Babies vomiting milk is a common headache for most moms out there, especially if you are a new mom. Being around your little dragon constantly spitting milk from his mouth is definitely not an easy chore if it’s your first time dealing with it. That’s why we are here to help.
The first thing you should do is to look for the signs of illness in your child. If he is vomiting after feeding because of an illness, none of the remedies can work for him. The sick babies are the worst kind, so you should see his doctor right when you spot something wrong with them. If he is healthy and happy but still spitting milk, then you can try some hacks to prevent or reduce it.
Why Babies Spit Milk?
Newborns go through the developmental stages in their first three months of growth. Their organs develop and adapt to environmental changes. During this period, they’ll show several changes in their habits and behavior. They will often show signs of fevers, colds, and spitting milk (Of course!). The cardiac sphincter in newborns is pre-mature and, therefore, is unable to hold food in the stomach. That is why babies feel a sensation called Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER), which causes them to vomit their stomach contents. In mom language, we call it spit milk!
What Causes Babies to Spit so Often?
Apart from the GER, are there any other complications? That can be a possibility. Vomiting milk can also happen due to some medical complications or due to a stomach bug. As your child’s immune system is also developing in that period along with the rest of the body, and can’t take care of him as well as you do. If you are not on the constant lookout, it can also become quite serious too, which is why you have to take extra care of your baby’s health. Let’s look for some major reasons causing children to spit milk:
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD)
When the cardiac sphincter undergoes some complications, and its movements become too often, contents flow back along with the stomach acid. This problem is called GERD in infants. Its symptoms can appear as your baby choking up on vomit, weight loss, and consequently, an unhappy baby.
If the muscle between the stomach and small intestine is not developed enough, it prevents food from flowing normally, and your child will throw up everything you just fed him in the form of projectile vomit. He will immediately be hungry after the vomit. That’s the most important sign.
Initial three months are crucial for a baby’s immune system. Therefore, it’s very common for your baby to catch a bug around that time. The spitting milk can turn into vomit, accompanied by fever or diarrhea and an uncomfortable baby.
Allergies to certain products can also be a cause of vomiting milk often. Some common allergies are cow milk protein allergy, lactose intolerance. You can consider changing the formula if this is the case.
Acid can travel up in the esophagus and cause heartburn. It usually occurs because of overfeeding or lying him down immediately after feeding. Milk coming out, in that case, will be curdled up, as it is the main symptom of indigestion.
Suppose you notice any of these problems when your baby spits milk. In that case, it’s time to consult your pediatrician and rectify the situation.
What Can Help With Reflux?
If there is no underlying problem with your baby, you can rest easy and try a few of these tips at home to relieve the issue:
1. Feeding Posture
Adjust your baby’s posture while feeding him. Remember to keep him upright while you feed him, whether it’s a bottle or breastfeeding. It will prevent the backflow of the contents of milk. After feeding, keep him upright for the next 30 minutes to help with the normal flow of food and keep the digestion process easy. Prevent putting him in the swing or too much activity as it will bring the food back to the esophagus.
2. Feeding Flow
Keep the flow as little as possible. The increased flow can cause the baby to choke on the milk. It can also cause overfeeding. If breastfeeding, learn to pinch milk a little, if the flow is too much, by holding it between your fingers. If you are bottle-feeding your baby, check the nipple size. Make sure it is not too wide, as it will cause overflow, or too narrow as that can make the baby suck harder and take in too much milk at a time.
3. Feeding Time
It is always better to feed the baby in intervals than feeding him a large portion all at once. Divide the feeding time of your baby into intervals and feed him in less amount more frequently. This way, his little stomach will be able to digest easily without the backflow.
4. Don’t Forget the Burp!
Baby has to burp after feeding before you lie him back down. Newborns are unable to burp on their own. Therefore, mothers have to assist them in the process. You can do that by adjusting their post-feeding posture. Here are a few tips to guide you through it:
- Rub and pat the back of your baby while holding him against your chest, and supporting their head on your shoulder.
- Sit your baby up in your lap while you support their chest and head with one hand. With the other hand, rub or pat their back gently.
- Lie them flat in your lap face down, and rub the back gently with your hand. Make sure to support his head with the other and keep it higher than his chest.
Try out one of these positions to help your newborn burp effortlessly.
5. Take Care of the Belly
If newborns get cold around their belly portion, it can cause stomach cramps, and eventually, vomiting milk. Make sure you always keep your baby’s belly covered up with a blanket to prevent these cramps.
6. Check Mom’s Diet
You can also consult your doctor regarding your diet if you are breastfeeding your baby. Quitting certain kinds of food like caffeine, dairy, etc., may help with the spitting milk problem too, as it will ease the digestion of milk for the baby.
What to Do After the Spit Milk?
Usually, it is no use to cry after the milk is spat, but this is the whole other matter. You have a lot of work to do after your baby has spit the milk. Apart from the obvious answers like doing the pile of laundry and cleaning the baby up, here a few additional things you need to do after your baby has vomited milk:
1. Adjusting the Posture
It’s usually best to keep the newborn’s head elevated if he is vomiting so that the vomit does not enter the windpipe and choke him. Remember to keep the upper body elevated by using a bath towel or a light blanket when you lie him down. When he starts spitting, turn his face to one side, so the vomit doesn’t go back in.
2. Rehydration is a Priority!
When the baby spits milk, he also emits the water he has taken in. Therefore, when your baby is done vomiting, try to give him a little water with the spoon after 30 minutes. Feeding anything immediately can cause him to throw up again. So make sure to wait for the stomach to settle for half an hour before giving him water.
3. Feeding again is not Necessary!
If your infant is happily playing after he is done spitting and does not cry or show discomfort, you do not have to feed him again. Even if it seems like a lot that he threw up, it is usually normal for babies to spit multiple times from one to three months of their age.
As they age, children will outgrow the problem. With the passage of time, their cardiac sphincter will be developed enough to hold food in the stomach without backflow. After the first 12 months, it typically ends or is reduced to almost none. So there is no need to worry about anything if he is a happy child without a hint of sickness. You can just wait for the problem to subside, but if you think that the spit is not normal, you can always contact your pediatrician for guidance too. Just make sure that you don’t over worry yourself about your child because a happy mom raises a happy child.