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Why Is My Baby Spitting Up So Much?










QUESTION:

My 4 week old baby boy spits up a lot (quantity and frequency) with feedings. I find myself getting very frustrated during the night shift when I feed him for an hour (he's bottle fed), to the point where I am cursing in frustration.

I burp him very frequently during the feedings, every 20-30 mL (1 fl oz) or so, but inevitably he always spits up when he is finished eating and it gets on EVERYTHING! He then requires changing and gets agitated that it's hard to calm him.

Last night, this happened and I was so angry that my wife came and took him away from me. I punished myself and slept on the couch and was in tears I was so ashamed.




ANSWER:

I get a lot of guys writing about similar frustrations/anger regarding the baby crying (or the wife), this is my first on spitting up. Whenever you reach the point of frustration with a new baby, you need to take a new proactive approach. The guys dealing with crying (start by putting on headphones, crank them up, and take the baby for a walk in the stroller) report back they get good at it and the feelings of frustration (and shame) turn into one of “dad to the rescue”.

Ideas to consider: compare notes with your wife on what works and what doesn't, perhaps a super bib made out of a baby blanket with a head size hole cut out (like a poncho) that catches it all so you don’t have to change his clothes, bib comes off once he is down in crib and finished spitting up. Google the subject for ideas: slow down the feeding perhaps, try different positions to minimize any pressure on his stomach, plan on him spitting up until he outgrows it if it's infant acid reflux.

Fatherhood is about making mistakes and coming up with solutions, so try to appreciate the opportunity you have to learn perhaps the most essential lesson we dads need to learn – patience with our child, and ourselves. Lighten up on yourself; your strong reactions indicate a man deeply committed to being the best father possible, and you will be.

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