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Being sick

A problem likely to get better on its own

It is common for babies to be sick, often in the early weeks as they get used to feeding and their bodies develop. Possetting is bringing up small amounts of milk, when your baby vomits this will be a much larger amount. It can be frightening for your baby, so they are likely to cry. Lots of things can cause your baby to be sick.

Make sure your baby is positioned correctly when breast or bottle feeding as incorrect positioning can cause a baby to be sick. 

Being sick often or lots of it, may be due to ‘gastric reflux’ where acid from the tummy can come up again. Babies can be grumpy and it can sometimes lead to poor feeding. If your baby is feeding well but doesn't seem themselves, you may just need to change the baby's position during a feed to make them more upright. Feeding smaller amounts and more often may also help.

GP says

After the first few months, if your baby is suddenly sick it is more likely to be caused by a stomach virus rather than possetting. Gastroenteritis is a tummy bug which can come with diarrhoea (runny poo).

This is more serious in babies than older children because babies easily lose too much fluid from their bodies and become dehydrated. If they become dehydrated they may not pass enough urine, lose their appetite and have cold hands and feet.
Get expert advice. If your baby is unwell, or if vomiting has lasted more than a day, get your GP’s advice straightaway.

Health Visitor says

Possetting is ‘normal’ during or after a feed. If this carries on at other times, between feeds it may be a tummy bug. It is important for babies to have plenty of fluids to stop any dehydration.


The most common cause of vomiting is gastroenteritis. This is an infection of the gut. It also causes diarrhoea. This is usually nothing to worry about and will pass in a few days. Being sick can sometimes be caused by other things like food allergies, accidentally swallowing a poison or drug, or an infection.

You should contact your GP if:


I have a new baby. I have just given my baby a feed.


They always seem to bring up small amounts of milk.


This is known as ‘possetting’. As they develop it will stop naturally. Talk to your Health Visitor.