Difference Between Spit-Up and Vomit (With Table)

It can be hard to differentiate between spit-up and vomit as they seem pretty similar, although there’s a need to keep an eye on signs to see the difference between them. Besides, it is normal for infants to spit, yet vomiting can be a cause of concern. So, observing temperature and signs along with this condition can help a lot in understanding what’s happening. 

Spit-Up vs Vomit 

The main difference between spit-up and vomit is that spit-up is a slow and smooth liquid ejecting from the mouth without any discomfort. Meanwhile, vomit is the expulsion of fluid with gastric contents from the mouth with distress. Spit-up is not much in quantity as compared to vomiting. Lastly, spit-up is a natural part of an infant’s growth and development, while vomit has underlying health issues.  

Spit-up is a slow and smooth liquid ejection from the mouth without any discomfort. It is also related to food. Moreover, spit-up is harmless. Since it is a part of the natural growth and development of an infant. Furthermore, it is very little in quantity. But, it can be disgusting and surprising for many individuals. Besides, it can happen when a baby is neither eating nor swallowing, thereby opening the sphincter that results in spit-up. 

Vomit is the expulsion of liquid forcefully with gastric contents from the mouth, usually accompanying discomfort or other signs of distress. It is not natural for anyone. Thus,  there may be an underlying cause for pain. Furthermore, as for the quantity, it is plentiful. In addition to that, there may be signs of temperature change and change in appetite also.  

Comparison Table Between Spit-up and Vomit

Parameters of comparison Spit-upVomit
Definition Spit-up is a slow and smooth liquid ejection from the mouth without any discomfort and distress. Vomit is the expulsion of liquid forcefully with gastric contents with discomfort and distress.
HarmlessSpit-up is harmless.Vomit can be harmful. 
Discomfort Spit-up is without any discomfort. Vomit is usually with discomfort and distress. 
QuantitySpit-up is lesser in quantity.Vomit is plentiful. 
ChangeSpit-up is not associated with abnormal change. Vomit usually comes along with a change in temperature and appetite. 
NaturalSpit-up is a natural part of an infant’s growth. Vomit is not. 

What is Spit-Up?

Spit-up is a slow and smooth liquid ejected from the mouth without any discomfort. It is very natural and a part of an infant’s growth and development. But, always look out for other signs as well. Usually, the baby doesn’t react at all while spit-up. It just happens in a fraction of seconds. Furthermore, it is harmless, but it can be disgusting and surprising for many individuals. 

Spit-up is also related to food that comes out after swallowing or eating any food. Most infants spit up as there’s uneven pressure in their stomach which may lead to spit-up. However, the quantity is considerably less. At the end of the food pipe, there’s a sphincter that opens to the stomach. But, sometimes, it opens up and results in the coming back of food through food and resulting in spit-up. The reason behind this is the change in pressure between the chest and abdomen. 

That also explains the smooth and slower expulsion from the mouth rather than violent expulsion in vomit. So, this is very common during an infant’s growth and development. It can also occur because of drinking too much milk, drinking fast, and swallowing a lot of air with it. Therefore, there’s a need for burping an infant every time they get fed. Moreover, it is harmless unless it occurs very frequently. And it doesn’t affect an infant much if it happens moderately. 

What is Vomit?

Vomit is the expulsion of liquid forcefully with gastric contents with signs of discomfort and distress.  It happens due to underlying health conditions, so make sure to get it checked as soon as possible. During spit-up, an infant doesn’t react as it doesn’t accompany any signs of discomfort or distress, although an infant cries or squirms while vomiting as it’s violent in nature and forceful. It also can be accompanied by a change in temperature and a change in appetite. 

If vomiting is persistent, then seek medical consultation to find the underlying cause for it. Vomit is forceful beside a large quantity of liquid coming out. It may happen due to overfeeding, formula intolerance, etc. Therefore, it is also related to food similar to spit up as liquid going to the stomach but coming out of the stomach. 

To an extent, if you observe how much is fed to an infant or recognize the difference when there’s a change in the formula. Sometimes, these affect an infant and result in vomiting. Moreover, it seems disgusting to a grown, but it also disgusts an infant. Therefore they show a sign of discomfort and distress as well. 

Main Differences Between Spit-Up and Vomit

Spit-up and vomit may seem similar, but they are very different. Many infants experience these a lot. Spit-up is much natural than vomiting. Since it is considered a natural part of an infant’s growth and development. Both will be disgusting for many individuals. Moreover, keep an eye on abnormal changes and signs.

  1. Spit-up is a slow and smooth liquid ejection from the mouth without any discomfort and distress. Meanwhile, vomit is the expulsion of liquid forcefully with gastric contents with discomfort and distress. 
  2. Spit-up is harmless, while vomit can be harmful if persistent. 
  3. Spit-up is usually without any discomfort and distress. On the other hand, vomit is usually with discomfort and distress. 
  4. Spit-up is not much in quantity, while vomit is plentiful. 
  5. In spit-up, there’s no abnormal change. Meanwhile, there’s a change in temperature and appetite. 
  6. Spit-up is natural during an infant’s growth, while vomiting is not. 

Conclusion

Spit-up and vomit are not easily distinguishable as they are pretty similar. But look after abnormal changes and seek medical help. Spit-up is considered a natural part of an infant’s growth phase, but not vomiting. There’s some underlying cause of vomit. So, if vomiting is persistent, then seek medical help. 

Spit is a slow and smooth liquid ejection from the mouth without any discomfort and distress. It is considered a natural part of an infant’s growth, therefore it’s harmless. Due to the change in pressure between the chest and abdomen. The fluid comes back out of the stomach through the mouth. Besides, an infant doesn’t react much to spit-up as there’s no discomfort and distress. 

Vomit is the expulsion of liquid forcefully with gastric contents. Therefore an infant cry or squirms to show discomfort and distress. Besides, vomit can be harmful if persistent. Thus, there’s some underlying health issue that results in vomiting.  

References

  1. https://journals.lww.com/advancesinneonatalcare/Fulltext/2004/08000/Parent_s_Guide_To_Gastroesophageal_Reflux.12.aspx
  2. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/bfm.2008.9994
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