After nursing or feeding, babies may regurgitate, or “spit up,” some or all of the milk they have drunk. Regurgitation is effortless, and is normal for babies.
Regurgitation happens because the muscle that prevents milk from flowing back from the stomach to the mouth has not fully developed.
Some babies regurgitate more than others. They may regurgitate right after feeding or a little later. Sometimes, you may have the impression your baby has regurgitated almost everything he drank. But even though it may seem like a lot, most regurgitations only contain a small amount of milk.
Regurgitation tends to diminish at around 6 months and usually stops around one year.
Regurgitation can be difficult to distinguish from vomiting, especially in a baby (see Vomiting).
As long as your baby is in good spirits and gaining weight, there’s no reason to be concerned. Most of the time, regurgitation is harmless.
It is best to see a doctor if your baby:
- Seems to be in pain
- Projectile vomits several times a day
- Wets his diapers less than before
- Isn’t gaining enough weight