Baby, Infant health

Your baby spits up a lot? This could be behind it

Your baby spits up a lot? This could be behind it

Baby spits up a lot – some young mothers find this alarming. Especially when it happens more often. We explain how you can tell when constant burping indicates serious problems. But what is normal and at what point should you start worrying?

In addition, you will learn everything about the causes of the spitting up phenomenon and how you can best deal with it.

Baby spits up a lot – especially after breastfeeding

It is a common phenomenon in the first few months: your baby spits up a lot after breastfeeding . Apparently, all the food comes back on itself. This can happen with the famous burp or completely unexpectedly.

Young mothers are then frightened because they are right to worry about their child. Because if you keep spitting out the food, you might not get enough of it. First of all, you should clarify what your child spits out – and how much of it.

Are there any accompanying signs of illness? Or maybe you have a so-called spitting child? The latter spits out its food without having any major problems. Don’t worry: your child will definitely get enough to eat! Constant belching does not have to be a sign of illness.

Baby spits up a lot when belching and coughing

If food leaks out of the newborn’s mouth after breastfeeding, that’s completely normal: this affects more than half of all newborns! They just don’t have the anatomy yet to prevent the reflux of food.

Not all of them become so-called “spoke children”, but still a good 40 percent. These are the ones that regularly frighten inexperienced parents. There is an old saying: spit children are thriving children! This means that these children should thrive extra well.

Especially with premature babies, it is often said: This baby spits up a lot! However, the phenomenon disappears when the children switch to solid food. At about six months, the phenomenon disappears rapidly.

At the age of 10-12 months, however, only 5% of all children are real babies. Only very rarely does the phenomenon last longer without a pathological cause.


Baby spits up a lot in these situations

  • During or after feeding
  • When coughing
  • When screaming
  • When belching (burp)

Tip: Pour 100 ml of water onto a table. Then you will get a feeling for the amount your child actually spits up! It helps you to distinguish between normal and pathological spitting. A few milliliters are normal, often only about a spoonful of milk.

These are the reasons why your baby spits up a lot

Your child will develop at a rapid pace, especially in the first few months. Then the stomach also grows, which is clear, because it has to take in a relatively large amount of food. If it is still the size of a hazelnut shortly after birth , it will grow to the size of a hen’s egg in the coming weeks.

Only at around 15 months is the stomach big enough to always take in all the food. This explains why most spitting babies are younger than 15 months. The esophagus has its own sphincter muscle that separates it from the stomach.

Scientifically correct, it is called the esophageal sphincter. When fully trained, it ensures that the food does not flow back to where it came from. This muscle does not work well initially, so spitting may occur. Often when you burp, some of the food just comes out.

Baby spits out a lot of milk after breastfeeding – the causes at a glance

  • Too small stomach
  • Esophageal sphincter not working properly yet
  • Drank too much and too quickly – swallowed air
  • Disease related reflux

Reflux means reflux. It is difficult for the stomach to prevent this when it is still small and underdeveloped. Then spitting is even a sign that your child has been drinking well.

Doctors distinguish two types of reflux here: functional reflux, i.e. normal reflux in children who vomit. There is also secondary reflux, which has a different cause: there is always another disease behind it.

Burping and spitting: Baby spits out curdled milk

Especially with very small babies, you usually don’t have to worry much. If babies don’t get any complementary food, they only spit up curdled milk for up to two hours after feeding. D

It is almost pH-neutral and therefore does not attack the esophagus. The stomach contents only get unpleasant acids later, i.e. when they are no longer fed exclusively breast milk or powdered milk.

Burping or reflux: when does it become dangerous?

Only later does the stomach acid become aggressive. This is exactly the reason why it should not rise up into the esophagus even when belching. That’s why we have a sphincter there in the first place. If it doesn’t work properly, it can irritate the esophagus. The technical term for this is gastroesophageal reflux.

The result: redness, swelling that lead to pain. This can also happen in early childhood belching. Your child will then express their discomfort by crying more. In addition, it will refuse food or have significant problems swallowing.

Then the doctor helps again: After clarifying the causes, he prescribes medication for your child that soothes the attacked mucous membranes. The doctor will also determine whether your child is suffering from reflux that requires treatment. He also examines whether constant belching is pathological.

Does your baby spit up a lot? Only rarely is it the reflux disease

Reflux always has a reason. It is usually developmental and will pass over time. But there are cases that indicate a different disease. For example, reflux can be a sign of developing problems in the gastrointestinal tract.

Or your child cannot tolerate certain foods. Baby spitting up after pre-food can therefore occur just as much as with certain complementary foods for older babies. Even lung diseases can trigger reflux. The same applies here: take your child to the doctor and have it examined!

Baby spits: constant burping still normal?

Burping is normal only if it is not constant. The burp comes with the meal or afterwards – but later it has to stop. Also distinguish between constant belching and vomiting! If there is increased torrential vomiting, this is no longer a constant belching and requires a doctor!

Does your child really suffer from constant belching – or maybe just hiccupping? Click the link to find out more!

When does the spitting stop?

It can last up to fifteen months, in a few cases even after the second birthday. So it takes a bit of patience. For your peace of mind: the problem is usually solved when your child can sit up straight. Many children also stop spitting when they begin complementary feeding.

Active kids can later go into a second spitting phase. Namely when they start crawling and often move on their stomachs: This puts increased pressure on the stomach, which can lead to the well-known spitting shortly after eating.

Baby spits up a lot of water when burping: The liquid your child spits up can be watery for a number of reasons. Some newborns vomit amniotic fluid, but that’s nothing to worry about either. If your child is older, it may simply have swallowed a lot of saliva, which is now coming out again.

you have a spitting child You can do that

What many young mothers forget: take care of yourself too! Less laundry means more serenity and more time for your child. So always plan for the following:

  • Put an extra cloth under the baby’s head in the bed to protect the bed linen.
  • Another extra cloth over your shoulder protects your clothes in case something comes along with the burp.
  • Don’t take the bib off the baby right after the meal!

How to feed your child properly

Take a break after ten minutes at most. Switch breasts as you do so, giving the baby a chance to get rid of any air that may have been swallowed. So encourage the chance of burping, even while breastfeeding. Constant burping can also be a sign that baby just has too much air in his tummy.

You can find out how to breastfeed in a relaxed manner here: Breastfeeding pillow test for more relaxed breastfeeding

This can lead to increased spitting

  • When your child drinks too quickly and takes in air.
  • When your child is disturbed by hectic environment. Always keep quiet while breastfeeding!
  • When too much milk flows at once. Stroke the breast a little before breastfeeding! If you feed with the bottle, make sure that the suction hole is not too big.
  • If the position is wrong. If the baby is too deep, there will be more spitting up. Keep it upright and straighten it up every now and then!

Cluster feeding can help

Cluster feeding is the more frequent switching between the different breastfeeding positions. As a result, your child will be fed for less time in each position. The advantage: by taking more breaks, the small stomach has the opportunity to take in the whole amount of food and to digest it during the breaks. A proven method especially for the evening!

Does my child need anti-reflux formula?

Anti-reflux food is abbreviated AR food. This is special food that your child does not normally need. Not even if it spits more often! If this is the case, the pediatrician will tell you.

AR food is particularly thickened. The creamy consistency is said to prevent reflux, hence the name. Binding agents are, for example, starch or locust bean gum. This type of food can therefore lead to increased constipation – as well as undesired excessive weight gain.

Does your baby spit up a lot? Pay attention to these tips and home remedies

  • Wrap your child before breastfeeding.
  • Refrain from sporting games such as “hop, hop rider” directly after breastfeeding.
  • Give your baby a rest afterwards and make sure that the digestion can function properly.
  • Constant burping? Try a warm cherry pit pillow: it helps to relax the baby bump.
  • Make sure you drink enough liquid, for example with diluted apple juice or camomile tea!

Your baby spits up a lot and doesn’t gain weight

There is a very simple way to tell if the process is normal: weight. If your child is gaining weight normally, then it is also harmless, although you may think your baby is spitting up a lot.

Rule of thumb for healthy weight gain: In the first six months of life, your child should gain between 140 and 170 g per week. Don’t worry if there is a minimal drop in weight in the very first days after giving birth, this is only temporary!

If you think your baby is spitting up a lot and not gaining weight, please consult a doctor. Especially when the following phenomena also occur.

Baby spits up: Then you should go to the doctor

Your baby spits up a lot, which can also be gush-like vomiting: everything that was drunk before comes up again. Then look for other signs that something is wrong. Does it have a fever? Is there little urine? Does it seem dazed or, on the contrary, is it constantly screaming? Individually or together, all of this can indicate an illness!

  • Swallowed vomiting throughout the meal
  • fever
  • Little excretion
  • No weight gain or even loss
  • Apathy or constant crying

Also, pay attention to the consistency of what your baby is spitting up. Bile or blood must be clarified immediately by a doctor. It looks green with bile, more reddish-brown with blood.


Does a baby spit up a lot? There are many babies with whom this is the case, the vernacular even has its own name for it. As a so-called spitting child, the baby vomits some of the food up because its stomach is still small. The muscles above the stomach are not yet strong enough to prevent food reflux.

This will pass over time, so you don’t have to worry about it. Constant belching does not have to be pathological either. Weighing is an important way to find out if everything is okay.

Your baby spits up a lot and does not gain weight normally: then you should consult a doctor. Because it can also be about vomiting or disease-related reflux. All this can only be determined by a specialist who examines your child thoroughly.


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