Why is Infant Formula Coming Through the Nose?

Why is Infant Formula Coming Through the Nose?


Why is Infant Formula Coming Through the Nose?  

Sometimes when you baby spits up, some of their infant formula comes out of that little nose. Is this normal or a sign of something else? 

There are times when someone is caught in a joke unaware while they are drinking, the liquid comes up through the nose. Thinking back to science classes, there is a connection between the throat and the nose. It is hardly noticeable, but all of the breathing you do with your nose and mouth are connected. This is how food or drink that comes back up can also find its way through your nose. While milk up the nose is not life threatening, it can be uncomfortable.

An occasional spray of infant formula out the nose is not a major concern, keep an eye out if it does start to become more common or show signs of discomfort. 

Possible Causes for Infant Formula Coming Through the Nose 

Spit Up 

It is very common for babies to spit up, so there is the possibility that formula can come through their nose. Even though it is instinctive for babies to root for milk from the moment they are born, eating is still a work in progress. There is still a lot to learn about sucking, swallowing, digesting, and keeping a good pace.

There is a valve called the lower esophageal sphincter. It is at the top of the stomach where it meets the esophagus. It can be immature in that it is not closing up in time when your baby's tummy is full or there is air that is affecting the stomach. These things can contribute to spit up. Luckily all of your little one's work will pay off as spit up incidents typically stop after they start solid foods and your baby's digestive system is more developed

If your baby is taking in too much air from the bottle, it can cause some of the spit ups. One big burp can look like a volcano eruption of infant formula. This is why it is important to burp your little one halfway through feeding time to let out that excess air and make the tummy more comfortable for more eating.

Another way to reduce spit ups is to make sure that your baby is at an upright position when feeding and for about thirty minutes after eating. This can help the lower esophageal sphincter stay closed and not let any formula come up through the mouth or the nose.

Infant Acid Reflux

While spit up is a common occurrence in babies, it can be a sign of a medical problem. There are some babies who are diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux (GER), also known as infant acid reflux. This condition with more than just common spit up with symptoms such as recurring spit ups multiple times a day.

The symptoms of GER are typically not serious, as your baby may show that they are feeling fine and not bothered by their stomach issues. Symptoms can last up to their first birthday, but rarely after 18 months. A more severe problem would be GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease that is caused by an allergy or blockage.

Overall, if your baby is only spitting up a little or the formula coming through of the nose is minor, then there is little concern for your baby's overall health. Forceful vomiting, green or yellow coloring in the spit up, or coughing or choking caused by spit up are reasons to see your pediatrician. If you find that your baby is losing weight or showing any signs of discomfort, it is time to seek medical attention.