Chunky spit up in breastfed baby: The request could not be satisfied
How to Tell When Baby Spit Up is a Medical Concern
Prepared parents know that newborn spit up is normal. They’ll expect the occasional damp shoulder when burping. So, with a few strategically placed burp-cloths and some desensitization, baby spit up becomes manageable enough to feel like a non-issue. That is, until there’s too much spit-up. And that’s when it become necessary to find out how much spit up is normal— a task best accomplished by looking at frequency and force.
“Some amount of spit up is normal,” explains Dr. Natalie Muth, spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics and co-author of the Picky Eater Project: 6 Weeks to Happier, Healthier Family Mealtimes. And the reason it’s normal has everything to do with the fact that babies are still developing outside the womb. Not all of their parts are working as well as they will when they’re just a few months older.
How to Tell When Baby Spitting Up a Lot is a Medical Concern
- Consider frequency. Spit up after every feeding is abnormal.
- Look at the force of the spit-up. Projectile vomiting isn’t the same as spit-up.
- Understand that when spit-up is clustered with other symptoms, like colic or lack of weight gain, there could be a medical problem.
- Reach out to a pediatrician if you are ever in doubt of whether spit-up is a concern.
“Spit up is due to infants having a floppy sphincter that separates the esophagus from the stomach,” Muth explains. “A little bit of crying, gravity, or a too-full stomach can cause the floppy sphincter to open up and the partially-digested breast milk or formula to come up from stomach to the esophagus and out the mouth, rather than the direction it is supposed to go.” Specifically, the other direction.
Interestingly, and contrary to popular belief. It doesn’t appear that formula necessarily increases the amount a baby will spit up, given the correct parental portion control. While it is true that breastmilk does digest faster than formula, allowing the kid to move it through their system more efficiently, babies will still likely spit up with breast or bottle both. In fact, more than two-thirds of babies spit up regularly, according to Muth.
And that’s why a distinction should be made between the fairly normal spit-up and straight ahead vomiting. “Spitting up is more like some of the food is regurgitated or ‘burped up’ whereas vomiting is usually more forceful,” Muth explains. “And when ‘spit up’ is actually projectile vomiting after most, if not all, feeds then it is very important that the baby is seen by a pediatrician.” That because the problem may be something more profound than a floppy sphincter and instead may be indicative of a larger problem.
RELATED: How to Tell the Difference Between Spit-Up and Vomit
The warning signs of a larger problem are compounded when forceful, projectile-vomiting style spitting-up is clustered with other symptoms. When combined with low weight, refusal to feed, prolonged crying or colic, spitting-up may indicate an issue that requires some professional attention.
“Projectile vomiting can indicate something called pyloric stenosis which is when a muscle (the pylorus) is so large that food cannot pass from the stomach to the small intestines,” says Muth. “This typically affects babies around 3-6 weeks old and is an emergency.” But it is not the only concerning condition.
Frequent projectile vomiting or forceful spit-up at every feed could also indicate an infection and lead to dehydration. Those signs, along with a failure to gain weight, could also be linked to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is not linked to normal spit up. Additionally, blood in the spit-up could indicate esophageal damage.
MORE: Scientific Data Shows Burping Your Baby Isn’t Helping
That said, most spit-up will be typical and can be controlled in part, with some good parental, after-feeding behavior. “Parents can help decrease spit up by feeding the baby smaller amounts of food more frequently, keeping the baby upright for 20-30 minutes after feeds, and being sure to burp the baby with every feed,” explains Muth, but adds this caution: “Parents should not position babies to sleep with a wedge or raised up as this increases risk for SIDS. ”
Happily, for most babies, spit-up will subside as they get older and are introduced to complementary foods. This inevitably allows parents to turn all those burpees into perfect dust rags. Still, Muth stresses, before that happens, if parents are ever concerned about the frequency and amount of spit up, there is one thing for them to do: “Consult the babies pediatrician to assess further.”
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Baby spit up: Should I worry? We have some tips
Your baby is spitting up? Join the club! Most babies spit up. In fact, mild reflux occurs in at least 50 percent of infants and usually doesn’t cause them any discomfort, stress or complications. Reflux improves with age. Many babies get better once they learn to sit well.
Need a pediatrician? Find a Sanford doctor near you
What defines “normal” spit up?
Involuntary spit up (reflux) consists of approximately one or two mouthfuls of stomach contents. “Wet burps” happen when a smaller amount of spit up accompanies the burp. Larger spit ups may occur if the baby is overfed.
When is spit up most common?
It begins in the first few weeks after birth and may continue up to about 1 year old. It usually occurs during or shortly after feedings.
What can I do to decrease my baby’s spit up?
- Give your baby smaller amounts per feeding (provided baby is over 1 month old). Filling baby’s stomach to capacity makes spitting up worse. It takes two or more hours for the stomach to empty.
- Breastfeeding moms can try nursing on one side per feeding and pumping the other side. Extend the times between feedings to at least two hours.
- Bottle-feeding moms can give baby one ounce less per feeding and keep the total time to less than 20 minutes. Wait at least 2 1/2 hours between feedings
- Burp baby two or three times during each feeding. Try not to interrupt the baby’s rhythm but wait until he or she looks around or pauses during feeding and then burp baby. If no burp occurs within one minute, stop. Some babies don’t need to burp often.
- After feeding, hold your baby in an upright or vertical position for 15 to 30 minutes. If you can’t hold baby upright that long, use a front-pack, infant seat, swing or jump seat, depending on your baby’s age and ability.
- Reduce sucking time. Using a pacifier constantly can fill the stomach with swallowed air. Likewise, a bottle with a nipple hole that is too small can do the same. When held upside down, formula in the bottle should drip out at a rate of one drop per second. If it doesn’t, clean out the nipple and/or enlarge the hole.
- Avoid making diapers too tight because this adds pressure on the stomach.
- Avoid playing vigorously with your baby immediately after meals.
When is spit up of concern?
Serious complications related to spit up occur in less than 1 percent of infants. Talk to your doctor if your baby seems to be choking when spitting up milk. If your baby cries frequently and is often unhappy and/or seems to be in constant discomfort, talk to your doctor. This can be evidence of heartburn from acid on the lower esophagus. If your baby isn’t gaining weight, it’s also possible that the valve on the stomach’s upper end isn’t closing properly
What is the difference between spit up and vomit?
If your baby appears to have no discomfort, no diarrhea and is generally happy, hungry and looks good, he or she just has reflux. If your baby’s spit up is forceful or projectile and your baby is uncomfortable when it happens, vomiting is the likely answer. If your baby looks or acts sick, he or she is vomiting.
Call your doctor if:
- Your child is under 1 month old, looks or acts abnormal in any way and/or vomits.
- Your baby looks or acts very sick.
- You see blood in the spit up.
- There is bile (bright yellow or green) in the spit up.
- Your baby isn’t gaining weight, has frequent unexplained fussiness or is spitting up more and more.
- You can’t tell if your child is spitting up or vomiting.
- You are worried and think your child needs to be evaluated.
- Your baby isn’t improving or becomes worse even when you have implemented changes to decrease the spitting up.
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Why Does My Baby Spit Up Curdled Milk? Reasons & Solutions
If a baby throws up a few hours after eating, the milk will be curdled. It is discomforting for babies, so this is what parents can do to help.
Spitting up is different from vomiting. When your baby spits up, it is more natural and fluid; they might not even notice that they did it. Vomiting, on the other hand, is forceful and might hurt the baby. A lot of baby issues are due to their undeveloped systems. Should you be worried about your baby spitting up? Keep reading to find out why your baby spits up curdled milk and what you can do about it.
Why Does My Baby Spit Up?
Infants are bound to spit up once in a while, and it is normal. It happens because their digestive system is not fully developed. There is a valve between the esophagus (food pipe) and stomach that prevents food from travelling back up the esophagus once swallowed. It is called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). If this valve fails to close properly, food escapes the stomach into the esophagus, and that’s how your baby spits up.
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What Does My Baby Spit Up Curdled Milk?
If the baby spits up immediately after feeding, it will likely be regular milk or formula. If they spit up a few hours after feeding, it will be curdled milk (chunky and separated). It is due to the action of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) and enzymes (rennin) on the milk. They curdle the milk as part of digestion.
What Causes My Baby To Spit Up Curdled Milk?
Again, the fact that their digestive system is not fully developed is a major reason why infants spit up curdled milk. Their stomach is smaller, and the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is underdeveloped. The only solution to this is time. Expect your baby to keep spitting up until after six months when the lower esophageal sphincter matures. Most babies outgrow spitting up by their first birthday.
Some babies also spit up because they are sensitive to milk protein, cow’s milk, or the formula. Allergic reactions usually accompany other symptoms like diarrhea or rashes. A pediatrician will help you figure the allergen. The only solution to intolerance is to switch formula or avoid drinking cow’s milk.
RELATED: 15 Essential Burping Baby Tips All Parents Need To Know
The baby’s small stomach cannot hold excess food. When the stomach is too full, the milk escapes into the esophagus and comes out as spit-up. You should stop feeding the baby as soon as they are full.
Swallowing Air When Feeding
Bottle-fed babies are very likely to swallow air as they feed. Breastfed babies also swallow air, especially if the milk is coming out fast and hard. If the baby’s tummy becomes swollen and hard after feeding, they have a gas problem. Burping helps to relieve gas. Hold your baby upright, then gently rub or pat their back as you move upwards. This should push any trapped air out.
Newborns commonly suffer acid reflux because of the undeveloped LES. Food that is mixed with stomach acid comes up the esophagus. It might hurt the baby. If the baby cries when spitting up, it could be acid reflux. As the LES develops, acid reflux reduces and ends by the time the child is 12 months old. If it continues after 12 months, your child needs to see a doctor who will test for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
To relieve acid reflux, avoid overfeeding the baby, feed them while they are upright, and avoid eating spicy or fatty foods. Your pediatrician may prescribe medication like Ranitidine to relieve acid reflux.
This is a rare and serious condition that affects 3 in 1,000 American babies below five weeks old. The muscles in the stomach’s outlet enlarge, narrowing the outlet, such that food does not pass to the intestines. A baby with pyloric stenosis constipates, loses weight, vomits severely, and requires immediate medical attention.
How To Reduce Spitting Up
Here are a few tips to help prevent your baby from spitting up their milk:
- Always feed your baby while they are upright, and keep them upright for at least 20 minutes after feeding.
- Avoid overfeeding the baby, and give them enough time to digest before feeding them again.
- Feed your baby in a calm and quiet environment.
- Burp your baby after every feeding.
- To manage forceful letdown, express before feeding to reduce milk.
- Switch up breastfeeding positions to find the most comfortable position for the baby.
- Use inserts on the baby’s feeding bottle.
- Consult your pediatrician about adding rice cereal to your baby’s formula. It thickens the formula.
When Should I Be Concerned About Baby Spit Up?
If you notice the following in your baby, consult your pediatrician.
- They spit up too much.
- Losing weight.
- Dehydration: less peeing, sunken fontanelle, no tears.
- Extreme irritability and fussiness.
- Difficulty in breathing.
NEXT: What Baby’s Spit-Up Means: 15 Things All New Moms Need To Know
Sources: healthline, verywellfamily, hellomotherhood
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Karen is a momma that loves to write. She has been on writing on pregnancy, parenting, motherhood, and the realities of raising babies for the past four years. She’s worked with Woman Junction, BabyGaga, The Talko, The Things, as well as other sites. For inquiries, please email [email protected]
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Spitting up in babies: What’s normal
Why does my baby spit up so much?
He’s probably just getting the hang of feeding. And he’s not alone: Almost half of young babies spit up regularly. The peak age for spitting up – also known as reflux – is 4 months.
When your baby swallows air along with his breast milk or formula, the air gets trapped in with the liquid. The air has to come up, and when it does, some of the liquid comes up too, through his mouth or nose.
Babies take in a lot of nourishment in relation to their size, and some of them really like to eat, so sometimes they become overfilled and, well, overflow.
A newborn’s digestive system isn’t fully developed, either. The muscles at the bottom of your baby’s esophagus, which control whether food is coming or going, may still be getting up to speed. It’s no wonder he creates so much laundry.
Is there anything I can do about it?
Try these tips to help your baby keep his food down:
- Hold your baby in a fairly upright position when you feed him. Feeding him while he’s slouched (sitting in a car seat, for example) doesn’t give the formula or breast milk a straight path to his tummy.
- Keep feedings calm. Minimize noise and other distractions, and try not to let your baby get too hungry before you start feeding him. If he’s distracted or frantic, he’s more likely to swallow air along with his breast milk or formula.
- Check the bottle nipple. If your baby’s drinking formula or pumped breast milk from a bottle, make sure the hole in the nipple isn’t too small, which will frustrate him and make him swallow air. On the other hand, if the hole’s too large, he’ll be gagging and gulping because the fluid will come at him too quickly. Read our advice on choosing nipples and bottles.
- Burp your baby often. If he takes a natural pause during a feeding, take the opportunity to burp him before giving him more food. That way, if there’s any air, it’ll come up before even more food is layered on top of it. If you don’t get a burp within a few minutes, don’t worry. He probably doesn’t need to burp just then. Burp him after each feeding, too.
- Keep the pressure off his tummy. Make sure your baby’s clothing and diaper aren’t too tight, and don’t put his tummy over your shoulder when you burp him. Try to avoid car trips right after feedings, because reclining in a car seat can put pressure on your baby’s stomach, too.
- Limit activity after feedings. Don’t jostle your baby too much after he eats, and try to keep him in an upright position for half an hour or so. This way he’ll have gravity on his side.
- Don’t overfeed him. If your baby seems to spit up quite a bit after every feeding, he may be getting too much to eat. You might try giving him just a bit less formula or breastfeeding him for a slightly shorter time, and see whether he’s satisfied. (He may be willing to take less formula or breast milk at a feeding but want to eat more frequently.)
- Check his formula. Ask the doctor if your baby might have an intolerance to milk protein or soy protein that’s causing him to spit up. She may suggest trying a hydrolyzed (hypoallergenic) formula for a week or two.
When will my baby stop spitting up?
As your baby’s muscles develop and get stronger, he’ll be able to keep food in his belly. Most babies stop spitting up by around 6 or 7 months of age, or once they learn to sit up on their own, but a few will continue until their first birthday.
How can I tell if he’s spitting up or vomiting?
Vomiting is usually more forceful and a greater quantity than if your baby is just spitting up some of his latest meal. If he seems distressed, he’s probably vomiting. Spitting up doesn’t faze most babies at all.
Is spitting up ever a sign of something serious?
Spitting up is usually just par for the parenting course, but if your baby isn’t gaining weight as he should be, schedule a visit with his doctor. Babies who spit up so much that they don’t gain enough weight or have difficulty breathing may have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
Call your doctor immediately if your baby begins projectile vomiting. Projectile vomiting is when the vomit flies out of a baby’s mouth forcefully – shooting across the room, for example. This could be a sign of a condition called pyloric stenosis, in which the muscles at the bottom of the stomach thicken and prevent the flow of food to the small intestine. This typically happens at about 1 month of age.
Also phone your doctor right away if you see blood or green bile in your baby’s vomit. This could be a sign of a blockage in his intestines, which would require a visit to the emergency room, a scan, and possibly emergency surgery.
Is it normal for spit-up to come out of my baby’s nose?
Yes, just like your own nose, your baby’s nose is connected to the back of her throat. So spit-up will sometimes come out of her nose instead of her mouth. This is more likely to happen if her mouth is closed or her head is tilted in a certain way (allowing the spit-up to take the path of least resistance).
Spit-up can also come out of your baby’s nose if her swallowing process gets a little off-kilter when she hiccups, coughs, or sneezes. It even happens to older children – picture kids at the dinner table when they start laughing while trying to swallow milk. If milk comes out the nose, it’s the same situation – and perfectly normal.
Will certain foods make my baby gassy if I’m breastfeeding?
Are there foods I should avoid when I’m breastfeeding?
5 things you didn’t know about formula feeding
Why Your Baby Spits Up Breast Milk and How to Reduce It
It’s normal for babies to spit up both breast milk and formula. Infants spit up after feedings (sometimes every feeding) and often bring up some milk when they burp. Doctors may use the phrase “happy spitter” to describe a baby who spits up, but is generally comfortable, has no breathing problems, and is thriving and growing well.
Despite this just being one of those things babies do, there are things you can do to help prevent it and keep your baby comfortable. There are also signs to look out for that might indicate that spitting up requires a doctor’s evaluation.
Verywell / Nusha Ashjaee
Why Babies Spit Up
In newborns, the digestive system is still developing, so there is more spitting up in the first few months than later on. As babies feed, milk goes down the throat to the esophagus and then the stomach.
The esophagus is connected to the stomach by a ring of muscles called the lower esophageal sphincter. This sphincter opens to let the milk go into the stomach and then it immediately closes back up, but this “trap door” isn’t as reliable as it should be until about 6 months of age when it is more mature. This can cause a backflow of milk that results in spit-up.
Aside from this, there are three distinct reasons that babies spit up:
- Overeating: Eating too much or too fast can be the culprit because babies have small stomachs. A baby who is taking too much milk at each feeding might fill up—and the extra milk that his belly can’t hold has only one way to go.
- Sensitivity or allergies to certain foods or drinks in your diet: Allergens can be transferred into breast milk and cause your baby to spit up.
- Swallowing air during feedings: A baby who is drinking very quickly is also gulping air along with the milk. This is especially true if you have a strong let-down reflex or an overabundant milk supply.
GERD (A.K.A. Reflux)
For the babies that are not “happy spitters,” spit-up may actually be caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If the lower esophageal sphincter doesn’t tighten up immediately after it opens, the term “reflux” is used since the spit-up coming back up may be accompanied by stomach juices and acids.
Reflux can cause considerable discomfort in some babies. Symptoms of GERD include:
- Gagging, choking, coughing, wheezing, or other breathing problems
- Pain and discomfort
- Poor growth due to vomiting (rarer)
Discuss your baby’s spit-up patterns with your pediatrician to figure out if GERD could be the culprit. If so, medication and other measures may be necessary.
Ways to Reduce Spit-Ups
There are several things you can do to decrease the likelihood or frequency of your baby spitting up.
Burp Your Baby
Try to burp your baby during and after each feeding to remove air from her belly. Some breastfed babies do not need to burp after every feeding, as they tend to swallow less air than bottle-fed babies. However, if you have an abundant milk supply or a very fast flow of milk, that may not be the case. Sometimes babies spit up because they are burped. Still, this is a worthwhile measure.
When you burp your baby, you are helping release the air swallowed during the feeding. After a burp, your baby will be more comfortable. Removing air may also make more room in your baby’s stomach to continue the feeding.
Keep Feedings Calm and Quiet
Try to limit distractions, noise, and bright lights while you are breastfeeding. Calmer feedings may lead to fewer spit-ups. Don’t bounce or engage in very active play immediately following a feeding either.
Feed Your Baby More Often
If you wait too long between feedings and your baby is very hungry, she may feed too quickly and take in excess air. Stick with the same recommended quantity of milk over the course of a day, just consider adjusting your feeding schedule.
Manage a Strong Let-Down
If you have a forceful let-down reflex, your milk may be flowing too fast for your baby. Try to nurse in a reclined position so that your baby is taking in the milk against gravity. You can also pump or express some milk from your breasts before beginning a feeding to help slow down the flow.
Relieve Engorgement Before Feeding
If you have too much milk or your milk supply has not yet adjusted to your baby’s needs, your breasts might be engorged. This can make your breasts full and hard, making it difficult for your baby to latch properly and get a good seal around your nipple. As a result, your baby will take in air as he tries to nurse.
Use a pump or express some milk before feeding your baby to soften the breast. This will help your baby to latch on properly.
Experiment With Positions
Try different breastfeeding positions to see if some are more comfortable than others for your baby. And after a feeding, try to keep your baby’s head upright and elevated for at least 30 minutes.
When to Call the Doctor
When your baby spits up, milk usually comes up with a burp or flows gently out of his mouth. Even if your baby spits up after every feeding, it is not usually a problem.
Vomiting is different. Vomiting is forceful and often shoots out of your baby’s mouth. A baby may vomit on occasion, and that’s OK. But if your child is vomiting repeatedly or for longer than 24 hours, and/or if the vomit is green or has blood in it, contact your pediatrician. It could be a sign of illness, infection, or something more serious.
Other signs that it is time to call your baby’s doctor includes concerns that your baby:
- Appears to be in pain and is inconsolable
- Loses weight or is not gaining weight
- Not keeping any feedings down and is showing signs of dehydration
- Spits up too much or too often
Baby Spit Up: How Much Is Too Much?
Everyone tells you you’ll be doing more laundry when baby arrives, but nobody tells you it’s because of baby spit up! You’ll wonder: Why is baby spitting up this frequently? Does baby have reflux? Is baby getting enough to eat?
New parents have enough to worry about, so let’s get to the bottom of these questions, and more. Read on to find out:
What Is Baby Spit Up?
First thing’s first: In most cases, spitting up is very common.
This is more of a laundry problem than a medical problem and seldom bothers baby. — Dr. Sears
Some experts estimate that nearly 40% of normal, healthy babies spit up after feedings. If baby spits up right away, it may look just like milk; if baby spits up once he/she has begun to digest it might look curdled and smell slightly sour.
If you’re worried about the quantity of baby spit up, you’re not alone. Many parents see what looks like a lot of spit up and wonder if their baby is getting enough to eat. You might take comfort in knowing that baby spit up is made up mostly of saliva and gastric juices—there’s usually only a small amount of milk in spit up.
Although that puddle can still be off-putting, Dr. Sears estimates that most baby spit up is only about a teaspoon of liquid. To put your mind at ease, he suggests trying this simple experiment: Pour a tablespoon of milk on the countertop and compare the resulting puddle to the stain on your clothes from your baby’s spit up. You’ll likely notice that the puddle on the counter is much larger.
Baby spit up usually dribbles or spurts out of their mouth. Occasionally baby’s spit up looks forceful, like projectile vomiting. Without other signs of illness, more forceful baby spit up may be a sign of reflux, possibly as a result of food sensitivities (something mom is eating or from the type of formula) or an anatomical issue. (More on this below.)
Why Do Babies Spit Up?
Still, you’re probably wondering why this happens—and why some babies spit up as frequently as they do. The most common causes of baby spit up are:
Immature Digestive System
It’s also important to remember that part of the reason your baby spits up is because…well, they are a baby. Baby’s digestive systems just aren’t as mature as ours are.
“In infants, the ring of muscle between the esophagus and the stomach—the lower esophageal sphincter (LES)—is not fully mature, allowing stomach contents to flow backward,” explains Dr. Andrew E. Mulberg, a pediatric gastroenterologist.
2. Improper Latch
Beyond basic biology, the simplest and most common cause of baby spit up is one that is actually relatively easy to fix. Sometimes a baby isn’t latched on snugly enough to the breast or bottle, and takes in an excessive amount of air. To reduce baby spit up, breastfeeding mamas can remedy this by ensuring baby has a deep, close latch; bottle-fed babies should have a tight seal around the nipple teat.
3. Fast Letdown
Likewise, a fast letdown during breastfeeding can make it difficult for a young baby to keep up with the flow of milk. This can cause some of that milk to come back up. It can also cause baby to take in excess air, as they struggle to swallow all of the milk. If you’re having trouble with an overactive letdown, try different breastfeeding positions (laid-back nursing works with gravity to help keep the flow at a manageable pace) or get help from a lactation consultant. If you are bottle-feeding, make sure you have a slow flow nipple and practicing paced bottle feeding.
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Baby Spit Up vs. Vomit
So we know that baby spit up is normal. But at some point you’ll probably wonder: Is my baby spitting up… or is he/she vomiting? Here’s how to tell the difference between baby spit up and vomiting:
Though it can look like much more, baby spit up is generally only about a teaspoon at a time. Vomit, on the other hand, is likely to be persistent, adding up to much more.
If baby is sick, it is usually more forceful. In babies, vomiting is generally projectile. Spit up, on the other hand, is more likely to slide or dribble out of baby’s mouth.
Vomit tends to be green or yellow (this indicates bile is present), whereas baby spit up is usually white, off-white, or light yellow in color.
You might argue that baby spit up doesn’t smell so great, but it’s usually just a bit sour. Vomit, on the other hand, has a more foul smell.
You will notice your baby cry or look sick (red, watery eyes and/or change in complexion) when they are about to vomit. She may also have a fever. If baby is generally happy and asymptomatic, it’s more likely that he/she is spitting up.
|Spit up is generally only about a teaspoon at a time||Vomit is more persistent, adding up to much more|
|Spit up is more likely to slide or dribble out of baby’s mouth||Vomiting is more forceful and generally projectile|
|Spit up is usually white, off-white, or light yellow||Vomit tends to be green or yellow|
|Spit up doesn’t smell so great, but it’s usually just a bit sour||Vomit has a more foul smell|
|Baby is generally happy and asymptomatic||Baby may cry or look sick (red, watery eyes and/or change in complexion) when they are about to vomit|
What to Do if It Seems Like Baby Is Vomiting Due to Illness
If your baby is less than 12 weeks old and seems to be vomiting, call your pediatrician immediately. In rare cases this can be a sign of a serious condition called hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, which prevents food from reaching the intestines.
If your baby is a bit older, a viral infection is the most common cause of vomiting, and will usually pass on its own. Still, it’s always a good idea to give your doctor a call to discuss symptoms, concerns, and treatment, especially if it’s accompanied by a fever.
The most common complication in babies older than 12 weeks is dehydration. Here are the signs of dehydration in an infant:
- Fewer wet diapers
- Lethargy or weakness
- Lack of tears when crying
- Sunken eyes or soft soft
- Decreased saliva
My Baby Is Spitting Up More Than Usual
So your baby wasn’t spitting up, but now it seems like they can’t keep anything down? That’s normal, too. Sometimes babies will begin spitting up much more than usual, seemingly out of the blue. Here are some reasons your baby may be spitting up more often:
1. Change in diet
Some babies spit up more frequently after starting solids, especially if they are eating too much too soon. Cut back on solids to see if that helps. Others will react to a change in a breastfeeding mom’s diet. Revert back to old eating patterns to see if that clears things up.
Sometimes teething babies, who are producing more saliva than usual, will spit up excess saliva along with their milk.
Babies may also spit up more when they have a cold, as baby is trying to rid his/her body of the extra mucus.
How Can I Tell If My Baby Is Getting Enough Food?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is your baby generally happy and healthy?
- Is your baby gaining weight?
- Is your baby wetting diapers?
- Is your baby growing well?
If you answered yes to these questions, you probably don’t need to worry—even if you’re dealing with a lot of baby spit up. But remember: You know your baby best. If something seems off, call your pediatrician.
Otherwise, if your baby is unusually fussy, seems to lack energy, or if the baby spit up has blood in it, or looks and smells like vomit, it is time to call the doctor.
Can Babies Choke on Their Own Spit Up?
It’s very unlikely for a baby to choke on their own spit up. Babies have a reflex that causes them to cough out or swallow any fluid they spit up or swallow, even while sleeping.
If you are worried or simply want to ease baby’s discomfort, you can prop up the end of the entire crib with blocks to elevate baby’s head. (Never use pillows or anything inside the crib to prop up baby!)
Baby Spit Up: How Much is Too Much? – Crib Propped Up
When Do Babies Stop Spitting Up?
Most instances of spitting up end with the conclusion of the “fourth trimester,” at about 3-4 months. (Paloma stopped spitting up around 4 months old.) Other babies begin spitting up less starting at 6 months, once they start solids, which can often help them “hold down” their food and settle their stomachs. Other babies decrease the instances of spitting up by 9-12 months. And some are late bloomers, and don’t stop spitting up until closer to a year. But don’t fret: By that one year mark, most babies are done spitting up on a regular basis.
Resist the Urge to Feed Baby Infant Rice Cereal
Some may recommend mixing milk with rice cereal as early as 6 weeks (!) to thicken baby’s food and help it stay down, it’s not a good idea—for lots of reasons. Mainly, rice cereal it’s low in nutrients and hard on digestion. Baby’s digestive system really isn’t ready for solids, and particularly grains, until at least 6 months. Rice cereal is also full of yucky preservatives and toxins. Read more about baby cereal here.
When to Call the Doctor
Although baby spit up generally isn’t cause for concern, excessive baby spit up can occasionally be tired to anatomical dysfunction or metabolic disorders. Call your pediatrician if:
- baby is losing or not gaining weight
- baby spit up increases significantly
- baby is coughing, gagging, or otherwise struggling to eat
- spit up is green or has blood in it
- normal baby spit up becomes projectile
- baby is unusually fussy or, conversely, baby is lethargic
Could My Baby Have Reflux?
Sometimes babies can develop a condition like GERD, or acid reflux. In these cases, the backflow that often happens as a result of an immature digestive system can cause babies pain or discomfort.
There are two forms of reflux in babies: acid reflux and silent acid reflux. Acid reflux usually causes projectile vomiting and intense crying; silent reflux, a more subtle condition, usually causes sour breath, hiccups, and physical stiffness or discomfort.
Signs of reflux include:
- Discomfort or crying after eating
- Refusing the breast/bottle
- Arching back after eating
- Resistance to laying on back
- Gagging or choking
- Excessive gas
- Foamy bowel movements
- Persistent crying or colic
- Sour breath
- Frequent burps and hiccups
- Failure to gain weight
Read more about baby reflux, including my experience with it, here.
Natural Ways to Relieve Baby’s Reflux
The good news is that if spitting up is becoming a serious issue for your baby—or if your baby is showing signs of reflux—there are things you can do to make your baby feel better.
1. Try probiotics
Some mothers report seeing positive changes once they give their baby a probiotic—or if they are breastfeeding, if they take a probiotic themselves. A 2014 study published in JAMA Pediatrics supported this claim. The researchers found that babies who took probiotics for the first three months of life showed improvements in colic symptoms, acid reflux, and constipation.
I don’t normally suggest giving babies supplements, but L. reuteri, a probiotic that has been clinically shown to reduce crying time by 50% in colicky breastfed infants, made a big difference for Paloma. Here are other great probiotics for babies.
2. Keep baby elevated
A baby with reflux needs a little extra TLC during and after feedings. Keep baby in a sitting position while feeding them (a boppy pillow can offer extra support) and hold baby upright for at least 30 minutes after meals (babywearing can make this an easier task for mama).
3. Try cell salts
Some newborns don’t make enough Nat Phos, a natural cell salt that helps with digestion. A tablet of Nat Phos 6X, a homeopathetic remedy, can be split in half and dissolved in breastmilk and administered with a syringe or dissolved under baby’s tongue. (It’s important to check with your doctor before administering cell salts to your baby.)
Other simple “hacks” for naturally helping your baby deal with reflux or excessive spitting up include:
- avoid putting excessive pressure on your baby’s belly
- limit car rides, rocking, or other motion after feedings
- burp your baby after feedings
Mostly, take note of what seems to bother your baby, and what soothes them. It is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach, and you know your baby best.
4. Try an elimination diet
When all else fails, a breastfeeding mama can try an elimination diet. The biggest culprit is usually dairy and cutting it out of your diet can make all the difference for your baby. (The proteins in dairy can irritate a baby’s underdeveloped digestive tract.)
That is usually all that is needed. However, some mothers may find that eliminating these foods and beverages also help:
- Dairy (as mentioned above)
- Gas-producing vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, onions, and peppers
- Acidic food like coffee, tomatoes, and citrus
See how to start an elimination diet.
5. Try another formula
If baby is formula-fed, saying goodbye to all that baby spit up might be as simple as switching formulas. Try a cow-milk free formula if you think that might be the culprit. See the best baby formula here.
How About You?
Did you have a baby who spit up? What helped your baby feel better? And what would you tell a new parent who is worried about baby spit up?
Baby Spit-up: Medical Problem or Laundry Problem?
One of the more common problems we encounter in pediatrics is spit up or reflux. Sorting through whether a baby has typical reflux or something more can be a challenge for both parents and healthcare providers.
This past year I learned a lot about spit up the hard way. My son spit up every time he ate for the first three months and continued to have frequent episodes until he was almost 9 months old. Every time we passed the baby we also passed the burp rag. He wore a bib at all times to help reduce the number of outfit changes during the day. My husband and I made sure that everything we wore was washable because inevitably we ended up covered in spit up too. We did laundry every day to keep up with all the clothes, bibs, and rags. Luckily, we had a laundry problem and not a medical problem. He continued to grow and thrive despite the spitting up.
How do you sort through whether spit up is a laundry problem or a medical problem? Spit up is a normal occurrence for most newborns. All babies have some degree of reflux (medical term for spit up) and most outgrow it by one year of age. Some babies are more affected than others and within the same family there may be variation in how much each child spits up.
Indications that it might be more than just “spit up”:
– Weight Gain: If your baby is having trouble gaining weight or is losing weight they should be further evaluated for GERD (gastroesphageal reflux disease) or other underlying health conditions.
– Sudden change in amount or type of spit up: If your baby all of a sudden starts spitting up frequently or develops projectile vomiting you should contact your pediatrician immediately. This could be a sign of pyloric stenosis which is an urgent medical condition and usually develops in babies around 4-8 weeks of age.
– Extreme fussiness or irritability with feeds: All babies are fussy some of the time but fussiness may be related to GERD if your baby seems extremely uncomfortable after feeds or in pain when spitting up.
– If there is blood or bile (bright/dark green color) in the spit up
How to decrease spitting up
– Feed smaller amounts more frequently: We ended up feeding my son every two hours during the day. It was challenging for me because so much of the day was spent feeding, but he seemed happier eating smaller amounts more often.
– For bottle feeding moms: If bottle feeding, try a slower flow nipple and bottles designed to decrease amount of air swallowed. You may have to experiment with a variety of bottles before finding the best one for baby. If formula feeding you may find that certain formulas seem better tolerated by your baby and may need to try a different formula. It is always best to talk with your child’s care provider before making formula switches.
– For Breastfeeding moms: If you are breastfeeding you may find some improvement in symptoms by eliminating dairy or spicy foods from your diet. I do not recommend switching from breast milk to formula. Breast milk in general is better tolerated than formula and comes with many other benefits for both mother and baby.
– Keep baby upright for 30 minutes after feeds: In practice this can be very challenging. At times it felt like all we were doing was feeding my son. I was nursing for 30 minutes and then holding him upright for 30 minutes and starting the whole process over again one hour later. This was especially not practical at night time when I needed to get some sleep too.
– Elevating the head of the bed. Some bassinets are designed so they can be set at a slight incline. Otherwise a small blanket or towel can be used UNDER the mattress to raise the head of the bed slightly. The mattress needs to be very firm and the baby should not slide down in the bed. Sometimes it can be helpful to let baby sleep in a swing or bouncer chair temporarily.
Remember that this is a temporary problem and most babies outgrow frequent spitting up between 6 months and 1 year of age. If you are concerned about the amount of spitting up or that your baby seems unusually fussy you should bring up your concerns at your baby’s next appointment.
90,000 Why does a baby spit up after breastfeeding?
Often the reason for regurgitation depends on the chosen feeding method: whether the mother puts the baby to the breast or bottle feeds.
- Overfeeding the baby. If the baby eats too much, the excess milk will naturally come out.
- Incorrect breastfeeding technique, as a result of which a large amount of air enters the baby’s stomach along with milk.Try to hold your baby so that he completely captures the nipple and can breathe freely through his nose.
- Features of the digestive system of young children. In infants under one year old, the muscles of the esophagus are not yet fully formed, so regurgitation is often a natural process.
- Abrupt change in the position of the child. After feeding, do not turn the baby over, squeeze, swaddle or swing in a stroller.
- Disorders of the intestines, such as bloating, colic and other causes that interfere with normal digestion.
- In rare cases, serious diseases of the digestive system.
Note that regurgitation is more often observed not in newborns, but in children aged about 4 months.
With artificial feeding:
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If the baby lies on its back and begins to spit up, immediately turn it over on its stomach, or pick it up – this will prevent food from entering the respiratory tract.
If your baby feels uncomfortable while feeding, or if he comes off the breast and starts crying, let him burp.There are two ways to do this:
- Place a tissue on your shoulder to avoid getting dirty. Hold the baby on your chest so that its chin rests on your shoulder. Carefully pat or pat his back with your palm.
- Place the fabric in your lap. Flip the baby over onto its tummy and position it perpendicular to your body. Support your chin with one hand and pat or rub the back with the other. Please note that the child’s head should be higher than other parts of the body so that blood does not rush to it, and food is not thrown into the respiratory tract.
When a doctor is needed
As a rule, spitting up 6-8 times a day (in small portions) does not pose a health hazard. Over time, when the baby’s muscles get stronger, he will better absorb food. Most babies stop spitting up after 6-7 months, but in some situations this problem persists up to one year old.
If the regurgitation is constant and strong, prevents weight gain, the child cries after this process, then you should consult a doctor.Such symptoms may indicate that the baby’s esophagus walls are irritated.
Call the doctor immediately if the child starts to vomit violently and violently. This may indicate either the presence of food poisoning, or a disease associated with deformation of internal organs.
If a baby vomits with an admixture of greenish bile, then this may be a sign of intestinal blockage, which requires urgent hospitalization and, possibly, even emergency surgery.
If the newborn spits up a lot after feeding, follow these guidelines:
- Do not feed your baby while he is lying on a cushion or in a car seat, as milk or formula may not reach the stomach.
- Create a calm atmosphere. Keep noise and other distractions to a minimum. If a baby is distracted and worried about something, there is an increased risk of swallowing large amounts of air in formula or breast milk.For the same reason, don’t let your baby get very hungry.
- Make sure that nothing is pressing on the baby’s tummy. Make sure his clothes and diaper are not too tight.
- Try to avoid driving immediately after feeding.
- Hold the baby for about 30 minutes. upright after eating.
- When breastfeeding, make sure that the baby is correctly latching on the breast (his lips should cover not only the nipple, but also the areola, as much as possible).
- If you are feeding formula or expressed milk from a bottle, make sure that the opening of the teat is not too small – this can interfere with your baby’s drinking and lead to air being swallowed. The hole should not be too large, so that the child does not choke.
- Do not overfeed your baby. Try feeding him less milk or formula. Observe the reaction. The baby may agree to drink less at a time, however, he will want to eat more often.
If regurgitation occurs frequently after each feed, consult your doctor.
90,000 Why does a baby spit up after breastfeeding
One of the questions that worries new mothers in the first year of motherhood is why does the baby spit up after eating, that is, milk? It turns out that this happens in 85% of newborns. I am not an alarmist, and I knew that babies spit up even before my son was born.But, as it turned out, in theory, “everything is not so scary”, but when it comes to practice, and already concerns your child directly, the attitude to the situation changes dramatically.
When our Seva’s regurgitation after feeding became more frequent, I decided to go to our pediatrician. “Mom, you shouldn’t be worried about why a child spits up, because this is an absolutely normal physiological phenomenon for children under the age of 9, and sometimes even up to 12 months. But if the baby does not just spit up, but “gushes” with milk or a mixture, and at the same time is too abundant, then this is no longer the norm, ”our attending physician explained.
But here, as they say, “Ostap suffered.” Since the doctor’s answer to the main question why the baby spits up after breastfeeding, I was not very satisfied. That’s when I went “on the attack”, hoping that I would get answers to other related questions. The main reasons for regurgitation, how to help the child, and also when to seek help – the pediatrician told me about all this, and I want to share it with you now.
Why does a baby spit up after breastfeeding – the main reasons
The fact that spitting up in infants of the first months of life is an absolutely normal phenomenon, and is associated, first of all, with the physiological characteristics of a small organism, we found out.Nevertheless, doctors identify the following main reasons for its appearance:
- Immaturity of the digestive system. Since the baby’s ventricle is still small, and the esophagus is very short, regurgitation can be quite common. There is no need to worry here, because it takes place at the age of up to 2 months;
- swallowing air with milk. This happens when the mother incorrectly lays the baby to the breast, or the baby greedily sucks on the breast, while capturing air with its mouth.Thus, it accumulates in the baby’s stomach and goes out with the food eaten;
- Breast milk composition. Often the answer to the question of why a child spits up after breastfeeding is “covered” in the products that the nursing mother herself consumes. If the mother’s food is too rich in carbohydrates, then the baby’s tummy can be deflated, as a result of which such “emissions” occur;
- too much milk. It is understandable to understand mothers who are worried about the baby being hungry.I myself, never refused my son’s breast milk. But, apparently, sometimes I just confused the capriciousness of the toddler with the desire to eat, so more often I applied it to my chest and thereby overfeed. It was then that everything “overeat” by him came out.
I also connected Seva’s frequent regurgitation of milk with constipation, colic and flatulence, which “pursued” us all the time. After all, these phenomena increase the pressure on the child’s abdominal cavity, provoking regular regurgitation of food.Since I could not establish the exact cause of our “milk fountains”, therefore, I decided to act in a complex manner, applying all the knowledge that our pediatrician shared with me.
Why does a child spit up after eating – how can parents help?
Of course, I could not calmly look at the baby’s constant regurgitation after eating. Therefore, I decided not to waste time looking for an unambiguous answer to the question “Why does the child spit up”, but to immediately start taking action.For this, I immediately took all the “security” measures, which included the following measures:
- Restricted high carbohydrate foods to reduce baby’s bloating. So, an ordinary bun, eaten by me once every one or two weeks, became for me almost a festive piece of cake;
- gave her son an infusion of fennel to drink, as well as other drugs that reduce gas formation;
- watched how the baby was applied to the breast.I tried to ensure that the child grasped not only the nipple, but also part of the areola, and the nose itself was open for breathing;
- carried the baby in a “column” (in an upright position) 10 minutes before and for 10 minutes after feeding;
- watched the position of the baby during feeding. All the time I tried to keep his head above the level of the body, that is, upright or reclining;
- took short breaks during feeding, and also tried not to overfeed her son;
- limited active games with the baby, did not change his clothes and generally tried not to turn him over from side to side for at least 30 minutes after the son had eaten;
- made sure that not only during feeding, but also during sleep, the baby’s head was above the level of the body, and also tilted slightly to the side (so that in case of spitting up the baby would not choke). To do this, I put a small towel under the pillow.
When I had to feed the baby with formula, the choice of the bottle was a real challenge for me. It turns out that the answer to the question why a child spits up can “lurk” in the wrong bottle. It is important to be guided by the age of the baby here, because the difference between the bottles lies not only in their volume, but also in the size of the hole (hole) on the nipple. And if it is too big for the baby, then the milk will flow in a strong stream, and the crumb will simply choke on it.But too small a hole is not good, because milk will flow poorly, and the baby will not have to swallow air. And this, as you remember, is one of the reasons for spitting up in children. To prevent air from being swallowed, it is also important to hold the formula bottle so that the nipple is completely filled with milk.
Such actions helped us to cope with the problem, significantly reducing the number and volume of our “fountains”. And by about 8 months all these frightening regurgitation at Seva had completely disappeared.I think that the fact that the son has already begun to sit confidently, that is, less to be in a horizontal position, played a big role here. The main thing is not to take such a situation too seriously, because if a child is cheerful, vigorous, active, and every month gains the pounds he needs, then regurgitation should be considered exclusively as a temporary phenomenon that does not threaten the health of the baby.
Why does a child spit up – when to seek help?
But, sometimes, regurgitation after eating can be the result not only of the physiological characteristics of the baby, but, alas, of more serious diseases.Immediately run to the doctor asking why the child spits up, parents should when they notice the following:
- The child spits up in large portions after each meal. This is already a signal to go to the doctor, since such a phenomenon is dangerous for the baby’s health.
- At the next weighing, the scales “showed” that the baby is not gaining weight, or even lost weight.
- If regurgitation continues after the baby reaches 1 year.
- If a child cries after spitting up, bends over, which may indicate an irritated wall of the crumbs esophagus.
- Against the background of profuse regurgitation, the child has a fever.
Such situations are pathological and require consultation with a pediatrician who, after examining the child and making a diagnosis, will prescribe the appropriate treatment. Therefore, if you notice that regurgitation has become more frequent or their volume has increased, run to the appointment immediately, and not at the computer, to google “Why does the child regurgitate?”
Also, parents need to be careful, and know how to distinguish spitting up “fountain” from vomiting, which can be caused by food poisoning.
When regurgitating after a meal in a baby:
- the abdominal cavity does not contract;
- there are no spasms characteristic of vomiting;
- eaten, but not overcooked, flows out in a thin trickle.
Often regurgitation occurs immediately after feeding. But vomiting has other signs, such as:
- large volume of released masses;
- the baby is crying due to cramps in the ventricle;
- the child may turn pale, as the body is quickly dehydrated;
- spit up can acquire a yellowish tinge (because bile comes out), as well as an unpleasant odor characteristic of vomiting.
If you are in doubt whether the baby is vomiting or regular regurgitation, it is better not to risk it, but to seek help. In any case, you will not make your child worse, and for one thing you yourself will be reinsured.
Watch the health of your children, take care of them!
90,000 Breastfeeding and Regurgitation: A Mother’s Story | by Elena Sufieva
Patience is our salvation
We were treated by two doctors from different clinics for two months. Their diagnoses did not coincide: one stubbornly talked about allergies, the other about lactase deficiency. The arguments of both sounded logical, but the second version turned out to be closer to me, and here’s why. The doctor who diagnosed the allergy forbade the introduction of complementary foods, saying that the new food would irritate the intestines and that this would only make the situation worse. She insisted on further research and looked at her son the way one looks at a sick child: attentively, a little sympathetically, a little disappointed. The second doctor explained that lactase deficiency provokes the growth of harmful flora and leads to poor analyzes, that lactase needs to be dissolved in milk and not in water, that everything normalizes with age and that we need complementary foods.Fedya was then six months old, and I decided to believe her and start feeding with dairy-free cereals.
In parallel with visiting the clinics, we called a breastfeeding consultant to the house and found out that our problem is not in the seizure and posture. We also visited an osteopath and found no abnormalities. This is how we met 2020: the child is six months old, experts shrug their shoulders and give opposite recommendations, monthly weight gain has dropped to one hundred grams and mom is on the verge of a nervous breakdown and physical exhaustion.
After six months, I began to introduce complementary foods and gradually reduce the number of daily breastfeeds. After rice, corn, buckwheat dairy-free porridge, we introduced vegetables and fruits from cans. I continued to pump to dilute lactase and went on a diet. And at seven months we changed the situation, moving temporarily to my parents. It turned out to be an incredible stimulus and relief: I finally believed that everything would be fine and was able to relax a little. After eight months, I stopped breastfeeding during the day: my son completely switched to complementary foods and gained 700 grams in a month.It was difficult for me to give up daily feeds so early, but I saw that it was beneficial and helped us to live the day more calmly and more fun.
By the age of nine months, the supply of baby lactase that I bought in Moscow ended, but it was not possible to buy it in Alma-Ata. For the last week I have been reducing my dose of lactase, hoping we can get by without it. Perhaps it was frivolous, but we were lucky: from nine months, the son could safely eat breast milk without the addition of an enzyme. Gradually, the consistency, smell and color of his feces changed, and I stopped looking so convulsively into the diaper.I got off a strict diet, and now I avoid only dairy and fermented milk products, to which I still see a reaction in the form of feces with herbs and curd lumps. Hopefully, over time, Fedya will outgrow this.
At ten and a half months Fedya is a cheerful child, always ready to laugh. But even now he has a strong belch after eating
I cannot say that this story ended well, because it has not ended yet. My son is now ten and a half months old, I am breastfeeding and I do not know how much more I will feed. I see that his regurgitation is not only a special relationship with breast milk: he sometimes regurgitates a little mashed potatoes, pieces of cutlet or water. His digestive tract is very tender and immature, he is often hindered by belching, which does not bother most children at his age, he gets used to new food for a long time. Is it a feature of the body, a consequence of a difficult birth, or just genetics? Maybe we will examine him again when he grows up. Maybe it will work out on its own. How many adults do you know who regurgitate their lunch? In any case, our life has changed a lot lately, and I think that the bad is over.
This is the story of breastfeeding for one mother and one baby. Now I am summarizing my story in the hope that it will help someone, or at least cheer up.
1. If a baby is breastfed from a month to three months, gains weight normally, but regurgitates heavily, worries when feeding, does not sleep well, the mother should reconsider her diet. An allergen, if any, can only be eliminated by a thoughtful diet. With lactase deficiency, the enzyme lactase helps.The effect of diet and enzyme can only be seen over time, from two to three days to a month. Note that with severe regurgitation in a very young child, gastrointestinal pathology must be excluded.
2. Dysbacteriosis most often does not need to be treated, but if you do not have enough nerves to leave it alone, treat it. Most often, it goes away on its own when the child’s gastrointestinal tract matures and is seeded with beneficial bacteria. We had painful bowel movements during my antibiotic treatment and disappeared after a course of bacteriophage and probiotics.However, I am not sure that the bacteriophage is so necessary.
3. Most likely, the child will outgrow most of the problems associated with nutrition, but if the parents are worried about something, you need to obey yourself and not delay going to the doctor. If the prescribed treatment does not help or there are doubts about it, it is better to go to another doctor and hear an alternative opinion.
4. The psychological health of the mother is necessary! When the mother receives support and feels good, the child’s condition also improves, and everything becomes not so scary.
Happy motherhood to everyone!
The child spits up. Is it reflux?
Babies spit up for many reasons, including choking on milk if it flows hard and fast, excess milk, immature muscle control, allergies and illness. In many cases, the cause of regurgitation cannot be determined. Most healthy babies outgrow spitting up within 4-6 months.
If your child looks happy and is growing normally, try the following tips to minimize regurgitation:
• Handle it with care and burp air more often;
• Try to keep it upright during and after feedings.Feed often. Frequent smaller feedings are easier to digest.
• Continue washing the diapers (must be carried over the shoulder) and change clothes.
• If you have liters of milk and your baby chokes and chokes when it comes and then spits up, try offering one breast per feed. You can try weaning the baby as soon as the milk comes in, expressing the first strong jets in a towel, and applying the baby again when the milk flow decreases.For other ways to manage excess milk, read Oversupply: Too Much Milk.
• If your baby is constantly hungry and feels like he is spitting up after every feed, try offering a pacifier. This will help him not to overeat or regurgitate excess. (Caution: Other sources suggest that using a pacifier can cause problems with breastfeeding. We recommend that you read this information. Revision Note ) If he is not gaining weight well and is difficult to feed, forget about the pacifier.All the time he needs to suck at the breast.
• If you are giving him extra vitamins, iron, or fluoride, try eliminating them. Most breastfed babies do not need vitamins.
If you are taking herbal supplements or vitamins yourself, try stopping and tracking the difference. If your child is receiving formula as a supplement or is just starting to eat something new, stop offering it. If you yourself consume a lot of dairy products or someone in your family suffers from allergies, try to reduce or eliminate food allergens such as milk, eggs, or wheat.Milk proteins are completely cleared from your milk after 2 weeks, keep this in mind when evaluating the difference from withdrawal. The article Nutrition, Weight Loss, and Excercise has more information on diet and allergies.
Some children show a range of symptoms in addition to regurgitation, which may indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or simply “reflux”. Reflux occurs when a muscle at the entrance to the stomach (which holds milk in it until it passes into the small intestine) opens at the wrong time, releasing milk back into the esophagus (the tube that runs from the throat to the stomach).Gastric juice is acidic and can burn and irritate the throat and esophagus.
The stomach of a newborn is small (about the size of a ping-pong ball) and has to contain a large volume of milk compared to its own size. Most babies who regurgitate are simply sloppy eating, and the excess milk they swallow comes back. Regurgitation disappears with age without treatment.
Child’s stomach size *
Day 1 – small glass bead
Day 3 – ping pong ball
There is another cause that can cause symptoms of vomiting in infants, which is more serious than reflux.This is pyloric stenosis and is rare in breastfed babies. It is more common in boys and usually develops by 4-6 weeks after birth. The child often vomits with a fountain, that is, the stomach muscles squeeze milk up into the throat, and it shoots out of the mouth, sometimes at a distance of several tens of centimeters. Over time, this vomiting occurs after each feeding, and the baby does not gain weight well. This condition is usually corrected by a simple surgical operation called pyloromyotomy.Vomiting with a fountain that occurs from time to time does not mean that the child has pyloric stenosis, but if the child suffers from such regurgitation at least once a day, show it to the doctor.
In adults, reflux causes heartburn. Symptoms of reflux in infants may include sudden inconsolable crying, breast refusal or “hanging” on the chest, difficulty swallowing, vomiting a few hours after eating, often sore or irritated throat, trouble breathing (wheezing, bronchitis, difficulty breathing or apnea) , sleep disturbance, or slow weight gain.Many healthy, normal children may have some of these symptoms without reflux. Reflux is usually not considered a problem until the child is really in pain, feels miserable, stops gaining weight, suffocates, or has difficulty aspiration of fluid or inflamed tissue in the esophagus.
In most cases, the treatment for reflux is to keep the baby comfortable until his digestive system matures.Many babies with reflux symptoms show great improvement by 6 months and outgrow it completely by 1 year, although sometimes the process takes longer. Research has shown that reflux episodes are less frequent and less severe in breastfed babies than in bottlefed babies. Breast milk is easier to digest than formula and is excreted from the baby’s stomach 2 times faster. The less time milk is in the stomach, the less likely it is to return to the esophagus.Any delay in stomach emptying can exacerbate reflux. Because human milk is digested so quickly, more milk is absorbed in a shorter period of time, even if it is regurgitated.
Another advantage of breastfeeding a baby with reflux is that human milk is less irritating to the esophagus than formula and is less acidic. That is, if the child pushes the milk out, it burns the throat less. Fluid spit up by a breastfed baby smells less aggressive than that spit up by a bottlefed baby and is less likely to stain the diaper.
Another benefit of breastfeeding a baby with reflux is the “comfort factor”. The closeness of a nursing mother-child pair is unique. When your child is in pain or unhappy, he easily gets overwhelmed and calms down. Breastfeeding is a natural way to keep your baby comfortable, and the hormones released during breastfeeding help you relax when your baby is worried.
Breastfeeding helps you respond to your baby’s cues, and even if you may not always be able to relieve discomfort or meet his needs, it is important for you to be there for his comfort.And breastfeeding (along with the intimacy and physical contact that it implies) is the best way to do it.
Treatment options for diagnosed reflux vary. Usually the diagnosis is made based on the mother’s description of her baby’s behavior, but doctors often give the baby a radioactive isotope along with milk and track the milk’s path. To do this, breast milk can be given from a pipette or cup if the baby does not pick up the bottle. However, medical problems such as lung disease, asthma or pyloric stenosis should already be ruled out.
Usually the first step is to try the upright position during and after feeding. Some child seats can make reflux worse because they flex in the middle and compress the belly. Good alternatives are using a carrier or sling, raising the crib 45 degrees or more, or sleeping the baby vertically on your chest.
The next thing to try is to identify foods or vitamins in the mom’s or baby’s diet that might trigger this reaction.In the past, mothers were often advised to introduce cereals to make the baby’s food thicker. The theory was that thicker foods made it harder to return to the esophagus. The effectiveness of this method has not been proven, and its use can lead to the termination of breastfeeding. It can also cause more irritation to the esophagus if aspirated and is not usually used.
If these measures do not work, the next step is to use drugs to reduce stomach acidity and shorten the time it takes for milk to pass into the baby’s intestines.Zantac is commonly used to reduce gastric acidity. Surgery is a last resort. It is used in serious cases with dangerous complications and only after all other treatments have been tried.
One of the most common difficulties with reflux is that a child may decide that he does not want to breastfeed (in Russian practice, this condition is often called “refusal to breastfeed. ” Editor’s note ) because of pain. This can be terribly frustrating for both of you, mom and baby, and lead to low weight gain.If your baby needs supplementation, you can express after feedings for high-calorie hinter milk and supplement instead of formula. If you don’t want to use bottles, see Introducing Bottles and Pacifiers to the Breastfed Baby for a description of alternative feeding methods. Experiment with the options suggested in the article, as what works for one child may not work for another.Work with your child’s doctor because reflux treatment may require medication adjustments and options until you find one that works for you.
Get support and help for yourself and your family as you work to improve the unhappy child. Ask for help! Let others bring you food or keep older children busy for a while. An excellent support group for parents struggling with reflux is PAGER (Pediatric / Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association).PAGER is a national organization providing information and support to families with children with reflux. They print brochures, hold monthly meetings, and publish a monthly newsletter. Their website address is www.reflux.org.
If your child has reflux, try to maintain a positive attitude and remember that almost all cases of regurgitation and reflux are in healthy children who only need a little longer to outgrow them. You won’t even notice when your restless toddler becomes a teenager and gets a car license, and that’s when you really need to worry!
Anne Smith, IBCLC, Breastfeeding Basics
If this article helped you, please consider a small donation to my favorite cause – Project Pets: Spay, Neuter, Love.This is a volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to neutering and neutering stray dogs and cats from a shelter … because every child deserves to have a home regardless of whether they have two legs or four! For more information, visit the Project Pets Facebook page.
Translation: Zuhra Batalina
Source: https://www.breastfeedingbasics. com/articles/baby-spitting-up-is-it-reflux
Why does the child often vomit?
Regurgitation after feeding is a normal breastfeeding reaction.Up to three months, about half of newborns spit up at least once a day, but by six months this phenomenon weakens. Rarely, regurgitation persists for up to a year, therefore, under certain conditions, parents should be alert and consult a doctor with this problem.
Why does the child often spit up
In a newborn, the digestive tract functions physiologically differently. He is not yet fully matured, as is the nervous system, which is responsible for the contractions of the smooth muscles of the stomach.Therefore, in children under one year old, functional abnormalities are common, which most often pass on their own and do not require special treatment.
Regurgitation, or regurgitation, is the involuntary throwing of food eaten from the stomach into the esophagus and mouth. At the same time, the baby’s diaphragm and muscles of the anterior abdominal wall do not contract, as with ordinary vomiting. The baby is not worried about this process, he does not cry, the body temperature and skin color are maintained at a normal level. The volume of the poured milk is small, usually it does not exceed 1-2 tablespoons.
The reasons why a child often spits up should be sought in the characteristics of the baby’s feeding. The main factors include the following:
- overfeeding – if the volume of food does not correspond to the age norm, the stomach cannot accommodate it and digest it quickly, therefore milk presses on the sphincter between the stomach and the esophagus, part of it comes out;
- aerophagia – swallowing air during feeding, if the mother does not breastfeed correctly or uses the wrong nipple on the bottle;
- the accumulation of gases in the stomach and intestines, colic – the air reduces the volume of the stomach, and after eating it tends to go outside, as a result of which the baby spits up;
- tight swaddling – the diapers press on the stomach and prevent it from stretching after eating;
- Incorrectly selected formula when artificial feeding or intolerance to cow protein;
- high activity after eating, laying on the stomach or on the back.
The reason for regurgitation may be the lack of a feeding regimen. It is wrong to regard every cry of a baby as a sign of hunger. Even when feeding on demand, time intervals of at least an hour in the first month of life must be observed and gradually increased.
A baby born prematurely or with signs of intrauterine growth retardation will spit up more often than other babies. This is due to the anatomical and physiological features: the stomach of such children has a spherical shape, a reduced volume.the sphincter at the border of the stomach and intestines is often spasmodic and cannot pass food quickly. But by the first year, the baby will stop spitting up.
Sometimes the causes of regurgitation are associated with various pathologies. You cannot do without a doctor if the baby has persistent pylorospasm, has malformations of the gastrointestinal tract, or had an injury to the nervous system.
What to do if a child spits up
If a child spits up for physiological reasons, you can reduce the frequency and severity of this condition on your own. They start with nutritional correction. When breastfeeding, the correct grip of the nipple along with the areola and the position of the baby is monitored. The mother should feed him while sitting, holding the baby at an angle of 45-60 °. In this position, air naturally leaves the stomach and there is less risk of food being thrown into the esophagus. After eating, the baby should be kept upright for 20-40 minutes.
You can remove part of the air from the stomach before feeding, for this newborn baby is laid out on the stomach for 10-15 minutes.If the baby has a tendency to intestinal colic, a gentle massage of the abdomen, which is done between meals, helps.
Regurgitation in an infant is not an indication for switching to artificial formula, the woman should continue to breastfeed. But it is recommended to adhere to the intervals between meals, and the mother should follow a hypoallergenic diet, as well as exclude cabbage, black bread and legumes.
In order for a bottle-fed newborn to stop burping, you need to buy an anti-colic feeding bottle or a special nipple. Their design differs from traditional ones. The bottle contains a special valve that prevents air from being swallowed while eating. It is also necessary to control that the diameter of the hole on the nipple does not allow the milk to flow out in a stream, it should drip slowly.
When buying a formula for a baby who constantly regurgitates, you should consult a pediatrician. He may recommend a hypoallergenic formula or milk without cow protein. In some cases, you have to completely avoid animal protein in the composition.
Normally, complementary foods begin to be introduced from the fourth month, but when regurgitating milk to children older than 1-2 months, various thickeners can be included in the diet. It can be special mixtures with rice flour or dairy-free rice porridge, but use no more than 1 teaspoon at a time.
When to see a doctor
Regular regurgitation occurs before the age of four to five months. Then their number per day decreases. If special measures do not work, it is necessary to show the baby to the pediatrician. When contacting a doctor, they tell about the nature of the diet, the timing of the onset of symptoms and the course of labor, so that he can suggest the cause of regurgitation.
The pediatrician can prescribe medication:
- preparations for colic and bloating;
- Antacids, which help reduce stomach acidity;
- Prokinetics will improve the promotion of food, but will not lead to diarrhea;
- drugs from the group of histamine receptor blockers.
But they start taking medications only on the recommendation of a doctor, if other methods have not helped. The course of treatment, the dosage is selected individually, focusing on the weight of the baby.
Parents must strictly follow the doctor’s recommendations and monitor the child’s condition. In the absence of organic pathology, the listed methods should reduce the frequency of unpleasant symptoms. And after 6 months, when the baby begins to sit on its own, they almost completely disappear.
An urgent need to go to the doctor if symptoms begin one hour after eating.The food comes out in a fountain, has a sour smell, the milk is curdled. This is no longer spitting up, but vomiting. It can be an indicator of severe neurological disorders. If the baby vomits several times in a row, other symptoms appear, emergency help is needed.
If a month has passed after the start of treatment, and the number and frequency of regurgitation does not decrease, additional examination is necessary. Methods of X-ray of the stomach, esophagoduodenoscopy are used. It shows the state of the sphincter between the stomach and the esophagus, the doctor can examine the mucous membrane, and in severe cases, conduct a targeted biopsy.Some children undergo esophagotonokymography. This method allows you to assess the tone of the sphincter, stomach contractions and motor function.
According to the results of the examination, the treatment is adjusted. If malformations are found, surgical treatment is recommended to parents. But sometimes the causes of vomiting after eating are in neurological pathologies. In this case, consultation and treatment with a neurologist is needed.
90,000 First digestive problems when breastfeeding
My baby spits up frequently – is he sick or is it supposed to be?
My girl is spitting up so much that I’m afraid she’s not getting enough food.
My baby hasn’t had a chair for two days now – what should I do?
I thought breastfed babies never got constipation, but my daughter grunts and pushes every time she has stools.
Infant digestive traits are one of the first problems faced by young parents. Let’s try to figure out what is the norm and what should be alarming.
Some time after a meal or between feedings, half-digested milk begins to flow down your baby’s chin, and sometimes stomach contents come out of the baby’s mouth with great force – “splashing out”? Do not be alarmed, this phenomenon is completely natural and is called regurgitation. The baby can spit up while changing clothes or rolling over onto the stomach and even directly during feeding: the baby sucks, turns away, regurgitates and lays down on the breast again.
Why is this happening? This is the result of the immaturity of the nervous system and the weakness of the sphincter, a muscular valve that sits at the top of a tiny stomach and still does not hold its contents very well. And, consequently, any movement when changing position or turning on the stomach contributes to the “splashing” of the eaten back.
The milk that your baby spits up will hardly differ in appearance from the one that got into his mouth if it only reached the esophagus. But if the milk has gone down to the stomach, it will curdle and have a sour smell.
Many babies spit up from time to time, some do it after every feed. Noticeable regurgitation appears after the arrival of mature milk – by about 14-30 days after childbirth. They become more abundant and frequent from about 20-30 days. As a rule, by the age of six months, regurgitation either stops altogether, or significantly decreases.
When a child begins to spit up often, it is advisable for the mother to count how many times the baby will write per day. If this happens 12 or more times, then the baby has enough milk, and he spits up the excess.
How much regurgitation is normal? The norm for ages from 1 to 4 months is regurgitation after each feeding in the amount of 1-2 tablespoons and once a day with a “fountain”, i.e. vomiting in the amount of more than 3 tablespoons. Such vomiting is not dangerous if it occurs rarely and no other alarming symptoms are added to it.
To check exactly how much milk your baby has regurgitated, pour 1 tablespoon of water onto the diaper and compare the water stain with the size of the stain formed after regurgitation.
Do not be afraid that all the milk you have eaten has come back and your child has remained hungry. The amount of splashed milk will always seem large, but in reality it will not be more than two tablespoons.
Quite often there are mothers who raise their child vertically so that he burps up air.In fact, this is true for a child who actively swallows during feeding and at the same time captures air. This is one of the signs of improper attachment. Such a child must be taught to properly latch on to the breast.
If your baby is properly latching on to the breast, does not make any sounds while sucking and does not catch air, then it should not be placed in a “column” after each feeding. During feeding, the baby falls asleep quite often. Try to imagine yourself in the place of a sleepy person who is lifted out of bed and placed in a “post”.Moreover, a child who spits up in an upright position may begin to choke.
So what is the best position for a child to regurgitate and what should a mother do? If the child begins to spit up while in the arms of the mother, then she needs to turn him over in her arms on her stomach. If the mother needs to put the child in bed for a while, then it is better to put him on the barrels.
So, if your child spits up frequently and profusely, but at the same time pees often, feels good and gains weight normally, this is the norm.With frequent regurgitation, accompanied by poor weight gain and rare urination, or if each regurgitation of the child is vomiting “fountain” (3 or more tablespoons), it is necessary to urgently show the child to the doctor.
How often should a child “do big”? Some parents believe that if their child does not have a chair every day, something abnormal is happening to him.
Stool frequency can vary greatly between breastfed babies. It should be noted that the “baby” stains the diapers more often than the “artificial”, since mother’s milk is a unique product that contains all the nutrients a child needs.In addition, it is quickly and easily absorbed due to special enzymes (lipase, lactose) that break down the main ingredients of milk, i.e. breast milk helps the baby to digest itself. However, by the fourth month of life, stool frequency may decrease to two to four times a day. Among infants, there are often those in whom a decrease in stool occurs at an earlier age, at 2-3 months, and in some of them, already from 3 weeks of life! It also happens that a breastfed baby defecates every other day, or even less often – once every 2-7 days.If the child has a rare stool, and the baby usually does not show signs of anxiety, he has no difficulty with defecation, and the stool remains relatively soft, then there is nothing to worry about. This is not constipation, but evidence that breast milk is an excellent nutrition for a baby, which is almost completely absorbed in his body and practically does not produce waste.
However, it is necessary to pay attention to the fact that if a child who is breastfed has rare bowel movements, and at the same time he is gaining weight poorly, then the child may be receiving too little milk, and therefore the body simply has nothing to bring out.Signs of a lack of milk are:
- decrease in the number of wet diapers during the day;
- decrease in weight gain or stop in weight gain.
Quite often there are young mothers who complain that their child is probably suffering from constipation, because he grunts and pushes so desperately. But when asked if his stool is soft, the typical answer is, “Yes, soft and watery.” This means that the child is not constipated.
All newborns grunt and push.This has nothing to do with difficulty in defecation. Babies grunt because they don’t have the strong abdominal muscles that adults have, and so they have to work hard to squeeze out the stool. This is completely normal. They do not need help, they do not need enemas and laxatives.
Thus, stool variability in a breastfed baby – from 10 times a day to once every few days with good weight gain is the norm.
Closer to 1 year, when the child begins to eat a fairly significant amount of food from the common table, the situation changes and rare stools are replaced by more frequent ones – once a day or every other day.
Hard stools in a breastfeeding baby are very rare. True constipation with hard stools is more common in artificial children. This may be due to non-compliance with the proportions in the preparation of the mixture (insufficient amount of water), or this mixture is not suitable for the child. In this case, it is necessary to consult a doctor to select a different mixture. Children fed artificially are given an enema for 3 days.
Why does the baby spit up after feeding?
Regurgitation of a baby after breastfeeding is a situation that worries every mother.Are there any reasons for concern? How to determine the cause of regurgitation? What to do to eliminate regurgitation?
Find out today.
For now, a little background …
Baby is 1.5 months old. Delivery on time, but there was hypoxia. Recently, she began to regurgitate a lot, more often after breastfeeding.
This greatly interferes with the restful sleep of the baby. After all, instead of relaxing and falling asleep after feeding, she spits up, worries, cries.
Mom is worried, carries it in a post, gets tired herself, and cannot lie down and rest.The main fear of the mother is that her daughter overeats and because of this the “extra” milk comes out. Mom even thinks to set a feeding regimen.
Doctors only strengthen the mother in the idea that the child overeats, saying that the child needs time to digest one portion of milk. And you need to take a break of 2-3 hours to re-feed the baby.
Mom in confusion, child in stress …
Actually , doctors confuse the digestion of breast milk and formula.
The very definition of “overeats” cannot be applied to breast milk. Breast milk contains an enzyme called lipase, which helps in the rapid breakdown of breast milk fats and their absorption.
Fat gives the body energy, so it is very necessary for a little man.
Thanks to this and other enzymes, we can say that the load on the baby’s body is minimal. In fact, breast milk digests itself.
Regurgitation – a variant of the physiological norm for children under 3 months of age.
Due to the immaturity of the sphincter separating the esophagus and the stomach, very often, when the infant’s posture is changed, the contents of the stomach are thrown into the esophagus. For example, you fed the baby while lying down, and then picked it up – this can already lead to the abandonment of food.
The type of milk that you see when regurgitating can be from white liquid to thick, lumps, curdled.
Remember: For children under 3 months of age, it is a variant of the norm – regurgitation after each feeding in the amount of 1 teaspoon or 1-2 times a day with a fountain.
This is a variant of the norm.
It doesn’t need to be treated.
No need to be afraid or worried.
How to determine the amount of regurgitation?
If the baby spits up on the diaper, a stain will form on it. Take 1 tsp. water and pour it side by side onto the diaper.
Compare 2 spots by size. If they are about the same, there is no reason to worry.
If you see that the child is spitting up more than the norm – show the child to a neurologist and it would be good for an osteopath.Normal, childish.
After giving birth in the maternity hospital, all children have certain shifts, displacements – this is how obstetrics are arranged. You can correct the child and see how the situation changes.
For the rates of regurgitation, see also my video tutorial:
What can be done to reduce regurgitation in a child?
- Pay close attention to ensure that the baby is correctly latching on to the breast.
Almost the entire areola should be in your mouth, there should be no whistling air, and you shouldn’t be in pain. For the correct attachment, see this article, it is written in detail.
- Make sure that the baby does not slip on the nipple during feeding.
Unfortunately, this is common. The baby grasps the breast correctly, but gradually can slide onto the nipple. If you do not control this moment, then the baby begins to take in air while sucking and then will cry, experiencing the unpleasant sensations of swelling in the esophagus.
- If you see that the grip of the breast is not correct – take the breast and reinsert it.
Don’t be afraid to do this. Continuing to suckle in the wrong position, the baby is only wasting his efforts. Milk does not effectively suck out, soothing does not come from such sucking, and it also swallows air. Do not add problems to yourself or your child.
- Try armpit feeding.
This is the easiest way to see the latch on the breast and is easier to control. Feed at least a day in this position, see if regurgitation will decrease.
Pose “from under the arm”
- Redeem the baby using the adaptive bathing method.
This is a special bathing in a small tub, in a diaper. Bathing in this way helps your baby to relax, calm down and reduce stress levels.
You can learn how to swim in the course Happy motherhood >>>
A soothing collection can be added to the bathing bath (buy at the pharmacy, brew and add to the bath).
Each method can be used separately. Better all at once in the aggregate. Apply within a week, and see how the situation with regurgitation changes.
By the way, the mother of the girl, whose story I told you at the beginning, literally a week later wrote the following letter:
Lyudmila, good evening!
Thank you very much for your detailed answer. And for advice about an osteopath. We have already gone 2 times, the improvements are evident. It turns out that these are the consequences of hypoxia, so there were a lot of regurgitation.