Acid reflux and babies
what is acid reflux in babies?
Grownups call it heartburn, acid reflux in babies also called gastroesophageal reflux (GER) occurs when the muscle at the entrance of the stomach is not strong enough to keep the acids inside the stomach. This then leads to pain and baby spitting up a lot more than usual.
Many times this problem was just dismissed as colic, luckily for parents these days we can actually so something about it.
reflux is usually worse from around 1 – 4 months and stops between 6
months to a year.
What causes infant reflux ?
- Baby reflux is sometimes just caused through an oversupply of milk or a forcefull let down, mom will need to express some of the milk before breastfeeding so that baby doesn’t swallow air - here are some tips on how to work with an oversupply of breast milk.
- Acid reflux is caused through the muscle of baby’s stomach not being mature enough yet. Premature babies have an increased chance of having GER.
- Food allergies can also cause acid reflux in babies. Read more on breastfeeding and infant food allergies
- Mom should try eliminating dairy to see if it could be the problem, other than that it could also be caused through formula and any medication including herbal.
- Something new in your diet or baby’s diet could also cause reflux in baby. Common culprits “acid reflux foods” are: Tomatoes, citrus fruits, high fat foods, spicy foods, processed foods and anything acidic.
- Swallowing unnecessary air can also cause acid reflux in babies. This usually happens when baby is restless while breastfeeding, it is always a good idea to breastfeed baby in a calm, quiet surrounding to minimize distractions and always feed baby before he gets too hungry.
- Baby might be going through a growth spurt, and therefore drinking too fast.
- Hereditary factors can also be a cause of acid reflux in babies.
- One acid reflux cause could also be introducing solids too early.
So should I still breastfeed? “acid reflux and breastfeeding”
So should a mom continue to breastfeed if her baby has GER? Yes, it has been found that acid reflux in babies that are breastfed is less severe and painful, it has even been found that GER babies who are breastfed may not have any symptoms at all.
Breastfeeding triggers a movement in the gastrointestinal tract that help move food into the intestines, also breast milk digests much easier than formula which reduces the chance of acid reflux occurring.
Another reason why breastfeeding could be a better option is because babies that are breastfed are held more upright when fed which in turn keeps the acid down.
Reflux symptoms “signs of acid reflux in babies"
- Frequent burping and hiccups in babies.
- Frequent spitting up.
- Reflux causes poor sleep.
- Poor weight gain.
- Crying and fussiness can be a sign of acid reflux.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Wanting to nurse more frequent or less frequently.
- Bad breath.
- Arching the neck and back as if in pain.
- An acid reflux child may have many chest and ear infections.
- An acid reflux toddler will usually do a lot of sleepwalking at night.
Signs of severe reflux
(GERD – infant acid reflux disease)
– baby will need reflux treatment or therapy.
- Uncontrollable crying and fussiness.
- Poor weight gain or excessive weight loss.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Severe acid reflux children vomit up blood.
- Breathing problems.
Things you can do to help a baby with GER and also preventing acid reflux in babies
- Get baby positioned as upright as possible while nursing this will keep the acid down. Try walking while nursing.
- Reflux in babies can often be prevented by burping baby often and effeciently.
- Breastfeed more often and not longer than 10 minutes at a time, the more milk baby has in his stomach the more discomfort he will be going through.
- Ensure a good breastfeeding latch for less air intake.
- Allow baby to suck for comfort as this speeds up digestion and therefore lessons the chances of acid reflux. A pacifier can be used too…only if baby is drinking enough.
- Keep reflux infants still for a while after eating, this will keep most of the acid from coming up. Avoid pressing baby’s abdomen.
- Breastfeed baby during times when he is more relaxed.
- Don’t smoke or keep baby near tobacco smoke.
- Caffeine intake can be reduced – read more on caffeine and breastfeeding
- Thickening feeds to reduce stomach reflux is not advised as it increases coughing after feedings, it is less nutritive, it increases the chances of diabetes in baby, increases the chances of infections and can also lead to low breast milk supply.
- Babies with acid reflux sleep better on their tummies propped up at a 30 degree angle. Acid reflux infants have more pain when they lie on their backs at night.
- Carrying baby in a breastfeeding sling can help keep baby upright, near his source of food and feeling comforted.
- Change baby’s nappy before feedings as this will ensure less movement after a feeding.
- Acid reflux babies should wear loose clothing to prevent pressure on their tummies.
- Avoid long trips in a car seat. The slouched over position can aggravate GER.
- Always let baby finish a breast, before offering the other, even if you need to pump the other side. Doing this will ensure that baby drinks the essential hind milk in your breast too. This will also decrease the likeliness and even stop acid reflux.
What is silent reflux in babies ?
This is when an acid reflux infant doesn’t spit up, the acid then just goes back down again causing even more discomfort.
For more help and support on newborn acid reflux and GERD, visit...
All babies are different, just keep trying until you find something that helps your child. Accept that you are trying your best and remember that this difficult time will not last forever.
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Baby girl as GED and only sleeps like 6 hours a day
My daughter as GED and she only will sleep maybe 6 hours. If we are holding her she will sleep some but if we put her in her crib within 5 mins she starts …
elevating at a 30 degree angle
Hi, this page was very helpful. I believe my little 3 week old girl has acid reflux, she gets hiccups often, has trouble burping, curls legs in, clenches …
Thank you Not rated yet
This is amazing helpful information. Thank you for posting this web site i hope others find it helpful if they are in the same situation.
medical therapy for reflux Not rated yet
Your page is a very useful description of reflux in infants and its treatment, but I was disappointed that there was no mention that sometimes medication …