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What to Do When Baby Keeps Spitting Up

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Analyzing why people do the things they do and how those things affect others is one of my favorite pastimes. I enjoy finding solutions.


Is it Normal for Infants or Babies to Spit Up?

Most babies spit up. It's natural. Their bodies react to the new ingredients and texture of their food, as well as, the air they consume while feeding. In most cases, there's no need for alarm. Making a few adjustments to the position the baby is in while feeding, the burping technique used, the bottles or nipples (if bottle-fed), or the baby's movement during and immediately after feeding may help minimize the problem.

In some cases, a medical condition or allergies may cause the baby to spit up excessively. Since Mom and baby usually get released from the hospital within a day or two, it's mainly up to the parents to pay attention to how the baby adjusts to their new environment, new food, and their new way of consuming it.Talk to the child's pediatrician about any concerns you have. They rely on your input to know what to look for.

Common Mistakes People Make that Cause Babies to Spit Up

  • Use of bottles that retain air (Bottles with disposable bags work well as the air can be squeezed out before feeding.)
  • Use of nipples with holes that are too small or too large. (The formula should come out in a steady, even flow. Check nipples after washing as the heat in dishwashers and sterilizers often shrink the hole).
  • Propping bottle up while baby is lying down (Holding the baby with head alongside or slightly above your chest/breast with the baby's body slightly curved and below the head allows the formula to flow more naturally. Lying flat while drinking milk would make most people throw up.)
  • Not burping enough (Up until baby is 4 weeks old attempt to burp baby after consuming 1 ounce of formula or breast-milk. Thereafter, attempt to add an ounce between burping every month or so.
  • Pounding on baby's back or otherwise burping improperly (Who wouldn't puke if somebody banged on their back after they drank milk? Instead, gently place the palm of your hand in the center of baby's back and rub straight upward to top of shoulder blades, then place hand at center of back and rub in a circular motion around the outside of center, repeat a few times. If burping over shoulder, make sure airways are not blocked.)
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  • Bouncing baby or moving baby around during or after feeding Give the baby at least a half hour to digest food. An adult would probably regurgitate their milk too if after consuming it they immediately went on a roller coaster.

Sippy Cups

Thoroughly clean sippy cups especially inside the cap and keep track of them so their contents don't spoil.

Thoroughly clean sippy cups especially inside the cap and keep track of them so their contents don't spoil.

Consult a Pediatrician if Necessary

Following the above suggestions should minimize the amount and frequency of baby spitting up. In addition, babies are often less gassy when less air is consumed. However, if there is no change, the cause could be as simple as an allergy or intolerance to the formula or breast-milk. The baby's pediatrician may suggest a change if weight gain is low.

Common Conditions that May Cause Infants to Regurgitate

One common medical condition that could cause the baby to spit up is called thrush. It often resembles caked on formula most noticeable on the insides of babies cheeks and on their tongue, and gums. To learn more about thrush, Medical News Today gives a thorough explanation of what causes it, what signs to look for, the difficulties it could cause, and how it is treated. In addition, Mayo Clinic offers more signs to look for if you suspect a medical condition might be the cause of your baby spitting up. Another ailment that some babies are born with is an extra piece of tissue connecting their upper or lower lip to their gum line. This could also cause the baby to spit out their formula or breast-milk. Let the pediatrician know if you suspect this may be the cause.


H Lax (author) on September 06, 2018:

Moonlake, I'm glad your uncle suggested an allergy could be the cause. That's probably the most common reason for excessive regurgitation in babies. I'm surprised the hospital/pediatrician didn't suggest you try a different formula before you left with him but it may be that they thought he needed more time to get accustomed to drinking it. Moms and babies are released so quickly now they really have to depend on the moms to watch closely for how the baby adjusts to their new environment.

moonlake from America on September 06, 2018:

Our youngest son spit up so much they worried about him at the hospital. Told me to take him home it would get better. It didn’t get better, we tried everything. My uncle suggested he might be allergic to his milk.

That’s exactly what was wrong. Doctor listen to me when I suggested it. When his formula was changed he got so much better.

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