Gastroesophageal reflux in babies (1444)

Key points below

What is gastroesophageal reflux?

Reflux is a term used when a baby spits up part or all of a feeding. This often happens during or after your baby eats. It is common and normal in babies.

Reflux tends to peak at 4 to 6 months of age when babies are more active. Most often it stops around 12 months of age.

What causes it?

How does it affect my baby?

Babies with reflux may:

Reflux is normal for babies who:

What can I do?




Talk with your health care provider about how much and how often your baby spits up. Also talk about what your baby is doing during and after feedings. Is your baby crying, making faces, moving around a lot?

To help judge how much your baby is spitting up, pour a half ounce of water on a blanket or burp cloth. Compare it to your baby’s spit up on the burp cloth or their clothes. You may want to write down the amounts and when it happens.

If your baby has problems due to reflux, the doctor may make changes in feedings and/or start medicine. Surgery is rarely needed.


Call your baby’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your baby:

Is turning blue, or if breathing stops. This is an emergency, start CPR and call 9-1-1.

  • Has spit-up that is bloody or bright green.
  • Will not eat or has a hard time eating.
  • Is not gaining, or is losing weight.
  • Has a hard time breathing during or after feeds.
  • Has chronic coughing or wheezing.
  • Is very crabby.
  • Has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.