Baby spits up when laid down

Baby spits up when laid down

(Last Updated On: August 17, 2021)

Did your baby spits up when laid down? If yes, even then there is no need to worry about it because it is quite normal. All babies spit up during the early days of their lives. It is a part of their growth and the maturity of their G.I.T (gastrointestinal tract).

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. Normally, this valve keeps the food in place and prevents its backflow towards the throat.

All the newborn babies that cry often and did not sleep well are mostly diagnosed with acid reflux. No matter breast-fed 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 did not work well and treatment is required for serious cases only.

I hope that the reasons and relief tips mentioned below will be useful for you to help your baby during this phase of his life.


What is the medical term used for spitting up?

The medical term that is used for spitting up is Gastro-Esophageal Reflux. It is also known as newborn acid reflux. This form of reflux is not harmful and is only due to the immature digestive system of the baby.

The serious form of reflux is known as Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disorder or GRED. During this, the spitting up becomes profuse just like throwing up or vomiting, and your baby will spit up more than 5 times a day.

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 laying 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. There are some reasons for spitting up that are mentioned below:


Quick feeding

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 continues to push his food down. After some time this air will rise and push the food out in the form of spits up.



“Is spit up a sign of overfeeding?” Is one of the most asked questions.

Yes, overfeeding is one of the most common reasons due to which babies spit up. Some parents think if the baby is super full then he will not wake up during the night for feeding. In fact, 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 take a breath because he can’t handle that.

This will result in the swallowing of air that ultimately causes the baby to spits up when laid down.


Allergy and food sensitivity

Sometimes allergies and food sensitivities cause the baby to spits up when laid down. Some allergens have the ability to transfer from mother to baby through breast milk.

Therefore, allergies and food sensitivities of a breastfeeding mother can greatly affect the baby.


Burping fast

During feeding your child burping is very essential. After every feed, it is recommended to hold your child and rub his back while waiting for a burp. But in order to stop your baby from spitting up don’t do it quickly.


When do babies stop spitting up when laying 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 the age of 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. In both cases, almost all babies overcome this issue by the time of their first birthday because of their fast growth.


What to do if the baby spits up when laying down?

The frequency of spitting up is different for every baby. By following some habits you can reduce the spits up of your baby.


Proper feeding time

There should be a proper feeding time for your baby so that he will not remain hungry for a long time. It is very important to stop baby spits up when laid down.

Try to maintain a reasonable feeding time for your baby and make sure that 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 spits up.


Avoid overfeeding

Overfeeding is the reason for discomfort for everyone, not only for babies. So, in order to increase the feeding interval, overfeeding is not a good option for your baby.

Feed the baby according to his requirement. Don’t try to change the night routine of your baby according to your ease, just accept it the way it is.

Remember, it is only for a short period of time. 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 spiting up.


Proper milk quantity

Try to feed the baby according to the needs of his baby. In case you are facing heavy milk let down, 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 kind of infection. You can also check other articles like Middle name for Owen


Pay attention to allergies

If Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disorder is not a problem but still your baby spits up when laid down, then there may be an issue of allergy. Visit a doctor and follow precautionary measures to resolve this issue.


Sometimes 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 stomach of the baby and reduce the tendency for feed to come back in the esophagus.

During breastfeeding burp your baby every time you change the breast or after each feeding. In case of bottle feeding, do it after every 3 to 5 minutes.

And here comes the question “What if the baby doesn’t burp and falls asleep? Actually burping is required to be done 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 spits 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 in the upright position for about 20 to 30 minutes after feeding. In addition to this, feed the baby in a calm environment to avoid any kind of distraction because any sound can surprise the baby and make him gulp the air.


Loose clothing

Don’t choose clothes for the baby that are too tight. Also, avoid tight diapers because that will be the source of pressure on the baby’s stomach and may become the reason for spiting up. Make sure that your baby always wears comfortable clothes.

Baby spits up when laid down and it normally goes away with the complete development of the sphincter. Therefore, during the early months of your baby’s life, you just need to adopt some good habits to overcome spitting up.

I hope that the above-mentioned reasons and solutions for spiting up will be helpful for you and will increase your knowledge. In addition to these, the following are the answers to some most commonly asked questions:


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 then there is a need for medical help.

Visit a pediatrician because vomiting can cause dehydration.


How do I know if my baby has Gastro Esophageal 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 in a day or he might vomit.

This Gastro Esophageal reflux makes the baby uncomfortable especially if the food that comes back in the throat is sour or acidic.

The baby may cry 1 to 2 hours after feeding due to the discomfort caused by the reflux. In this condition, try to hold the baby in an upright position because lying flat is painful for the baby.

Your baby also acts fussy the whole day.


Is it okay for the baby to spit up while sleeping? “OR” When should I worry about my newborn spitting up while sleeping?

Spitting up during sleep is normal in babies. In order to reduce the chances of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), it is recommended to place a baby on his back during sleep.

In this position, anatomically the stomach of the baby is higher than his esophagus and there are more chances of spiting up during sleep.

But babies automatically swallow or cough up the fluid that they discharge during spiting up and this phenomenon prevents choking.

Therefore, placing a baby on his tummy during sleep with the intention of reducing spits up is not recommended.


Should I feed the baby after spits up?

Usually, the babies spit up only a small portion of their feed and they don’t seem hungry till the next feeding. But sometimes it seems to be much more.

The fluid of spitting up mostly looks like the milk or formula feed that is fed to the baby but sometimes it may be curdled to some extent.

In healthy babies, this spitting up is very common and mostly you can feed your baby shortly after spiting up because it will help in preventing the baby from dehydration.

In 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 pacifier?

Most pacifiers are safe for babies. However, it is important to use the right size pacifier according to the age of your baby. Otherwise, it may cause choking.


How much is too much spit up for a 2 week old?

Normally babies spit up when they quickly drink a large quantity of milk. Spitting up commonly occurs just after 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, spits up at least once a day.

The quantity of spits-up fluid is usually 1 to 2 tablespoons at one time. If the baby spits up more than this or if it is linked with the issues of respiratory system like gasping, coughing, and choking then visit a pediatrician as soon as possible.

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