Ask the Dietitian - Spit Up: How do you know what's normal and when should you be concerned?
Feeding time can be so confusing for new parents! How much do you feed your child? What should you feed your child? When? And what’s the deal with spit up anyway? How do you know what’s normal and when should you be concerned? Our Dietitian weighs in…
Some babies are “spitters” and have no medical problems. This is often just a natural occurrence with some babies, but can be very alarming for parents to see their child spit up what seems like the whole feeding when in fact, it is simply a small amount of stomach contents. It’s important to remember that a baby's stomach is only about the size of his or her own fist. Because it is small, it can only tolerate small amounts of feedings. A large feeding would increase the pressure within the stomach and could facilitate more spitting up. If a baby is just a natural spitter, then the following suggestions may help to reduce it:
- During feedings and for at least 30 minutes after feedings, keep the infant in an upright position.
- Feed the baby every two to three hours when the baby is awake. Overfeeding can increase stomach pressure and lead to spitting up.
- Burp the baby a few times during the feeding rather than waiting until the end of the feeding.
- Keep the baby in loose clothing and loose diapers. Avoid tight clothing around the waist.
- When your baby is old enough to start complementary foods, avoid acidic fruits.
- When traveling with your baby in an infant seat or car seat, keep the baby in an upright position and prevent slouching over as this can cause the stomach to compress.
Monitoring your baby’s growth and weight patterns can help ease concerns about whether your baby’s spit ups are affecting overall nutritional health. If you believe the spit ups are excessive, check with your baby’s healthcare provider to be sure nothing medically is going on.
As always, feel free to email me should you have any additional questions about your child’s spit up and eating habits. I’m happy to help!
**For specific medical care and nutritional advice on product usage, please see your healthcare professional