Spit out what they have just been fed; this is known as reflux or posseting. This is not vomiting. It is important to learn the difference between vomiting and reflux. In vomiting, the muscles contract to forcefully expel the contents of the stomach, whereas in reflux, it is a spontaneous expulsion of what they have just swallowed.
Reflux is common among babies and it is vital to know that this is completely normal. It usually occurs as a result of the under developed esophagus, or the food pipe, in babies. However, most often babies spit up due to over feeding. This happens when the baby feeds from the breast too quickly or when the mother’s breasts are full with milk.
The process of reflux usually stops when the esophagus is fully developed at the age of about 12-months-old to 14-months-old, and is unusual if it occurs over the age of 18-months-old. If your baby continues to reflux gastric contents even after the age of 18-months-old, take your baby to a pediatrician. There may be something more to it.
Can you prevent reflux in babies?
- Hold the baby upright for a few minutes after each feed. Reflux is more common when the babies lay on their back soon after a feed. Hold your baby upright just for a few minutes to prevent reflux.
- Avoid compressing the baby’s stomach. Compression of the abdomen can cause your baby to spit up all the milk you have just fed. Compression usually occurs with tight clothes and diapers. Make sure to dress your baby with loose clothes as much as possible. It will make them a lot more comfortable.
- Avoid over feeding your baby. Most often babies tend to reflux milk when they are over fed.
- Make sure there is no tobacco smoke anywhere around the baby. It is found that tobacco smoke increases the likelihood of reflux in babies.
- The mother should try to remove caffeine from your diet. Caffeine is another risk factor for reflux in babies.
- Raise the head end of the cot or the crib while they are sleeping. The angle should be at least inclined to 30 degrees.
Despite the fact that your baby is spitting out milk, if he or she is gaining weight normal then there is nothing to worry about. This means that your baby is getting the required amount of nutrients to the body needed for growth.
However, if the following are present, take your child to a pediatric gatroenterologist:
- Not gaining enough weight for the age.
- Repeated reflux
- Crying all the time and very irritable
- Projectile vomiting
- Trouble swallowing