Blood in Spit Up for Babies: Causes and Treatment


Breastfed babies usually spit up thin milky fluid whereas formula-fed babies spit up material that looks similar to cottage cheese or paneer. Spitting up through mouth and nose is quite common in babies, but if the little one spits up bright red or brown colored blood along with milky fluid, it is surely a cause for concern. Take the baby immediately to the doctor’s notice.

Blood on the digestive system may be one of the reasons for something really wrong and worry about which requires immediate treatment. But while waiting for the call back from the doctor, there are certain things may help to settle down about blood-spitting symptom.

In this article:

Causes of Baby Spitting Up Blood
Treatment for Baby Spitting Up Blood
What to Do?
When to Worry?

All You Need to Know about Baby Spitting Up Blood

Causes of Baby Spitting Up Blood

There are many reasons behind spitting up of blood and the severity may also vary from baby to baby and following are the causes –


blood in spit up baby

Cracked and Sore Nipples

In most of the breastfeeding babies, the blood the baby spits up is usually from the mother and not from the baby’s body system. It can happen if the mother has sore or cracked nipples. It is common for nursing moms especially those who have just started nursing to experience irritation in the nipples due to the pulling and pressure or because of the exposure of skin to saliva. It may turn so bad that the skin cracks and bleeds and subsides with the healing of nipples. Most of the time, a healthy breastfeeding infant spits up a little blood has swallowed from the mother’s sore nipple. The blood irritates the tummy and it regurgitates. If there is no crack, try to express some milk and check if it emits a blood ting.

If there is blood in breast milk or on the nipple, offer some sugar water or plain water to the baby after feeding so that the blood clears away from his tummy. Stop feeding through the cracked nipple for a few days until it heals properly. Use a nipple shield available in pharmacies to avoid irritation to the healing nipple while breastfeeding can be done to baby from that breast. The blood that passes with the breast milk will also mix with intestine and blood can be seen in the baby’s stool as well. If there is no blood from the nipple or if the baby is on formula feed and still find spitting blood, the baby should be immediately taken to the doctor.

Swallowed Blood During Pregnancy

If the baby spits up blood shortly after birth, there is nothing to worry about. It may be the maternal-fetal blood the baby might have swallowed during delivery. However, bring this to the doctor’s notice so as to monitor the baby.

Forceful Spitting Up

In rare cases, the baby may forcibly spit up causing a tiny tear in the blood vessel present in the esophagus. It is nothing of worry again, as it heals quickly with time on its own.


It is an inflammation which damages the tissues in the esophagus, a muscular tube that delivers food from the mouth to the stomach.


Treatment for Baby Spitting Up Blood

Follow some simple tips to help lessen the frequency of the baby spitting up. They are as follows –

Burp the Baby

Take time to burp the baby after each feeding session. It can keep the air from building up in the baby’s stomach and avoid spit-ups.

No Physical Activity

Keep the baby upright for at least 30 minutes after every feed. Avoid immediate active play or use of swings.

Small and Frequent Feedings

Try smaller and frequent feeding sessions. As the baby’s stomach is really small, do not overfeed the baby in a single session.


What to Do?

If none of the causes are the reasons behind the baby spitting up blood and if it continues to persist, definitely take the baby to a pediatrician. Tell the doctor about all the signs and symptoms the baby is experiencing such as fever, constipation, colic, distended stomach, etc. So that the baby’s doctor will explain what action needs to be taken for the baby and the mother.

When to Worry?

If the spitting up of the baby persists and is having symptoms like green vomiting, abdominal distention, fever or lethargy, seek immediate medical care.


I hope the mother gets to know why the baby is spitting up blood otherwise consult the doctor.



Hope this article was of help for all our parents!! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy and Healthy Babies!!