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