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Can I prevent spitting up?

Is there anything I can do to stop my baby from spitting up?
Submitted by Parents Team

No, but you can try to minimize it. An overly full belly is a major cause of reflux, so avoid overfeeding her. Also, swallowing too much air while eating leads to gas bubbles in the stomach that can trap some of her meal. When the air comes back up as a burp, so does the breast milk or formula. Ensuring that your baby is latched on correctly and burping her before, throughout, and after each feeding can help reduce this problem.
If your baby's formula-fed, consider using a product that reduces bottle-induced gas, such as Playtex Drop-Ins (the liners collapse as your baby sucks) or Evenflo Comfi Nurser Bottles. If your baby is 4 months or older and your pediatrician approves, you can try thickening the formula to help it sit better in her stomach (mix in a tablespoon of rice cereal for every 4 ounces of formula).
Gravity is also on your side when it comes to reflux, and it can make a big difference in helping food stay down. Keep your baby in an upright position and as still as possible for at least 30 minutes following each feeding so that the food can travel out of the stomach and into the small intestine. You can also reduce spit-up at night and during naps by putting a wedge under the head of the mattress so that she sleeps at a 30-degree angle. (Never put the pillow directly under her head because of suffocation risks.) --Rachel Morris

Originally published in Parents magazine, February 2008. Updated 2009

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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