By Health Promotion Board in collaboration with Dr. Yvonne Ng, Senior Consultant, Department of Neonatology, National University Hospital.

Spit-up is perfectly normal: most babies under 6 months old experience some amount of spit-up. Nevertheless, it is normal for mummies and daddies to get a little anxious each time it happens.

Normal baby spit-ups usually happens right after feeding or burping. It looks like the milk that was just fed or it may appear slightly curdled. Spit-ups occur when your baby feeds too quickly and swallows too much air with his milk. It also happens when he overfeeds.

Your baby spits up because he is still young, and the junction between the food pipe and stomach needs a bit of time to get “tighter”. The spit-ups will become less frequent as your baby grows older.

Related: Feeding Your Baby: Breastfeeding

When to Be Concerned about Spit-Up

Bring your baby to the doctor immediately in these cases:

  1. Baby’s spit-up is green in colour. This may mean that there is a blockage in your baby’s intestines, which is a serious condition.
  2. He vomits continuously in large amounts.
  3. He appears dehydrated (e.g. less urine, dark urine crying without tears, dry mouth).
  4. He looks unwell and is in distress.
  5. His tummy is bloated or swollen.
  6. He has fever, or diarrhoea.

Related: Your Growing Baby

Tips to Reduce Spit-Up

While spitting up is perfectly normal for infants, here’s what you can do to minimise it from happening.

1. Burp your baby after feeding

This helps him expel the air he may have swallowed during his feeds. Hold your baby on your lap, support his head and body with one hand and gently rub or pat his back with your other hand. Do so for a few minutes after feeding. There’s no need to force it: if your baby doesn't burp, he probably just doesn’t need to.

2. Don’t overfeed your baby

Stop feeding your baby when he shows signs that he is content, such as turning away from the breast or bottle, or feeling sleepy.

Remember, spitting up is common and is no cause for concern as long as your baby is eating and growing well. Keep up the good work, mummy and daddy!

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