In the first few days following birth, it is normal for a baby to throw up mucus from their stomach. This is mostly a mixture of the amniotic fluid swallowed in the womb and the mucus produced by their stomach lining, to prepare for absorbing milk.
Even after this period, you are still likely to experience your baby vomiting again at some point during your parenthood. In fact, it would be unusual for you not to.
So, why exactly do babies vomit? What does baby throw up mucus indicate? Is it cause to worry about the health of your child?
Well, there’s no set answer to this. Usually, an episode of vomiting doesn’t last for very long, and although it can be alarming, it is seldom an indication of serious illness. Read on to understand further the reasons why your baby throws up mucus.Baby Care
Common causes of a baby vomiting mucus
Generally, baby throwing up mucus develops in young babies and get better by time because of their immature digestive system. In normal, the small valve between stomach and esophagus keeps food stayed in stomach waiting to be digested. However, to young babies, this valve is weak and not fully formed. So after a small impact, the valve is easy to be opened and lets undigested food vomited up. Let go through some impacts that may trigger baby throw up mucus.
As mentioned above, a baby’s stomach valve is too immature to hold their undigested food in. Consequently, if you overfeed your baby, their valve will be forced open by the pressure of being overfull.
In such a case, a baby’s caregiver might feel the need to feed them immediately to replace the thrown up food. But doing this will likely cause them to vomit again. Therefore, it is advised to let your baby digest the food that is still in their valve, before trying to feed them again.
Swallowing too much air while feeding can also fill your baby’s tummy and lead to reflux. This typically occurs when a baby sucks on a pacifier too often, pumping their stomach up with swallowed air.
Sucking on a bottle with a small nipple hole or that is clogged will also cause too much air to fill their valve.
Fast milk flow
While feeding your baby, if milk let down too fast due to rich breast-feeding source or big size of nipple, your baby are more likely to vomit up. That is normal reaction of the body.
This is another common cause of baby vomiting. Introducing your baby to a new type of food, especially an allergen like seafood, can irritate their immune system and lead to reflux. Foods that often cause an allergic response in babies include nuts, soy, wheat, cow’s milk, shellfish, eggs, and fish.
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Other illness infection
Babies are more vulnerable to infection as their immune systems are not yet matured or used to bacteria in their environment. A respiratory infection can lead to baby throw up mucus. This is how the immune system works to fight the infection and clear the body of all the bad stuff.
Besides, other illnesses which often develop in young children such as respiratory infection or fever are also triggers of baby vomiting. In such cases, throwing up mucus is the way immune system protests and clear body. See how to take care of your baby in fever.
How to control baby throw up mucus?
USEFUL TIP: in most of the cases, baby throwing mucus because she is congested. A very useful tip for this situation is to put saline drops in each baby’s nostril before bedtime. Baby does not like it at all but it helps to clear their nasal passages. It’s working very well with my 2 little daughters (6 months and 2.5ys).
- Reduce the amount of milk baby takes in each time. The wait between feeding times should be at least 2 1/2 hours if feeding your baby formula, and 2 hours if feeding them breastmilk. Feeding time itself should be less than 20 minutes.
- Manage milk flow while feeding. Excessive milk flow can cause your baby to choke and vomit, while too little milk flow can also provoke vomiting. To prevent either of these situations, make sure the nipple hole of your baby’s bottle only drips one drop of formula per second when held upside down. If it drops too little, cut the hole to be slightly bigger. And if it drops too much or you’re breastfeeding your baby, try to reduce milk flow by holding the nipple while feeding.
- Burp baby after feeding. For the first six months, it is recommended to keep your baby upright for 10 to 15 minutes after feeding. This helps prevent milk from being brought back up. You should also gently burp your baby after feeding time. Don’t worry if your baby spits when you burp them.
When is your baby vomiting a sign of something serious?
Although it isn’t common for a baby vomiting to be a symptom of a severe condition, you should always be alert for any other symptoms accompanying their vomiting. These could be an indication of a more severe condition:
- There are many reasons why your baby could be projectile vomiting continuously. All of which need to be diagnosed by a medical professional as soon as possible. If your baby’s vomit comes out with force, it could be due to an obstruction, an allergy, infection or virus.
- Get your baby checked by a doctor is they show signs of dehydration such as strong yellow urine, fewer wet nappies than normal, dry skin, excessive drowsiness, or sunken eyes.
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- Galactosemia is a serious allergy that will occur if your baby is intolerant to milk originated from animal or human. Symptoms of Galactosemia include vomiting, flushed skin, rashes, diarrhea, swelling of face/tongue/lips, and difficulty breathing. You can usually control the condition by switching to soy milk, but consult a pediatrician first.
- If the baby throw up mucus is very thick, it may need to be sucked out by an aspirator to prevent choking or build up in the lungs. To thin the mucus out, you can put saline drops in each nostril before bedtime. Your baby won’t like it, but it works.