Whether this is your first baby or your third, you’re bound to have feeding questions. Among those common concerns is the subject of baby spit up, so you’re not alone if you’re wondering ‘why does my baby spit up so much?’
So, why do newborns spit up in the first place? And is it normal for babies to spit up? These questions have probably crossed your mind more than once. This article will provide you essential information to help clarify why babies spit up and what you can do to help.
If you have any remaining questions or if your baby is showing other symptoms, be sure to contact your healthcare professional.
Why do babies spit up and how much is normal?
Let’s start by looking at why babies spit up and address the common question of ‘why is my baby spitting up so much?’ Many newborns spit up after feedings or while burping because their digestive tract is not yet fully developed. And there are a few situations in which newborns are more likely to spit up than others.
So, what causes this reflux in babies? Below are a few of the main reasons babies spit up: 1
Your baby has eaten too much
Your baby has fed too fast
You are burping your baby
Your baby has too much air in their belly
Your baby is drooling from an excess of saliva or mucus
So, is it normal for babies to spit up? To put it simply, spitting up after some or even all feedings is perfectly normal for a growing infant. But there are some things to look out for to ensure that your little one doesn’t cross the line between spit up and vomiting. The two are very different and you should consult a doctor if your baby is forcefully vomiting all or most of a feeding.
Consult with a doctor if your baby shows the following symptoms, which your health care professional will help you look out for: 2
Spits up frequently and isn’t growing or gaining the expected amount of weight
Appears to be in pain, crying a lot or arching his or her back
Coughs or has difficulty breathing, which could be a sign of an irritated esophagus
Spits up even when he or she hasn’t eaten anything
Has a fever or diarrhea, which could be a sign that he or she is dehydrated
If your child is only spitting up small amounts of milk after feedings and is continuing to grow at a healthy rate, rest assured that this is very normal and no reason for concern. If you have any questions regarding reflux in babies, check out this article to discover what the symptoms are and how you can deal with it!
What you can do
Now that you know spitting up is perfectly normal and what causes spitting up, you’re probably wondering if there’s anything you can do to help. Once you consult with your child’s doctor and establish that his or her spitting up is in fact normal, there are a few things you can do to help during those messy moments: 1
1. Burp regularly
In addition to burping after feedings, you can try burping your little one between swapping breasts. And when feeding your baby from a bottle, try burping after every one to two ounces. Consider using this anti-colic bottle with AirFree vent, complete with a nipple that stays full even when the bottle is horizontal. This will allow your baby to drink in an upright position, designed to reduce reflux, aid digestion, and make feeding more comfortable for both you and your baby.
As we have already said, one of the reasons babies spit up is because they are being burped. An infant seat can actually make spitting up even more common as they tend to be in a diagonal position, which puts unnecessary pressure on their belly. Instead, try to hold your baby in an upright position after feedings and while burping.
3. Avoid motion after feedings
To help avoid milk from coming back up after a feeding session, it’s best to stay clear of any bouncing, jiggling, or active play until the milk has better settled in your baby’s belly.
4. Keep your baby’s head up while feeding
While you are trying to find the right feeding position that works for you and your baby, try to avoid ones where your baby’s head is dipped down. In other words, ensure that your little one’s head is above his or her feet while feeding.
5. Raise the head of your baby’s mattress
It may be useful to roll up a few towels or blankets and place them under – not on top of – your baby’s crib mattress. Ensure that you only do this at the head and that there is no fold in the middle. There should only be a very slight incline, so as to prevent your baby from slipping down.
It’s only natural
If you ever find yourself asking the question ‘why is my baby spitting up?’, just remember that baby spit up is a perfectly natural – and sometimes messy – part of parenthood. There are different reasons why babies spit up but as long as your child appears content after feeding and is growing at a healthy rate, you should not be concerned. And the truth is, spit ups will probably affect you more than your baby, who may barely even notice.
If you notice any other symptoms or if you feel that your baby is not getting enough milk, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor for help. If your healthcare professional does confirm that your baby’s spit up is normal, all that’s left to do is to have a burping bib at the ready!
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