Dealing With Infant Reflux

Dealing With Infant Reflux

Conquer infant reflux with expert guidance. Explore strategies for a calmer, happier baby. Empower yourself with insights on dealing with infant reflux for a more comfortable parenting journey.

Mild reflux will likely resolve on its own; try keeping your baby’s head gently raised after feedings and changing nappy before each feed if possible, breastfeeding or using formula with thickening agents (if applicable) might help as well.

Don’t worry; most babies will outgrow acid reflux over time, while treatments are available if it persists.


Babies typically spit up milk after each feed in their first few weeks of life, particularly in their first month or so. But frequent spitting could be a telltale sign of reflux – which is normal part of an infant’s digestive system but may cause discomfort and distress according to Mary Ann Wilkinson, CHOC pediatrician.

Some babies with silent reflux don’t produce any milk at all – known as silent reflux – and therefore do not require treatment. Others, however, such as those who seem extremely unhappy or who do not gain weight may require assistance and could possibly have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Medication may help infants suffering from reflux find relief through acid suppression medications, though such medicines should only be used under medical advice and not routinely recommended to babies without an indication from their physician that this medicine will help. Unfortunately, medicines that suppress stomach acid can make the esophagus more sensitive leading to potential infection in throat, nose or mouth – so this type of medicine shouldn’t usually be given until recommended by your healthcare provider.

Fundoplication surgery, however, tightens the muscles at the entryway to your baby’s stomach to stop it opening too easily and thus alleviating symptoms. Fundoplication should only be considered when other medicines or lifestyle changes have failed to alleviate their symptoms and other complications arise as a result of reflux such as difficulty breathing or failure to gain weight.


Some simple changes can help relieve infant reflux symptoms. Burping frequently during and after feedings to expel any air from their stomach is often helpful; also keeping baby in a semi-upright position such as raising head end of crib or using rolled up towel can assist. Beware using different bottle teats without consulting your physician first as this increases sudden infant death syndrome risk (SIDS).

Babies are born with immature muscles in their stomach that hold its contents securely in place, until later as these become stronger, they only open when swallowing, allowing milk from their stomach into their esophagus – an entirely normal occurrence.

Good news is that most cases of reflux improve with age and the lengthening of their esophagus; almost nine out of ten babies with reflux are better by 12 months old.

Some babies suffering from severe reflux may require medication. Antihistamines and stimulant medicines may reduce acid production or help stimulate intestinal movement; however, the use of medications in infants should be kept to a minimum as certain foods such as cow’s milk and soy may trigger painful reflux episodes in infants; additionally gripe water may alter their natural balance in ways which would disrupt treatment.


Infant stomachs can become easily upset by any backwash of food that goes back up through their oesophagus – known as reflux – which is normal and should usually end by age one year old.

Reflux can be caused by overfeeding. Frequent burps and placing your baby to sleep on his or her back may help minimize air being swallowed when their stomach valve opens, as these tactics reduce swallowed by the baby when this occurs.

A GP or specialist may prescribe medications, including thickeners to make milk harder to bring up, and drugs that reduce acid production in the stomach. Gripe water should not be recommended due to concerns that it increases risk of bacterial infection or severe allergies in some babies.

Fundoplication surgery may be considered as a solution if other measures fail to reduce symptoms, or the baby has complications related to reflux such as breathing issues or poor weight gain. Fundoplication tightens the valve at the bottom of the oesophagus to block stomach acid from flowing back up, usually reserved for babies who experience severe reflux symptoms or have parents with other health concerns; its success rate has proven high with minimal risks, although an experienced surgeon should perform it.


Many babies experience infant reflux, caused by weak muscles that allow milk to move back up the food tube from the stomach into their oesophagus (food tube). While it is generally harmless and will resolve as their infant grows older, infant reflux should always be taken seriously because it could indicate more serious medical problems that need attention.

Regurgitation is normally part of the digestive process and should not cause alarm, however there are instances in which regurgitation persists despite medication or treatments and becomes severe – this condition is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.

Babies who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) may be difficult to settle, have trouble gaining weight, breathing or swallowing issues or experience breathing or swallowing difficulties. Your doctor will want to conduct a physical examination as well as ordering tests such as pH probes or barium swallow tests in order to assess how much acid is coming up into the oesophagus and any possible issues in addition to acid reflux.

Doctors may recommend surgery as an effective means of helping babies with GERD, specifically tightening the muscles between the stomach and oesophagus to stop food from passing up into it when not digested properly. Most doctors do not advise this risky procedure on babies under 18 months due to possible severe side effects.


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