What Your Baby’s Spit-Up Tells You About Their Health

It’s normal for babies to spit-up, but parents should be taking it as an opportunity to learn what it says about their infant’s health.

Spit-up is perfectly normal for babies as they are getting used to feeding. Healthy babies often spit up when they have eaten more than their little tummies can hold. It can happen when they drool or burp but it is not consistent. Some babies spit-up more than others and like many mothers, you may be wondering how much spittle should be considered too much. You may also wonder what the spit-up means about your baby’s health. While spit-up is perfectly normal, there are some things that you can do to limit the amount that your baby produces.

Understanding Infant Spit-Up

The first thing to understand is that the flow of liquid or baby spit-up is very common. Experts estimate that almost 40{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} of healthy babies will often spit up after being fed. If the spit up occurs immediately after the feeding, it will often look like milk. However, when it happens after the digestion process has begun, the spit-up looks curdled and it can smell a bit sour. Infant spit-up is basically saliva and gastric juices. In most cases, there is very little milk in the spit-up. This means that you should not be worried about your baby not getting enough milk. Spit-up does not usually lead to weight loss or baby distress.

What Does “Normal” Spit-Up Look Like?

It may hard to determine whether your baby’s spittle is normal. This is especially the case when it happens several times a day. Baby spit-up usually looks more than it really is and in most cases, it is about one teaspoon of liquid. It usually spurts or dribbles out of the baby’s mouth. Sometimes, the spit-up appears forceful, much like projectile vomit. If the baby does not have any other signs of illness, forceful spitting might be reflux. This may be due to food sensitivities or it can be an anatomical issue.

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The most common reasons for baby spit-up include an immature digestive system, improper latching, and fast letdown. As the baby’s stomach muscles are not fully mature, the contents of the stomach tend to flow backward.

If the baby fails to latch properly on the breast or bottle, he will take in an excessive amount of air during feeding. This will increase the amount of spit-up after feeding. A fast letdown when breastfeeding makes it difficult for an infant to keep up with the milk flow. This causes the baby to swallow air and some of the milk comes back up.

Telling The Difference Between Spit-Up & Vomit

When you realize that baby spit up is normal, you need to know how to differentiate between spittle and vomit. While spittle is an easy flow of liquid through the baby’s mouth, vomit is a more forceful shooting out of the stomach contents. To know the difference between the two, you need to consider the quantity, force, color, smell, and the baby’s mood.

On the other hand, vomit is more forceful and it tends to have a yellow or green color. This is usually an indication of the presence of bile. Vomit has a strong foul smell, while spittle just smells sour. Your baby will usually look sick or cry when he is about to vomit. He may also have a fever.

How To Minimize Your Baby’s Spit-Up

If the amount of spittle that your baby is producing is getting you down, there are things that you can do to help. The first thing is to try and give your baby smaller feeds. Consider reducing the amount of breast milk or formula that your baby is consuming in one feeding. Keep your baby calm and upright immediately after feeding. Do this for about 20 to 30 minutes. Pace the baby’s feeding, taking frequent burping breaks. Do not dress your baby in any clothing or diapers that are tight around the stomach. If you are breastfeeding, think about your diet and avoid foods that affect your baby’s digestion. Avoid placing the baby to sleep on his stomach

When To Consult A Doctor

If your baby is vomiting because of illness, it is very important to consult a pediatrician. This is especially important for babies younger than 12 weeks. In some cases, vomiting may be due to hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, a serious condition that stops food from getting to the intestines. For babies a little older, a common cause of vomiting is a viral infection. Either way, consulting a doctor is always advisable. It can help to rule out more serious health complications.

In some rare cases, infants develop gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is usually characterized by discomfort and choking when the spittle is coming out. Getting proper diagnosis and treatment is especially vital if the baby also has a fever.

NEXT: Thomas Rhett Says ‘Everything’s Fine’ After His 6-Week-Old Daughter Spits Up On Him

Sources: mamanatural.com, healthline.com, mayoclinic.org, babycenter.com, romper.com.

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