Healthy Early Years
A parent’s guide from birth to five
Being sick and reflux

Being sick and reflux

A problem likely to get better on its own

It is common for babies to be sick in the early weeks as they get used to feeding and their bodies develop. Bringing up small amounts of milk is known as possetting. When your baby vomits there 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. Incorrect positioning can cause a baby to be sick. Your midwife or health visitor can help with this.

Being sick often or with large amounts 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 and after a feed to make them more upright. Feeding smaller amounts and more often may also help.

If you are breastfeeding speak to your local breastfeeding peer supporter, midwife or health visitor.


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 an infection 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. If they become dehydrated they may not pass enough urine, lose their appetite and have cold hands and feet.

If your baby is unwell, or if vomiting has green bile stained fluid or has lasted more than a day get your GP’s advice straight away.

Health visitor

Health visitor says

Possetting (vomiting a small amount of milk) 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. It can often be better to give them smaller amounts of fluid more often.


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 babies develop it will stop naturally. Talk to your health visitor.