What to Do When Milk Comes Out of Baby's Nose
Baby Toddler Safety

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

Don’t know what to do when milk comes out of  baby’s nose?

It is actually not a matter to worry about because infants are just learning how to drink milk.

A baby spitting up is a common act noticed by mothers every day. But there are a few solutions to minimize it.

Why Does Milk Come Out Of Baby’s Nose?

One thing you have to know when it comes to feeding babies is that they take in lots of liquids despite their small size.

Whether you’re feeding him formula or breast milk, it’s easy for your baby to take in too much. And when this happens, it can overflow either through spit-up or through your baby’s nose. 

When your baby is born, his body parts will still continue to grow into the right size. And one of those body parts is the “flap” that keeps food in his stomach. 

At birth, this flap is still composed of weak muscles that cannot do their job properly. As a result, it may lead to milk coming out of your baby’s nose.  

Other reasons why milk may come out of your little one’s nose include a forceful letdown from a breastfeeding mom and if your baby has a cleft palate.

1. What Happens When Milk Comes Out Of Baby’s Nose?

You may have heard of “dry drowning” and you’re worried that milk coming out of your baby’s nose means that something terrible will happen. 

But according to doctors, it is not really something that should alarm you. 

While it may be uncomfortable, a few seconds without the ability to breathe will not hurt your baby. 

Since your baby is a nose-breather, it is normal that he may feel distressed. But once the secretion has been cleared, it will not interfere with his normal breathing. 

If it bothers your baby, you can use a nasal aspirator designed for babies to suck out their nose. 

But for reassurance, your baby will not suffocate from this. He has an instinct to breathe through his mouth until his sinuses are clear.  

There are very rare instances, however, that spit-up may enter his trachea, which can lead to aspiration and pneumonia. If your baby has trouble breathing and turns blue, make a 911 call. 

You can also stop the flow of milk from coming out of his nose by putting your baby on his side for a short moment.

2. Is Milk Coming Out Of Baby’s Nose Normal?

This is a pretty common instance in newborns, which is why it is referred to as nasal regurgitation. 

Since the nose and mouth are connected at the throat, it is normal for milk to come out of your baby’s nose when spitting up or vomiting.  

For parents, nasal regurgitation may look scary, especially if a lot of milk comes back up quickly. You may even notice that your baby is gasping for air due to the force of the milk coming out of his nose. 

But you should remember to relax and be conscious of what is happening.

What To Do When Milk Comes Out Of Baby’s Nose

Mothers are really concerned about babies spitting up. Believe me, and it is absolutely normal during the initial days of feeding him. 

Also, the position in which you feed your child is equally important. Make sure to hold him upright, especially when feeding him milk.

This will reduce the chances of your baby’s spit up as the milk will go straight to his tummy.

Feed your baby in a place that has minimal distractions and noise. If the baby gets distracted, he may suck air with the milk. 

Check the nipples of the baby bottles that you’ll buy for your kiddo. If the nipple hole is too small, the baby may end up swallowing air also. 

Your baby might take pauses while drinking the milk. Take advantage of the time and make him burp before you begin feeding him again.

This will help in better digestion and would reduce the chances of spit-ups. 

Putting weight or pressure on your baby’s tummy may also result in spit-ups.

Therefore, make sure that the baby’s tummy is released from any pressure. For example, if his clothes are too tight, loosen them a bit.

1. What To Do If Milk Comes Out Of Baby’s Nose While Sleeping

If you notice milk coming out of your baby’s nose while he is asleep, you don’t necessarily need to wake him up. Some babies may even wake up on their own if this happens. 

What you should do is wipe away the fluid and make sure that your little one is breathing without trouble. 

If he starts choking on the milk coming out, turn him to his side and stay beside him until milk is no longer coming out. Never leave your newborn baby sleeping on his side without supervision. 

If he continues to choke, you can pick up your baby and place him upright on your shoulder. 

2. How To Stop Milk From Coming Out Of Baby’s Nose

Here are some of the things you can do to prevent spit-ups from happening:

  • Burp after feeding
  • Keep your baby’s head in an upright position after feeding
  • Don’t overfeed
  • Hand-express a little milk first if you’re breastfeeding
  • Try different feeding positions
  • Use the right nipple for your baby’s age
  • Avoid tight clothes or diapers
  • Don’t put your baby in a tummy time position after feeding

3. When To Call A Doctor

Doctors suggest that you should not intervene as long as your baby is coughing or breathing on his own. 

But other than that, here are some of the things you should look out for: 

  • If he stops breathing or turns blue, start CPR and seek help right away. 
  • If the spit up has a yellow or green tinge to it
  • If your baby is spitting up blood, is excessively fussy, or not gaining weight
  • If every single feeding causes milk to come out of your baby’s nose

Spit Up Vs Vomit

Spit-up is a small amount of milk that usually comes out after a feed. 

Vomiting, on the other hand, is more forceful, plentiful, and projectile. 

It is common for your baby to experience spit-up or milk coming out of the nose. Meanwhile, vomiting is not common. 

If milk is coming out of your baby’s nose and not in a spraying motion, it’s likely just spit-up. 

1. What Causes Babies To Vomit?

Here are the common reasons why babies vomit:

  • Stomach bug
  • Infection/blockage
  • Motion sickness
  • Chemical/medication poisoning

2. Reasons For The Baby’s Spit-Ups

The main reason why your baby spits up so much is that he swallows air along with the milk. But don’t worry, that isn’t a problem.

When the baby swallows air, the air will come up. Some of the milk also comes up along with that air, either via the mouth or nose. 

An infant’s digestive system has to learn a lot of stuff yet. His body doesn’t know what will happen if he swallows air along with the liquid. 

Therefore, the air he swallows increases the frequency of his spit-ups. 

3. What To Do After Feeding Him?

If you want to reduce your baby’s spit-ups, you must adopt a few safety measures after feeding him.

So, what should you do when milk comes out of the baby’s mouth?

Making the baby burp is very important so that he digests the milk. You have to make him burp immediately after feeding him to reduce the chances of spit-ups. 

Never lie him down on the bed directly after feeding him. 

Even if your baby falls asleep while drinking milk, don’t skip the step of holding him in an upright position. 

Editorial Pick: Babies Choking On Milk

4. Are Baby Spit-Ups Normal?

As I said earlier, spit-ups are normal for infants. But if the spit-ups are happening every time you feed the baby, it is suggested that you consult a doctor.

Also, if your baby isn’t gaining any weight, then spit-ups may indicate something serious. You should definitely consult a doctor in that case. 

If you notice frequent spit-ups or if projectile vomiting happens, immediately consult a doctor.

If your baby has difficulty breathing, it may be possible that it is a result of the spit-ups.

Instead of waiting for the spit-ups to reduce, you must consult a doctor if something serious happens with your baby.

5. When Do Babies Stop Spitting Up?

Babies usually outgrow spitting up after around 18 months or so. 

But you should start seeing a significant improvement once your baby starts sitting up on his own or around the 6th month.


Spitting up is quite normal in the initial stages of a baby’s development.

You can adapt the ways mentioned above on what to do when milk comes out of a baby’s mouth. 

Taking precautions while feeding your baby is the best possible solution here. 

Related Posts:

Frequently Asked Questions 

What To Do When A Baby Chokes On Milk?

For this, you’ll have to take care of the position in which you’re feeding the baby.

Hold him in an upright position while you feed him and make him burp every now and then.

After feeding him half a bottle, you can make him burp before feeding him again.

Do You Feed The Baby Again After Spitting Up? 

Spitting up and vomiting are common during stages of infant development. Don’t feed the baby immediately after he spits up or vomits.

Feeding him milk is essential so that he doesn’t get dehydrated. So, wait for some time after he spits up, and then feed him.

What If The Baby Doesn’t Burp And Falls Asleep?

If he falls asleep during drinking milk, just hold him in an upright position. In such a position, he will burp after a few minutes.

After that, you can lie him down and let him sleep.



Iesha Mulla

Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She's an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.

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