Why Newborn Spit Up Milk

Reasons Why Your Breastfed Baby Is Spitting Up

Why Do Babies Spit Up So Much?

by happymomblogger | Nov 10, 2018 | Babies and Toddlers |

My first two babies spat up A LOT! In the early days, I was most comfortable breastfeeding in my bed and when the baby would spit up, we would get spit up all over the bedsheets! This meant that we were changing the bedsheets VERY often! But the worst part was, our washing machine would break just after I had the baby! That really sucked! Our laundry would pile up into a huge mountain until the new washing machine arrived. They dont make washing machines like they used to! They just seem to break down so fast these days! Anyways, because the constant spitting up was becoming such a problem, I had to research why it was happening so frequently. Here are 4 reasons why your breastfed baby is spitting up! This post contains affiliate links.

Why Do Babies Spit Up

There is a muscle ring between the stomach and the esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter . In babies, this muscle is not as developed as it is in adults and older children, resulting in frequent spitting up of stomach contents. Some babies spit up more than others, and it is important to remember that baby’s stomachs are very small and can become full quickly.

Parents often think that their babies are spitting up more than they actually are. A puddle of spit-up or a large spit-up stain can look like a lot of liquid, but it is important to consider how much liquid spreads. Imagine spilling just a tablespoon of water on a table. It would look like a lot more liquid than it actually is.


When Do Babies Stop Spitting Up

In general, spitting-up peaks at around 4 months and then stops at some point between 6 months and 12 months of age. Most babies more or less stop spitting up when they have become strong enough to sit up without support.

Unless there are specific underlying problems, you can say that generally, when babies can tolerate the amount of milk that they ingested, they dont spit up anymore. So an infant that turns away from the breast or feeding bottle on his own will not spit up, taking into consideration that they are burped and held in an upright position for 30 minutes or so right after feeding.

Also Check: How Can A Newborn Sleep At Night

Breast Milk Vs Formula

Some babies tend to spit up after feeding breast milk but easily digest the formula milk. Although formula milk is manufactured to match the nutrient levels of breastmilk, both are different.

Below mentioned is some basic comparison between breast milk and formula milk.

Breast milk
Breast milk changes its nutrients as per the needs and requirements of the baby. Formula milk has a consistent taste and nutrients.
Breast milk is differentiated into foremilk and hindmilk. Formula milk has the same consistency throughout the feed.
Babies have to suck the milk from the breast actively. Depending on the nipple flow rate, it is comparatively easy to drink milk from the bottle.
Breast milk contains traces of what the mother eats. Formula milk is free of such changes.
Breast milk always is at the right temperature. Making formula milk requires great precautions.

These are the primary differences between formula and breast milk. You should be fully aware of these dissimilarities because these have an impact on the spit up behaviour of babies.

Now that you have gone through the difference between spit-up and vomit and the dissimilarities between breast milk and formula milk, we will now move towards all the possible reasons for spitting up breast milk but not the formula.

Baby Spit Up Vs Vomit: How Can You Tell The Difference


Spitting up and vomiting might seem similar. Theyre both messy, and both involve your babys stomach contents ending up on your clothing.

But unlike spit up, vomit is forceful . It is also caused by a virus, bacteria, food poisoning or some other kind of specific health issue. Sometimes, vomit can be green or red . Other causes of baby vomit might be motion sickness, certain prescription medications, or disturbing sights or sounds.

In rare cases, true vomiting might indicate that your baby has something called pyloric stenosis, which is when a muscle in the stomach thickens, preventing food from moving to the small intestine. This can cause projectile vomiting and dehydration, and needs to be treated immediately. Symptoms typically start when baby is between 2 weeks and 2 months old.

Read Also: Can A Newborn Sleep In A Swing

What Causes Spitting Up In Babies

When we eat or drink, food passes down the feeding tube or esophagus and into the stomach. In the stomach, the food mixes with acids and passes slowly into the intestines for further digestion.

A valve between the esophagus and the stomach helps prevent food from coming back up and out of the stomach. In infants, this valve is not well developed and can more easily allow food to go back up the feeding tube and cause spitting up. Because the infant’s stomach is small, feeding too much or swallowing too much air can help push food past the valve. As the infant grows and the valve develops, food is less likely to pass this valve and travel up the esophagus. Also, as the infant begins to take solid foods, the spitting up usually decreases.

At What Age Does Baby Spit Up Stop

Infants are likely to spit up until they can sit up on their own, which usually occurs around the age of 7-months.

However, many children tend to have fewer occurrences of spit up when they reach 12 months/one year of age, around the same time in their life that theyre introduced to solid food at home.

If your babys conditions around yellow spit up dont improve after this period of time, the FINAL option is to consult your pediatrician/doctor.

Recommended Reading: What Do Newborn Babies Wear

The Aftershocks *scrub Scrub*

So, I have addressed the two questions and now come the Sigh part! I’m glad you are hanging on this tight to know more about how to clean in an effective way – which I normally refer to as the aftershocks of a baby vomit!

In this section I am going to give you few handy tips which are very effective – tried and tested for generations…err, by that I mean my mom passed ’em on to me! -)

  • Clean the affected carpet, sofa or mattress immediately. The longer the vomit sits on it, the more will it soak into the fibers and hence would be more difficult to remove.
  • Cover the affected area with baking soda or corn starch. Either of these will soak up the excess moisture. Allow them 10-15 minutes to soak to their fullest capacity. Then vacuum away the baking soda .
  • Whatever washing liquid or powder you use, make sure you finish the cleaning with a wipe of vinegar. It is an excellent antibacterial agent that makes the smell go away too. Alternately, you can always go for Dettol or any other antiseptic and disinfectant.
  • Don’t throw away used toothbrushes and old T-shirts as in vomiting crisis, you can always use them to scrub, clean and can then throw ’em away!
  • What you can do to avoid some types of baby vomiting is to make sure you take extra care of your baby’s hygiene, and always burp after every feed. Furthermore, if you swaddle your newborn, make sure it’s not too tight – same goes for his clothes.

    A healthy baby is a happy baby and a happy baby is a happy you!

    Baby Getting Too Much Milk Too Fast

    Why Baby Vomit? Newborn Spit Up Curdled Milk | Baby keeps throwing up

    When the baby gets too much milk too fast, she will spit up. Sometimes, especially in the early days, our breasts can become so full that when the milk comes out, its quite forceful. Your baby will then receive a lot of milk all at once and sometimes, she will choke on it. To combat this, you can let the initial spray come out first and then offer baby the breast. That way the baby is not choking on it. Then, you can lean back so that the milk doesnt pool in the back of the mouth. You can also sit the baby in a more upright position.

    Also Check: How Often Should You Give A Newborn A Bath

    What Is Breast Milk Oversupply

    Breast milk oversupply is also known as hyperlactation or hypergalactia. Breast milk oversupply occurs when the breasts produce more milk than is required for the normal growth of the breastfeeding infant.

    During the first few weeks of breastfeeding, its normal to experience an overabundant supply of breast milk. If you have oversupply, that abundance continues beyond those initial weeks.

    People with oversupply usually notice that their baby coughs and chokes during feedings. Babies also tend to bob on and off the breast as they struggle to nurse and breathe. They may clamp down or bite while breastfeeding to try to stop the forceful flow.

    Reasons For Excessive Spitting Up Of Curdled Milk In Babies

    Here are a few possible reasons for excessive spitting up of curdled milk:

    1. Lactose Intolerance

    Lactose intolerance is a common condition for infants. You can shift your formulas to low lactose content milk or lactose-free formulas. Sometimes, they can outgrow this, others may not.

    You can try a low lactose formula, which can help your baby if he is lactose intolerant.

    2. Cows Milk Allergy

    Cows milk allergy is a common childhood allergy. It occurs in 7% of babies less than 1-year-old but often resolves by 5 years old.

    It can lead to an immediate-type or a delayed-type of reaction when cows milk is consumed. For the immediate type of CMA, the infant experiences symptoms right after the introduction of the cows milk, while for the delayed type of reaction, the symptoms can be seen after several hours or days after the introduction of CM. The baby may experience one or more symptoms:

  • rashes on face or eyelids
  • swelling of the face, lips, or around the eyes
  • vomiting, abdominal colic, diarrhea, stomachache
  • nasal congestion or runny nose
  • more severe symptoms include: wheezing or difficulty in breathing, swelling of the throat
  • For a baby with cows milk allergy, a type of formula that may work are hydrolysate formula, which is hypoallergenic.

    Remember that it is entirely possible to continue breastfeeding a baby who is allergic to cows milk! All you have to do is to eliminate cows milk from your own diet.

    3. Acid reflux

    4. Feeding position and swallowing of air

    Don’t Miss: How To Take Newborn Pictures

    How To Reduce Spitting Up

    Here are a few tips to help prevent your baby from spitting up their milk:

    • Always feed your baby while they are upright, and keep them upright for at least 20 minutes after feeding.
    • Avoid overfeeding the baby, and give them enough time to digest before feeding them again.
    • Feed your baby in a calm and quiet environment.
    • To manage forceful letdown, express before feeding to reduce milk.
    • Switch up breastfeeding positions to find the most comfortable position for the baby.
    • Use inserts on the babys feeding bottle.
    • Consult your pediatrician about adding rice cereal to your babys formula. It thickens the formula.

    Burping Is Very Important *burp*

    Why Do Newborn Babies Spit Up Milk?

    Ask any new parent about their favorite sound and the answer would be a burp!


    A newborn burping sound is no doubt one of the most satisfying sounds a mother would want to hear. And is rightly so. A burp is considered a blessing as it ensures the mother that the milk your newborn just took won’t come out.

    So, your newborn may have vomited because she was not burped after the feeding. Even if minimal amount of air is swallowed by your newborn, correct burping techniques can be used to help remove such pockets of air. This helps to keep the milk inside your newborns stomach. Parents and caregivers should regularly burp their babies and once this action becomes a habit, the chances of vomiting after feeding can be greatly reduced.

    Recommended Reading: How To Make Newborn Hair Grow

    Why Is My Newborn Spitting Up Breast Milk

  • 1. Getting More Foremilk

  • Breast milk varies in consistency and composition from the beginning of the feed to the end. Initially, as the baby first latches on, the milk is watery and full of lactose. Later on in the feed, the milk is thicker and more nutritious. As the baby feeds, the fat content of the breast milk increases. It is possible that the baby spits up because she is getting more foremilk than hind milk. This can happen if the mother waits too long between feeds and the levels of foremilk increase in the breasts.
  • 2. Feeding too Fast

  • It can happen because the baby has been fed too fast. Babies’ tummies are small and fill up quickly. When the mother’s milk is being let down too quickly, the baby needs to be burped almost every 5 minutes to get rid of any trapped air.
  • 3. Immature Digestive System

  • Newborn spitting up breast milk may happen when the esophageal sphincter doesn’t close up after the tummy fills up. This is due to the immature digestive system of the baby and will resolve after four-month-old.
  • 4. GERD

  • The baby has a condition called gastro-esophageal reflux disease which is the continuous spitting up of the acidic stomach contents, leading to heartburn in the baby.
  • 5. Pyloric Stenosis

  • 6. Allergic Reaction

  • The baby is experiencing an allergic reaction to the presence of wheat or dairy in the mother’s breast milk. The baby will also have other symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal bloating, excessive passing of gas, a rash around the anus.
  • 7. Baby Being Fussy

  • Your Baby Might Be Suffering From Some Other Illness

    A fifth reason for vomiting is due to illness or some other case of stress that your baby might be experiencing. If your baby has a fever or is suffering from another illness, vomiting may be the way that your babys body protests and tries to regulate itself. In many cases, vomiting may not continue after a day.

    However, if vomiting does continue and seems to be having an adverse effect on your baby, you should seek medical attention immediately. In case of babies that are six months plus, apart from medicines there are specific items and foods that your doctor may prescribe that you give your baby after vomiting episodes such as fluids, bananas and yogurt.

    Baby vomiting also takes place in case of colic when your newborn cries till she vomits out all the milk she has taken in. For more information on colic, read our article on newborn colic here. Whatever the reason is for baby vomiting, make sure you keep her well-hydrated to retain the useful electrolytes in her body.

    Read Also: What Shot Do You Need To Be Around A Newborn

    Related Posts

    Popular Articles