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… will be helping other parents by doing so.


8 replies
  1. Grace
    Grace says:

    Babywearing saved our sanity and we also dressed our wee dude in onsies so there was non pressure on his tummy. Ultimately our reflux was cured by getting his tongue and lip tie released and cutting dairy and soy from my diet. We left no stone unturned!

  2. Naomi
    Naomi says:

    I try and get at least two – three burps before lying him down and if all else fails then I just wear him while I go about my tasks (usually he will fall asleep and wake for next feed and hopefully things go better).
    We have both Losec and Gaviscon and tried thickener as well and are resigned to just having to wait it out.

  3. Delia
    Delia says:

    I am no expert but have been through a LOT of reflux with our we girl, in and out a hospital several times and possibly having surgery at some stage soon as her weight gain is so poor. Anyway long story… but one thing that we give her morning and night that has offered her heaps of relief right from the first dose is COCONUT OIL. But if you are interested please do research on it and get good quality oil from an organic shop, they staff are pretty good at making recommendations. This may help some of you 🙂

  4. Cerys
    Cerys says:

    Our little boy’s Reflux became apparent around the 6 week mark. Inconsolable crying, and screaming when we lay him down flat. First prescribed gaviscon which blocked him up terribly so we felt like we were choosing between the lesser of two eveils constantly. Until I went back to Dr and had Ranitidine prescribed. That along with cutting dairy from my diet helped.
    The strain it puts on you emotionally though is a lot to take, and Drs offering the “he’ll grow out of it advice” left me feeling like I was a nuisance. He is 9 months now and is finally on the mend.

    • Fiona
      Fiona says:

      Thank you Cerys its so difficult hearing those words ‘they will grow out of it’!! Even if its true it doesn’t help in the interim, as every day seems like a month! I am so glad the Ranitidine helped along with changes to your diet. It must have been such a relief x


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