Why does my baby spit up so much?

Many new parents ask the question, “Why does my baby spit up so much…is it normal, what should I do?”. But the truth is, there is no need to be alarmed, your baby is simply getting the hang of feeding. More than half of young newborn babies spit up regularly, with this behaviour peaking at the age of 4 months, this referred to as Reflux.

Reflux simply put is, when your baby swallows air along with the breast milk or formula, that air then gets trapped in amongst the liquid. Unfortunately, that air needs to come out again and when it does, some of the liquid comes through the baby’s mouth or nose.

Babies take in a lot of nourishment in relation to their size and some of them just really enjoy the feeding process, so sometimes they become overfilled and well, overflow. Another reason why a baby will spit-up is because a newborn’s digestive system is not yet fully developed. The muscles at the bottom of your baby’s oesophagus which control whether food is coming or going may still be getting use to the feeding routines (it’s no wonder then that your little one creates such a load of laundry).

Here are some tips to help your bay keep his/her food down:

  • Hold your baby in a fairly upright position during feeding time. Feeding while the baby is slouched (curled up in your arms or sitting in a car seat, for example), does not give the formula or breast milk a straight path to the tummy.
  • Keep feedings calm, minimising the noise and other distractions that could result in your little one getting too hungry before you start feeding. If your baby is distracted or frantic he/she is more likely to swallow air along with the breast milk or formula.