Baby Spit Up: Everything To Know
As a parent, it is understandable that you are concerned with your babys well-being. Even when they can be completely natural, it can be difficult to sit by while your child is uncomfortable. One of the most common occurrences that may alarm you is when your baby spits up. There are a lot of questions that you may have about the subject. Below we have compiled some information that may ease your worries.
What is Spit Up?
Spit up is the liquidly substance that your infant can occasionally cough up or sneeze out. Most of the time your baby is spitting up milk or formula.
Why do Babies Spit Up?
Babies are new to the world, and their bodies dont always work as well as an adults body. Babies spit up because their bodies are still learning how to properly eat and process food. Sometimes air gets caught in their stomach when eating. When it escapes it sometimes brings some liquid with it. It can happen frequently when a child is young. The amount of spit up is different for each child. As infants grow older they tend to spit up less.
How Can I Help Prevent My Baby from Spitting Up?
There is no real way to completely stop your baby from spitting up. It is a natural process that will decrease over time. However, there are ways that you can minimize how often it occurs to your infant.
What Are The Different Types of Spit Up
How Do I Know My Baby Is Getting Enough Food?
Will Spitting up Affect My Babys Sleep?
When To Consult A Doctor
Spitting up through the nose is not a problem. But you may need to contact your doctor if:
- Your baby keeps spitting up even as hes approaching the one-year mark.
- Your child tends to choke or cough when he spits up.
- The spitting up through the nose happens regularly.
- The spit-up contains weird colours or even blood.
- Your child spits up a lot and isnt gaining weight properly.
- Your baby cannot suck or swallow milk properly.
- Your little one starts crying each time after spitting up.
Seeing a baby spit up milk through the nose could be bothersome. However, there is no need to fret about it as most of the times this condition fades away with time. Make sure you burp your child after every feed and follow the right tips to reduce the spit-up. Very soon, he will be able to keep his food down, and he will grow up to be a healthy child.
Could My Baby Have Reflux
Sometimes babies can develop a condition like GERD, or acid reflux. In these cases, the backflow that often happens as a result of an immature digestive system can cause babies pain or discomfort.
There are two forms of reflux in babies: acid reflux and silent acid reflux. Acid reflux usually causes projectile vomiting and intense crying silent reflux, a more subtle condition, usually causes sour breath, hiccups, and physical stiffness or discomfort.
Signs of reflux include:
- Discomfort or crying after eating
- Resistance to laying on back
- Gagging or choking
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How Can I Prevent Baby From Spitting Up After Feedings
My 4.5-month-old has been spitting up after feedings quite often for the past few weeks. In no way does she seem to have an upset tummy just constantly spits up. A little background on usshe is our firstborn and we practice attachment parenting. I have unfortunately not been able to exclusively breastfeed her due to a massive hemorrhage post-delivery. This has caused me to not have an adequate milk supply . Im still pumping and giving her as much as I can produce. However, since we started to bottlefeed she doesnt seem to be interested in the breast at all. We supplement with Holle organic goat milk formula and shes been on that since she was 6 weeks old. She seems to really like it. We recently started adding 1 ml of infant DHA from Nordic Naturals to one of her feedings also about a couple weeks ago.
Try An Elimination Diet
When all else fails, a breastfeeding mama can try an elimination diet. The biggest culprit is usually dairy and cutting it out of your diet can make all the difference for your baby.
That is usually all that is needed. However, some mothers may find that eliminating these foods and beverages also help:
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Put The Baby To Sleep On His Back
Putting your baby to sleep on his back is the most important thing you can do to minimize the risks caused by spitting up while sleeping.
If the baby spits up, hell just tilt his head instinctively and let the spit up travel away from him, cough it away, or swallow it.
Your baby will still wake up and cry, but he wont be in any danger at the very least.
Young babies of just a few months of age lack the ability to flip themselves over if theyre stuck with their faces in the mattress, which greatly increases the risk of SIDS and choking in general.
However, even though back sleeping might seem counter-intuitive considering the way gravity works, it is certainly the right way to go.
In fact, whether your little one is spitting up when sleeping or not, he should be placed on his back in his crib.
Also make sure that there are no toys or other items in the crib with the baby, as they may increase the potential risk of SIDS.
What To Do When New
- Change the babys feeding position to a more upright one. Gravity will play its role in keeping the milk in the tummy if you keep the baby upright for about half an hour after the feed.
- Avoid any vigorous activity soon after a meal, which may cause the baby to spit up.
- Keep feeding times calm and relaxed. Keep noise and distractions to a minimum. Avoid letting the baby get too hungry before you start feeding her. A hungry and distressed baby may swallow excessive air, increasing the chances of refluxing the breast milk.
- Keep babys feeds shorter but more frequently to avoid overfilling the tummy.
- Avoid overfeeding the baby. A good indication of this is if she spits up a lot after every feeding session.
- Burp baby as frequently as possible to get rid of air bubbles that may be trapped below the milk. If the baby fails to burp after a few minutes during a feed, continue with the feed- there may not be any air trapped.
- Baby should be put to sleep on the back rather than on the tummy. If the baby spits up during sleep, place a foam wedge under the babys mattress to elevate the head area so that the baby sleeps at an angle. There are special foam wedges available in baby shops for this purpose.
- Keep any pressure off the babys tummy area. Loosen any tight clothing and avoid placing her tummy on your shoulder to burp her.
- You can eliminate certain foods from your diet to check if the problem resolves, like diary or other foods.
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Keep Your Baby Upright At Least 30 Minutes After Feeding
Babies are more susceptible to reflux because they spend a lot of their time lying down, not to mention the fact that their diet is mostly of liquids AND the muscle tone of their esophageal sphincter isnt fully finished developing. Its a good idea to keep baby upright for about 30 minutes after a feed. This will allow gravity to do its thinghelp the milk make its way down the digestive tract . You can also elevate the head of your babys crib by rolling a towel or using a wedge pillow so as to slightly elevate your baby while sleeping.
What Is Abnormal Spit
Even though watching your baby “lose” milk after many or most feeds may be distressing, there’s probably little need to worry if their spit-up quality and quantity are consistent. But there are a few signs that your baby’s spit-up habits may signal a problem with their growth or health. Note that if your baby is projectile vomiting, this may be a sign of pyloric stenosis, or a blockage in their stomach. You should see a healthcare provider immediately.
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Have A Good Feeding Routine
It is so important to take cues from your baby for when they are hungry and full and to implement your own feeding routine. This ensures that your baby never goes hungry for any period of time. If your baby doesnt go hungry, they wont feed as fast at the breast, and this means less air is taken in.
Frequent small feeds are ideal to prevent your little one from feeding too quickly.
What Can Be Done To Prevent Spit
Sometimes, your baby spits up more than usual, especially if hes bottle-fed. Follow these tips to avoid this occurrence:
- After feeding, the baby should burp to expel the air they swallowed while nursing.
- Avoid giving them large amounts of milk at a time and overfilling their stomach.
- Take breaks during feedings to allow for burping.
- Make sure you use the right nipple and that your milk flow is correct.
- Breastfeed your baby before theyre very hungry this will prevent him from swallowing large amounts of air.
- If the baby is bottle-fed, you can add thickening substances to the milk to make it less runny, which limits the occurrence of spitting up.
- The introduction of solid foods at weaning usually reduces the occurrence of regurgitation.
- You can try anti-reflux milk or dilute a thickener in their regular milk.
- At the beginning of digestion, avoid moving the baby too much and playing with them.
- Its best not to offer fruit juice to your little one. Its acidity can cause gastric reflux.
The vast majority of babies will no longer suffer from regurgitation as soon as they reach twelve months of age.
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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease And Spitting Up
Unlike happy spitters, babies with GERD may have:
- Discomfort and pain caused by the reflux
- Breathing problems like gagging, choking, coughing, wheezing, and, in severe cases, pneumonia from inhaling their stomach contents into their lungs
- Poor growth, because vomiting keeps them from getting enough nutrients
Your baby may also have serious GERD or another condition that needs treatment if they:
- Regularly have projectile vomiting, which is when their stomach contents shoot out of their mouth
- Have green or yellow spit-up
- Wont eat
Other Causes Of Spitting In Babies
Babies even spit up when they try to gulp too much milk at one go. The most common reason is when the breasts have too much milk and the milk flow is faster than usual making the baby feed aggressively.
It is common for some babies to spit while teething or when they start crawling and even when they start taking solid foods around 6 months of age or more.
All the above reasons do not cause any pain to the baby nor are harmful. Yet, if it causes a hindrance in the growth of the babys development and keeps the baby super cranky, you should consult a doctor immediately.
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Is My Baby Eating Enough
Even if your baby spits up after every feeding, they’re probably taking in enough. Your pediatrician will evaluate your infant’s weight gain at their well-baby checkups. If everything’s on track, they’re getting the calories they need. It may seem like their whole meal is coming back up, but it’s likely less than a tablespoon, says Dr. Byrne. So don’t “top off” your baby with more milk if they spit up after eating. In fact, overfeeding can lead to even more reflux.
Causes Of Spitting Up
After your baby swallows milk, it glides past the back of their throat and goes down a muscular tube, called the esophagus, to their stomach. A ring of muscles connects the esophagus and stomach. It opens to let the milk go into the stomach, and then it closes again. If that ring, called the lower esophageal sphincter, doesn’t tighten, the milk can come back up. That’s reflux.
Infants are especially likely to get reflux because their stomachs are small — about the size of their fists or a golf ball — so they fill up easily. Also, a valve where their esophagus meets their stomach may not be mature enough to work like it should. That usually changes around age 4 to 5 months. After that, they may stop spitting up.
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A Baby Spitting Up Is Perfectly Normal
Although it can be stressful at times to deal with constant spit ups, its important to remember that its perfectly normal and expected! Now that you know what a baby spit up can be, youre more equipped to handle them.
Hopefully this post has helped you and your little one prevent future spit ups, but when they do happen, youre better prepared mentally for how to deal with it.
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Feed Your Baby In Smaller Amounts More Often
Overfeeding your baby will disrupt your little ones still underdeveloped digestive system.
It can cause bloating and potentially weaken the esophageal sphincter, leading to more frequent instances of your baby spitting up.
In order to keep your baby a happy spitter and avoid giving him tummy issues, space your feeds out over several small portions rather than one big one.
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What Is Baby Spit Up
First things first: In most cases, spitting up is very common.
This is more of a laundry problem than a medical problem and seldom bothers baby. Dr. Sears
Some experts estimate that nearly 40% of normal, healthy babies spit up after feedings. If baby spits up right away, it may look just like milk if baby spits up once he/she has begun to digest it might look curdled and smell slightly sour.
If youre worried about the quantity of baby spit up, youre not alone. Many parents see what looks like a lot of spit up and wonder if their baby is getting enough to eat. You might take comfort in knowing that baby spit up is made up mostly of saliva and gastric juicestheres usually only a small amount of milk in spit up.
Although that puddle can still be off-putting, Dr. Sears estimates that most baby spit up is only about a teaspoon of liquid. To put your mind at ease, he suggests trying this simple experiment: Pour a tablespoon of milk on the countertop and compare the resulting puddle to the stain on your clothes from your babys spit up. Youll likely notice that the puddle on the counter is much larger.
Baby spit up usually dribbles or spurts out of their mouth. Occasionally babys spit up looks forceful, like projectile vomiting. Without other signs of illness, more forceful baby spit up may be a sign of reflux, possibly as a result of food sensitivities or an anatomical issue.