My Baby Vomits After Eating Rice Cereal: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Written by Maria
Last updated:
Reviewed by Margaret

The article has been reviewed by medical expert Margaret Dogwood, BSN, RN

My baby vomits after eating rice cereal and other solid foods, is this okay? This has probably been one of the most-asked questions about babies and their natural behavior around food, and quite luckily, it’s not something to be afraid of.

In this article, we reveal the underlying cause of why young children frequently vomit out rice cereal after eating it. We’ll also go through further digestive issues and ailments that may be connected to it, as well as what you can do, of course.

Oftentimes, overfeeding is the usual cause of baby vomits. Apart from that, allergies, gastrointestinal issues, and FPIES are also possible reasons.

The Normal Process of Introducing Solids to Babies

Parenting can be quite complex. Some parents are clueless as to how they can start the process of allowing their babies to eat solid food, but there are some who are experts at it. Nevertheless, it is inevitable for your cute little one to start ingesting solids as a part of their daily routine.

Introducing food to babies is a significant developmental milestone. Solids should be introduced at about 6 months when babies can sit up and keep their heads stable. It is best, to begin with single-ingredient purees, such as mashed fruits or vegetables, to rule out any allergies or sensitivities.

The texture of the food can be gradually increased as newborns gain confidence in eating, moving from purees to mashed or minced meals.

Try putting yourself in your baby’s shoes – would you be happy being fed something hard and mushy the first time?

Can Rice Cereal Be Given to Babies?

Yes, definitely. In fact, rice cereal has been one of the best, safest, healthiest, and most popular foods given to babies, according to a study done by JAMA Pediatrics.

             White or brown rice was ingested by ten babies (7.8%), baby rice cereal by eight (6.2%), and nonbaby rice cereal by six (4.7%).”

As parents, though, it’s righteous to be aware that rice cereal is not the only option for babies. You’ll want to think about their tastes, too. A range of single-ingredient purees, including iron-rich meals such as pureed meats and fortified baby cereals, are recommended by the Mayo Clinic.

Baby Vomits After Eating Rice Cereal: Causes and Concerns

The question still stands – why does my baby vomit or throw up after eating rice cereal? Is it because of rice cereal itself or could other factors have a hand in it?

Let us dive deeper into knowing and understanding some of the causes of vomiting along with their concerns.

Overfeeding or Eating Too Quickly

I know how exciting it is to feed your baby solid food the first time, but try not to feed your baby too much! Take a moment to step back and observe whether or not you’re overfeeding the little one.

Infants who are overfed or fed too rapidly may vomit or regurgitate. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns that excessive feeding might strain a baby’s digestive tract and lead to discomfort. Smaller, more frequent feedings and allowing the infant to rest between feedings may assist to resolve this problem.

TIP: Try to decrease milk intake a little so their digestive system doesn’t feel the swift increase of ingestion. For breastfeeding babies, take it down 2 to 3 minutes earlier than what you usually feed them for!

Overfeeding is the most usual cause of why babies vomit after you feed them with rice meal – or any other solid food, in this context.

Allergies or Sensitivities

Some babies could be allergic or sensitive to rice cereal or other meals. It’s just like how we’re all allergic to seafood!

A typical example is an allergy to the proteins in cow’s milk, and rice cereal’s proteins may act as a possible trigger.

Vomiting, diarrhea, dermatitis, or breathing difficulties are just a few of the signs of food allergies or sensitivities, according to experts and researchers. If you suspect any allergies, consult your pediatrician immediately so you can avoid instances like it again in the future.

Gastrointestinal Issues and Problems

Last but most definitely not least are gas issues. In case you weren’t aware, infants actually usually suffer from gastroesophageal reflux (GER), a condition where stomach contents flow backward into the esophagus and cause regurgitation.

Why? – Because they’re unable to control their mouths while feeding, like adults. They swallow more air than they should, especially those that are breastfeeding.

While GER usually goes away on its own, any symptoms that linger or get worse need to be checked up by a medical expert. Intestinal infections or other gastrointestinal conditions like gastritis may also play a role.

Digestive Possibilities of Why Babies Vomit After Eating Solids

Other than those common scenarios, other possible reasons why your baby vomits after eating a rice meal could be because of their digestive blueprint. Not all babies are born equally the same, after all!

So, let’s go about understanding digestive reasons and the possibility of vomiting after eating solid food.

Immature Digestive System

When solid foods are introduced to babies, it may stress their growing digestive systems.

It’s possible that their stomachs don’t yet have all the enzymes and muscular control needed to process solid foods effectively, which might cause regurgitation or vomiting.

You can take it one step at a time; you really don’t have to force your baby through it. One tip that the majority of parents gave would be to feed a bundle of joy a small spoon at a time.

Food Intolerance

Some infants may be sensitive to or allergic to certain meals. Cow’s milk, soy, wheat, eggs, and nuts are frequent offenders.

Digestion-related symptoms like puking, diarrhea, or stomach pain might be brought on by intolerances or allergies.

What do you need to do? The best would be to visit your healthcare practitioner. A pediatrician’s advice can help you identify potential food triggers and suggest suitable dietary changes.

Gastrointestinal Infections

In some cases, I mean those rare ones, an intestinal infection, such as a stomach virus or bacterial infection, can occasionally cause vomiting after consuming solid food.

These illnesses can irritate the digestive system and impair normal function. It is crucial to seek medical assistance if the newborn exhibits other symptoms including fever, diarrhea, or even lethargy.

NOTE: These are only possibilities that experts and pediatricians have traced based on common situations. If you find something unusual, consult your pediatrician or a local healthcare professional (specializing in babies) immediately.

Could It Be Food-Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES)?

It may sound funny, but it is actually something that needs your full attention.

This unusual food allergy predominantly affects newborns and children. It is an immunoglobulin E or IgE-non-mediated disease. What does this mean? It simply means that IgE is not often involved in allergic reactions.

Instead, FPIES results in a postponed immune response in the digestive tract following the consumption of certain trigger foods.

Symptoms of FPIES

Like many other conditions of its kind, FPIES can appear in many shapes and forms. One good way to check on it would be to see the timing. They usually happen in just a few hours after taking the trigger food.

Name some of the most common and evident symptoms, they are:

·         Bad Nutrition: Chronic FPIES episodes can obstruct the nutrient absorption of children. This prevents a child from gaining enough weight or causing them to fail to flourish.

·         Diarrhea: FPIES can also result in diarrhea. This can occasionally be bloody and watery. The likelihood of frequent stools increases the risk of dehydration.

·         Frequent Puking: Vomiting is a defining symptom of FPIES. It can happen repeatedly and is frequently severe, which can cause dehydration.

·         Gastrointestinal Discomfort: Some kids who react to FPIES responses may feel bloated, in pain, or uncomfortable in general.

·         Lethargy: After consuming trigger foods, children with FPIES may experience particularly high levels of fatigue, weakness, or sluggish behavior.

·         Pallor: Due to low blood pressure and poor circulation, the child’s complexion may seem pale or have a blue tint.

Rice cereal and FPIES (Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome) are known to be related. One prominent food trigger for FPIES in babies is rice cereal. It’s possible for newborns with FPIES to have a negative reaction to rice cereal.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) says that rice and soy are among the most common triggers of FPIES.

             The most common triggers include cow milk, soy and grains (rice, barley, oats). The most severe forms of FPIES can lead to drop in energy, change in body temperature and low blood pressure leading to hospitalization.”

3 Solid Tips For Preventing Vomiting During Solid Food Introduction

I know how you feel when you see your little one unwell – I mean, what more do they feel? That being said, what steps should you take to prevent the constant puking of your baby?

Tip #1: Proper Portion Sizes And Feeding Techniques

Start by offering the infant modest amounts of solid food, then progressively increase that number over time. The common style that parents go for would be with one or two teaspoons. Measure and gauge the tolerance of your baby.

Then, gradually add up and increase the amount until their fully adjust to their digestive system. Make sure the meal consistency is appropriate for the baby’s developmental stage as well. Initially, purees or mashed meals could be preferable; as the infant becomes older, thicker textures might be better.

Tip #2: Monitoring The Baby’s Cues And Response To Different Foods

Keep an eye on the baby’s signals and reactions when the consume. You also want to check for symptoms of discomfort or intolerance, including frequent throwing up, gagging, or other digestive problems.

It may be important to avoid a certain food temporarily and discuss alternatives with an expert pediatrician if it routinely causes your baby to throw up or show any problems.

Tip #3: Discussing Potential Alternatives To Rice Cereal

Last but most definitely not least would be the food itself – rice cereal. Should the infant frequently throw up after eating it, you might want to check out alternatives. There are many different kinds of infant cereals available, including oatmeal and barley cereal, which some babies may handle better.

As an option, you can consider introducing other fruits or vegetables that are pureed with only one component. This will serve as a foundation for solid meals.

NOTE: If you’re clueless, a pediatrician or trained dietitian can offer advice based on the baby’s individual

When You Should Worry and Seek Medical Advice

Parents are often oblivious as to when they should have an extra hand when it comes to their babies’ conditions.

And although every circumstance is different, there are several indications and symptoms that may point to the need for medical attention in regard to a baby who throws up after eating solids.

Persistent and/or Severe Vomiting

If the infant vomits frequently or violently, and it lasts for a long time or gets worse, you should immediately seek help. Don’t think twice – just do it.  

This is more so if the puking is followed by additional unsettling symptoms from the baby, such as tiredness, dehydration, or weight loss.

Dehydration

Another would be the lack of water in the body… you guessed it – dehydration! Some symptoms to look out for include dry lips, sunken eyes, reduced urine flow, and lethargy.

To avoid problems, early medical assistance should be sought, especially if the infant displays indications of dehydration following vomiting.

In adults, dehydration is among the most common end results of puking, so it should be common if the baby pukes a lot.

Blood in Stool or Vomit

If there is any blood in the vomit or stools, this is a serious indicator that has to be treated right once.

Blood may seem dark or brilliant red, and it may be a sign of a number of underlying disorders that need to be assessed.

Note the color of the stool, though, because it can tell a lot about what your baby is experiencing.

Discomfort or Distress

Should your baby exhibit indications of difficulty or discomfort during feeding or after the best move would be to let the pediatrician know about it. Discomforts like prolonged sobbing, an arched back, or a refusal to eat is among the most common.

These symptoms can be a sign of a deeper and underlying problem that needs to be further checked.

FAQs

Here are some of the most asked questions about babies vomiting after eating rice cereal.

Can Infants Be Allergic To Rice Cereal?

Yes, it is possible. Although rice cereal is known and considered safe, it could contain allergens that some babies’ bodies might not accept freely, too.

When Can You Start Feeding A Baby Rice Cereal?

The AAP states that about six months of age, babies are normally ready to start eating solid meals, including cereal. One thing to see would be the baby’s response to solid food. If you start training them on the 6th month, they could fully be eating rice cereal as a full meal.

Can You Put Rice Cereal In A Bottle?

Yes, you definitely can. However, that’s not recommended. It is advised to introduce rice cereal using a spoon during a feeding session rather than adding it to a bottle. What this does is promote healthy oral motor development and the techniques of food absorption by allowing the infant to progressively encounter various textures and learn to eat from a spoon.

Should I Feed Baby After Vomiting?

It is typically advised to wait a short while before trying to feed your baby again if they have vomited. In order to stop further vomiting, it’s critical to give the stomach some time to calm down.

The Bottom Line

My baby vomits after eating rice cereal, what do I do?! Don’t panic – it’s usually normal for an infant to vomit after eating rice cereal, especially if they’ve started just a few days. It’s mostly due to overeating, incorrect sizes, and proportions, or allergens. Regardless of the reason, as parents, it is our duty to find out what’s causing it – and put an end to it. 

Photo of author
Maria Gonzales, M.Ed., expert in child development and founder of mamallove.com, merges academic insights from Michigan State University with real-life parenting wisdom. Certified in Precision Nutrition and Child Development, she offers invaluable advice on nutrition, communication, and education for parents and parents-to-be.

Get a freebie every week!

Join 40,000+ parents and teachers , and you'll get a freebie in your inbox at least once a week, along with tips, information, and other resources!

Subscribe to the Mamallove newsletter: