Reflux in babies is an incredibly common condition.
Like adults, babies too can suffer from acid reflux and while many infants cope well, for some it makes life an utter nightmare. Not only does it cause terrible pain and discomfort after feeding, it can also affect a baby’s sleeping routines too. While severe acid reflux treatment is best left to your health professional, there are some ways you can help reduce the symptoms for your baby.
Common Ways to Lessen the Symptoms of Reflux in Babies
Gastro Oesophageal Reflux or GER, happens usually after feeding when milk is brought up and often ‘spilt’ all over you! This is because their oesophageal sphincter has not developed enough to be able to stop milk coming back up from their stomach. While pretty much all babies spill or bring up milk, GER babies spill very large and acidic smelling amounts of milk, causing them significant pain. Babies with reflux also dislike lying down, particularly during the day, arch their backs and cry a lot. As a parent it can be incredibly upsetting to know that a feed is going to cause them pain, but that they need to drink their milk in order to grow.
There are some ways you can help reduce their discomfort though, including:
Feed frequently and in small amounts
Keep baby upright during and after feeding
Feed baby once they wake up, giving the milk time to digest during playtime and then pop them down to sleep
Wind baby several times during a feed
Raise the head of their cot or bassinet, with books under the top legs of the bed
Infant massage has been said to reduce reflux symptoms
If breastfeeding, some foods you eat can worsen reflux symptoms such as dairy, chocolate and some spices. Take one food out of your diet at a time, noticing if baby’s symptoms improve or not.
Change nappies before feeding, preventing the pain which lying down on a full tummy causes baby
Use a pacifier or dummy between feeds. The sucking gives reassurance and comfort to baby
There are medical treatments such as Gaviscon and Losec which can be prescribed by your GP if your baby is suffering a lot with acid reflux. Remember though that reflux in babies also affects your entire family unit, with the extra washing, cleaning and comforting duties falling upon sleep deprived parents.
It’s always best to check with your GP to get a diagnosis even if your babies symptoms are minor.
Some mums swear by Baby Wearing for unsettled reflux babies – check out our half price baby slings, carriers and wraps.
It is also important to care for yourself too and a great place to get some support is our Sleepytot Facebook Group, letting you chat with other parents facing similar situations to you. Please join our parent’s group, we’d love to see you in there!
Does your little one suffer from reflux?
We would love to hear your comments about what has helped…..you will be helping other parents by doing so.