Many babies have a condition called gastroesophageal reflux, which can cause them to spit up anything they eat or drink. This reflux is caused when the muscle at the top of the stomach hasn't fully matured and can't keep down all the contents of a baby's digestive tract. Most babies will outgrow this condition by their first birthday. In the meantime, there are some things parents can do to help:
- Avoid over-feeding your baby. Consult with your doctor to make sure he is getting the right amount of breast milk or formula.
- Feed your baby upright, not while he's lying down.
- Keep your baby upright for about 30 minutes after each feeding.
- Burp your baby halfway through a feeding if he needs it.
- Avoid tight diapers.
- Avoid putting your baby in a car seat inside the house.
- If your baby takes formula, ask your pediatrician if switching to a hypoallergenic formula might help.
- If your baby isn't growing well, refuses to eat, or seems very uncomfortable, talk to your pediatrician to see if any medication or special tests might be needed.
Jennifer Shu, M.D., F.A.A.P. is a board-certified pediatrician in Atlanta. Her passion is educating parents on all topics relating to children. Dr. Shu is editor-in-chief of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Baby & Child Health: The Essential Guide from Birth to 11 Years and co-author of the award-winning book Heading Home with Your Newborn and Food Fights, both published by the AAP. www.jennifershu.com