Why Your Baby Foams at Mouth and How to Deal with It

You may get worried when you find your baby foams during sleep. The article discusses why your baby may foam at mouth in sleep and how to deal with it.

It is always a cause of worry when you wake up at night and found your baby foaming at the mouth. In such situation the baby is not able to cry and breathe and appears distressed and trapped. It is an alarming scenario, which must have been experienced by many parents. Let’s get some insight into why your baby may foam at the mouth during sleep and other aspects of the situation.

Why Does My Baby Foam at the Mouth?

A lot of causes exist for this. It may be just that the baby is asleep and foam at their mouth saliva and air. But at other times breathing of the baby may appear to be constrained or fully blocked. In such cases, you should not panic. Incline your baby or prop them up. Many things can be done to ease their breathing depending on their current condition.

Following is a list of causes which can be used as reference, but it should not replace the advice of the doctor of your child.

1. Overfeeding

During each feeding, a newborn baby can consume only one or two fluid oz of milk. When you overfeed you will find your baby foaming at the mouth to expel the excess milk. Babies also swallow saliva while sleeping, and the saliva bubbles expel from the mouth of the baby and form foam.

You cannot measure overfeeding while breastfeeding, but check the time. For newborn babies, limit breastfeeding to 10 minutes on each breast. If your baby is not full or contented, you can repeat the feeding after a gap of 15 minutes. Make sure to feed them slowly.

In case you bottle feed your baby, choose the correct bottle. If the hole of nipple is very big, the flow of milk will be very fast and your baby may not be able to cope with it. More air will enter stomach than milk, which will result in gas formation and also foaming at mouth.

2. Failure to Burp Well

It is necessary to burp babies. When they are not burped well after feeding, it results in spitting of milk and baby foaming during sleep.

You can make your baby burp in a number of ways. The most common and popular among them is to make your baby face you and let their body lean onto you. Their head must lie in line of your shoulder and their stomach must press directly in your chest. You should massage their back and induce a burp.

You may also place the baby on their belly, the gas may expel due to the pressure on the stomach. Or moving their legs up and down in the bicycle movements may also induce a burp.

3. Amniotic Fluid

Sometimes, amniotic fluid may remain in the stomach of infants (newborn). They expel it by spitting it through their mouths. This situation generally clears by second or third post partum day. Keep calm and observe your baby after birth.

4. Reflux

In case your baby has acid reflux, they may spit more milk than babies normally do. Due to reflux the milk they ingest comes back and due to this you will found your baby foaming at the mouth.

You should make your baby sleep on their side as sleeping on back raises the possibility of reflux. It also increases the risk of your baby getting choked with milk.

You can also make your baby sleep on an incline bassinet or bed to prevent foaming at the mouth. This posture will also reduce the reflux of stomach acid into the mouth of the baby. You can also gently rub the chest of the baby to soothe them if your baby is in distress.

5. Infection

Infections such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia may also produce symptoms of foaming at mouth during sleep in babies. The baby may appear fussy, sick and the temperature may be raised. They may have difficulty breathing. In such cases, contact your physician immediately.

When to Worry About Baby Foaming at the Mouth

A content and peaceful baby who is foaming at mouth during sleep should not be a cause for worry. However, following are the factors when you should seek immediate medical advice:

  • If your baby is choking, crying, in distress or having other signs or symptoms of illness including listlessness and fever, then you should contact a physician. These can indicate a negative reaction to any food or any infection or other condition including gastrointestinal disorder.
  • If your baby has got vaccines on that day, then it may be due to a reaction to any of the shots. You can call the physician for medical advice regarding the reactions to vaccines.
  • If you have introduced a new food to your baby, then they may develop foaming at mouth due to intolerance to that food. Eliminate that food from your baby’s diet for few months. You should seek advice of a physician if there are other symptoms.
  • If your baby is not gaining sufficient weight or has lost weight, then you should seek medical advice to address the problem. Your kid may be suffering from reflux to such an extent that they are not receiving enough nutrition.
  • If the foam at the mouth is green, yellow, purple, red or black in color, then this may indicate infection or other serious illness. You should see your physician immediately.
  • If your baby is having difficulty in breathing or their color is becoming blue, then you should contact emergency medical service immediately.

How to Help with Baby Foaming

You should keep calm as this is very normal and happens to many babies for reasons ranging from trivial to medium to rarely severe.

The reasons for which you should be concerned occur in association with other symptoms; hence, you should keep a watch for these symptoms and consult your physician in case you have any concern.

  • If the symptom of foaming at mouth is due to improper digestion of food, then the condition will disappear gradually as the digestive system of your baby grows and improves.
  • You may help your baby by feeding them small quantity of food at short intervals, giving them assistance and lots of time to burp and keeping them upright whenever it is possible. You can also pop them on their belly to help expel the intestinal gas.
  • Do baby massage to help encourage your baby’s digestive system to move the food down and expel the air upwards and out. You can learn burping techniques, chest massage and back massage. Massage can also help to soothe and calm your baby and may also help to make an excellent bonding time between you and your baby.

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