What To Do When Milk Comes Out Of Baby’s Nose – 10 Helpful Tips

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, For a newborn baby, this is a common activity since the substance that comes up is usually nothing but reflux. Since most babies don’t know how to feed correctly hence, making them take in a lot of air along with the milk which causes reflux in infants or something called gastroesophageal reflux.

Reflux occurs when milk comes backs up (refluxes) from a baby’s stomach, causing the baby to spit up. This occurs clearly by itself 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 Apply

What To Do When Milk Comes Out of Baby's Nose

Your baby spitting up isn’t a pleasing part of childcare we all know that. It stains clothes and blankets which will require you to wash 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, This can increase 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 for a while after feeding. This will allow milk to flow down into the stomach and hence, reduces 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 from 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 tight clothes or putting on a diaper right after you are done feeding your baby. Immediately after feeding him, simply wrap him in a blanket or use a nappy for some time.

Avoid Overfeeding

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 be upsetting 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.

Pay Attention

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 they are really hungry, and this results in taking in the air along with the milk. After a while the air returns later, bringing the milk with it either through the nose or the mouth.

Coughing Or Sneezing

Babies rarely have proper control over their body parts and other reflexive activities when newborn. The simple act of sneezing or coughing can increase pressure on the esophagus thereby causing milk to come out of the nose.

Stomach Valve

The esophagus and the stomach are joined with a valve (lower esophageal sphincter) present 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?

What To Do When Milk Comes Out Of Baby's Nose

Spitting up can 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, which could indicate gastroesophageal reflux known as GERD.

When Does A Baby Stop Spitting Up?

Most babies stop spitting by the time they complete 24 weeks or learns to sit up straight, 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

Breastfeeding sick baby

As a parent, one of the most important take-away points while searching for what to do when milk comes out from the baby’s nose is knowing when it’s not normal.

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 of the soft palate.
  • Spit up large amounts after each feed, and isn’t gaining weight properly.
  • Experiences severe spit-ups that turn into vomiting either forceful or projectile, 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 spit 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 did you deal with the condition.