Urgh, it happened again. It always happens at the worst time. You've just got all dressed up for your first night out in an age, the babysitter's there and you're so excited to get out of the house for long-awaited date night when you give your baby one last cuddle and - oh no!

There it is. Spit up all over your best dress.

Now you have to get changed again, probably for at least the third time today. And you'll be late. And the washing pile will grow.

Baby spit up. The bane of a parent's existence.

Why does this happen?

Babies spitting up is totally normal, and can last through to six or seven months - maybe even for a year. If your baby is spitting up, it's because the passage down to her stomach isn't fully developed yet and causes food to back up. Plus, excess saliva and mucus sometimes need to be cleared and of course, human evolution decided that this would be done in the most inconvenient way possible.

Surviving the spit-up phase

There's not a whole lot that you can do to get through this stage of your baby's development unscathed, except for the golden rule: be prepared.

Keeping your baby upright while feeding may also help, because it can prevent her from gulping down air. Smaller, more frequent feedings may help to reduce the amount of spit-up ruining your clothes - and make sure you burp her adequately after feeding!

Always have your baby wear a bib while feeding and burping, and consider covering yourself up with an old jacket or apron at this time too!

Stain removal tricks

If you're struggling to remove spit up stains in the wash, try placing baking soda on the stain soon after it happens, with a little bit of fizzy soda water. Then, the item can go into the washing machine as normal on a warm cycle.

You can also let stained garments soak in a tub with stain removers or use specialist baby stain removers. If you're out and about, a spare top or change of clothes will never go astray - and don't forget that nappy wallet stocked with baby wipes!

Finally, always keep in mind that one day, the baby spit up phase will end, and you can live happily - and hygienically - ever after.

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