How To Feed Your Baby If They Have Silent Reflux
While breastfed and bottle fed babies suffer from reflux equally, studies have shown that reflux in breastfed babies tends to be shorter and less frequent than those who are bottle fed. Breast milk is generally digested faster than formula, so it has less time to hang around and cause trouble.
Regardless of how you are feeding your baby, you should follow the advice below:
Feed your baby in an upright position
If you are breastfeeding, you may need to try different positions to find the best one that will allow your baby to remain fairly upright during feeding. Some mothers report success by having their baby face their breast while straddling their leg. Others prefer to stand up while feeding their baby in a modified twin-style hold.
Keep feeds small and frequent
Your baby may prefer to feed often, and this is actually better for them than a large sudden intake of food as this causes less pressure on the stomach muscle.
Keep your baby upright
For at least half an hour after feeding, keep your baby upright. You may want to hold them on your shoulder or perhaps use a front pack or baby seat.
Introduce a reflux-friendly routine
Try to keep to a routine where your baby feeds when he wakes up, so that theyll have plenty of time to allow the milk to digest before lying down to sleep.
Dont let your baby fall asleep while feeding
Catnapping on the breast or bottle always leads to pain once the feed has finished so try to avoid feeding when your baby is tired.
Causes Of Reflux In Babies
It’s normal for some babies to have reflux. It usually just occurs because a baby’s food pipe is still developing.
It normally stops by the time a baby is a year old.
In a small number of cases, reflux can be a sign of a more serious problem, such as:
- gastro-oesophageal reflux disease a long-term form of reflux where stomach contents are able to rise up and irritate the oesophagus
- a cows’ milk allergy this can also cause a rash, vomiting and diarrhoea many babies will eventually grow out of it and can be treated by removing cows’ milk from their diet
- a blockage rarely, reflux may occur because the oesophagus is blocked or narrowed, or there’s a blockage in the stomach and small intestine
Symptoms And Remedies For Silent Reflux In Babies
The signs of silent reflux in babies arent always obvious. Heres how to tell if your baby is silently sufferingand how to make her feel better.
Jodi Di MennaMay 1, 2018
Any parent whose newborn has suffered from reflux knows the helplessness of trying to comfort an infant who hurts after each feeding. Babies with refluxmay be irritable, spit up or refuse to eat. They arch their bodies during or after feedings, or cry when placed on their backs, especially if they just ate. But sometimes the most obvious symptoms dont show upthis is known as silent reflux. Regular reflux occurs when food and digestive acid leaks up from the stomach, causing painful irritation in the esophagus. But silent reflux in babies might not spit up at all, swallowing the regurgitated liquid instead. Some babies with regular reflux lose weight, but babies with silent reflux can gain weight normally, despite being in pain.
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How Do I Know If My Baby Has Colic Or Reflux
Colic and reflux are two of the most common conditions that can affect newborn babies. Around a quarter of all babies suffer with colic, and reflux is estimated to be double that. As an expecting or new parent, it is important to know the difference between the two so you can know how to comfort your baby. At babocush, we are extremely familiar with both colic and reflux, so these pointers on how to address the conditions should help.
Acid Reflux And Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease In Babies: Know The Signs
The most common symptom of acid reflux in adults is pain or a burning sensation in the chest, but because an infant cannot describe this feeling to you, it is important to be on the lookout for other symptoms that are more easily recognizable.
Often, children who are under the age of 12 years old will have different symptoms than the classic symptoms of reflux in adults, and these symptoms might not include the telltale signs that you are familiar with.
The ten most common symptoms of acid reflux in children include:
Aside from these main signs, acid reflux may also be a symptom associated with frequent ear infections or colds, bad breath, loss or decay of tooth enamel, or a rattling in the chest.
Acid reflux is very common in children who are still in their first year of life, and many babies outgrow it. However, children with Down Syndrome or certain neuromuscular disorder may be at an increased risk of experiencing acid reflux.
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Ways To Help Prevent Or Manage Your Baby’s Reflux
Reflux tends to peak around four to six months and then improve. The reason: Older babies start eating solid foods and consume less liquid and solids are easier to keep down. But reflux isn’t something babies just have to live with until they grow older.
There are things parents and caregivers can do to help ease tummy troubles associated with reflux. Common strategies include:
- Burping frequently: Instead of waiting until your child reaches the end of the bottle, try burping after each ounce of milk or formula.
- Placing the child upright for feeding: You should never feed a baby while she’s lying down. Instead, make sure she’s at a 45-degree angle, which helps ensure milk flows down the esophagus and into her tummy.
- Keeping the child upright after eating: Wait at least 30 minutes after a meal before lying your baby down. That upright position will help the stomach do its job of digestion.
- Not overfeeding: Be careful not to overfeed your baby. When you’re boosting intake to meet your baby’s needs, be sure to increase the amount by only half an ounce to an ounce at a time.
- Thickening the milk or formula: In severe cases, your doctor may recommend thickening formula or breast milk with cereal. Common recommendations include one teaspoon of cereal for every ounce or two of milk. Some formula brands even come already thickened with rice cereal, so you don’t have to do the mixing. The consistency of these premade formulas tends to be smoother, too.
What Causes Ger & Gerd In Infants
Experts think several factors lead to GER in infants. For example, in the first 6 months of life, infants spend much of their time lying down and do not have a fully developed esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter.4,5 They also eat meals that are primarily liquid and larger, relative to their body size, than older children or adults do. These factors make it more likely that stomach contents will come back up into the esophagus. As infants spend more time upright, eat more solid foods, and grow and develop, they typically experience less GER.
Experts are still studying why some infants develop GERDa condition in which GER causes repeated symptoms that are bothersome or leads to complications. Several different factors may play a role. For example, infants with GERD may have problems with how the lower esophageal sphincter works, have more acid reflux, or feel more discomfort when GER occurs.
Infants are more likely to have GERD if they have certain health conditions, including
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What Is Acid Reflux And Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease In Babies
Reflux happens when the content of your baby’s stomach backs up into her esophagus . This is because the sphincter is either too relaxed or is too weak to hold the liquid or food in your little one’s tummy and can’t stop it from travelling back up toward her throat.
Almost all babies have reflux from time to time, since the sphincter is still maturing. Spitting or vomiting is quite common in about half of all infants under 6 months old, and happens in about 5 percent of babies once they reach 12 months of age.
Your baby will most likely grow out of reflux once she’s between about 1 and 2 years old. If the reflux doesn’t go away within this time or gets worse, it could indicate there’s a problem that may need medical attention.
When reflux becomes chronic, that is, it starts happening all the time, it’s referred to as GERD. This condition is something your baby’s healthcare provider can diagnose.
When Should You Seek Medical Advice
Baby reflux isnt usually a cause for concern if your baby is happy and is gaining weight. But if vomiting becomes more forceful, starts after six months of age, continues beyond a year or if your baby has any of the problems mentioned below, it’s best to 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.
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When To Get Medical Advice
Reflux isn’t usually a cause for concern. You don’t normally need to get medical advice if your baby seems generally happy and healthy, and is gaining weight appropriately.
But contact your midwife, health visitor or GP if reflux begins after six months of age, continues beyond one year, or your baby has any of the following problems:
- spitting up feeds often or refusing feeds
- coughing or gagging while feeding
- frequent projectile vomiting
- a high temperature of 38C or above
- not gaining much weight, or losing weight
- arching their back during or after a feed, or drawing their legs up to their tummy after feeding
These can be signs of an underlying cause and may mean your baby needs tests and treatment.
Taking Care Of You: Happy Mum Happy Baby
Coping with reflux is hard. You may feel as though you dont want to feed your baby anywhere other than at home, where theres an abundance of muslin cloths and a change of clothes at hand. You may also feel that all you do is feed your baby, because the moment youre finished they bring it all back up and you have to start all over again. Or you may find yourself worrying that your baby isnt getting enough nutrients – but rest assured that this is highly unlikely.
Its completely normal to feel a bit helpless or anxious about your babys next feed if your baby is suffering from with reflux. We also know that trusting your instincts is the right thing to do after all, you know your baby better than anyone else. If youre concerned about your babys weight, or your baby is often bringing up large amounts of milk and appears to be distressed or in pain, talk with your Health Visitor and GP. Together you can look at ways to make feeding time more manageable for you and your little one.
Dont forget, our dedicated Careline team are at the end of the phone to give you one to one support when you need support and advice, or a friendly ear.
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How Is Reflux Diagnosed In Infants
Following are the various diagnostic methods for the diagnosis of reflux in Infants.
Barium Swallow – It is an X-ray technique in which barium is used to observe the esophagus.
pH Probe – In this test esophagus is evaluated. The child swallows a thin probe at the tip and stays in the esophagus for twenty-four hours.
Upper GI Endoscopy – It is done with the help of an endoscope that allows the doctor to look directly into the esophagus.
When Is Baby Cough Serious
In the event that your infant experiences:
If they cough at all, they are under four months old. a cold-related dry cough that lasts longer than five to seven days and is associated with a runny nose but no fever. a cold, accompanied by a temperature of 100 degrees or higher, and a dry or wet cough. Light, gentle wheeze
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The Truth About Acid Reflux In Babies
For many years, pediatricians have wondered if colic might actually be a burning pain caused by acid reflux in babies . One book even trumpeted it as the cause of all colic. But hundreds of millions of dollars spent on baby antacid medicine have been wasted. Its now proven that GERD rarely causes colic.
Why Infant Reflux Matters
If you have a new baby, it is likely youve heard about reflux or gastro-esophageal reflux disease . Many mothers worry about whether their baby could have GERD if they are crying or unsettled. You may know other babies who are on medication for reflux. Are large numbers of babies really producing excess acid? It is common that many symptoms attributed to reflux are signs of a feeding issue, and have non-medical solutions.
Reflux, or gastro-esophageal reflux, is common and physiologically normal. It describes the passage of any gastric contents into the esophagus. Each time we burp, we reflux. Reflux happens to us all frequently. The word reflux however, has become confused with GERD . It has become associated with a baby who is vomiting, posseting , waking frequently, wanting to be held often, or not wanting to lie alone. Western society has started to confuse reflux with other issues and behaviors.
These behaviors are assumed to be due to pain from stomach acid, and many babies are prescribed medication to reduce the production of that acid. These are effective drugs, but reducing acid has an effect on digestion and immune function. Research has shown that babies taking these drugs are at higher risk of infections, allergies, and even bone fractures. Research also suggests that they do not reduce fussiness or crying in babies which would suggest that the fussiness and crying may be unrelated to acid production.
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Tips To Help Your Baby With Reflux
You can help your child if they have reflux.
- hold your baby upright for a short time after they feed
- try not to handle your baby too much
- where possible, it may be helpful to change baby before or during a feed, rather than afterwards when their stomach is full.
If your baby brings up a lot of milk, they may be hungry again and you might need to feed them again sooner than usual.
For most babies, you don’t have to do anything about reflux. It is a natural process which will get better by itself. Changing formulas won’t help and neither will a change from breastfeeding to bottles.
There are thickened formulas for babies who are formula fed with reflux, although there is not a lot of research to support how effective these are. There are also many over-the-counter products aimed at reducing wind, colic and reflux, but there is no scientific evidence that shows these preparations work. If you choose to use such a preparation, make sure you choose one that has no alcohol or sugar.
Complications Of Spitting Up
- Most infants are happy spitters. Normal spitting up occurs in half of babies. It does not cause crying or colic.
- Normal crying occurs in all babies. Frequent crying occurs in 15% of babies. Crying and colic are not helped by heartburn meds. These meds also have side effects.
- If they develop complications, its called GERD . This occurs in less than 1% of babies.
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Testing For Reflux And Gerd
If your baby is struggling to gain weight properly or is in extreme discomfort because of the reflux, the healthcare provider may prescribe medicine. Or your babyâs provider may decide to run tests to rule out other problems.Tests to diagnose the reflux as GERD may include a barium swallow, which is when your baby or young child would need to swallow a solution, and then get X-rays or an upper endoscopy, which is when a physician uses a tiny fiber optic camera to look inside your babyâs esophagus and/or stomach.
What Are Reflux And Gerd
The esophagus is the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. If your baby has reflux, his or her stomach contents come back up into the esophagus. Another name for reflux is gastroesophageal reflux .
GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is a more serious and long-lasting type of reflux. Babies may have GERD if their symptoms prevent them from feeding or if the reflux lasts more than 12 to 14 months.
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Symptoms Of Silent Reflux In Babies
Babies with silent reflux may not spit up after feedings, making it more difficult to spot. Infants with silent reflux also often present with feeding difficulties, which can slow weight gain and even cause weight loss. In extreme cases, this can result in undernutrition.
Inadequate growth or inability to maintain growth during early childhood is referred to as failure to thrive and can occur as a result of reflux.
What Feeding Changes Can Help Treat My Infant’s Reflux Or Gerd
Feeding changes may help your baby’s reflux and GERD:
- Add rice cereal to your baby’s bottle of formula or breastmilk. Check with the doctor about how much to add. If the mixture is too thick, you can change the nipple size or cut a little “x” in the nipple to make the opening larger.
- Burp your baby after every 1 to 2 ounces of formula. If you breastfeed, burp your baby after nursing from each breast.
- Avoid overfeeding give your baby the amount of formula or breast milk recommended.
- Hold your baby upright for 30 minutes after feedings.
- If you use formula and your doctor thinks that your baby may be sensitive to milk protein, your doctor may suggest switching to a different type of formula. Do not change formulas without talking to the doctor.
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