Tips for Health

Spitting Up in Babies

By on June 23, 2012 in Health with 0 Comments


What happens when my baby spits up?

Babies spit up when they’ve eaten too much or when they have swallowed too much air while feeding. Regurgitation occurs when babies burp. It can also happen when your baby is drooling. Spitting up is not vomiting. Babies usually do not realize when they spit, while vomiting is forceful and painful. Spitting is a common occurrence for most babies until they can take more or less solid food, and usually occurs around 6 months to 1 year of age.

The medical term for “spitting up” is gastroesophageal reflux or reflux. This happens when milk or solid food in the stomach comes back into the esophagus (the tube that connects the stomach to the mouth) of the baby.

What can be done for reflux?

Feed your baby by placing him in an upright position. If you feed your child a bottle, let him burp every three to five minutes. Make sure the holeĀ in the nipple of the bottle is not too large or else the milk will come out too fast. Avoid laying your baby down a feeding or move too much before the food settles in the stomach.

Some babies spit up less if their formula is thickened with rice cereal. Ask your doctor if you can add two to three tablespoons of rice cereal to each ounce of formula. You may have to enlarge the nipple hole a little so the thicker formula will come out easily.

Some babies spit up less if they are given less milk at each feeding, but feed them more often.

Will reflux cause problems for my baby?

Spitting up is messy, but it is a normal occurrence during the first months of your baby. It rarely cause choking, coughing or pain.

However, you should consult your doctor if you notice your baby has these symptoms:

  • Is not gaining weight
  • Regurgitates a lot of milk, more than 1 or 2 tablespoons
  • Spits up or vomits forcefully
  • Fewer wet diapers than normal
  • It looks very tired or lethargic
  • Regurgitated liquid brown or green

Should I take my child to the doctor?

If your baby has any of the symptoms listed above you should see a doctor.


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