Like any parent, you are concerned if your baby is throwing up without a fever. Baby vomiting is a common occurrence for many infants. There are many reasons for throwing up, and it doesn't always occur with a fever or other symptoms. Let's look at what you need to know about this medical condition.
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Vomit Or Spit-Up?
It can be difficult to tell whether your infant is vomiting or spitting up in some situations. They might look the same due to a diet of formula or milk. However, there is a difference in how they come out of your baby's mouth.
Spit-up will occur before or after a burp, which happens in babies under the age of one year. It will look like a white, milky drool and easily flow from the baby's mouth.
On the other hand, vomit does come out much more forcefully. Your baby might make a retching noise or cough before they throw up. While spit-up is normal, a baby will vomit if there is an illness or digestive issue.
Related: Why Do Babies Cry in Their Sleep?
Possible Causes of Vomiting Without a Fever
Now that you know the difference between spit-up and vomit, let's look at the possible causes of throwing up without a fever.
Babies have to learn to eat, including feeding and keeping down the milk or formula. After a feeding, your infant might vomit immediately, especially during the first month of life. During this time, your baby's stomach is getting used to digesting food, and they may not have learned not to gulp down the milk. After the first month, post-feeding vomit does stop. You can try to give your baby small feedings to prevent any stomach issues.
If your baby is vomiting often or has forceful vomit, it could signify an illness.
Gastroenteritis is common in babies and children, and there are cycles of vomit within a 24 hours time frame. Some of these symptoms may last for more than four days and include:
- mild diarrhea
- poor appetite
- stomach cramps and pain
A fever is not a common symptom in infants. In most cases, stomach flu is caused by a virus and goes away within a week.
Like an adult, a baby can experience acid reflux, but it is called infant reflux. This condition can lead to vomiting within the first few weeks or months of the baby's life. When the stomach muscles are too relaxed, it can trigger vomiting after feeding. As those muscles strengthen, the vomiting will go away on its own. By changing feeding habits, you can prevent infant reflux after feeding.
Cold and Flu
With new immune systems, babies can catch a cold or flu. These ailments can cause different symptoms in infants. In addition to a runny nose, your baby could also vomit without a fever. Mucus in the nose, or congestion, often causes nasal drip into the throat, causing a forceful coughing fit. In turn, that can make the baby vomit. Like most colds or cases of flu, these symptoms will go away in a week.
Another common illness is an ear infection. Babies are not developed, and their ear tubes are more horizontal. Ear infections can cause nausea and vomiting without a fever. These ear infections will go away without any medical help in most situations, but you might want to consult with your doctor.
Related: Precautions To Prevent Your Baby From Overheating
Babies can quickly become overheated in a warm house or hot weather. Their bodies are less able to sweat, causing dehydration and vomiting. Overheating is serious, and it can lead to heatstroke. You will want to watch out for specific symptoms, such as:
- irritability and crying
- pale, clammy skin
- sleepiness or floppiness
If you notice any of these issues, take off any heavy clothing and keep your baby out of the heat. Heatstroke can lead to severe problems, so you will want to get medical attention as soon as possible.
Some babies can get motion sickness, causing dizziness and vomiting. Your little one might have an upset stomach from gas, constipation, or bloating. A car ride or a quick twirl can cause them to throw up without a fever. You will want to keep your baby's head supported and always avoid going on a car ride after a large feed.
Galactosemia is a rare milk intolerance. Babies can be born without a particular enzyme that breaks down milk sugars. It can cause vomiting when the infant drinks milk or other types of daily products, including breast milk. Even formula-fed babies can be affected, especially if the product contains milk proteins. Your doctor can schedule a blood test to see if there is a milk intolerance.
Related: Is My Baby Allergic to Breastmilk?
When To See a Doctor
If your baby has been vomiting for longer than 12 hours, get to a doctor. During this time, your baby could become dehydrated. You will want to keep an eye open for other symptoms, including:
- diarrhea or bloody stools
- pain or discomfort
- refusing to feed
- few or no tears when crying
- extra tired or sleepy
- weakness or floppy
- swollen or bloated stomach
Several common illnesses can cause your baby to throw up without a fever. You will probably experience these symptoms a few times throughout the first year. In many cases, these illnesses will go away on their own, and your baby will stop throwing up without any medical treatment.
Keep an eye on dehydration, which will need to be treated by your pediatrician. It is always best to consult with your doctor if anything seems off. Throwing up without a fever is often not serious. Take a deep breath and relax. Your baby will be back to his or her happy self in a few days.
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