4 Tips For Helping A Baby With Reflux

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Welcoming a new baby is a joyous time for any family, but the newborn and early infant period can be quite difficult for some babies and their parents. Infant reflux is a condition that results in a baby's stomach contents being spit up, typically shortly after a feeding. Young infants and newborns who have reflux can also experience painful burning in their esophagus from stomach acid coming up when breast milk or formula is spit up, which can make them very hard to soothe, cranky, and may include hours of crying. If you suspect that your baby may be suffering from reflux, use the following tips:

Create an Inclined Sleeping Surface

Lying flat can make reflux worse in small babies, so sleeping on a flat surface such as a traditional crib mattress or bassinet can lead to your infant waking up more often and not getting the sleep and rest that he or she needs. If your baby is sleeping in a crib, you can use a pillow under the mattress to slightly incline the end where your baby's head lies when sleeping to help combat reflux and allow your child a restful nap or sleep time during the night without the pain that is associated with reflux.

Keep Baby Upright After Feedings

After nursing or giving your baby a bottle, try holding him or her upright  for as long as possible even after burping. Being held upright brings gravity into play, as it is much more difficult for stomach acid to get into the esophagus in the upright position compared to when a young infant is lying down. 

Consider Smaller, More Frequent Feedings

Reflux babies can be very unhappy, which typically makes their parents sad since they may not know what to do to help them. You may want to try feedings your baby smaller amounts of formula or breast milk at one time, but feeding more often. Smaller amounts of food are more likely to be digested faster, which may decrease the amount of milk and stomach acid that is spit up.

Ask Your Child's Pediatrician About Medication

Babies who are spitting up so much that they are not receiving enough nutrition, and infants who are screaming in pain due to reflux may be helped by medication. Talk to your child's pediatrician to see if a prescription infant antacid may be the best option; these antacids work much the same way that they do for adults who suffer from severe heartburn, but they are in liquid form. Prescription antacids for infants are usually weight dependent, so your child's pediatrician may have to adjust the dose often until your baby grows out of the condition.