Spilling / Posseting / Regurgitation

These are all common in an infant due to an immature sphincter at the top of the stomach / bottom of the oesophagus (lower oesophageal sphincter).[1]  The baby may be a bit unsettled and may have periods of crying.  Crying in a normal infant will usually peak in the second month and settle around three to four months.[2]  They may have short bouts of painful crying associated with a spill, but this crying is not prolonged.  Spilling may also disturb sleep.  “The constant mess, cleaning, laundry etc. can lead to tiredness and isolation and others don’t necessarily understand why parents aren’t coping with something that is so normal that it affects more than 50% of babies.”  (Ballantyne, 2014)  Spilling does not need to be treated with conventional medication.

Spilling may also be referred to as Gastric Reflux / Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux / GOR, but it is still quite normal!

You need to take your baby to a doctor for a proper diagnosis if you think they may have Gastric Reflux and it is a problem (feeding difficulties, not growing well or severe pain etc).

Written by Roslyn Ballantyne (RN), National Coordinator for © Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust February 2015.

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