There’s a lot to know about teething, reflux, and vomiting. Some moms swear spit up is worse when teething. But you’ll be surprised to find out what’s really going on.
I sure was, considering my eldest turned one and STILL had no teeth. But she sure was a crankypants up until that point.
Once that first tooth came in, they all began sprouting up. The American Dental Association says that babies begin teething somewhere between 4 and 7 months old. Don’t panic like we did if you don’t see any teeth even by the first birthday. Those teeth are under the gums and just waiting to cut through.
The bottom teeth tend to come in first. Then the top 2 center teeth. Over the next 2 years, the rest of the teeth follow. And then, by the time your baby is a 3-year-old toddler, she’ll have all 20 of her primary teeth.
But is spit up worse when teething? I know you want to know what teething, reflux, and vomiting mean, so let’s get into it.
Is spitting up a sign of teething?
Sorry, Mama. If your little one is spitting up, there’s no evidence to suggest that teething is the cause. As I discussed recently with spit-up and vomiting, spitting up is more of a gentle overflow of breastmilk or formula. Vomiting comes out with force. So, there is no correlation to teething if either of these is happening.
Babies have a variety of symptoms during teething which tend to be a loss of appetite and irritability. They will feel sore, but if your baby has a rash, diarrhea, or vomiting, the cause is likely something else. If they’re teething, too, these other symptoms are completely unrelated.
I know that the first teeth to come in for both of my girls seemed to cause them the most pain and discomfort. After that, though, they didn’t fuss that much about them.
What should you look for with teething symptoms? Simple! Your baby will likely be drooling, crying, irritable, having problems sleeping, losing appetite, chewing, changing the amount or frequency of feedings, and having red, tender, and swollen gums. If your baby is spitting up, this has nothing to do with teething.
Does teething make reflux worse?
Now let’s talk about teething and reflux. I’ve covered reflux a bit recently, and I’m sorry to say that if your baby’s reflux is getting worse, it’s not related to teething. There is no relation between teething, reflux, and vomiting at all. So, if reflux and vomiting are getting worse during this time, reach out to your doctor because something else is going on.
Can teething cause vomit?
Teething cannot cause vomiting. It can cause pain and soreness, but not vomiting. For starters, determine whether your baby is spitting up or vomiting. Spitting up clear fluid is so common in babies that it shouldn’t concern you too much. However, vomiting signifies a bigger problem, usually an illness or infection that needs to be checked out.
What causes a baby to spit up more than usual?
If it’s not teething, what’s causing your baby to spit up more than they otherwise would?
Babies will spit up for different reasons.
Most commonly, it’s because they’ve drunk too much breastmilk or formula too fast. If your breasts are bursting with milk, it can come on too strong and result in spit-up. Changing your nursing position can help as the forceful let-down or an oversupply of your milk can resemble reflux symptoms in babies.
Additionally, when bottle-feeding (either with breastmilk or formula), a good position helps, as do bottles that slow the flow and keep excess air out. If you notice your baby is spitting up often right after eating, this should be the first thing to try.
Food sensitivities are another reason for more spit-up. What you’re eating may be triggering something in your baby from the breastmilk. If you’re using a formula, you may want to switch to another brand or type. Talking to the pediatrician about this can help you make the right decision for your baby.
Keep in mind that babies tend to stop spitting up when they celebrate that special first birthday. So you’re not doomed to be covered in spit-up forever.
While teething isn’t related to reflux or vomiting, you may want to try the following to reduce spit-up with your baby:
- Upright feeding positions
- Don’t lay baby down right after eating (hold her upright for 30 minutes)
- Don’t have baby play or do tummy time right after feedings (wait 30 minutes)
- Additionally, don’t put the baby in a vibrating seat, infant swing, or anything that bounces or jiggles right after eating
- Burp your baby during feedings and afterward
- Try feeding your baby smaller amounts in more frequent intervals
- Lay baby to sleep on her back
- Keep an eye on your diet to see if it’s causing the problems
Generally, spit-up is nothing to worry about with babies. It should only raise red flags for you if your baby isn’t gaining weight, the baby is fussy, or the spit-up is forceful.
Again, it has nothing to do with teething, so if you see these other troubles, you’ll want to go over things with your doctor to find the cause and work out a solution.
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.