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Breast milk is best for your baby.

Health Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society, and the Dietitians of Canada recommend that you exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first 6 months and that you continue to breastfeed for up to 2 years or longer along with complementary foods.

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Home / Baby feeding issues / Baby feeding issues / Baby spit up


Babies don’t have big tummies. At birth, a baby’s tummy is about the size of a cherry. After 3 days, it has made it to walnut dimensions. What this means is that it really cannot hold very much. In fact, until she is about 4 months old, your baby’s stomach can hold only small amounts of milk at a time. This is one of the main reasons why you have to feed her so often early on. Too much milk during feedings can cause your baby to spit up or be fussy because she feels overly full. Spit-up is generally milk coming straight back up due to an overflow of that tiny tummy, or air bubbles swallowed during feeding.

Many babies spit up regularly. It is not painful, and she might not even realize she has done it. If your baby is healthy and gaining weight, you really do not need to worry about it, as it is just part of the development process.

Baby bottle falling in a puddle of formula
Outline of a Similac® baby formula product with a measuring spoon

Spit-up may look like a lot but is usually not

It might seem like a lot (especially when it adorns one of your favourite dresses), but the amount of liquid your baby spits up might not be as much as you think. If your baby spits up more than a tablespoon at a time (or if the spit-up is associated with respiratory difficulties such as choking, coughing, or wheezing), ask your health care professional if there is a reason to be concerned.

Continue using Similac® Advance® (our closest formula ever to breast milk, and the only formula with an exclusive blend of DHA, lutein, and vitamin E) and try feeding her smaller amounts, but more often. Also, hold her in a more upright position both during and after feedings.

You can try using a different bottle or nipple, and make sure you burp her every 5 to 10 minutes while feeding.

After her feeding, keep your baby in an upright position; lying flat on a full stomach can lead to spit-up. Also, avoid too much activity immediately after feeding.

Is spit-up different from vomit?

If spitting up is making your baby uncomfortable and gets more forceful with more volume than usual, she might be vomiting. Although this can be alarming, an occasional vomiting episode is usually not a reason to be concerned. Contact your health care professional if your baby's spit-up:

  • increases in volume or force;
  • causes choking episodes or respiratory difficulty (wheezing or coughing);
  • leads to other issues (discomfort, fussiness, poor weight gain, or weight loss);
  • is accompanied by a fever, diarrhea, bloody mucus in the vomit, or a bloated abdomen;
  • is green or yellow;
  • is frequently projectile.

Because babies younger than 1 year of age are at greater risk of dehydration, consult your health care professional immediately if you think your baby might be dehydrated. It is important that you replace the fluids your baby is losing with small, frequent feedings while she is ill. Your child’s doctor may recommend an oral rehydration solution such as Pedialyte®. Please note that this information is not meant to replace the advice of your baby’s health care professional who we recommend you contact if you are concerned, or before making changes to your baby’s diet.

Spit up