Spitting Up problem

Spitting Up problem

Spitting up is pretty common with babies—it’s actually a good sign, since it means your baby is able to 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 if you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, some babies will burp up only a small dab of milk while other will regurgitate a few tablespoons worth or milk.

Spitting up usually peaks around 3 months of age and then gradually goes away after that. In general, 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 of age.

Causes

  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. An excessively hungry baby will over eat – come to think of it, an excessively hungry adult will over eat too!
  2. Drinking too fast: When a baby drinks to fast, he will likely spit up some of his milk too. For bottle fed babies, you can limit the flow of formula (expressed breast milk) by using a nipple with a smaller hole. Make sure that the flow rate is appropriate to what your baby can handle. For breastfed babies, take him off the breast every 5 or 10 minutes. 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 removed these by burping him. Burping will almost always bring up some milk and that’s normal. To decrease the amount of air a baby swallows, do as above: use a smaller hole bottle nipple (bottle feeding), or take him off the breast every now and then to slow down his pace. You can burp him at intervals through out the feeding session so that the air comes up more frequently but in smaller batches.

Other things 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 6 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 really no way to tell how much spitting up is normal—it depends on each individual 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 are just starting out with solids or when they’re transitioning between different types of foods (like moving from purees to finger foods). Spitting up usually peaks around 6 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 than others. 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 also 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 in a comfortable position without choking or vomiting.
  2. Use burping techniques that don’t involve holding them upright (this is really 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. On occasions, your baby may spit up more material: you do not need to worry if it happens only on occasion. It may be that there was a particularly large air bubble swallowed early in the feeding session. Or perhaps, he ate too much and it all came back out.

In contrast, your baby will vomit if he is 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 it is painful and difficult to eject the material back out.
If your baby is spitting up large amounts regularly, or seems to be vomiting all the time, he may have a serious gastro-esophageal condition. Consult your pediatrician as soon as you can.

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