As a new mom I always seek lots of advice from my mom or sometimes my mother-in-law, and what to do when milk comes out of baby’s nose was among the valuable questions I used to ask each time something unusual occurs with my baby.
At first, I almost had a mini heart-attack when I first saw my baby spitting up through the nose, I was worried about this and wonder if there was a medical problem not until I was told it is normal.
Rocky Dad is here to ease your mind and to tell you why it happens, and some simple tips you need to apply to reduce the chances of it happening again.
Is It Normal For Milk To Come Out Of The Baby’s Nose?
Yes, this is a common activity for a newborn baby since the substance that comes up is usually nothing but reflux.
Since most babies don’t know how to feed correctly, they take in a lot of air along with the milk, which causes reflux in infants or something called gastroesophageal reflux.
Reflux occurs when milk backs up (refluxes) from a baby’s stomach, causing the baby to spit up.
This occurs clearly since your baby’s nose is connected to the back of her throat, just like your own nose. So spit-up will sometimes come out of your baby’s nose instead of her mouth.
This can also happen to older children when they laugh while trying to swallow milk at the dinner table, so it’s perfectly normal.
What To Do When Milk Comes Out Of Baby’s Nose: Simple Tips To Appl
Your baby spitting up isn’t a pleasing part of childcare. We all know that. It stains clothes and blankets, requiring you to wash them regularly.
Here are some simple tips you need to apply to reduce the chances of your baby spitting up too much few ways
Feed Your Baby On Time
Ensure you feed your baby on time. Too many delays could make your baby hurriedly gulp down milk, Increasing the bouts of spit-up through his/her nose.
Feed-In A Peaceful Environment
Ensure you feed your baby in a room with minimal distractions. Maintain a peaceful environment with fewer distractions, and he will feed properly.
Keep Your Baby Upright
Try feeding your baby this way and keep them upright after feeding. This will allow milk to flow into the stomach and reduce the chance of spitting up.
Always Burp After Feeding
Ensure you burp your baby during and after each feeding. This can reduce the chance of air building up in your baby’s stomach.
Avoid Using Tight Clothes Or Shorts
To avoid putting pressure on the stomach, you should refrain from putting on tight clothes or a diaper right after feeding your baby. Immediately after feeding him, wrap him in a blanket or use a nappy for some time.
Do not force him to drink more milk. Rather try feeding your baby smaller amounts more frequently. This might help decrease spitting up.
Watch His Sleeping Position
Put your baby to sleep on his or her back since your baby will involuntarily swallow or cough out any milk in their throat. Placing your baby to sleep on its tummy to prevent spitting up is inappropriate.
Watch What You Eat
Watch your diet if you’re breastfeeding. If you feel certain foods might upset your baby’s stomach, try to avoid them for a while.
Use A Proper Age Nipple Bottle
For bottle-fed babies, always choose a nipple that has a small hole. A larger nipple hole may cause your baby to get too much milk too quickly, thereby making your baby spit up.
If you notice weight loss, forceful spit-up, fussiness, or other symptoms, do not forget to talk to your doctor about your concerns.
Why Does Milk Come Out Through My baby’s nose?
The primary reason for spitting up is the presence of excess milk, but other factors could cause your baby to spit up frequently.
Presence Of Distractions
The suck-swallow reflex can be disrupted when your baby gets distracted while feeding. Large amounts of milk may be swallowed in a single gulp causing slight choking, which forces the milk back out of the nose.
Swallowing Air With Milk
Babies tend to feed hurriedly if hungry, taking in the air and milk. After a while, the air returns later, bringing the milk through the nose or the mouth.
Coughing Or Sneezing
Babies rarely have proper control over their body parts and other reflexive activities when newborns.
The simple sneezing or coughing can increase pressure on the esophagus, thereby causing milk to come out of the nose.
The esophagus and the stomach are joined, with a valve (lower esophageal sphincter) in between.
In newborns, this valve is still developing, which is why it lacks the muscle to hold back any excess food. As a result, when a baby drinks milk in large quantities, the excess milk could easily rise back up and come out of the nose.
Read Also: What To Eat To Prevent Gas While Breastfeeding (9 Foods To Avoid)
How Does Spitting Up Through Nose Impact My Baby?
Spitting up can affect your baby’s nose, although this may not be a cause of concern. However, if your baby often spits up large amounts, there is a possibility that he/she is not getting enough nutrients for growth.
This may impact your baby’s growth, weight gain, and developmental milestones. In that case, you need to consult your doctor to evaluate the condition and take appropriate measures.
Also, frequent spit-up could irritate the nasal and esophageal lining, indicating gastroesophageal reflux, known as GERD.
When Does A Baby Stop Spitting Up?
Most babies stop spitting by the time they complete 24 weeks or learn to sit up straight, and the rate of spitting up will start reducing gradually.
Although, even after your baby stops spitting up, some liquid may still come out of the nose because at that age babies do not have control over the swallowing process.
So as the digestive system develops and muscles grow stronger, the baby might stop vomiting the feed and hold it within the tummy.
Read Also: How Long Can A Breastfeeding Baby Go Without Pooping?
How Can I Differentiate between spitting up and vomiting?
Baby Spit-up is common and happens often, but it is less severe than vomiting. Vomiting is the forceful expulsion of the stomach content through the mouth.
Alternatively, spitting up is described as the easy flow of the stomach contents with a burp. This is often referred to as reflux. Specifically, spitting up has the following characteristics.
- It does not involve forceful muscle contraction.
- It brings up only small quantities of milk.
- It does not make your baby uncomfortable, unlike vomiting.
When To Call Your Doctor
As a parent, knowing when it’s not normal is one of the most important take-away points while searching for what to do when milk comes out from the baby’s nose.
Your baby spitting up through the nose is completely natural, but you should seek your pediatrician’s help if your baby.
- Experiences discomfort due to persistent spit-up.
- Has difficulty breathing.
- Experiences difficulty in sucking or swallowing, which may be a problem with the soft palate.
- Spit up large amounts after each feed and isn’t gaining weight properly.
- Experiences severe spit-ups that turn into forceful or projectile vomiting, especially if your baby’s age is less than 12 weeks.
- Spits up blood or green color material which doesn’t look like milk.
- If he/she is spitting up through the nose constantly, which can also be a defect of the palate in the mouth and is not visible through physical examination.
- Tends to choke or cough when he/she spits ups.
- Continues spitting up even after the early childhood stage
- When he/she looks very sick.
However, if you also notice that the spitting up is hindering the growth and development of the baby, do not hesitate to consult the doctor.
At The End Of The Day
Seeing a baby spit up milk through the nose can be unsettling most times, especially if you don’t know what to do when milk comes out of baby’s nose. Do not panic, as most of the time. This condition fades away with time.
Ensure you burp your baby after every feed and follow the right tips, like not overfeeding your baby or holding your baby upright to reduce the spit-up. However, always contact your pediatrician if you notice anything unusual.
Kindly share by leaving a comment if your baby has experienced frequent spit-ups in the past, and tell how you dealt with the condition.