There are many reasons to celebrate Baby’s growth as he develops and changes before your eyes – you’re learning more and more about the kind of person he is going to be, the two of you can communicate better, and though it’s less of a heartwarming reason, if Baby has been a frequent spit-up-er, losing some of the baby-puke from your life may have made the list as well.
While many babies stop, or at least slow down on the spitting up once they’re able to sit up on their own, others hang on to the habit until after they’ve been walking for a few months, though it generally tapers off at that point.
What makes Baby spit up?
While there are things you can do to lessen the amount or the frequency of Baby’s spit-up incidents, like making sure he is always upright when he eats, or discouraging him from crawling off on any adventures directly after eating, the real reason Baby spits up isn’t actually in your control at all. Spitting up happens when the valve between his stomach and esophagus is underdeveloped, allowing food to travel back up after it’s been swallowed.
This means that when babies start sitting up on their own, gravity starts helping them out in keeping things down, and even more so when they start standing. Sometimes starting solid food can help encourage the valve to mature faster, which is why reflux is the only condition for which a healthcare provider might sometimes, but very rarely, suggest starting babies on rice cereal in their milk earlier than the recommended 4 to 6 months. This suggestion is generally a last resort, however, since it can create feeding habits and expectations that can cause difficulty later. In the end, though, it’s not always in anyone’s control when that valve matures, and Baby may continue to spit up occasionally for a few months into his first year.