Spit-up is a common part of infant development, but you may be concerned about how much your baby is spitting up. Find some simple methods to prevent your baby from spitting up and to keep them comfortable.
In fact, 50% of all babies will spit-up repeatedly in their first 3 months
A fair amount of spitting up is natural when you consider:
- There’s a valve between the esophagus and stomach that keeps food down, but in babies this valve still has to mature and develop.
- Babies’ tummies are quite little and overfeeding them can result in spit-up.
- Most babies spend a good chunk of their time lying flat on their backs, which makes reflux more common.
Spit-up or reflux usually peaks at 4 months.
While it’s not uncommon for babies to spit up the entire first year, reflux usually ends (or is greatly reduced) by a baby’s first birthday. As you wait for your baby’s digestive system to mature, these tips on how to prevent spitting up can help you give your baby reflux relief.
Breastfeeding? Check your diet.
Some moms have found eliminating certain things—like dairy products—reduces the amount of their baby’s spit-up.
Try a formula switch.
If you’re formula-feeding or supplementing, ask your pediatrician if a change to a rice-thickened formula may help. Enfamil A.R.™ is clinically proven to reduce spit-up by more than 50%*, while still providing the complete nutrition your baby needs.
Stop spit-up with a hold.
When feeding, hold your baby in an upright position. After feeding, keep your baby upright for 30 minutes. During this time, don’t put them in the swing or do too much active play.
Slow their feeding flow.
If you’re bottle-feeding, check the nipple size—your baby might be drinking too much formula too fast. Most nipples are marked to match to an appropriate age.
Try smaller meals more often.
If you’re breastfeeding your baby, try limiting his time at the breast, but feed them more often. If you’re bottle-feeding, try decreasing the amount given in each feeding, but feed them more often. That way he’s still getting the same overall amount each day, but in smaller, more manageable amounts.
Make burping a priority.
If your baby has air bubbles—or gas—this could cause spit-up or "wet burps." Be sure to burp them throughout and after feeding. Try one of these burping positions:
- Hold your baby against your chest (their body facing yours), with their head on your shoulder. Then pat and rub their back.
- Have your baby sit on your lap and support your baby’s chest and head with one hand while patting their back with the other. Make sure you’re holding your baby’s chin, not their throat.
- Lay your baby flat against your lap, their belly facedown. Support your little one’s head and make sure it’s higher than their chest. Gently rub or pat their back. If you can’t produce a burp in your baby with one position, then try another.
Want to check with your doctor about your baby’s spit-up? Learn what questions to ask your pediatrician about spit up the next time you’re in the office.
*Based on a clinical study of Enfamil A.R. infant formula before the addition of DHA, ARA, and prebiotics with infants who spit up frequently (five or more spit-ups per day), comparing frequency and volume of spit-up after feeding Enfamil A.R. with the same babies at the beginning of the study.