All infants vomit on occasion, and spitting up some milk especially is no problem at all. However, constant or consistent vomiting can be the sign of a more serious medical problem, or an emergency (like a baby who drank cleaning material). What should you do when your baby keeps vomiting?
If you are worried, calling your baby's pediatrician for a check-up is always a wise idea. Most causes of vomiting are not serious, but the few who are will need more immediate action than a leisurely call to the doctor. We'll have a look at those in a minute.
In the meantime, call your baby's doctor if:
- Your baby has been throwing up for more than a day, perhaps combined with fever.
- Your baby vomits everything she ingests.
- Your baby is showing signs of dehydration, including very dark urine or no wet diapers at all.
And now, go to the ER or call 911 if you have any of the following concerns:
- There is blood or bile in your baby's vomit. If the vomit looks suspicious, also try and collect a sample.
- Your baby appears to be in serious pain.
- Your baby's eyes or skin are turning yellow, which could indicate jaundice.
- Your baby has shortness of breath.
Of course, you should call poison control or 911 immediately without delay, and before taking any other action, if you have a suspicion that your baby has eaten or ingested anything poisonous like cleaning materials, mushrooms in the park, or anything of the kind. Likewise, anything that worries you certainly warrants a visit to the doctor. And, just because your baby can't talk yet doesn't mean he can't communicate. Pain is expressed very clearly, and what your baby is trying to tell you is that he or she needs help. Pain and vomiting can, for instance, indicate a blockage in the bowels.