter would have episodes of vomiting and sometimes diarrhea around the time she was teething. There is controversy over whether the excess salivation and subsequent swallowing of said eatra saliva can cause such a reaction, but in my daughter's case it seemed very apparent once it happened a few times (followed shortly thereafter by new teeth)!
posted by sugarbiscuit at 11:27 PM on October 25, 2011

You'll want to confirm with an actual doctor, but like the above poster, I wonder if it's teething. My youngest had one bout of vomiting every night for two or three nights that was associated with teething. We didn't even consider it, none of the others did it, and she didn't do it again. But yeah, maybe teeth? Cutting some molars?
posted by thylacinthine at 11:44 PM on October 25, 2011

GERD maybe? My daughter threw up so much when she was a toddler. Solution was meds and modified diet.
posted by lilywing13 at 1:14 AM on October 26, 2011

same time same feeding...different age.

burping...what are you doing to get that air out?
posted by hal_c_on at 1:18 AM on October 26, 2011

I'm gonna go with overeating.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:35 AM on October 26, 2011

Reflux? Trying holding her upright for longer after the feedings.

I think that all of my four had *ahem* loose stomachs and would toss their meals if laid down flat too soon. The pain of the reflux also lead to a fear of eating, so they would stop eating as soon as they started, then barf, then be hungy. We gave them droppers of something pepperminty once or twice a day to conteract the reflux, an their appetitie improved.

Also, our pediatrician explained that newborns aren't exactly "done" yet, and as my kids got older their stomach's spinchter got stronger and the problem went away.

Good luck!
posted by wenestvedt at 8:15 AM on October 26, 2011

IANYD however our kid is almost 2 and has had the same type of episodes starting around the age your kid is right now. The most recent was about 2-3 months ago. We are worken up by the sound of puking on the monitor. We rush downstairs to prevent choking. End up getting 2-4 pukes, mom cuddles, I clean up, and we go back to sleep. We still have not found out what is going on, doctor said who knows, daycare a big question mark. Our kid is uber healthy and it has only happened 3 times. I vote overeating as well. Just keep an eye on your kiddo.
posted by NotSoSimple at 4:18 PM on October 26, 2011

One thing I've noticed is that she'll vomit (and I mean totally empty the contents of her stomach) within a sip or two of her evening bottle. It's like she hasn't really digested anything from the previous few hours.

Anyway, it happened again last night, and then she was up every hour all night. SO. AWESOME. The weird thing is that I ended up having to feed her again within 30 minutes because she was inconsolable. She ate 4 oz and went to sleep. An hour later, she was up, had an oz., went to sleep. Repeated that cycle all night.

By 6 this morning, she had a fever and is in a terrible mood, so we'll see. Maybe it's some sort of virus that's finally peaking, and she'll pull out of it within a day or two.
posted by thomsplace at 8:48 AM on October 27, 2011

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