Why does my baby regurgitate milk?

(Video uploaded 04/2013)


Why does my baby regurgitate milk every time after feeding?

In the first few months of life, it is very common for babies to have 1 to 2 mouthfuls of milk drooling from the corner of their mouths after feeding. You need to know how to differentiate between vomiting and regurgitation. If it is vomiting, the milk will forcefully come out and the amount of milk will be more. If your baby vomits significantly, or if there is blood stain or bile stain in the vomitus, you should bring him to visit a doctor.

It seems my baby is having regurgitation of milk, why is that so?

Your baby will swallow more air into the stomach if he cries or feeds too quickly. After feeding, the milk will be regurgitated out with the air. Regurgitation of milk alone does not mean your baby is sick or feeling discomfort. It will not affect your baby's health, so you do not need to worry. After your baby regurgitates the milk, clean him with a clean towel. This can reduce the chance of having skin rash because of irritation.

Why does my baby sometimes regurgitate milk up to 1 hour after feeding?

There is a pylorus connecting your baby's esophagus and stomach, and its function is not well developed at birth. After feeding, the pylorus cannot close tightly yet, so if your baby feeds too much, moves a bit more or lies flat, the milk can flow back from the stomach to the mouth. This condition will improve when he grows older.

Are there any ways to prevent my baby from regurgitation?

In fact, it is difficult to prevent regurgitation. You can try the following methods to try to reduce the frequency:

  1. The hole in the teat should be in appropriate size, so the milk can drop out slowly
  2. The teat should be covered with milk during feeding in order to avoid your baby sucking in too much air
  3. Do not wait until your baby is extremely hungry when you feed him, otherwise he will swallow quickly and hence swallow lots of air into the stomach at the same time
  4. Do not force your baby to feed more. If he cannot finish the bottle of milk for example when he stops sucking, refuses the teat or nipple, or falls asleep during feeding, he is likely full and you should stop feeding him
  5. Increase the frequency of burping. Do not wait until your baby finishes the whole feed before you burp him. If your baby is on breastfeeding, burp him once after he has finished one side of the breast.

It is very difficult to burp my baby, what can I do?

Sometimes your baby may regurgitate even after burping for 10 minutes. If you are tired and worry that your baby may regurgitate milk, do not lie him down at once. Hold your baby upright to decrease the chance of milk flowing back from the stomach. Remember, do not use pillow to elevate your baby's head as this cannot reduce the chance of regurgitation, it may instead suffocate him.

Is there anything that I should pay attention to?

If you worry about your baby's condition on regurgitation or vomiting, you should consult a doctor. There is a chance that the milk may flow into the airway when he vomits. Therefore, if your baby has persistent cough, quick breathing or, even worse, has his skin and lips turn blue, you should take him to the Accident and Emergency Department immediately.