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    Home ›› A guide to newborn projectile vomiting: 4 tips to ease newborn vomit

    Home ›› A guide to newborn projectile vomiting: 4 tips to ease newborn vomit

    A guide to newborn projectile vomiting: 4 tips to ease newborn vomit


    Reading time: 6 mins


    If your newborn’s vomiting, there’s milk coming out of your baby’s nose and you don’t know what to do, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Spitting up in newborns is really common, and if your newborn is vomiting after breastfeeding, there are things you can do to help prevent this moving forwards.


    In this article we will explore the reasons why your baby’s spitting up and offer 4 top tips to help your baby get through feeding times without too much newborn vomit including:


    1. Regular burping
    2. Keeping baby upright
    3. Avoiding motion after feeds
    4. Keeping baby’s head up while feeding


    If you have concerns about your newborn throwing up a lot of their milk, or vomiting with force, be sure to contact your GP or a healthcare professional.

    Why do newborns vomit after feeding?


    Many newborns vomit after breastfeeding or while burping because their digestive tract is not yet fully developed. These are the main reasons why newborns are likely to spit up food1:


    • Your baby has eaten too much
    • Your baby has fed too fast
    • You are burping your baby
    • Your baby has too much air in their belly
    • Your baby is drooling from an excess of saliva or mucus

    When to see a doctor about your newborn throwing up:


    While it’s perfectly normal for a growing baby to throw up milk, there are some things to look out for to ensure that your little one isn’t spitting up too much food. You should consult a doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms2 including newborn projectile vomiting after breastfeeding:


    • Your baby spits up frequently and isn’t growing or gaining the expected amount of weight
    • They appear to be in pain, crying a lot or arching his or her back
    • They cough or have difficulty breathing, which could be a sign of an irritated oesophagus
    • They spit up even when they haven’t eaten anything
    • They forcefully vomit or projectile vomit
    • Has a fever or diarrhoea, which could be a sign that he or she is dehydrated
    • They have dark urine – or don’t pass urine as this could indicate dehydration3

    If your baby is throwing up milk but continuing to grow at a healthy rate, rest assured that this is very normal and no reason for concern – but always seek advice from your GP if you have questions or you’re at all worried. For additional peace of mind, you can read our article about reflux in babies and how to deal with it.

    What to do when your baby’s spitting up small amounts of food:


    Now that you know spitting up small amounts is perfectly normal, you’re probably wondering if there’s anything you can do to help prevent it. The answer is yes – there are a few things you can do to help during those messy moments to help reduce the amount your baby is throwing up milk1:

    1. Burp regularly


    In addition to burping after feedings, you can try burping your little one  between swapping breasts. If you’re feeding your baby from a bottle, try burping after every one or two ounces.

    Tip: Consider using an anti-colic bottle with AirFree vent, complete with teat that stays full even when the bottle is horizontal. This will allow your baby to drink in an upright position, designed to reduce reflux, aid digestion, and make feeding more comfortable for both you and your baby.

    What you need

    2. Try smaller, more frequent feeds


    On a similar vein to pausing feeds to burp regularly, you could also try reducing the amount you feed your baby but increasing the frequency of those feeds.

    3. Keep your baby upright after feedings


    Instead of putting your baby in a seat, try to hold your baby in an upright position after feedings and while burping. An infant seat can make spitting up in newborns even more common as they tend to seat your baby in a diagonal position, which puts unnecessary pressure on your baby’s belly.

    4. Avoid motion after feedings


    To help stop your baby throwing up milk after a feeding session, it’s best to stay clear of any bouncing, jiggling, or active play until the milk has settled in your baby’s belly.

    5. Keep your baby’s head up while feeding


    While trying to find the most comfortable feeding position that works for you and your baby, ensure that your little one’s head stays above their feet while feeding.

    6. Avoid overfeeding


    It’s important to ensure you keep an eye out for the signs that your baby is full and don’t try to encourage them to continue having more milk – even if they’re drinking from a bottle and there is some left over.


    Some signs your baby is full which, if ignored, could lead to overfeeding and your baby spitting up include:


    • Milk is dripping from their mouth
    • They turn their head away
    • They are disinterested in feeding
    • They are relaxed and look satisfied
    • They fall asleep

    7. Consult a health professional about a change of diet


    If your baby is spitting up after every feed, it could be a sign of an allergy or an underlying condition. If you think diet is causing an allergic reaction, speak to your GP or health visitor for advice on tests that can be done and changes that can be made.

    Stay calm: newborn vomit is natural


    If you ever find yourself asking ‘why is my baby spitting up?’, just remember that a little baby vomit is a perfectly natural – and sometimes messy – part of parenthood. There are different reasons why newborns vomit after breastfeeding, but as long as your child appears content and is growing at a healthy rate, there’s no reason to be concerned.


    If you notice any other symptoms or if your newborn is projectile vomiting and not getting enough milk, don’t hesitate to contact your GP for help. Then, if your doctor confirms that your baby’s spit up is normal, all that’s left to do is make sure you have a bib – or several – handy come feeding time!

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