Little Fish
Helplessly Devoted

Happy Spitter Valley


So it appears that puke is totally the new poop when it comes to mommyblogging. Or mommytweeting. Which is kind of the same thing, only with less monetizing. YET

This morning I asked Teh Twitter if anyone had any experience with a "happy spitter" (which I swear is an actual name for an actual thing) and at what age could I possibly expect Ike to stop barfing all the freaking time.

The response was INSANE. I should've hashtagged that shit. Five hours later and we are still talking about it. So if you've been waiting for a reason to finally join Twitter, well. This is probably not it. This is probably the opposite of it. 

So. The "happy spitter." There are so many things wrong with that term I don't even know where to start. For one, Ike does not "spit up." That's what my other babies did -- the occasional burp with a side of cheese. "Oopsies! Spit-uppsies!" you might say in response, because having babies makes you say stupid shit like that. And then you grab a burp rag and gently dab at the side of their mouth and marvel at your ability to cope so well with someone else's bodily fluid. You must be some kind of saint, and thus deserving of cake.  

No. Ike does not "spit up." Ike vomits. Upchucks. Barfs. Yaks. Hurls. Horks. Releases the brechen.

We now use "cottage cheese" almost exclusively as a verb.



I guess I will cede the "happy" part, though usually it's more like "nonchalant reverse milk river" or "casual vector-spew." He's not in pain or even mildly uncomfortable. Just happy and sated and then eh, I'm a little over-full, lemme just put some of that back where I got it from, in your cleavage. You know, for later.



I have mentioned the barfing at every. single. appointment, and he has in fact, demonstrated it live and in person at the pediatrician's office,'s nothing. Just an immature, still-developing stomach and neck-tube. He's fine. Look at those chins! And the chubby arms! And the 3-6-month-sized body at barely 11 weeks old! And the cheerful blue diaper that actually contains a baffling number of hidden adjustment options that completely overwhelm me because I swear I have to let out the leg holes and the waist after every washing because he's just growing that fast. 

The doctor usually just points at the scale as assurance that Ike is fine, and then offers me some baby wipes for the fresh crud all over my shoes. 



It happens with breast milk and formula (Jason ran out of frozen milk approximately 10 minutes after I left for San Diego, even though I THOUGHT I'd done pretty well on the pumping front) and any variety of bottle. There's no indication that it's an allergy or sensitivity, as we're rash- and congestion-free and he is, indeed, a happy, non-fussy baby. It happens if I nurse him as upright as possible or lying down. One side at a time or both.  It happens after three good burps and keeping him awake for 30 minutes...or if I wuss out and let him fall asleep on the boob because IT DOESN'T MAKE A DIFFERENCE ANYWAY, HE IS GOING TO PUKE DOWN MY SHIRT IN FIVE. FOUR. THREE. TWO. WHOMP THERE IT IS. 

So I'm trying to resign myself to life with a ticking sludge bomb of a baby, and to be grateful that it isn't really anything more than a semi-embarrassing inconvenience, as opposed to an honest-to-God feeding or health problem. He eats, he burps, he yaks an impressive amount of it back up. We have stacks of ugly cloth diaper burp rags in every room, I use them to wallpaper the torso of anyone who volunteers to hold him for more than a minute, and also to wipe down the floor, the couch, the backs of people's legs when he manages to projectile vomit a good three inches to the left of EVERY RAG IN THE WORLD.

I...sleep on them, you guys, because while I'll wash a dozen outfits a day (for him AND me) plus bibs and rags and milk-crusty swaddling blankets, I just have to draw the line at stripping and remaking the bed that often.



Twitter tells me that it will get better around four months or six or nine or 12. Or when we start solids or when he's sitting up or not until he's walking or weans completely but it will probably come back when he crawls and he might always be that kid who laughs too hard or runs around too much at a birthday party and pukes up rainbow-colored cake icing all over someone else's brand-new carpet. 



I realize it's entirely cliche and trite to end a post like this with a sentence like "it's a good thing he's so cute" but...he really is so cute. I mind a little but not even as much as this entry would indicate. And also I don't really have time for anything BUT cliche and trite because Ike and I need to take a bath. Again.




Mine was a puker too. The doctor keep telling me the same things as you. I switched him to lactose free formula and boom - no more puking! He grew out of it around 9 months. He is a happy milk drinker now. Good luck with your little puker, but seriously he is so so cute!!

kristin @ going country

Oh yes. I well remember this. We called it "womitin'" after a story in a James Herriot book (remember him? The Yorkshire vet who wrote "All Creatures Great and Small"?) in which there was an old man with a dog who threw up all the time. The old man would cheerfully announce to the vet in a thick Yorkshire accent, "Aye, he's womitin', sorr. Womitin' bad."

Okay, so it didn't make the womitin' any funnier, really, but those were dark times and any humor was appreciated.


I don't remember the baby stage anymore, at least not the gross parts of it. So it's possibly my second was a 'happy spitter' because now she's a 'vomit alot' girl. When we're in the pool and she sucks down a bit of water - puke. When she has a cold and snot gets somewhere it shouldn't - vomit. So she's prone to vomit now - her tummy just can't take anything abnormal I guess. Good luck :)


you have me ROLLING!!!! my daughter too was a happy spitter. and WOW can i relate.


My second kid was just like Ike. My first child hardly ever spat up, so I was more than a little unnerved and grossed out (haaaaaaaate smelling like sour milk, not to mention the stained clothes, cottage cheese on the floor, watching everyone I know and love be barfed on because they dared to hold the baby). The barf fountain lasted until she was three months old. Then her esophagus and stomach finally caught up with the rest of her, I guess. She's still a little spitty from time to time and I think I have PTSD because whenever I hear her burp I cringe and duck simultaneously, but it's gotten 200% better!


Lurker posting to say that today I enjoyed the glamorous experience of having my 4wk old son throw up in an ergo, which went straight down my cleavage and caused my bra to act as a dam. That is all.


I am sure you are done with the topic- but i had to throw my two cents in.

My baby was a happy spitter too - like ALL the time. like no one had ever seen.

it stopped for good around 6-7 months for us, once he had 3 meals of solid a day.

something i wish i would have looked into earlier was having an "over supply of milk" (sorry if others had mentioned this, i havent read other posts). once i started pumping i saw the crazy amount of foremilk I pumped - which i what made him barf so much. When you put it in the fridge and the cream rises to the top, you can see the foremilk. anyway, is a great resource about it.

but, yeah, you probably just have to deal.


What bothered me was the constant "are you SURE she's ok?" from other people who saw my daughter happily puke all the time. I didn't like the constant puke either, but my dog LOVED it.


Immortal words of my mother-in-law: "Remember the spit-up milk makes fabulous floor polish and as you clean it up, the floor will shine." One of my children and two of my grandchildren did this, and it stopped when they could sit up on their own.
Mother-in-law also famous for this remark: "Shoes on the wrong feet? No, those are the only feet he's got."


This is happening to me right now... if I don't sit her up right away after eating, if I sit her up wrong, strapped into the carseat. It comes spewing out of the swing, she'll wake up with the side of her head wet, it makes thought bubbles on the jersey sheet in the crib. There is even a constellation of milk drops on the carpet outside the crib (I should probably clean that).
The pediatrician mentioned baby zantac last month and possibly checking for pyloric stenosis, but the "spitting-up" wasn't so bad then. It has gotten worse, we see the ped today, so I hope for something! (a friend's daughter did this and baby zantac stopped it.)


Oh, and Ike makes the cutest faces! Coupled with your hilarious commentary, I laughed and sympathized with this whole post :)


I can't offer any baby advice as I've never had one of them, but have you thought about one of these? - could make bedtime less like sleeping in a nest of rags (unless you're into that.


He really IS freaking cute. What's a little (a lot) of puke when you get to snuggle that face?


oh girl i feel your pain. my daughter who is now three was a happy spitter. we couldn't believe the amount that came back up at any given point. it took her 12 whole months to stop completely. she lived in bibs. thankfully she's not a barfer when she gets excited and what not. my son who is now 10 weeks is better but still spits more than the average baby gets to reuse all his sisters pink and flowery burp clothes. yay for him!

side note, i got so sick of buying crappy burp clothes that couldn't absorb a raindrop so i bought the uselessly small receiving blankets from garage sales and cut them into quarters to use as burp clothes. we probably have a 100+ of those. keeps from having to do laundry every hour. :)

nic @mybottlesup

my now 3 year old son has cyclic vomiting syndrome. i live, eat, breathe, and smell vomit, "spit up," puke, throw-up, more than i ever could've imagined when i was drunk and in college.


We sleep on a crib mattress protector. Just sayin' :)


This exactly describes my oldest nephew. It lasted at least six or seven months, because he was born in November, and vomited all the way down my sister's back at a graduation in May. He was perfectly happy and thriving, although I didn't understand how he lived through those months, much less kept growing and putting on weight. I have no advice or words of wisdom, but it will pass - eventually!


We totally thought our first was a happy spitter until we had our second (coincidentally name ezra as well). Holy Cow, the fountains of barf that came out of that kid! I used to go to work and smell barf and check out my clothes only to realize that ez barfed in my hair at some point. He got 75% better when he started solids and I would say it completely went away around 15 months or so. However, he is more likely to barf when he is sick versus his sister with the same virus. I also totally understand the not changing the sheets thing. We did the co-sleeping thing and it was just to much to strip and remake the bed every time the kid puked. One night it was so bad we just moved the pillows to the other end of the bed just to make it to the morning!

Sara in SD

We thought of our daughter as the vomit comet. The first time the Pediatrician labelled her as a "happy refluxer" I was stunned - cause that wasn't reflux, it was projectile vomiting! Never seemed to bother her, though. We too had our stack of nasty burp cloths and I have to admit we replaced our carpet after we got through the crawl then puke, crawl then puke stage. She finally stopped around 11 months and has grown up healthy even though I swear she barfed up half of every feeding! Good luck! It cuts down on people wanting to hold the baby after the first time they get drenched! :-)


I commented on twitter but I will reiterate here... My oldest was a happy spitter. Everyone kept telling us it wasn't as much liquid as it seemed to be. Well, after 3 more kids who were not happy spitters I can say without a shadow of a doubt - YES IT WAS. I would get so angry at those comments. He stopped at some point I don't recall and then restarted as a toddler. After throwing up in an airport, in the car, in restaurants, he was finally put on meds. THEY SAVED MY SANITY. He was only on them a few months.

The boy is 16 now and hasn't thrown up in like 14 years.

Springsteen fan

Enfamil AR is your friend. It's the only thing that eased my son's projectile vomiting down my back for 6 mos. : ( Oh, and it's crazy expensive and his poop will stink to high heaven. Worth. Every. Penny.


My first was like that. Up till about a year old. IT SUCKED. I forever walked around in spitup stained clothing and smelled sour. It would hit the wall three feet away. It was all over the carpet. I finally threw it out (the carpet, not the baby). Just EW. I feel for you. You just have to wait it out. :(


And cute he is! You take amazing pictures (I am jealous). Thanks for the laugh too - my sister was like that and it stayed in everyone's memory. One of my 4 daughters vomited on pieces (solid food pieces) until 9 months, 3 weeks old. My tip was to give pieces before the meal, so that she wouldn't vomit the whole meal. I didn't want to feed her all over again!


go to any medical supply site online and order waterproof reusable bed pads. They are soft on top like a blankie and have a water proof bottom. They make them in all sizes but the ideal one for me was big enough for the width of a queen bed and half the length, which they have, and get as many as possible! When he pukes you whip it off the bed throw on another and they wash and dry like towels. They SAVED my life, and my sheets, and am still using the ones I bought 8 years ago for kid 1 on kid 4 :-) SRSLY if you cant find them email me, I will MAIL you one, promise!


Yep, mine does this too, and she's 16 weeks. And she STARTED at about 12 weeks. So yeah, there's that. It's probably not ending anytime soon. (And she never ever ever spit up really before 12 weeks ..I used to laugh at my husband for insisting on keeping a burp cloth by him whenever he'd feed her. Whoops).


omg, the puking suuuuuuuuucks. my son was also a happy spitter. his spit ups were like freaking tidal waves. he did this with no reprieve for 9 whole months. and then it magically went away right around 10 months. but around 6 months I was sure that I'd be sending him to prom with burp cloths.

once he started being able to sit up a little better, we started burping him over the sink, which helped a bit. but he could be counted on to puke at any random time no matter how close or how far from a feeding he was. and how he was always in at least the 80th percentile for weight was a complete mystery to me...he seemed to puke up every little drop we gave him.

He is 2 now and sometimes when I move a piece of furniture I'll find little drops of dried spit up that had splattered into places unseen. I'm pregnant with baby #2 right now and I'm really, really, really hoping this one isn't a spitter.

Best of luck to you!


Ok. I know I'm late to this party but I had twins (10 weeks early) who were pukers. I had to feed them with a mop bucket directly beside me to catch the barf. Rinse, repeat. It was awful. My breastfed daughter. Rarely ever even spit up. It was like having the gods smile upon you. LOL

Good luck. We tried all amounts of reflux meds and none helped so just keep an eye on him and watch for signs that his throat is hurting him, etc.


Just chiming in with the choir as to my 3.5 month old happy spitter. Every time! And you'd think I'd learn and get used to it, but I swear, 75% of the time I don't catch it, no matter the number of burp cloths lying around. And inevitably if I have a bib on him, he'll turn his head and puke down his arm or side. And I also believe my upper right arm must permanently smell of spit up as he has uncanny aim for the exact same spot on my arm.


same with my kid, barf queen, breastfed and bottle fed and all resulted in barfing. you get used to it and then one day it just kind of stops and you don't realize it stops until a week passes you think to yourself huh it's been awhile she he/she vomited...i think ours stopped about 2 or 3 weeks into eating solids. good luck :)

Nancy R

My middle daughter did this, and after we stopped nursing I read something that caused me to wonder if she was getting too much thin foremilk and not enough fatty hindmilk due to my strong let-down...but since it's still happening while he's drinking formula, maybe that wasn't it!

I developed some mad 'catch the hurled milk and keep it contained on my own body' skillz during that time though - and did a LOT of complete, down to the skin, clothing changes for both of us. I don't remember when it ended though.


my second was a "happy spitter" - volcanic eruption of just consumed milk either straight back up at me, or over my shoulder and all over the place. my dr suggested giving him a dose of mylicon about 15 minutes before he ate. not sure if it worked or not, but it didn't hurt...


Oh, I was a happy spitter (long, long since outgrown, thankfully!)

Know what they used to recommend for treatment? The doctor told my mother my stomach was immature and recommended putting a couple drops of whiskey--yep, whiskey--in the top of the baby bottle. The theory was it would warm my stomach up. And that was on top of a mixture of corn syrup, condensed milk, and water.

You can see why the whole formula/breast milk debate amuses me endlessly.


Former baby projectile vomiter here (as was my brother) - fortunately I grew out of it quickly and a little too efficiently; I had a 12 year streak from 2nd grade until I was 20 when I didn't upchuck at all! Not even when I was drunk and needed to really, really badly.


My first son was a happy spitter. He wore bibs for the first year of his life because he spit up so much and I got tired of changing his clothes. It was kind of sad because anytime someone gave us a cute outfit, I would think 'too bad no one will ever see it under his bib!' Oh well, at least he was happy. In closing, your baby is SO. CUTE. I almost can't stand it.

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