Foaming At The Mouth While Sleeping: 5 Reasons Behind

There is nothing as horrifying as waking up in the middle of the night seeing your baby foaming at the mouth while sleeping. In distress and unable to cry, he looks trapped and unable to breath.

This might have happened to you recently. I know the feeling; it is alarming to say the least.

But, for what it's worth, know that yours isn’t an isolated scenario; a lot of parents have also experienced this also. As a mother, let me give you a little insight about why babies sometimes go foaming at the mouth while sleeping.


The Cause Behind Baby’s Foaming At The Mouth While Sleeping

sleeping baby

There are a lot of reasons behind this. There might be times when the baby is just asleep, and the foam is air and saliva. But there are also moments when the baby’s breathing might look as if it is constrained or wholly blocked.

If this is the case, do not panic.

Prop your baby up or put him in an inclined position. Depending on his current condition, there are a lot of things that you can do to ease his breathing.

You may use this list as a reference but in no way shall this replace the expert advice of your child’s doctor.

1. Overfeeding

A newborn can only consume a fluid ounce or two of milk each feeding. Give too much milk and you will likely see the foaming as a way to expel excess milk.

Foaming may also be because babies swallow saliva during their sleep, and it is this bubbles of saliva that goes out of the baby’s mouth to form foam.

Overfeeding cannot be measured if you are breastfeeding but just keep the time in check. For small babies, breastfeeding time can be limited to no more than 10 minutes each breast. If the child appears as if he is still not full and contented, you may repeat feeding him after 15 minutes. Just be sure to feed slowly.

If you are bottle feeding, chose the right bottle. If the nipple hole is too big, the milk flow will be too fast for baby. He will gulp down more air than milk, and this can also lead to intestinal gas and foaming at the mouth.

2. Not being burped well

Burping is necessary for babies. Failure to induce burping after feeding will likely result in spitting more milk or foaming at the mouth while he is asleep.

There are a lot of ways to make babies burp. The most popular way is to let the baby face you, while his body is leaning onto you. His head must be in line with your shoulder while his stomach is directly pressing into your chest. Massage the baby’s back while inducing a burp.

You can also let baby lie on his belly, the pressure on the abdomen will likely expel the gas. Try also to move his knees in a bicycle motion; the act of moving the legs up and down can also stimulate a burp.

​3. Amniotic Fluid

Amniotic fluid may sometimes remain at the stomach of newborns. They have to expel it and one of the ways that they do this is through spitting it at their mouths.

This condition usually clears out by 2-3 days post-partum. Continue to observe baby as you will but keep calm.

​4. Reflux

If your baby is suffering from acid reflux, he/she may spit out more milk than usual. The ingested milk is coming back, and they tend to start with the foaming of the mouth.

Aside from your doctor’s prescriptions, one remedy that you can do at home is to position your little one at his side while sleeping. Sleeping on one’s back increases the likelihood of reflux. This sleeping position is also putting your baby at greater risk of choking with milk.


Sleeping on an inclined bed or bassinet is also another way to prevent spitting and foaming in the mouth. An upright posture will also help the baby to reduce the incident of stomach acid going up to the baby’s mouth. You may also rub his chest gently to be able to stimulate and soothe him should the child appear in distress.

​5. Infection

Pneumonia and bronchiolitis may also present symptoms including foaming at the mouth while sleeping. The baby might look sick, fussy and has an elevated body temperature. He might appear as if he is catching his breath or breath in his mouth.

If your baby seems afflicted with an infection, do not hesitate and see your doctor immediately.



Motherhood is a stressful albeit rewarding endeavor. We become hyper-vigilant with our children. There are a lot of things that we will encounter by being a parent and foaming of the mouth is just one of them.

Seeing your baby with foam in his mouth is frightening, but do not panic just yet. Do the mentioned tips above first then see how it goes.

Sarah Morgan

Chief editor of and striving mom-extraordinaire.Let me share and inspire you with my daily struggles to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.

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