Will my baby outgrow spitting up?
Spitting up tends to peak at age 4 months, and most babies stop spitting up by age 12 months.
What can you do to reduce spitting up?
Consider these tips:
- Keep your baby upright. Feed your baby in an upright position. Follow each feeding with 30 minutes in a sitting position. Avoid immediate active play or use of infant swings.
- Try smaller, more-frequent feedings. If you're breast-feeding, limit the length of each nursing session. If you're bottle-feeding, offer your baby slightly less than usual.
- Take time to burp your baby. Frequent burps during and after each feeding can keep air from building up in your baby's stomach.
- Put baby to sleep on his or her back. To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), it's important to place your baby to sleep on his or her back. Placing a baby to sleep on his or her tummy to prevent spitting up isn't recommended.
- Experiment with your own diet. If you're breast-feeding, your baby's doctor might suggest that you eliminate dairy products or certain other foods from your diet.
Can spitting up be a sign of a problem?
Certain signs and symptoms might indicate an underlying condition or something more serious than run-of-the-mill spitting up. Contact your baby's doctor if your baby:
- Isn't gaining weight
- Vomits consistently and forcefully
- Spits up green or yellow fluid
- Spits up blood or a material that looks like coffee grounds
- Refuses feedings repeatedly
- Has blood in his or her stool
- Has difficulty breathing or other signs of illness
Treatment depends on what's causing the problem. Special feeding techniques might be helpful. In other cases, the doctor might prescribe medication to treat reflux.
Feb. 22, 2014
See more In-depth
- Winter HS. Gastroesophageal reflux in infants. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 22, 2013.
- Vandenplas Y, et al. Pediatric gastroesophageal reflux clinical practice guidelines: Joint recommendations of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) and the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (ESPGHAN). Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 2009;49:498.
- Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in infants. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gerdinfant/index.htm. Accessed Oct. 22, 2013.
- McInerny TK, et al. American Academy of Pediatrics Textbook of Pediatric Care. Elk Grove Village, Ill.: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2009:2054.
- Jana LA, et al. Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality. 2nd ed. Elk Grove Village, Ill.: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2011:1.
- Shelov SP, et al. Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5. 5th ed. New York, N.Y.: Bantam Books; 2009:1.
- Younger Meek J, et al. New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: Bantam Books; 2011:146.
- AskMayoExpert. Gastroesophageal reflux in children. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.