Many times during the first few months of life you can see your baby spit up as milk and saliva come out of the mouth. Beyond the understandable concern of parents, regurgitation in the newborn is almost always a physiological event that does not represent a danger to health or a problem for the development of the child.
However, concern about the phenomenon of regurgitation should appear only when there is a loss of weight in the newborn, poor growth, or, again, in the presence of vomiting, irritability, and rejection of milk, so you should try to place the baby after eating in an anti-regurgitation position.
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How to Put Baby in Anti-Regurgitation Position
The phenomenon of regurgitation must be distinguished from gastroesophageal reflux. In the first case, there is a simple expulsion of saliva and undigested milk (both maternal and artificial), while in reflux, gastric contents pass from the stomach to the esophagus.
The reflux, therefore, is not necessarily visible (although it may include the presence of regurgitation); regurgitation. On the other hand, it is always evident as milk and saliva come out of the mouth. Although it is frequent, caused by the immaturity of the digestive system (and particularly of the gastroesophageal valve).
It is a harmless and transitory condition that does not affect the child’s growth and can be explained by the excessive voracity that characterizes some children. As the months go by, in fact, it will tend to shrink until it disappears completely.
Regurgitation usually occurs shortly after the end of the feed, but in some cases, it can also occur several hours later. To prevent and reduce this phenomenon, it is important to keep the baby in an anti-regurgitation position.
It is a reality that must be known carefully not only to avoid even mild and harmless discomfort but also and above all to avoid habitual practices that could be especially dangerous. Let’s find out what they are and what to pay attention to.
Benefits of Anti-Regurgitation Position
The use of the position so that the baby does not regurgitate is useful to ensure a healthy lactation for the baby, but above all to reduce the risk of sudden death. For the baby it is an absolutely beneficial position to ensure correct milk intake, promote digestion and protect rest.
Drawbacks of Anti-Regurgitation Position
While there are advantages, some contraindications should not be ignored. Regarding the anti-regurgitation position, breastfeeding is an exhausting position, especially in the first months of life, since the newborn is not yet able to sit up on its own and therefore its weight rests entirely on the mother’s arm. mother.
For night rest, on the other hand, keeping the newborn in a supine position can increase the risk of positional plagiocephaly. We are talking about a condition that is not serious, but that involves crushing with relative deformation of the posterior and lateral part of the skull.
This is due to the prolonged position of the head at night (and often during the day for babies who spend a lot of time in car seats and high chairs). The advice is to turn the baby’s head at night if he always assumes the same position, while during the day minimize the time spent lying down by favoring her movements.
The reflux problem disappears after a few months and even the concerns about the positions to adopt are transitory and end with the end of exclusive breastfeeding (and therefore the start of weaning) and their growth that will allow them to remain autonomous in the bed, in any position he wants.
Different Positions That You Can Adopt To Avoid Regurgitation
To avoid regurgitation, there are several positions with which to place the baby, both during breastfeeding and when sleeping.
To breastfeed or bottle feed the baby, it is advisable to hold the baby in an upright position (called the “Koala” position) by straddling the mother’s (or bottle feeder’s) leg so that the back and head are aligned vertically and due to gravity, the milk cannot rise and escape.
Once the lactation is finished, it is advisable to keep the baby in an upright position for about a quarter of an hour to facilitate the complete ingestion of milk. The advice is also to try to feed the baby slowly, taking small breaks during the feeding to prevent him from taking in too much milk due to the heat.
Slightly different speech regarding the night. It is essential that the baby is always placed in his bed (or crib) in a supine position, even after each feed.
In the first months of life, it is not recommended to let the newborn sleep in the same bed as the parents, preferring the use of bassinet-type cribs (or co-sleeping cribs) in which the newborn sleeps in a safe environment, but adjacent and therefore comfortable for the nursing mother.
During sleep, the only recommended position is the supine position; putting the baby upside down, in fact, is very dangerous for the survival of the newborn. In fact, it is the main element that causes the terrible phenomenon of SIDS, the sudden and inexplicable sudden death of the infant.
For the same reason, it is recommended to avoid the use of the anti-reflux pillow (to be postponed after 2 years), as it could cause the child to slide into a prone or dangerous position.