The National Parenting Center

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Spitting Up

Spitting up is that effortless bringing up of a little milk from the stomach, and often when you least expect it, it’s also called reflux or regurgitation. It is usually seen shortly after feedings. It begins in the first month of life and clears by a year of age. More than half of children have it to some degree. The following tips may help.

• First give smaller amounts of food per feeding. If the stomach is filled to capacity, spitting up is easy. Reduce the amount to at least one below what you are currently giving. If your baby breastfeeds, cut back to eight minutes per side.

• Second, avoid pressure on the abdomen. Put your child’s diapers on somewhat loosely. And, during part of the day, try to hold your baby in an upright position, using a frontpack or a backpack; babies spit up less in this position.

• Third, burping your baby will release some air, but it won’t affect how much he spits up. Sorry about that.

You can take some steps to cut back on the amount your baby spits up when you’re wearing your best clothes. My suggestion is that you reach for a towel before you reach for your baby.

During Dr. Schmitt’s 20 years as a medical practitioner and researcher, he has published over 100 articles or chapters on pediatric health care, and has been awarded the distinguished C. Anderson Aldrich Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics for outstanding contributions to the field of child development. Schmitt has also authored five books including Your Child’s Health, which won Child Magazine’s first Hall of Fame Award in 1991. Schmitt is also a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and on staff at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado.


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