- What You Should Know About Spitting Up:
- Spitting up occurs in most infants (50%).
- Almost always doesn't cause any pain or crying.
- Spitting up does not interfere with normal weight gain.
- Infants with normal reflux do not need any tests or medicines.
- Reflux improves with age.
- Here is some care advice that should help.
- Feed Smaller Amounts:
- Skip this advice if age less than 1 month or not gaining weight well.
- Bottlefed Babies. Give smaller amounts per feeding (1 ounce or 30 mL less than you have been). Keep the total feeding time to less than 20 minutes. Reason: Overfeeding or completely filling the stomach always makes spitting up worse.
- Breastfed Babies. If you have a good milk supply, try nursing on 1 side per feeding. Pump the other side. Switch sides you start on at each feeding.
- Longer Time Between Feedings:
- Formula. Wait at least 2½ hours between feedings.
- Breastmilk. Wait at least 2 hours between feedings.
- Reason: It takes that long for the stomach to empty itself. Don't add more milk to a full stomach.
- Loose Diapers:
- Do not put the diaper on too tight. It puts added pressure on the stomach.
- Don't put pressure on the stomach right after meals.
- Also, do not play too hard with your baby during this time.
- Upright Position:
- After meals, try to hold your baby in the upright (vertical) position.
- Use a front-pack, backpack, or swing for 30 to 60 minutes after feedings.
- Decrease the time in a sitting position (such as infant seats).
- After 6 months of age, a jumpy seat is helpful. The newer ones are stable.
- During breast or bottle feeds, hold your baby at a slant. Try to keep your baby's head higher than the stomach.
- Less Pacifier Time:
- Frequent sucking on a pacifier can pump the stomach up with swallowed air.
- So can sucking on a bottle with too small a nipple hole.
- The formula should drip 1 drop per second when held upside down. If it doesn't, the nipple hole may be clogged. Clean the nipple better. You can also make the nipple hole slightly bigger.
- Burping is less important than giving smaller feedings. You can burp your baby 2 or 3 times during each feeding.
- Do it when he pauses and looks around. Don't interrupt his feeding rhythm in order to burp him.
- Burp each time for less than a minute. Stop even if no burp occurs. Some babies don't need to burp.
- Add Rice Cereal to Formula:
- If your baby still spits up large amounts, try thickening the formula. Mix it with rice cereal.
- Start with 1 level teaspoon of rice cereal to each ounce of formula.
- Acid Blocking Medicines:
- Prescription medicines that block acid production are not helpful for normal reflux.
- These medicines also can have side effects.
- They do not reduce excessive crying from colic.
- They are only useful for symptoms of heartburn.
- What to Expect:
- Reflux gets better with age.
- After learning to sit well, many babies are better by 7 months of age.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Spitting up changes to vomiting (forceful or projectile)
- Poor weight gain
- Your baby does not get better with this advice
- You think your child needs to be seen
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.