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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.