Infant Spit Up Through Nose – Causes and Remedies

Infant spit up through nose is one of the occurrences that come as a big surprise – and sometimes raises panic in new mothers and inexperienced caregivers.

I almost jumped out of my skin the first time I saw my baby have an infant spit up through the nose. I never experienced the occurrence with my first child – perhaps I missed it, I don’t know. But for my second baby, when he was about 2 months old, I noticed the occurrence.

Interestingly, I remember calling the family doctor right away and instantly got an assurance that the occurrence was normal and natural. Being the inquisitive bee that I am, I spent the next three months researching about the issue – yes, you can trust me on that.

In this article, we will offer all you need to know about this occurrence, the causes, how to manage it, and how to prevent it – if possible. Trust me when I say you will have an advanced knowledge of infant spit up through nose after you read this article. Here we go!


Is Baby Spit Up Through Nose Normal?

You know I like to answer questions directly and as straightforward as possible before I try to give any explanations. So, the answer is yes – an infant spit up through nose is perfectly normal, and it is a natural occurrence.

You can notice it in infants between 0 and 18 months – during which they may experience the issue more than once a day. It is not a matter of whether or not the baby is healthy, or is experiencing a cold or flu. The baby is perfectly normal and nothing is wrong, so put your mind to rest.

The reason why this occurs is due to the fact that your infant is still too young to control the nasal system which regulates the nose and throat. Therefore, it makes it somewhat difficult for the baby to keep back the reflex that causes infant spit up through the nose.


What Causes Baby Spit Up Through Nose?

As expected, there are various reasons why your baby may experience spit up through nose. Despite the fact that it is a natural occurrence, there are certain things that tend to trigger it.

Below, we have highlighted five reasons why a baby could experience infant spit up through nose.

5 Reasons Why Baby Spit Up Through the Nose

1. Coughing or Sneezing in Infants

As I mentioned before, an infant does not have full control of their body – and body systems. They develop into full control of themselves. So, sneezing and coughing can make the baby lose control of his or her saliva which may be forced to come out through the nose.

During that period, there is an occurrence that is engaging the nasal system, so this will cause the spit to pass out through the nose because the baby cannot control the reflex actions.

2. The Development of the Stomach Valve

Let us try to explain this without taking you to biology class, there is a sphincter muscle in humans that connect the stomach and the esophagus. In babies, this all-important muscle – also known as the lower esophageal sphincter, is underdeveloped. As a result, it is unable to direct food efficiently to the stomach, so sometimes little food escape into the baby’s esophagus, causing the baby to experience infant spit up through the nose.

3. When the Baby is Distracted During Feeding

Babies can be easily distracted – especially while they are feeding. Once their eyes catch something of interest trust them to follow it through and they may even begin to cry if it goes out of sight.

Well, when distracted, a baby can experience an infant spit up through nose. This is likely to occur when there is too much water or food in the throat, forcing the baby to choke slightly and releasing some fluids through the nose.

4. The Baby Has a Full Stomach

A baby can experience spit-up if they are overly full. As a result, fluids may escape through the nose when the baby tries to sneeze or belch. Like we have discussed earlier, there is absolutely no need to panic, even if the baby begins to cry. All you need to do is to wipe clean and soothe the baby.

In addition to this, contrary to what you may believe, it is not ideal to intentionally overfeed a baby. Feed them at intervals rather than overfeeding them at a go.

5. If the Baby Has Swallowed Air

As you would notice, a baby’s mouth is usually open and they trap in some air in the process. Also, when a baby is hungry, they tend to gulp food in haste and swallow a lot of air while doing so.

The presence of air in their stomach will cause indigestion problems and the air will always look for means to escape. When air escapes through the nose, it will push out some spit with it, this is why you will mostly find air bubbles as the baby spits through the nose.


What to Do When Milk Comes Out of Baby’s Nose – Remedies

One thing is handing an infant spit up through nose when it is saliva, it is a completely different ball game when it is milk coming out of the baby’s nose. To be honest, experiencing an infant spit up through nose can be overwhelming if you are a new parent or an inexperienced caregiver.

As it is with many other occurrences that you will experience when nursing a baby, you will need to be prepared to handle the situation.

There are three fundamental steps to employ when handling a situation of milk coming out of a baby’s nose. We will highlight each point in the order to application, in order to ease execution when faced with such situation, they are:

1. Do Not Panic

This has got to be a fundamental rule when dealing with infants. Due to the psychological and emotional connection with their mothers, an infant will panic and cry if their mother panics. So, the first thing when you notice this is to remain calm and not panic. You’ve got to have the situation under control.

2. Take Action Immediately

There is no need to waste any second, once you notice that milk is coming out of your baby’s nose, you should wipe it off. By doing this, you have eased the airway of the baby to enable the infant to breathe freely again and you have also eliminated the possible chances of the baby crying due to panic.

3. Comfort Your Baby

Whether the baby is crying or not, after you wipe their nose, you should comfort them. If the baby needs a change of clothes as a result of the spit-up, you should change their clothes immediately and offer intimate contact with the baby to ease the stress and panic. Trust me when I say babies love this! How did I know? Well, I was a baby once! Lol


How to Deal with Milk Coming Out Baby’s Nose When Sleeping

Every nursing mother is aware of the dangers of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, so I understand how you will feel when you see milk coming out of your baby’s nose while sleeping.

You will naturally want to panic and try to wake them up. But the truth is that you do not need to wake up the baby, even though the baby is likely to wake as a result of the irritation and difficulty in breathing at that moment.

When you notice that milk is coming out of your baby’s nose while sleeping, you should carefully wipe off the milk from the baby’s nose and ensure that the baby isn’t awake and does not have any changes in his or her breathing pattern.

If you notice that the baby is awake, you will need to nurse the baby back to sleep, and if you notice that there is a change in the baby’s breathing pattern, try to change the baby’s sleeping position – something that would have contributed to the occurrence in the first place.

However, if you notice that the milk is still flowing out, turn the baby on their side and support the baby with your arms until the milk stop. In the case where the baby is an infant, carry the baby on your shoulder until the milk stops flowing. Never leave a sleeping baby on his or her side without support and supervision.



When it comes to babies, there is always something new to learn – and you have to be on top of your game. One thing I have noticed in my years of being a nursing mother is that the most important thing is to never panic.

As a nursing mother or caregiver, you cannot afford to panic, no matter the situation. Maintaining the right frame of mind at all times will enable you to be in the right frame of mind to handle every occurrence the right way – and eliminating any harmful threat to the baby.