5 Reasons Baby Spits Up When Laid Down

Have you noticed your baby spitting up when lying on her back? Have you wondered why your baby spits up when laid down? If your answer to these questions is yes, then this guide is for you.

A baby throws up when laid down for many reasons, some of which include Excessive letdown, overfeeding, swallowing air during feedings, and undeveloped digestive tracts, sensitivity or allergies to foods, and gastroesophageal reflux disease, etc.

In newborns, it is normal for babies to spit up breast milk and formula.

Sometimes, you find your baby bringing up milk when lying down or burped.

Spitting up is a normal phase in every child’s life. It is part of their development, especially with their gastrointestinal tract.

It is only when the spitting is way overboard, that you should be worried and see a doctor.

Why is My Baby Bringing Up Milk When Lying Down?

The primary reason babies spit up after lying down is solely caused by their underdeveloped gastrointestinal system.

When breastfeeding your baby, the milk goes through the throat to the esophagus and finally down to the stomach.

The stomach is connected to the esophagus by muscles called the esophageal sphincter.

The sphincter is responsible for letting down milk into the stomach and immediately closes back up afterward.

Because of a baby’s immature sphincter, there is a backflow of milk that results in spit-up.

A baby’s spitting up should cease at age 6 – 8 months when the lower esophageal sphincter is more mature.

When you see your newborn spitting up while sleeping or laying down, the following reasons could also be the cause.

1. Having Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) 

The one foremost reasons a baby spits up all day could be as a result of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

If your baby’s lower esophageal sphincter doesn’t tighten up immediately after it opens, Reflux takes place.

When Reflux becomes profuse or happens all the time the condition could is term” Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).”

Below are signs to watch out for, when you suspect your baby could be suffering from GERD.

  • Arching of the back, often during or right after eating.
  • Colic-crying that last more than 3 hours a day with no medical cause, Especially in the evening.
  • Coughing or hiccupping.
  • Baby fuss and Irritated especially after eating and during breastfeeding
  • Poor eating or refusing to eat.
  • Forceful or frequent vomiting.
  • Disturbed Sleep.
  • Poor weight gain, or weight loss.
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing.

So, if your baby spits up every time you lay him down or you noticed any other spitting pattern, report immediately to a doctor.

2. Hunger

When you allow your baby to go very hungry before feeding her, she is likely to feed quickly or fast.

When a baby feeds quickly, she is likely to swallow air during the process of feeding.

The air bubble is pushed down as she continues to rush down the food.

After feeding, the air bubbles then begin to rise and, push out milk that comes out as spit-up.

3. Heavy Letdown

Another reason why a baby spits up a lot is heavy or excessive milk letdown.

When a baby sucks from a heavy letdown, she may find it too much to handle.

An excessive letdown will pressurize your baby to take her mouth off the breast, to get some air.

The grasping for breath will lead to the baby swallowing air as she feeds, which then leads to the baby spitting up when lying down.

It is advisable to express your breast milk or pump them to into a bottle before breastfeeding.

This will help reduce or control your excessive letdown which may overwhelm your baby.

4. Overfeeding

Another reason why a baby spits up a lot in the evening is overfeeding. Many parents make the mistake of thinking if they could get their baby to be very full, she won’t wake up for a night feed.

This is an effort in futility because overfeeding causes your baby discomfort. Your baby will be fussy, cranky, and throws up when laid down.

Your baby’s night routine is part of her developmental stage. Therefore, be patient as this phase is not permanent.

Overfeeding will cause more harm like eating disorders.

5. Sensitivity or Allergies to Foods

Sensitivity or allergies to certain foods or drinks in a mother’s diet is another reason baby spits up when laid down on their back. It is well a known fact that allergens can be transferred into breast milk and it can cause a baby to spit up.

9 Effective Remedies – Baby Spits Up When Laid Down

There are several things you can do to help reduce the frequency your baby spits up when laid down flat. Some of which includes;

a. Don’t Overfeed your Baby

Please do not overfeed your baby. Overfeeding causes discomfort and should never be something you do under any circumstance.

Overfeeding is one of the culprits of overreacting (fussiness and irritation) in babies. This is because babies have smaller stomach content.

When your baby takes too much milk, the stomach will not be able to hold the extra milk. This reason causes a baby to spits up while lying down.

Therefore, to reduce the frequency of baby spitting up. Only give your baby the milk she needs at the moment.

b. Burp Your Baby

Burping your baby after 1 or 2 ounces during feeding will help reduce air from your babies’ tummies and also gives room for more feed.

Burping helps reduce air from your baby’s belly and reduces the tendency of food flowing back out of the stomach.

Breastfed babies swallow less air than bottle-fed babies, and may not need to burp after every feeding.

But, if you have a heavy letdown, you may need to burp your baby because they swallow air alongside the breast milk.

c. Feed Your Baby Less Milk, But More Often

Another way to help newborn stop spitting up when laid down is feeding your baby frequently but less quantity of milk.

Leaving too much time between feeding, make babies hungry. When a baby is hungry, she feeds so fast and takes in excess air.

Hunger can make your baby get overfed, as a result, it leads to baby spits up when laid down.

Therefore, moms are advised to adjust to a feeding schedule suitable to the recommended quantity of milk for a day.

d. Use the Appropriate Feeding Bottles

Using a suitable bottle for your newborn can reduce the frequency of the newborn spitting up while sleeping.

You need a bottle with a fully-vented system that can reduce air intake during feeding and relieve your baby from gas and colic.

The best bottle for this job is Dr. Brown Bottles. Dr. Brown, have one of the slowest-flowing preemie nipple, which is suitable for breastfed babies.

Dr. Brown Bottles mimic the flow of the milk like that of the mother’s breast, which helps prevent overfeeding and spit up.

Dr. Brown Bottles come in 2 ounces, 4 ounces, and 8-ounce bottles with a great nipple set accompanying them.

e. Feed Baby in an Upright Position

Feed Baby in an Upright Position-baby spits up when laid down

Often sit in an upright position when breastfeeding your baby.

An upright position allows a smooth flow of the breast milk or formula through the esophagus and reduces air intake. 

Maintaining an upright position also helps to keep the food down to prevent spit-up.

f. Feed in a Calm and Relax Mood

Try to feed your baby in a calm and relax place. As distractions, loud sound, and bright lights may cause surprises that could make her swallow air while breastfeeding and cause spit-up.

If your baby is cranky and fussy check if she is cold, hot, or needs a diaper change.

g. Avoid Very Active Movement After Feeding

Don’t bounce or start playing with your baby immediately after feeding. Avoid taking her straight to bed immediately after feeding. This will lead to baby spits up when laid down flat.

Furthermore, a very active play immediately after feeding may cause not just spit up but regurgitation.

Keep the baby still after feeding to allow the food to settle down properly. This will help her stomach keep the food down.

h. Relieve Your Engorged Breast

Relieving your engorged breast before breastfeeding can help reduce the frequency of your baby spit-up.

When you have too much breast milk or not yet breastfeeding, you are going to experience what is called Engorgement.

At this point, your breast will be full and hard for your baby.

It will be difficult for your baby to latch properly and get a good hold around your nipple.

This may lead to your baby taking in air as she tries to nurse.

Therefore, to solve this problem, you need to express some milk or pump it into bottles to soften the breast before feeding your baby.

i. Work on Your Allergies

Sometimes, when your baby’s heavy spit-ups are not a result of GERD. Then, it could be what you eat that your baby gets through breast milk that she is allergic to.

Visit your doctor for medical advice and precautionary measures against any allergens.

Final Thoughts

The reasons baby spits up when laid down are not far-fetched, but we have provided suitable solutions to them all.

Spitting up is a normal and natural occurrence in every child’s life. The spit-up, throw up or vomiting will stop when your baby’s lower esophageal sphincter is fully mature.

The tips provided above will avail you with the needed solutions to manage any problem relating to baby spits up when lying on back or throws up when laid down.

If you have any questions and observations, I will be glad to hear from you in the comment section.

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