Problem With Spitting Up – How to Solve It?

Spitting up is pretty familiar with babies—it’s a good sign since it means your baby can digest breast milk or formula. But it can still be pretty frustrating when you’ve got a spit-up-covered shirt at the end of the day (and we don’t blame you); regardless of whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, some babies will burp up only a tiny dab of milk, while others will regurgitate a few tablespoons worth of milk.

Spitting up usually peaks around three months of age and then gradually disappears. Babies spit up less often as they get older and their digestive system matures. Most babies will learn to keep their food down by the time they learn to sit upright – other babies may continue to spit beyond a year.

Spitting up - breastfeeding

What Can Cause Spitting-Up?

  1. Drinking too much: When a baby drinks more milk than his stomach can hold, this milk will come back out. You should avoid over-feeding your baby by feeding him before he is overly hungry. A starving baby will overeat – come to think of it, an excessively hungry adult will overeat, too!
  2. Drinking too fast: When a baby drinks too fast, he will likely spit up some of his milk. For bottle-fed babies, you can limit the flow of formula (expressed breast milk) by using a nipple with a smaller hole. Ensure the flow rate is appropriate to what your baby can handle. Take him off the breast every 5 or 10 minutes for breastfed babies. This will allow him to take a breather instead of gulping.
  3. Swallowing too much air: When a baby drinks milk or formula, he will swallow some air bubbles. Help him remove these by burping him. Burping will almost always bring up some milk, and that’s normal. To decrease the air a baby swallows, do as above: use a smaller hole bottle nipple (bottle feeding) or take him off the breast now and then to slow down his pace. You can burp him at intervals throughout the feeding session so that the air rises more frequently but in smaller batches.

Another thing you can try to minimize spit-up is to keep your baby upright or semi-reclined when he eats; that way, gravity will help guide the milk down to his stomach. Provide a soothing, calm environment and avoid excitability during feeding sessions. And lastly, avoid jostling and jiggling him after eating. Allow the food to settle before active play.

Spitting up - breastfeeding

How much spitting up is normal?

Spitting up happens when your baby’s immature digestive system isn’t ready to handle solid foods. The good news is that it usually peaks at around six months old and then starts to taper off as you introduce more solids. If your baby is spitting up more than usual, they may have a sensitive stomach or reflux. If you notice that they’re consistently spitting up more than an ounce or two, keep track of the time they usually spit up, and contact your pediatrician if it happens too early or too often in one day.

The amount of spitting up varies widely from baby to baby. Some spit up more than others, but there’s no way to tell how much spitting up is normal—it depends on each baby and what works for them. It also varies based on how long they’ve been eating solid foods—spitting up happens more often when babies start with solids or transition between different types of foods (like moving from purees to finger foods). Spitting up usually peaks around six months old and then lessens as time goes on.

How you can help your kid

The fact is that every baby spits up differently, and every parent handles it differently. Some spit up more than others, and some babies are more likely to get reflux or colic. But here are some things you can do to help your baby if they’re spitting up too much:

  1. Roll over onto their side after feeding. You can prop their head on something soft like a folded washcloth or pillowcase. This will help keep the milk down longer and allow them to sleep comfortably without choking or vomiting.
  2. Use burping techniques that don’t involve holding them upright (this is important!). Try patting their back gently or using an anti-colic device {}. These devices help prevent air from getting trapped in the stomach, which can lead to gas pains and discomfort for your little one!

Compare Vomiting and Spitting Up

Spiting up should be painless for Baby; it is nothing to worry about except, perhaps, for the mess. Occasionally, your baby may spit up more material; you do not need to worry if it happens only occasionally. There may be a giant air bubble swallowed early in the feeding session. Or perhaps he overate, and it all came back out.

In contrast, your baby will vomit if sick or has eaten something disagreeable. The difference between vomiting and spitting up is that vomiting causes discomfort. The baby is actively rejecting (emptying) the food from his stomach. After spit up, a baby will look normal and happy. After vomiting, a baby will cry and fuss because returning the material is painful and challenging.

If your baby spits up large amounts regularly or constantly vomiting, he may have a severe gastro-esophageal condition. Consult your pediatrician as soon as you can.

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