Is it normal for my baby to spit up after feedings?
Sometimes, babies spit up when they:
- have eaten too much
- burp (the notorious "wet burp")
Many infants will spit up a little after some — or even all — feedings or during burping because their digestive tracts are immature. That's perfectly normal.
As long as your baby is growing and gaining weight and doesn't seem uncomfortable with the spitting up, it's OK. The amount of spit up often looks more than it actually is. But spitting up isn't the same as vomiting all or most of a feeding.
If you're concerned your baby is forcefully vomiting, or much of a feeding is coming up more than once a day, call your doctor. In rare cases, there may be an allergy, digestive problem, or other problem that needs medical attention.
It also may help your doctor to properly diagnose the problem (if there is one) if you keep a record of exactly how often and how much your baby seems to be spitting up, then call your doctor. He or she should be able to tell you if it's normal or something that's cause for concern.
But again, it's important to remember that spitting up is usually perfectly OK. If the doctor says your baby's spitting up is normal, here are some things you can do to help ease it:
- Burp your little one when he or she comes off of each breast, or after every 1 to 2 ounces during bottle feeds. Sometimes giving smaller, more frequent feeds can help rather than large volume feeds.
- Keep your baby upright after feedings — holding the baby is best, since the position of the baby in an infant seat may actually make spitting up more common.
- Don't jiggle, bounce, or actively play with your baby right after feedings.
- Keep your baby's head above his or her feet while feeding (in other words, don't hold your baby in a dipped-down position when feeding).
- Raise the head of your baby's crib or bassinet. Roll up a few small hand towels or receiving blankets (or you can buy special "blocks") to place under (not on top of) the mattress. But don't use a pillow under your baby's head. Make sure the mattress doesn’t fold in the middle, and that the incline is gentle enough so the baby doesn’t slide down.
If your baby also gets bottles of breast milk or infant formula supplements:
- Don't give the bottle while your little one is lying down.
- Make sure the hole in the nipple is the right size and/or flow for your baby. For example, fast-flow nipples may cause babies to gag or may simply give them more than they can handle. Many breastfed babies do well with the slow-flow nipple until they are 3 months old, or even older. It's also important to keep in mind that many babies outgrow spitting up by the time they're sitting up.
It's also important to keep in mind that this, too, shall pass. Many babies outgrow spitting up by the time they're sitting up.
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