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  • Paglulungad: Why Baby Spits Up and When to Worry About It

    Half of all babies spit up during the first three months of life
    by Jillianne E. Castillo .
Paglulungad: Why Baby Spits Up and When to Worry About It
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • Pinoy parents call it paglulungad — when your baby spits out the milk you’ve just fed her. But, why exactly do babies spit up and should you be worried about it? Here’s a quick guide to put you at ease:

    Why babies spit up
     “About half of all babies during their first three months experience their stomach contents coming back up,” says Mayo Clinic. In babies, the muscle found between their esophagus and stomach that keeps food down isn't fully developed yet. Because of this, it can be easy for the milk you've just given your baby to come back up especially if she's full or burping. 

    Spitting up is common and usually nothing to worry about, says HealthyChildren, a parenting resource site run by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “Although it may be a bit messy, it’s usually no cause for concern. It almost never involves choking, coughing, discomfort, or danger to your child, even if it occurs while she’s sleeping.” 

    What other parents are reading

    Paglulungad is not vomiting, which is a forceful discharge that involves a large amount of stomach content. Spit-up flows easily and dribbles down a baby’s mouth as opposed to throwing up. And babies don’t notice or don't feel discomfort when they’re spitting up. 

    Babies spit up about a couple of tablespoons, pediatrician Dr. Ashanti Woods tells The Bump. Some also spit up more often than others. Spitting up goes away by the time the child is a year old, says Mayo Clinic.

    “Is my baby getting enough milk if he’s spitting up?”
     It may seem like your baby has just spit up all the milk you’ve fed her, but don’t worry too much. As long as your baby seems happy and healthy, spitting up shouldn’t be a problem, says pediatrician Dr. Jeffrey Bourne also told The Bump.

    “Normal spitting up doesn't interfere with a baby's well-being,” says Mayo Clinic. “If your baby is gaining weight, then he or she isn't being harmed by the calories lost through spitting up.”

    Avoid giving your baby more milk to “make up” for the spit up as well, pediatrician Dr. William Byrne tells Parents. Remember that overfeeding can lead to more paglulungad

    What other parents are reading

    How to avoid paglulungad
    You can’t completely stop your baby from sitting up, but there are things you can do to try to minimize it: 

    • Avoid overfeeding your baby.
    • Don’t lay your baby down immediately after feeding sessions. Hold her upright for 20 to 30 minutes first, says the AAP.
    • If your baby is bottle-fed check that the hole in the nipple is the right size. A few drops should come out then stop when the bottle is held upside down. 
    • Burp regularly. Frequent burps will keep air from building up in your baby’s belly that may cause him to spit up (see tips on burping a baby here)
    • Don’t jostle or play vigorously with your baby after feeding

    When to worry
    Spit ups are normal and typically not worrisome, but spitting up that accompany other symptoms may point to an underlying condition. Call a doctor if your baby is not gaining weight, spits up fluid that is an unusual color (such as green, yellow, or bloody), has difficulties breathing, spits up forcefully, or repeatedly refuses feedings. Don’t hesitate to talk to your child’s pediatrician for anything that concerns your baby’s health. 

    What other parents are reading

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