Is Baby Spitting up Through Nose Normal?

Milk coming out of baby’s nose? Mothers often see their newborn or preemie spit up more than once. As a mom, you may even see, from time to time, that the milk comes through the nose.

Milk coming out of baby's nose

This can be very disturbing to watch all the milk unexpectedly pour from your baby’s nose. While this process can disturb your little one, rest assured that it is a common and natural process.

Babies are often spitting up. Today we will discuss why this occurs and how you can prevent its likelihood of happening again.

Milk Coming Out Of Baby's Nose

For babies, reflux happens as the milk returns from the baby’s stomach and out of the mouth or nose. This is typically not a significant issue, since it can occur many times a day in healthy children, but it is less likely after 18 months.

Your little one has no control over the automatic reaction that forces the milk back up. Since the nose and throat are connected, this can be projected out through the nose during a quick spit up, leaving you at a surprise.

Why does milk come out of my baby's nose when breastfeeding? (main causes)

Your little one may get distracted during breastfeeding, which may disrupt the suck-swallow reflex. This, in turn, may trigger her to consume large volumes of milk, inducing mild discomfort, bringing back milk out of the nose.

Stomach valve
The stomach and esophagus of your baby are bound by a sphincter muscle. Among infants, this muscle, the lower esophageal sphincter, is weak and often leads to the food escaping back into the esophagus.

Coughing or sneezing
Once born, the little one has no control over their body. Even the mere act of sneezing or coughing may result in the esophagus returning the milk.

Swallowing air
When your baby is very hungry, he can drink milk in a hurried way. This may also lead him to ingest air, which later can cause the milk to come out with it.

Difference Between Spit-Up And Vomit

Spit-ups are common and sometimes happen, however, they are actually less serious than vomiting. Vomiting involves the rapid release of the contents in the stomach.

The following things will stimulate the part of the brain which activates the vomiting reflex action:

  • As a result of a blockage or an infection, the stomach nerves may respond to irritation or inflammation.
  • Another reason may be chemical compounds that are found in the blood, possibly due to the use of drugs or poisoning.
  • Motion sickness can also be a contributing factor.

Because of a light stomach infection, like rotavirus or mild stomach flu, the little one may also sometimes vomit. However, it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. If the problem does not resolve rapidly and your child has symptoms of a disease, you need to call your doctor.

How to prevent milk from coming out of baby's nose?

We know that spit up is not a fun part of child-raising. It ends up staining his clothes, while you need to frequently change and wash your blankets. In addition, it does not smell great either.

However, the good news is that you can reduce the chances of your baby’s spitting up by implementing certain techniques:

During Feeding

Always try to follow your baby’s food schedule.

Try to feed your baby on time as much as possible: When your little one becomes excessively hungry, he will start gulping milk, which increases the risk of splitting up later.

If you feed your baby with a bottle, you need to ensure that the hole on the nipple is not so big, which, otherwise, can lead your baby gulping too much milk at once.

Try to eliminate all distractions while feeding the baby. It is important to keep your infant focused on the task at hand. Try to limit other things happening around you. And we know that things can get a bit complicated when there are other kids around that you need to take care of.

Lastly, avoid overfeeding your baby. Sometimes the baby can act full, even if you know that he has actually eaten less. When this happens, trust his instincts and never force them to feed them more than they need.

After Feeding (when sleeping)

Burp your baby right away, once he is done with eating. Properly burping will significantly reduce the risk of later spitting up.

After feeding hold your baby upright for a few minutes. This will make sure no milk is left in the esophagus since it will flow down into the stomach.

Make sure your baby is sleeping on his back. This ensures that he automatically swallows any milk that is remaining in his throat.

Don’t put your baby in tight clothing after feeding. Avoid causing pressure on the stomach. For example, try not to tighten a diaper too much.

What To Do When Milk Comes Out Of Baby's Nose?

While spitting up in babies is common, you may get freaked out seeing the baby spitting up through the nose. In addition, although you may already know that this is a quite normal process with no dangers, you need to talk to a doctor if you observe other symptoms, such as bloody spit up, watery or bloody stool, and even if the baby is not happy while eating. For expert tips on shedding those post-pregnancy pounds while nourishing your baby, check out our guide on how to lose weight while breastfeeding.


Is it bad if milk comes out of the baby's nose?

You could have seen milk come out of your baby’s nose. Seeing all that milk or formula make a reappearance, specially when it comes out the nose, may be quite distressing. It may disturb your baby, but rest assured that it is a common and natural behavior.

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