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milk coming out of baby's nose
Baby & toddler feeding,Baby health & safety,Motherhood

What to do when milk coming out of baby’s nose?

When a baby has milk coming out of their nose while gasping for air, it can be both alarming and frustrating for the parent. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help clear up the situation. In this blog post, we’ll provide some expert advice on what to do and how to prevent it from happening. But first…

Why does milk come out of my baby’s nose when breastfeeding?

There are a few potential reasons why this may be happening. One possibility is that the baby is not latching on correctly and is getting milk into their nose. Another possibility is that the baby has a cold or allergies, which can cause congestion and make it difficult to nurse.

If you think your baby may not be latching on correctly, try the following tips:

  • Make sure the baby’s head is level with your breast, so they can take a deep latch.
  • Use a pillow to support their head and back.
  • Experiment with different positions (cradle, cross-cradle, side-lying, etc.) until you find one that is comfortable for both of you and that allows the baby to latch on correctly.

If you think your baby might have a cold or allergies, you can try the following:

  • Use a saline nasal spray to help clear congestion.
  • Use a humidifier in their room to keep the air moist.
  • Try nursing in a steamy bathroom to help clear congestion.

In most cases, milk coming out of the nose while breastfeeding is not a cause for concern and can be resolved with a few simple tweaks.

However, there can still be some other reasons which we want to shed light on below:

Cleft palate

Occasionally, a submucous cleft palate can result in nasal regurgitation. The tissues that make up the roof of the mouth haven’t fused fully during pregnancy if there is a cleft palate. Submucous cleft palates are frequently detected years after birth and aren’t usually immediately apparent in newborns. If milk comes out of your baby’s nose right after every feeding, consult a pediatrician.

Coughing or sneezing while spitting up

It’s possible that your infant simply got unlucky and coughed or sneezed at the same time as throwing up. The milk is forced from their nostrils as a result.

Your baby might have allergies

Sometimes, allergies may be the root of your baby’s reflux. It could be wise to get expert medical counsel regarding a suspected cow’s milk allergy if they seem to be continually spitting up, are having trouble gaining weight, or exhibit significant discomfort following a feeding. Both formula-fed and breastfed babies may be affected by this, as cow’s milk proteins have a chance of contaminating breast milk if they are consumed by the mother.

Immature stomach valve

The lower esophageal sphincter muscle, which acts as a flap between the esophagus and the stomach, is frequently underdeveloped in newborns. As a result, milk can easily pass into their nose and exit through the esophagus.

Distracted feeding

When feeding, babies can become distracted and forget to swallow. They will abruptly choke on the milk when their mouth is too full, and it may even come out of their nose.


Your infant may overlook the cues that they are full if they really adore their milk. Your baby’s stomach will physically overflow if it is too full, and milk will start to stream out of their mouth and nose.

Taking in too much air while feeding

If your baby is really hungry, he or she may drink too soon or begin swallowing with an improper latch. This will force them to swallow air along with their milk. As the bubbles try to leave, the milk follows, resulting in spit-up.

What to do when milk coming out of baby’s nose?

When your baby spits up, he or she will turn to you for signs on how to respond. So, when you tidy things up, be calm and cheerful. You don’t want to build a bad connection with feeding, so be as soft as possible. A soft cloth, for example, will feel better on your baby’s face than a cold, wet baby wipe.

A hug and some skin-to-skin contact can help soothe a fussy infant who has spilt up, and you’ll likely need to wash your shirt anyway.

Turn the baby onto his or her side and be with him or her until the milk stops coming out if he or she begins to choke on it. Infants should never be left unattended when sleeping on their side. If the infant continues to choke after turning to the side, you should lift them up and hold them upright on your shoulder.

Is it a bad thing?

Try to remember that it’s quite natural. Milk regurgitation, also known as gastroesophageal reflux, affects 67% of all four-month-olds.

It can be frightening to observe, especially because your baby may be frightened and struggle to breathe until the milk is emptied, but there are no long-term consequences.

Remember, spitting up from the nose is no more dangerous than spitting up from the mouth.

However, if any of the following symptoms appear, you should speak with your doctor right away:

  • The spit-up doesn’t look like milk, or it’s yellow or green.
  • Your baby is spitting up blood.
  • Your baby isn’t gaining or is losing weight.
  • Your baby’s stools look different, either watery or bloody.
  • Your baby is fussy or not happy while eating.

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

  • Avoiding Allergens such as Cow’s Milk

If you are nursing your child, keep an eye on your food to see if it affects how often they spit up. Babies who are breastfed may require a specific formula in which the proteins have been broken down. Before changing your diet or the diet of your child, always consult your doctor.

  • Tummy time

Tummy time should be postponed until after your baby has had time to digest his or her milk or formula to prevent gastrointestinal distress.

  • Loose clothing

Ensure that your baby’s diaper and clothing are not too tight. Their tummy will feel too much strain from tight garments. The diaper size may need to be increased, but check sure it’s still secure. You don’t want to switch diaper explosions for spit-ups.

  • Feed your baby in a quiet room

Try feeding your infant in a quiet location where you won’t be disturbed if you suspect distractions are to blame.

  • Check the latch

Ensure your baby’s lips are turned outward, like a fish, and that the areola is not showing while you nurse. Their ears should twitch when they suck, indicating that they have a full mouth of breast milk and are not swallowing air.

  • Slow flow bottles

The hole on the bottle teat should be smaller if you are using it to feed your infant. It will also slow down the milk flow, so your baby doesn’t choke on air.

  • Pacifiers

In the case that your infant falls asleep while being fed, the suck-swallow reflex may cause them to consume an excessive amount of milk. Immediately replace the breast or bottle with a pacifier in order to prevent them from waking up.

  • Do not overfeed

Don’t give your baby more milk than he or she can tolerate in a single feeding. If they’ve eaten enough but still want to suck for comfort, you might try feeding smaller amounts more often or offering a pacifier at the conclusion of a feed.

  • Always burp

Burp your infant both during and after a feeding. This will allow them to expel any trapped air before it becomes too much in their stomach.

What is the difference when baby spits up vs vomits?

Spitting up is common and usual, but it is less severe than vomiting. Vomiting is the violent ejection of stomach contents. Spit-up is a simple flow, similar to the milk that comes out with a burp.

Many factors can activate the portion of the brain that causes the vomiting reflex. Among them are the following:

  • Nerves in the stomach or intestine that are inflamed or irritated as a result of an infection or obstruction.
  • Chemicals in the blood, most often caused by medications or toxins.
  • Motion nausea brought on by the middle ear.

Your baby may vomit on occasion as a result of rotavirus or a minor gastrointestinal disease. This, however, should not happen on a regular basis. If it does not go away fast and your kid displays indications of sickness, we urge that you consult your doctor.

What to do when your baby is making gasping sounds but breathing fine?

Laryngomalacia is a common cause of newborns’ loud breathing. When a baby’s larynx (or voice box) is soft and floppy, this occurs. When the newborn breathes, the larynx above the voice cords collapses and momentarily limits the baby’s airway.

Despite their loud breathing, most neonates with laryngomalacia do not have difficulty breathing or eating. When a baby is crying, nursing, sleeping, lying down, or has an upper respiratory illness, his or her breathing becomes louder.

Is it normal for a baby to spit up curdled milk?

If you’ve ever bottle-fed a baby, you’ve probably noticed that sometimes their milk looks a little bit different when it comes back up. This is because, when mixed with stomach acids, milk can curdle.

Curdled milk may look gross, but it’s actually perfectly normal and generally not a cause for concern. In fact, many babies Spit up curdled milk from time to time without any ill effects.

However, if your baby is spitting up large amounts of curdled milk or seems to be in pain, it’s important to contact your pediatrician. Excessive spitting up could be a sign of an intolerance or infection.

So, while curdled milk is usually nothing to worry about, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and consult with your doctor if you have any concerns.

What does normal spit up look like?

For babies who are breastfed or given formula, normal spit-up typically resembles the milk or formula that was recently consumed; we’ll talk more about curdling in a moment. During and after spitting up, your kid will be quite at ease and satisfied; they could even appear proud of themselves!

Can a baby die from vomiting through the nose?

When a baby vomits, the forceful expulsion of stomach contents can sometimes cause the vomit to come out through the nose. While this may seem dangerous, it is usually not harmful and does not pose a risk of death.

However, in rare cases, vomiting through the nose can lead to choking or aspiration. Aspiration occurs when vomit is inhaled into the lungs, and it can be life-threatening if not treated immediately.

Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention if your baby appears to be struggling to breathe after vomiting through the nose. With prompt treatment, most babies make a full recovery.

Why do babies gasp for air while sleeping?

New parents are often alarmed when they see their baby gasp for air while sleeping. However, this is actually a normal part of infant breathing. To understand why babies gasp for air, it helps to know a bit about how breathing works. When we breathe in, our diaphragm contracts and our chest cavity expands.

This causes the air pressure inside our lungs to decrease, drawing air into the lungs. When we breathe out, the opposite happens: our diaphragm relaxes and our chest cavity shrinks, increasing the air pressure inside our lungs and forcing air out.

Babies have a relatively large head and small chest cavity, which means that the change in air pressure is much greater when they breathe in than when they breathe out.

As a result, they often gasp for air at the end of a breath to equalize the pressure and prevent their lungs from collapsing. So if you see your baby gasping for air while sleeping, don’t worry – it’s perfectly normal!

Why is my baby gasping in sleep after crying?    

If your baby is gasping for breath after crying, it’s likely due to a condition called laryngospasm. This occurs when the muscles around the larynx, or voice box, spasm and constrict the airway.

Laryngospasm is most common in infants and young children, and can be caused by a variety of things, including allergies, infection, and even acid reflux.

While it can be scary to see your child struggling to breathe, laryngospasm is usually not dangerous and will resolve on its own within a few minutes. However, if your child is having difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention.

Final words:

It’s common for babies to spit up, even out of their noses, as they grow and develop. You shouldn’t be concerned as long as they are eating normally, gaining weight, and not being extremely fussy.

Spitting up may be reduced to a minimum by taking precautions like burping, holding your infant upright, and avoiding overfeeding. Get in touch with your baby’s pediatrician or doctor if you have any concerns.


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Chelsy Gallagher

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