During the first three months, it can be normal for a baby to spit up when laid down.
Did your baby spits up when laid down? If yes, even then, there is no need to worry about it because it is pretty normal.
All babies spit up during the early days of their lives. It is part of their G.I.T. (gastrointestinal tract) growth and maturity.
The incomplete development of the valve that leads from the esophagus to the stomach causes the regurgitation of milk in babies, and because of that, they spit up.
This valve is known as a sphincter. Usually, this valve keeps the food in place and prevents its backflow toward the throat.
All the newborn babies that cry often and do not sleep well are mostly diagnosed with acid reflux. No matter whether breastfed or formula-fed, almost every baby spits up when laid down after a feed.
Relief from infant reflux (when a baby spits up) takes only a small number of actions and some good habits.
Expensive natural remedies often do not work well, and treatment is required for severe cases only.
I hope that the reasons and relief tips mentioned below will be helpful for you to help your baby during this phase of his life.
What is the Medical Term Used for Spitting Up?
The severe form of reflux is known as Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disorder or GRED. During this, the spitting up becomes profuse, like throwing up or vomiting, and your baby will spit up more than 5 times daily.
Because of GRED, the baby will not sleep well and cry a lot. In addition to this, Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disorder also includes breathing issues, feeding issues, and fever. The baby will not properly gain weight, too.
In the case of GRED, consult the pediatrician.
Why Does My Baby Throw Up When Lying Down?
Baby spits up when laid down because of the back movement of milk or solid food from the stomach into the baby’s food pipe (esophagus).
At the time of birth, the digestive system of babies is not fully developed, and because of that, spitting up is common in babies.
Usually, babies don’t just spit up every time they are laid down after feeding. Some reasons for spitting up are mentioned below:
Because of feeding too quickly before bed, the baby will swallow air.
This air will form a bubble inside the baby’s body that goes down as he pushes his food down. After some time, this air will rise and push the food out through spits.
“Is spit up a sign of overfeeding?” It is one of the most asked questions.
Yes, overfeeding is one of the most common reasons babies spit up. Some parents think if the baby is full, he will not wake up during the night for feeding.
This will be the reason for distress for the baby, and he will wake up because of discomfort. Overfeeding causes the excess food to come back up.
Heavy Letdown of Milk
Heavy milk letdown is another reason for spiting up. Excessive milk letdown will force the baby to take his mouth away from your breast to breathe because he can’t handle that.
This will result in the swallowing of air that ultimately causes the baby to spit up when laid down.
Allergy and Food Sensitivity
Sometimes allergies and food sensitivities cause the baby to spit up when laid down. Some allergens can transfer from mother to baby through breast milk.
Therefore, allergies and food sensitivities of a breastfeeding mother can significantly affect the baby.
During feeding your child, burping is essential. After every feed, holding your child and rubbing his back while waiting for a burp is recommended.
But to stop your baby from spitting up, don’t do it quickly.
When Do Babies Stop Spitting Up When Lying Down?
During the early months of their life, it is common for babies to spit up just after feeding.
Usually, baby spits up when laid down until six months to one year because, after that, they start eating solid food.
There is a difference in the frequency of spitting up among different babies; some babies spit up rarely, while others spit up after every meal.
Almost all babies overcome this issue by their first birthday because of their fast growth.
What to do if the Baby Spits Up When Lying Down?
The frequency of spitting up is different for every baby. By following some habits, you can reduce the spits of your baby.
Proper Feeding Time
Your baby should have a proper feeding time so he will not remain hungry for long. It is essential to stop the baby from spitting up when laid down.
Try to maintain a reasonable feeding time for your baby and ensure he will never get too hungry.
In this way, the baby will not go fast to satisfy his hunger while feeding and will take it slow. As a result, the baby will not overfeed and occasionally spit up.
Eating slowly decreases your baby’s chances of swallowing air, which often happens when a baby is fed an appropriate amount.
Overfeeding is the reason for discomfort for everyone, not only for babies. So, to increase the feeding interval, overfeeding is not a good option for your baby.
Feed the baby according to his requirements. Don’t try to change the night routine of your baby according to your ease; accept it the way it is.
Remember, it is only for a short period. So, never feed him to make him fall asleep early and to get him quiet. Otherwise, overfeeding will be the reason for uneasiness for the baby.
Feeding the baby as per his needs will decrease the chances of spitting up.
Proper Milk Quantity
Feeding your baby in moderation reduces the increased risk of choking. Try to feed the baby according to the needs of his baby. If you are facing a heavy milk letdown, pump out the milk in a bottle for your baby.
Use the proper nipple size on the feeder (bottle), and make sure that the nipple is not too narrow nor too wide for the baby.
Also, properly wash and regularly change the nipple to avoid any infection.
Pay Attention to Allergies.
If Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disorder is not a problem, but your baby still spits up when laid down, there may be an allergy issue. Visit a doctor and follow preventive measures to resolve this issue.
Sometimes, the air gets trapped inside the baby’s digestive system while feeding; removing that air is known as burping. It will decrease the pressure from the tummy of your baby.
It will also increase the space in the baby’s stomach and reduce the tendency for feed to come back into the esophagus.
During breastfeeding, burp your baby every time you change the breast or after each feeding. In the case of bottle feeding, do it every 3 to 5 minutes.
And here comes the question, “What if the baby doesn’t burp and falls asleep? Burping is required to remove the extra gas from your baby; otherwise, he will not feel comfortable.
Without burping, there are more chances that the baby will wake up and spit up when laid down.
Proper Feeding Position
During breastfeeding, your baby maintains an upright position and doesn’t bend. It will allow the smooth flow of food through the G.I.T. of your baby and will reduce the chances of air consumption.
Keep the baby upright for about 20 to 30 minutes after feeding. In addition, provide the baby with a calm environment to avoid distractions because any sound can surprise the baby and make him gulp the air.
Don’t choose clothes for the baby that are too tight. Also, avoid friendly diapers because that will be a source of pressure on the baby’s stomach and may become the reason for Spitting up. Make sure that your baby always wears comfortable clothes.
Baby spits up when laid down, and it usually goes away with the complete development of the sphincter.
Therefore, during the early months of your baby’s life, you must adopt good habits to overcome spitting up.
I hope that the reasons mentioned above and solutions for spiting up will be helpful for you and will increase your knowledge.
Conclusion- Baby Spits Up When Laid Down
It often happens when a baby is fed too much or eats too quickly, which increases their chances of swallowing air. For a diaper change, preparation is essential as the baby may spit up during the process. While spitting up may be expected, it’s essential to be mindful of the increased risk of choking that comes with it.
Eating too quickly increases your baby’s chances of swallowing air, which can lead to spitting up when laid down. After they gulp some air with breastmilk or formula, babies may experience spitting up, but it is typically harmless. However, it’s crucial to monitor any signs that may compromise their breathing and seek medical attention if necessary.
FAQs – Baby Spits Up When Laid Down
When should I be concerned about the vomiting of my baby?
Spitting up and vomiting are two different things. Vomiting is usually painful and forceful. If your baby keeps vomiting for more than 12 hours, medical help is needed.
Visit a pediatrician because vomiting can cause dehydration.
Spit-up is normal and harmless for most babies after they calmly consume breastmilk or formula without gulping down excessive air.
How do I know if my baby has gastroesophageal reflux?
In the case of reflux, the baby often spits up (although some babies don’t). The amount of spitting may vary from small to medium. Baby spits up many times a day, or he might vomit.
This Gastro Esophageal reflux makes the baby uncomfortable, especially if the food that comes back into the throat is sour or acidic.
The baby may cry 1 to 2 hours after feeding due to the discomfort caused by the reflux. Try to hold the baby upright in this condition because lying flat is painful.
Your baby also acts fussy the whole day.
Is it okay for the baby to spit up while sleeping?
Spitting up during sleep is normal in babies. Placing a baby on his back during sleep is recommended to reduce the chances of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
In this position, the baby’s stomach is anatomically higher than his esophagus, with more chances of spiting up during sleep.
But babies automatically swallow or cough up the fluid they discharge during spiting up, preventing choking.
Therefore, placing a baby on his tummy during sleep to reduce spits is not recommended.
Should I feed the baby after he spits up?
Usually, the babies spit up only a tiny portion of their feed, and they don’t seem hungry till the next feeding. But sometimes, it seems to be much more.
The fluid spitting up mostly resembles the milk or formula fed to the baby, but sometimes it may be curdled to some extent.
Spitting up is very common in healthy babies, and you can mainly feed your baby shortly after spitting up because it will help prevent dehydration.
In a few cases, it is better to wait for some time and give their bellies rest before trying again.
Can baby choke on spits up with a pacifier?
Most pacifiers are safe for babies. However, using the correct size pacifier according to your baby’s age is essential. Otherwise, it may cause choking.
How much is too much spit up for a 2 week old?
Babies spit up when they quickly drink a large quantity of milk. Spitting up commonly occurs just after the baby feeds, but it can also occur after one to two hours of feeding. 50 % of the babies that are zero to three months old spit up at least once daily.
The quantity of spits-up fluid is usually 1 to 2 tablespoons at one time. If the baby spits up more than this or is linked with respiratory system issues like gasping, coughing, and choking, visit a pediatrician as soon as possible.
How do I stop my baby from spitting up when lying down?
To stop your baby from spitting up when lying down, try feeding them in a more upright position, burping them regularly during feedings, and keeping them upright for at least 20-30 minutes after feeding.
How long do you keep the baby upright to prevent spit-up?
Keeping your baby upright for at least 20-30 minutes after feeding is generally recommended to prevent spit-up. This helps gravity keep the milk in their stomach.
What is the difference between reflux and spitting up?
Reflux is when stomach contents come back into the esophagus or mouth, which can cause discomfort or pain. Spitting up is a form of reflux, but it’s generally less severe and doesn’t cause discomfort.
Does spit-up mean overfeeding?
Spit-up could mean overfeeding, but it’s ordinary in healthy, well-fed infants. If your baby spits up frequently or seems uncomfortable, it may be a sign of overfeeding or reflux.
What age is baby spit up worst?
Spit-up typically peaks when the baby is around 4 months old and usually improves by the time they’re 6-12 months old when they start eating more solid foods.
What does GERD spit-up look like?
GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) spit-up may contain yellowish food, look like coffee grounds (which indicates blood), or smell sour. It’s often associated with other symptoms like fussiness, eating refusal, or poor weight gain.
Does gripe water help reflux?
Gripe water hasn’t been proven scientifically to help with reflux. It’s better to consult your pediatrician for appropriate remedies.
Do pacifiers help with reflux?
Pacifiers might help with reflux because sucking can help settle the stomach. However, they’re not a definitive solution and should be used under a doctor’s advice.
Why does my baby throw up when I lay her down?
When you lay your baby down, it might throw up for a few reasons. One common sense is that their immature digestive system is still developing, making them more prone to spitting up. Also, babies have a small muscle between the stomach and esophagus that may not fully mature, causing milk or formula to come back up quickly. It’s also possible that your baby might be overfed, leading to spit-up when they are laid down.
Does spit-up mean the baby is full?
Spit-up doesn’t necessarily mean that the baby is full. It’s important to understand that spit-up is different from vomiting. Spit-up is usually a small amount of milk or formula that comes out of the mouth, while vomiting involves a forceful expulsion of stomach contents. Babies can spit up even if they’re not complete, and it’s pretty normal for them to do so.
Is it OK if the baby spits up in sleep?
It is generally okay if a baby spits up while sleeping. Many babies spit up during or after feeding, which can also happen during sleep. However, ensuring the baby lies on its back is essential to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Placing a small, firm pillow or wedge under the head of the mattress may help elevate the baby’s upper body slightly, which can reduce reflux and spit-up.
What is the difference between reflux and vomiting in babies?
Reflux and vomiting are different conditions in babies. Reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux (GER), is when stomach contents flow back into the esophagus. It is common in infants due to their immature digestive systems. Reflux often leads to spit-up or regurgitation of milk or formula. On the other hand, vomiting involves forceful expulsion of stomach contents. It can be a sign of illness, such as a stomach virus or food intolerance, and is typically more severe than superficial reflux.
What position is best for a baby throwing up?
When a baby is throwing up, it’s best to hold them upright. This can help prevent the stomach contents from flowing back up the esophagus. You can have the baby against your shoulder or keep them in an elevated position on your lap, with their head higher than their stomach. After feeding, holding the baby upright for about 30 minutes is advisable to allow the food to settle before laying it down to sleep.