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Why does my baby burp, spit up and hiccup?

By Kamran Minhas March 14, 2012

Infants tend to get very uncomfortable when they swallow air during feedings. Although this is more common amongst bottle-fed babies, it can occur too, while a baby is breastfed. When you notice that your baby is fussy during a feeding, you should stop for a while, to let him get comfortable again. Fussing and crankiness during feeding can cause more air to be swallowed, which will increase his discomfort, and likely cause her to spit up.

Young infants, especially newborns need to burp often during feedings. If you are breast feeding, burp your baby in between breasts, or even more often if you feel that your baby is extra fussy. If you are feeding your baby a bottle, burp him after 2 ounces of formula. The most common way to burp a baby is to sit him up, holding him under his chest and lightly pat his back. This upright position is the best way to burp a baby.

Spitting up is very common during infancy. It can be a sign that your baby has eaten too much, or sometimes a baby just spits up if he is held by his stomach, right after he ate. It is a messy occurrence, but it should not concern a caregiver, because it is not harmful or uncomfortable for a baby at all.

Some babies spit up more than others do. Some babies hardly spit up at all. Usually infants will grow out of spitting up; by the time they are 7 or 8 months. Some may continue for longer.

A parent should know the difference between spitting up and vomiting. Vomiting is more of a violent nature, and can cause major discomfort for your baby. It usually produces much more than spit up. If your baby is vomiting on a regular basis, or if you notice blood or green mucus in your baby’s vomit, contact your pediatrician immediately.

While with some babies spit up is inevitable especially after a feeding, here are a few ways to reduce the severity of the spit up.
- Make feeding time a calm and soothing experience
- Avoid interruptions, loud noises, and strong lighting during feeding
- Burp your bottle fed baby as often as possible (the more he burps, the more comfortable he will be, and able to digest his food properly)
- Do not feed your baby lying down. If you are on the go, and your baby is in the baby stroller, position your baby in the least reclining position possible.
- Hold your baby upright for at least a half hour after feeding
- Do not hold your baby around his abdomen immediately after feeding. The pressure of your arm on your baby’s stomach can push the food upward
- Play with your baby gently after he eats - no rough housing
- Feed your baby as soon as you feel he is hungry, don’t wait until he is desperately starving, he will eat too fast and swallow too much air
- Make sure the hole in the nipple is the right size, letting an ample flow into your baby’s mouth

Every baby feeds differently. What works for one baby, may not work for another. Be in touch with your baby’s doctor, as per any questions or concerns that you have in regard to your baby’s feeding habits.
 


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