The Ultimate Guide To Baby Spitting Up

The Ultimate Guide To Baby Spitting Up

There’s no way around it: baby spit up is inevitable.

You feed them, they spit up.

You burp them, they spit up.

You play with them (you guessed it), they spit up.

There is nothing you can do but prepare for it and cope!

While you can lessen spit up, you can’t really stop it.

And sometimes, too much spit up is an indicator that your baby needs to be seen by their pediatrician.

If you’re a new parent, read on to learn everything there is to know about spit up!

Is It Normal For Baby To Spit Up?

All babies spit up. It is a totally normal process

Their systems are so fragile and delicate, and things take time to settle down and digest within.

They are learning how to eat, and getting it right can take time.

When your baby drinks from your breast or their bottle, a little air mixes in with what they are swallowing.

This air gets trapped and causes a bit of an upset inside.

That’s when things come back up, and don’t go downward in the path that they should.

5 Reasons Why Babies Spit Up

In addition to swallowing too much air as they drink, here are a few other main reasons why your baby is spitting up. 

  • 1
    They're drinking too much formula. Your baby may have an allergy or a certain brand of formula is simply not agreeing with them!
  • 2
    They get overfilled. Babies need a lot of nourishment, but sometimes, they just take in way too much milk. And, when there’s no more room to “store” it, it comes back up.
  • 3
    Your baby's muscled are under-developed. For many babies who spit up a lot, this is generally the case. The muscles at the base of their esophagus aren’t mature enough yet to keep all their food down, and things come right back up and out. They generally catch up to where they need to be with time, but for some babies, additional medical attention is necessary. 
  • 4
    They're drinking from the wrong bottle. Some bottles aren’t designed in the best way. Look for a bottle that boasts a vented design, or use disposable bags to cut down on the amount of air that gets trapped in your bottle when mixing it up or when dispensing it.
  • 5
    They get overexcited. When a baby sees a breast or bottle, they get pretty worked up. Often times they cry to let you know they are hungry, and by the time you get ready to feed them, they have already sucked in a bunch of air. If you’re also feeding them in a high traffic, noisy area, they won't be able to concentrate and won’t have a soothing dining experience. This can lead to digestive upset. 

8 Tips For Minimizing Baby Spit Up

Baby spit up cannot be stopped, but it can be minimized.

Here are some tips that have really helped!

  • Don't rough play after feeding. Babies are so darn cute, it’s pretty tempting to always want to bounce them on your knee, squeeze them, and toss them in the air. But this will make their meals come right up, and ruin your outfit, their outfit, or your couch.
  • Burp during a feeding, not just after. I’ve found that when you burp your baby as they feed and not wait until after, they spit up far less! It helps them get the air out gradually and is easier on their system during the digestive process.
  • Don't place them down after a feeding. Keep your baby off their back right after a feeding. It helps them stabilize their digestion and keeps spit up at bay.
  • Feed upright. Try not to lean your baby back too far when they eat. When you hold them in an upright position, you’ll notice your baby will spit up less. This helps their milk go down smoothly and steadily. It also reduces air bubbles and gas from forming.
  • Choose the right flow. If you are bottle feeding, pay attention to the way your baby sucks from their nipple. Nipples boast various flows. If the milk comes out too fast, it will come back up, pronto. If the milk comes out too slow, your baby could suck in too much air, which upsets their stomach and makes air bubbles form, which as a result, makes them spit up.
  • Dress them in loose clothing. If your baby’s clothes are too tight, it could irritate their stomach and cause them distress, which can lead to spit up episodes. 
  • Pay attention to amounts. If you overfeed your baby, they will spit up. Try cutting back the amount of milk you give them, ever so slightly to see if it makes a difference. Also, pay attention to your baby’s feeding cues. If they push the breast or bottle away from them, if they doze off, or slow down in a major way, they are finished.
  • Watch what you eat. If you notice your baby is spitting up more than normal (or more than you think they should), start to jot down what you’re eating. You may be consuming something that irritates their tummy, or that they may even be allergic to (like cow’s milk).

When Will Baby Stop Spitting Up?

Your baby will stop spitting up around six or seven months old

But, others may take longer.

Some don’t stop spitting up closer to the age of one.

It all depends on your baby’s developmental stage.

Generally, once they can  sit up on their own, and starts to consume solid foods, spitting up subsides.

When Should You Call Your Doctor?

I know all about calling the doctor about spit up.

My son started having spit up episodes that looked like scenes from The Exorcist.

When your baby projectile vomits (which isn’t just a little spit up) randomly or right after (or sometimes during eating), something else is up with their system.

You should also call if you think their spit up is causing them to cry out in pain, not want to eat, or is interrupting their sleep.

My son had acid reflux and had to go on meds.

Your baby might have to as well if their patterns are interrupted or if they aren’t gaining any weight (often times, your baby will lose weight if they spit up too much).

Wrapping Up

The sooner you embrace spit up, the happier you’ll be.

The good news is that it doesn’t last forever.

And, you can minimize the amount that you come in contact with, which is great news for everyone.

Consider some of the tips above to help combat this predicament and watch out for major warning signs too!

Kate Trout

Hi there, I'm Kate! I started Maternity Glow to be a place for new and expecting moms to come to for practical pregnancy advice, parenting tips, and baby care tricks.

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