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Minimising spitting up

As your baby grows, there are few problems that start coming along. Don’t worry, these are quite common. If your baby spits up frequently, it can leave you wondering whether she’s getting enough nutrition. Knowing when to be concerned and understanding ways to reduce spitting up can help you rest easier.

Here are few things you should know.

Why babies spit up?

Beginning at just a few weeks of age, babies may spit up about one or two mouthfuls of food after a feeding. Babies often don’t seem to notice and about half of all babies spit up regularly.

Spitting up can mean your baby has eaten more than her tummy can hold. It can also happen when your baby burps or drools. Although it can be messy, it’s usually no cause for concern. Most babies outgrow this phase by about 6 months or by the time they’re sitting up on their own.

Spitting up is different from vomitting and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD), often called "reflux". Vomitting is forceful and causes distress and/or discomfort and usually produces a much greater amount than spitting up. If you have any concerns, be sure to talk to your baby’s doctor.

Help minimise spitting up.

If your baby is spitting up frequently, use these tips:

  • Try to avoid interruptions and distractions during mealtime and feed your baby before she gets too hungry.
  • Burp your baby about two or three times during each feeding. Try burping your baby upright on your lap to minimise pressure on her tummy
  • Make sure your baby is properly latching on to the nipple to prevent the ingestion of air
  • Make playtime after feedings low-key to avoid jostling
  • Try to keep your baby’s head higher than her abdomen. After feeding, hold your baby, place her in a baby seat or front pack—or if her neck is strong enough, in a backpack

Also, if you’re nursing and especially if you have a history of allergies, consider your diet. Occasionally, something you eat (often a dairy product) may be associated with your baby’s irritability and increased likelihood of spitting up.

Remember, you are not the one facing these problems for the first time. Tackling them is easy if you know the right steps. If you have more questions, be sure to talk with your baby’s doctor.

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