As a new mother, you might have come across a situation where when feeding milk to your baby, the milk starts running out of their nose. 

Although this might seem like a very terrifying and alarming sight, it is quite common and usually doesn’t lead to anything harmful. In this article, we’ll try to explain this and advise on how to deal with it.

So, what to do when milk comes out of baby’s nose?

In most cases, you simply stop feeding milk to the baby and wait for their noses to clear. It is common for a small amount of milk to run out from the baby’s nasals, and in most cases, your baby will return to normal after the milk has run its course. 

For added safety, you should have a nasal aspirator designed for babies in case you need to clear their noses.

Why Does Milk Come Out Of A Baby’s Nose?

This is often termed as “spit-up.” Babies need to consume a good deal of milk compared to their size to grow up properly. 

Due to the large amount they consume and the fact that their body parts like the trachea haven’t fully developed, babies can get filled up easily with milk. This milk then overflows often via their noses which leads to spit-up.

Another reason is that as a baby, you tend to have less control over acts like sneezing or coughing. Often milk running out of the nose is just because your baby picked a bad time to have a cough or sneeze.

Sometimes the way the mother breastfeeds can also cause this to happen more commonly. Having them drink milk in large gulps or without having them burp in between can cause this to happen more frequently. If you see this happening a lot, you might want to adjust your feeding methods. 

So, milk can come out of a baby’s nose for several reasons. The most common out of these is because of feeding methods. When breastfeeding your baby, be slow and gentle with them to avoid this issue. 

Is Milk Coming Out Of A Baby’s Nose Dangerous?

Although it can look concerning or scary, most of the time, the result is mild discomfort for the baby. 

Due to the milk being in the nasal area, it can cause a bit of coughing and will subside once the milk has run out from the nose. It does not hurt the breathing ability of your child, so there is very little concern regarding that.

However, on rare occasions, the milk can get into the trachea, which can be problematic. Symptoms of this include a persistent cough and heavy breathing. Make sure you have a nasal aspirator to help with these scenarios or have emergency services on standby.

In most cases, this is not a cause for concern. The baby will be fine after the milk has left their nose, with you having to only clean up the mess. However, in the rare cases that it does end up being serious, you must remain vigilant.

How Do I Deal With Milk Running Out Of The Nose?

Babies will generally deal with it themselves and resume breathing like normal once the milk has run out. Aside from using aspirators to clear their nose, the other way of dealing with this issue is to make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place. 

Make sure your baby is not a complacent eater. Sometimes they will take large gulps, which can result in this happening. Babies do not have high enough awareness, so it is up to the mothers to control their feeding habits.

Have them burp from time to time to prevent the milk from swelling inside them. This will prevent discomfort, and the baby will drink easier. Make sure they are not wearing tight clothes when drinking milk. 

Spit Up Vs. Vomit

One thing that needs to be cleared out is that spit-up is not the same as vomiting. Vomiting is much more forceful and is not as common as spit-up. If you see your baby throwing up milk, then it can be a cause for concern. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can A Baby Suffocate From A Stuffy Nose?

No. They cannot. A stuffy nose will just cause some mild discomfort at best. It will never result in a suffocation of any sort.

2. How To Clean A Baby’s Nose?

The easiest way is to use a nasal aspirator which will clear their nose. Make sure it is designated for babies. If you want to prevent their noses from clogging up, make sure you run a cool air humidifier.

3. Why Is My Baby Sneezing Out Milk?

It is most probably because your baby caught a sneeze at that moment. Since they can’t control their sneezes as older people can, this can end up happening.

4. Can You Overfeed Babies?

If you’re breastfeeding them, there isn’t a risk of overfeeding them. However, this can happen if you’re using a formula or bottle to feed them.


Has this article been successful in letting you know what to do when milk comes out of baby’s nose? Hopefully, yes. 

In most cases, this is harmless, and you should focus on preventing this from happening by properly adjusting your feeding habits.