Naturally, you want to do everything you can to keep your baby happy and healthy. As a new parent, you may associate spit up with vomit, but know that they are different. Spit up is a sign of a healthy baby, but why exactly do babies spit up? Are there any cases where spit up could be cause for concern? Will your baby choke on spit up? Keep reading to learn more about normal spit up for babies.
Understanding Why Babies Spit Up
Educating yourself is a good starting point in determining what’s normal and what’s not for your baby. If you ever have any concerns though, we encourage you to contact your doctor. From assisting with burping techniques to referring a lactation specialist to help your baby latch, doctors can be the starting point of a wealth of resources to help you and your baby.
When should I be concerned about baby spit up?
Normal spit up should look similar to whatever you just fed them – such as breast milk or formula. After spitting up, your baby should feel some relief, and therefore, they should appear relatively content. They may even want more food. There are some cases of spit up, though, that can raise red flags. If you notice a green or yellow color to spit up, contact your doctor. Additionally, you should contact your doctor if the spit up looks like it has coffee grounds in it. While vomiting is not the same as spitting up, it can be a cause for concern.
Does spit up mean overfeeding?
Spit up can be the result of overfeeding or feeding too quickly, but that’s not the only driver. Here are some things that can cause your baby to spit up or spit up more.
- Overfeeding or feeding too fast: Bottle-fed babies should be burped every 2-3 ounces, and breastfed babies should be burped after feeding from each breast.
- Feeding in a reclined position: During and approximately 30 minutes after a feeding, keeping your baby in an upright position can help avoid spitting up.
- Swallowing too much air: Burping and spitting up is the result of air trapped in your baby. Burping your baby more often can help air escape, which can reduce spit up. Additionally, if bottle-feeding, make sure the nipple hole is the right size and that it’s not clogged. If the nipple is clogged or too small, your baby may suck harder than needed and take in more air.
- Playtime or activity after feeding time: After feeding, try to keep your baby calm and allow them time to burp and digest nutrients. If they really want to play though, you can let them, but they might spit up. Planning ahead with a baby can make it easier to allow for downtime after feeding and other preferred routine habits with a baby.
Should I keep feeding if my baby spits up?
As we’ve covered, spitting up is normal for a baby. In most cases, spit-up is caused by overfeeding or feeding too fast, swallowing too much air, or too much activity following a feeding. If your baby spits up during or after a feeding, but wants to keep eating, you can continue to feed them. In fact, this is a good sign that spitting up helped your baby find some relief. If you notice your baby spitting up more often, you may want to evaluate the ingredients of formula or dietary habits if you’re breastfeeding.
How can you tell the difference between throwing up and spitting up?
While babies can spit up and throw up, it’s important to know the difference. Spitting up in babies is a liquid dribble out of the mouth that resembles what they just ate, such as breastmilk or formula. Vomiting or projectile spit up is a more forceful release of stomach contents.
Does a pacifier help with spitting up?
Pacifiers can help calm your baby down, but they are not so helpful in the spit up department. Pacifiers can increase the amount of air a baby ingests. As a result, they may be more likely to spit up after feeding. Bottle-fed babies can also ingest more air if the nipple is clogged or too small. It’s important to make sure your baby is in a comfortable feeding position, and your bottle (if you’re using one) is properly set up.
What month do babies spit up the most?
Life with a baby is far from dull. From spit up to blowouts, the mess seems never to end. Most babies start spitting up after 2-3 weeks following birth, but outgrow it by 12 months of age. As babies start to eat more, they may spit up more. The frequency your baby spits up, and when they outgrow it will depend on their personal development. Some babies will outgrow spitting up a little before or a little after one year.
How many times a day is it normal for baby to spit up?
With spit up most commonly occurring after a feeding, the number of times a baby spits up in a day can vary. Most babies will spit up one or two mouthfuls at a time. If the spit up has turned into a stain, it can look like more spit up than what was actually released. Notice your baby’s patterns, such as the amount and frequency they spit up, to help you determine what’s normal for them. If you have any concerns, consult your doctor.
Spitting up is perfectly normal for babies, even when they get a little older. With feeding often lulling your baby to sleep, you might have some concerns about spit up interfering with sleep. Here at Dreamland, we promote longer, better night’s sleep for parents and babies. Rest assured that your baby should not choke on spit up in their sleep. Naturally, they have ways to prevent spit up from traveling back down their windpipe. So if your baby falls asleep during a feeding and you don’t have the heart to wake them for a burp, let them sleep. Wrap them in their favorite weighted sleep sack or swaddle and let them drift off to dreamland.
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