Does My Newborn Have Reflux

Will Reflux Cause Any Other Problems

Infant Acid Reflux looks like this

Reflux won’t normally cause other problems.

In a very small number of babies, reflux can lead to problems. In this case, your baby might have gastro-oesophageal reflux disease .

Most crying babies don’t have reflux. See Crying – what to do.

Things you might see with GORD are:

  • long or frequent periods of irritability and crying
  • blood visible in the reflux
  • back arching after feeds
  • poor weight gain
  • long-lasting cough or wheezy breathing

If you are worried about any of these signs please contact your doctor. They will discuss with you whether your baby needs any tests or treatments.

How Do Doctors Diagnose Reflux And Gerd In Infants

In most cases, a doctor diagnoses reflux by reviewing your baby’s symptoms and medical history. If the symptoms do not get better with feeding changes and anti-reflux medicines, your baby may need testing.

Several tests can help a doctor diagnose GERD. Sometimes doctors order more than one test to get a diagnosis. Common tests include:

  • Upper GI series, which looks at the shape of your baby’s upper GI tract. Your baby will drink or eat a contrast liquid called barium. The barium is mixed in with a bottle or other food. The health care professional will take several x-rays of your baby to track the barium as it goes through the esophagus and stomach.
  • Esophageal pH and impedance monitoring, which measures the amount of acid or liquid in your baby’s esophagus. A doctor or nurse places a thin flexible tube through your baby’s nose into the stomach. The end of the tube in the esophagus measures when and how much acid comes up into the esophagus. The other end of the tube attaches to a monitor that records the measurements. Your baby will wear this for 24 hours, most likely in the hospital.
  • Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and biopsy, which uses an endoscope, a long, flexible tube with a light and camera at the end of it. The doctor runs the endoscope down your baby’s esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine. While looking at the pictures from the endoscope, the doctor may also take tissue samples .

What Is Causing These Abnormal Symptoms And What Can I Do

1. Intolerance to something you are eating that is going through your milk.

THIS IS NOT A LACTOSE INTOLERANCE. It is a cows milk protein allergy . There can be many different symptoms if your baby is experiencing this issues. Cows milk protein allergy can cause colic-like symptoms, eczema, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea , constipation, hives, and/or a stuffy, itchy nose.2 While it is estimated that 2-5% of babies have an allergic response to the milk protein, I would argue that this is a commonly under and mis-diagnosed problem with many parents walking out of their doctors offices with a colic diagnosis and medication for reflux without any discussion on the breastfeeding mothers diet and how this could be the cause of the issues. Thankfully most babies will outgrow this by the time they are twelve months old.3

Three important aspects of figuring out if this is the cause:

-You must cut it out for at least 4 weeks to see if this is it. It takes that long to get out of your system and your babys system. However if your child has been diagnosed with gastroenteritis, it can take a much longer time for your babys gut to heal. This means that after you cut out the dairy it could take months for your babys digestive system to heal.4

-It must be 100% NO DAIRY. Not even in a cracker! No lactose-free milk. Its not the lactose, for many people its the protein in the milk.

2. Over-supply/over-active let-down/lactose overload

3. Tongue/lip tie.

4. How we care for our babies

Recommended Reading: How To Reduce Colic In Newborn

Take Home Message About Ger And Gerd In Infants

  • The majority of infants do NOT experience problems from reflux.
  • More than 50% of babies spit up regularly in the first months of life.
  • Reflux usually peaks at 4 5 months of life and stops by 12 18 months.
  • Spitting up crosses the line into GERD when the infant develops troublesome symptoms.
  • Rarely, serious complications of GERD can lead to weight loss or significant respiratory difficulty.

Treatment For Reflux In Babies

11 Solutions and Remedies for Reflux in Infants. Help Your ...

A GP or specialist may recommend some treatments for reflux.

If your baby is formula-fed, you may be given:

  • a powder that’s mixed with formula to thicken it
  • a pre-thickened formula milk

If the thickening powder does not help or your baby is breastfed, a GP or specialist might recommend medicines that stop your baby’s stomach producing as much acid.

In very rare cases, surgery might be needed to strengthen the muscles to stop food or milk travelling back up.

This is usually only after trying other things or if their reflux is severe.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Reflux And Gerd In Infants

In babies, the main symptom of reflux and GERD is spitting up. GERD may also cause symptoms such as:

  • Arching of the back, often during or right after eating
  • Colic – crying that lasts for more than 3 hours a day with no medical cause
  • Poor eating or refusing to eat
  • Poor weight gain, or weight loss

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Do Not Elevate The Head While Sleeping

Do not elevate your baby’s head when asleep to treat reflux. This is sometimes called positional management.

Positional management is elevating the head of their cot or using pillows under the baby’s mattress, sleep positioners and baby pillows.

Place your baby on their back to sleep. Follow advice on safe sleep to reduce the risk of cot death.

Read Also: How To Care Newborn Baby Girl

What Are The Signs Of Pyloric Stenosis

The first symptom of pyloric stenosis is usually projectile vomiting shortly after your baby eats. Unlike other reasons for vomiting, you may notice your baby is usually hungry again soon after throwing up and will want to eat. Because pyloric stenosis prevents fluids and nutrients from reaching the intestines, other symptoms may include dehydration, constipation and weight loss.

No matter the cause, when babies are vomiting more than they are keeping down, when they arent voiding much urine or when they are failing to gain weight from excessive vomiting, a parent should have their baby observed by their treating physician, Dr. Lacey said.

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What The Experts Are Saying:

How do I know if my baby has reflux or if I just have a fast flow when nursing?

Dr. Zehra Gajic, Maple Ridge Wellness Centre:

The babocush is an incredibly clever and fantastic product that all parents should consider having as part of their newborn product line up. I highly recommend this product as it not only comforts baby in a safe and ergonomic position, but also allows rare self-care time that most new parents find impossible to accomplish.

Deirdre Brady, CEO Tinylife:

We know that premature babies are prone to reflux and colic. Parents who have used the babocush have told us that their babies responded well to being placed on it as it can help relieve symptoms of reflux and colic.

Dr. Zara Valentine, Osteopath:

The best way to encourage optimal development of your babys spine and future postural alignment is to give them plenty of tummy time. The babocush offers a calming and safe place for your baby to lie on their tummy. I love recommending the babocush to my young patients to help with their development, colic and reflux. As a mum of premature twins, I wish the babocush had been available when they were babies.

Read Also: How To Give My Newborn A Sponge Bath

Could It Be Gerd

If acid reflux is severe, your baby might have gastroesophageal reflux disease especially if symptoms last past 12 to 14 months of age. Besides the symptoms listed above, other signs of GERD include failure to gain weight, trouble sleeping, frequent vomiting, and respiratory problems like recurring pneumonia or wheezing. Some babies with GERD may also display symptoms of colic . Talk to your child’s doctor if you suspect GERD.

Why Is Reflux So Common In Babies

Compared to adults, babies have a weaker valve connecting the esophagus to the stomach. The lower esophageal sphincter is a group of muscles that controls this valve and keeps stomach acid where it belongs.

A weakened valve makes it more difficult for the body to keep the stomach contents in the stomach. As a result, the valve opens more easily and allows stomach acid to travel back up.

For some babies, the stomach contents may only travel up part of the way, in which case the contents will then travel back downwards, causing heartburn or minor breathing problems. If your childs stomach acid travels all the way back through the esophagus, it can cause vomiting. However, some children will not show any signs or symptoms at all.

Also Check: Can You Breastfeed And Give Formula To Newborn

When Should You Seek Medical Advice For Reflux

Baby reflux isnt usually a cause for concern if your baby is happy and is gaining weight. However, if reflux starts after six months of age, continues beyond a year or if your baby has any problems mentioned below, contact your midwife, health visitor or GP:

  • Spitting up feeds frequently or refusing feeds.
  • Coughing or gagging while feeding.
  • Frequent projectile vomiting .
  • Green or yellow vomit , or blood in vomit.
  • Blood in poo or persistent diarrhoea.
  • Excessive crying or irritability.
  • High temperature of 38C or above.
  • Not gaining weight or losing weight.

In a small number of babies, reflux might be associated with a more serious problem, such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease . This is a form of long-term baby reflux where stomach contents are able to rise up and irritate the oesophagus .

What Tips Can I Try To Help My Baby’s Reflux

How Do I Know If My Baby Has Colic Or Reflux?

Reflux can be upsetting for parents.

It is natural to be worried that something is wrong.

There are a number of simple steps you can take which may help your baby:

  • take your time with feeds and stay calm and relaxed if possible
  • burp your baby regularly throughout feeding
  • don’t force them to take more milk than they want – some babies like to feed small amounts often
  • if you’re bottle feeding, check that the hole in your baby’s teat is not too big – giving milk too quickly can make reflux worse
  • hold your baby upright for a short time after feeding

Remember, if your baby brings up a lot of milk, they may be hungry again quite quickly. If that happens, you might need to feed them again sooner than usual.

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Is The Babocush Right For Your Baby

The babocush is suited to all babies, in particular, those suffering from colic and reflux it is award-winning and has been described by many parents as a miracle product! This ergonomic comfort cushion helps your baby adjust to the world around them. It recreates the atmosphere in the womb with a heartbeat sound and gentle vibrations and is the next best thing to being held in a parents arms. The babocush makes the transition from womb to the world just that bit easier. The soothing vibrations have proven especially helpful for babies who need to be constantly held and for those with reflux, colic and gas or wind pains.

Finally, it provides a spare pair of hands just when you need them. Babies in pain often need constant holding! One parent let us know that it was only because of the babocush that she was able to find time to sterilise bottles and even to put the washing on! Her baby was in so much pain, the babocush was the only acceptable alternative to being held and the babocush allowed her to attend to the needs of her other two children, whilst seeing her baby happy and calm, relaxing on the babocush.

Please note, the babocush is not intended for and should not be used for sleeping.

The babocush is available on for £115 .

When To Refer A Child To A Pediatrician For Ger

A key issue is distinguishing between clinical manifestations of GER and GERD in term infants, children, and adolescents to identify patients who can be managed with conservative treatment by the pediatrician and to refer patients who require consultation with the gastroenterologist.

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Does My Newborn Have Acid Reflux

Your childs healthcare provider may also recommend other options.

Medicines. Your childs provider may prescribe medicines to help with reflux. There are medicines that help reduce the amount of acid the stomach makes. This reduces the heartburn linked to reflux. These medicines may include:

  • H2-blockers. These reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes by blocking the hormone histamine. Histamine helps to make acid.
  • Proton pump inhibitors. These help keep your stomach from making acid. They do this by stopping the stomachs acid pump from working.

The provider may prescribe another type of medicine that helps the stomach empty faster. If food doesnt stay in the stomach as long as normal, reflex may be less likely to occur.

Calorie supplements. Some babies with reflux cant gain weight because they vomit often. If this is the case, your childs healthcare provider may suggest:

  • Adding rice cereal to baby formula
  • Giving your baby more calories by adding a prescribed supplement
  • Changing formula to milk- or soy-free formula if your baby may have an allergy

When To See Your Healthcare Provider


If your baby is still experiencing reflux even after you’ve implemented the prevention strategies listed above, have her checked by her healthcare provider. In some cases, your provider may refer you to a pediatric gastroenterologist. If your baby is diagnosed with GERD, your provider may prescribe medicine or may suggest some dietary changes, such as switching formulas, to see if your baby’s condition is due to an allergy.

Besides thickening your breast milk or formula as mentioned above, your baby’s healthcare provider may suggest switching to a protein hydrolysate formula to see if symptoms improve in one to two weeks. If it turns out your baby has an allergy to the proteins found in a milk – or soy-based formula, switching formulas may be the best resolution in preventing and keeping the reflux from returning.

Also Check: Can You Let A Newborn Cry It Out

What Causes Acid Reflux In Babies

Your babys gastrointestinal system is still developing. Since his stomach might not work properly, the contents sometimes make their way back up the esophagus, leading to spitting up or vomiting. Acid reflux is common among healthy babies, and unless it interferes with feeding or well-being, parents should have little cause for concern.

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