Spitting Up in Infants Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Amita Shroff, MD on November 30, 2022

Self-Care at Home

Because spitting up is normal in infants, no treatment is required if the child is otherwise healthy, gaining weight and reaching the proper milestones. However, some changes in the feeding technique may help reduce the number of episodes or the amount of spitting up.

The following feeding techniques may help with spitting up:

  • Burp the infant frequently (after every 1-2 ounces) to prevent the build-up of air in the stomach.
  • Feed slower or use a smaller bottle nipple to allow the stomach contents more time to empty into the intestines.
  • Be careful not to feed too much at a time and to stop feeding when the infant seems full.
  • Thickening the milk with cereal is also an option.
  • Keep the infant upright after feeding for at least 30 to 45 minutes even if the baby seems tired or sleepy. This allows gravity to help prevent the stomach contents from coming up.

Medical Treatment

If the child is otherwise well, no specific treatment may be needed other than the feeding techniques mentioned for home care. As the child matures, their esophageal muscle will develop, and the spitting up will pass.

Occasionally, in more serious cases, the spitting up may be so frequent that the infant may not gain weight appropriately. This may require specific tests and more aggressive treatment. If the testing confirms gastroesophageal reflux, a condition in which stomach acids rise into the esophagus, treatment may include medication.