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What It Means When Your Baby Hurls

What It Means When Your Baby Hurls

Hurling, perhaps the world’s fastest and oldest field game, was brought to Ireland by the Celts more than 2,000 years ago. Think of it as a combo of lacrosse, baseball, rugby and running golf, with a few hockey rules slipped in. The players use sticks (hurleys) and a leather-covered cork ball (sliotar) to attack each other’s goals. It’s a dangerous sport in which sticks and stones will break your bones.

But if your newborn is spitting up (or hurling, as Wayne and Garth would say), chances are nothing dangerous is going on. All infants spit up: Their tiny stomach is experiencing food for the first time, plus stomach muscles and the esophageal sphincter, which keep stomach contents where they belong, haven’t matured yet. That burp-the-baby-spit-up that appears after most feedings usually takes about six months to stop happening routinely, and as your child moves on to solid food, it should go away.

Still concerned? If you want to check on just how much is staying down and how much is coming up, measure out three or four ounces of milk and splash it on a towel or diaper. If that looks to be the amount your baby is spitting up each time, or if spitting up is accompanied by crying, then you should take the baby to the pediatrician. There are such things as baby antacids. But, you may want to save the antacids for yourself, just in case your baby grows up and he wants to try the sport of hurling. 

Medically reviewed in February 2020.

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