Is Baby Reflux Just Vomiting
Baby reflux is effectively the same thing as posseting, which is when babies bring up a small amount of milk without seeming to mind . Reflux is common in babies under six months for completely normal physiological reasons and doesnt need medication. Baby reflux is also different from gastro-oesophageal reflux disease , which is when reflux symptoms become troublesome or cause complications .
How Common Are Reflux And Gerd In Infants
Reflux is very common in babies. About half all babies spit up many times a day in the first 3 months of their lives. They usually stop spitting up between the ages of 12 and 14 months.
GERD is also common in younger infants. Many 4-month-olds have it. But by their first birthday, only 10% of babies still have GERD.
How To Ease Your Babys Reflux
You can help ease your babys reflux by making small changes to the way you feed them. Talk to your midwife or health visitor who might suggest:
- Gently burping your baby regularly throughout feeding.
- Ensuring they take breaks during a feed.
- Giving your baby shorter but more frequent feeds.
- Keeping your babys head higher than their bottom during feeds.
- Keeping your baby upright for a bit after feeding.
- Changing baby on their side to avoid any discomfort caused by lifting their legs up towards their stomach.
- Using thickened anti-reflux formula milk. You can buy these without a prescription but its important to talk to a healthcare professional before you do. There is some caution about their use, such as the fact that they are made at a lower temperature than is currently recommended to get rid of harmful bacteria.
- If your baby has a cows milk allergy, your doctor might suggest using special formula milk that doesnt contain cows milk.
Some parents might be advised to raise the head end of their babys cot slightly or place a rolled up towel under the mattress. Its important to say that there is no scientific evidence that this works and it might increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome .
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When To Start Solids
- At the current time, there is little to no evidence to suggest that starting solid feeds early can help with reflux. It is important to follow the Australian recommendation as discussed in the current Australian Infant Feeding Guidelines which is to introduce solids at around six months of age and not before four months.
- When your infant is ready, start to introduce a variety of solid foods, starting with iron rich foods, while continuing to breast or formula feed.
- You should only start solids when your baby starts to show signs of readiness. This is the best guide in relation to when to start solids for your baby. The signs are things such as showing interest in what you are eating and possibly trying to grab your food, losing the tongue thrusting reflex which pushes the food out of their mouth and being able to sit upright. For some babies, these developmental milestones appear earlier or later than six months, but generally not before four months.
Treating Acid Reflux In Infants
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WITHDRAWAL OF RANITIDINE
Food and Drug Administration requested that all forms of prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine be removed from the U.S. market. This recommendation was made because unacceptable levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine , a probable carcinogen , were found in some ranitidine products.
If youre prescribed ranitidine, talk with your doctor about safe alternative options before stopping the drug. If youre taking OTC ranitidine, stop taking the drug and talk with your healthcare provider about alternative options. Instead of taking unused ranitidine products to a drug take-back site, dispose of them according to the products instructions, discuss disposal with a pharmacist, or by following the FDAs guidance .
If you have a baby, you know that spitting up is very common and usually nothing to fret over. But sometimes it can be an indication of acid reflux, especially when accompanied by other symptoms.
Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux , is the backing up of stomach contents into the esophagus and throat. It isnt just an adult illness. Your little one can experience it, too. An infant with GER tends to spit up frequently or vomit.
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Keep Baby Upright During And After A Feed
Feed the baby in an upright position.
Since acid reflux happens after meals, burp the baby and keep him sitting up for 30 minutes.
After that, you can put him to bed once the food is digested
This wont work in the middle of the night, but you can use it in the evening or at naptime.
You will sleep better if the baby has no reflux
My Experience With Infant Reflux
Soon after our daughter Paloma was born, I could tell she wasnt comfortable. She always had a reddish hue to her skin and she was very stiff. Every time I tried to bend her legs or arms, she would fight me. She never spit up, so I didnt think it was baby reflux, but she was gassy and got hiccups a lot.
Since I was nursing, I gave up dairy in hopes that it would help. I also noticed that she liked sitting up and even sleeping in reclining chairs versus flat on her back. But it wasnt until I happened to smell her breath, that I suspected reflux in babies. It was sour. huge red flag.
I tried all of the natural remedies list above, but Nat Phos was like a miracle worker for my daughter. We stopped all the natural remedies for baby reflux when Paloma was about 4 months old and never looked back. She now has the digestion of an ox and can drink pasteurized milk and any other food with no discomfort. YAY!
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Avoid Secondhand Smoke Exposure
Lifestyle changes can help reduce reflux, and an important strategy in this regard is to avoid exposing your infant to secondhand smoke. In fact, infants or children of any age should completely avoid exposure to tobacco smoke.
Tobacco smoke can relax the lower esophageal sphincter and increase the tendency for reflux to occur.
A study published in the Journal of the Oklahoma State Medical Association found that environmental tobacco smoke represents a significant contributing factor to GER.
The study even stressed that pediatricians should systematically ask questions about the infant environment and recommend that children should remain in a smoke-free environment.
The Importance Of Frequent Light Meals And Babywearing
Most colic issues are caused by oversupply and acid reflux. Both of these issues are amplified when a baby is fed large meals that are widely spaced during the day. Frequent, small meals will help to reduce colic symptoms. Babies who are carried in upright positions also experience fewer colic symptoms. Learn more about wearing your baby and Kangaroo Mother Care.
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Symptoms Of Newborn Acid Reflux:
Few symptoms of infant baby reflux may include hiccups, coughing and vomiting of milk, after certain interval of time. When you notice any of the mentioned symptoms, do not panic, as this is a natural and normal reaction of a reflux in newborns, as long as the baby otherwise appears well. Please be vigilant for any excessive bouts of vomiting, coughing, or uneasiness in babys reaction.
How To Feed A Baby With Reflux
We know spit up down the front of your shirt isnt your best look, but for many new moms, its a rite of passage. You finally just go with it because changing would mean even more laundry added to the ever-growing pile of burp cloths. But the truth is that changing the way you feed your baby can actually reduce or eliminate their uncomfortable reflux thats causing all that spit-up.
Even though young babies immature digestive systems make them prime candidates for reflux, there are several feeding strategies we suggest to improve it. Not only does reflux cause spit-up, but it can also cause your baby a lot of discomfort, and we know more than anything you want your baby to feel good.
Youll first want to identify if your baby is experiencing reflux and what might be causing it. Then well give you our top tips to get your babys tummy back on track
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When To Visit A Doctor
In a small number of babies, reflux can lead to problems including gastro-oesophageal reflux disease . Speak to your Plunket nurse or doctor if you’re worried, or if you notice any of the following in your baby:
- long or frequent periods of irritability and crying
- reflux is forceful, or is green or dark yellow
- blood in the reflux
The Sneaky Reflux: Silent Gerd
Impress the Doctor Term: Silent Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
This type of reflux is by far the crappiest because its silent. Your sad-faced little guy re-swallows the spit-up so you never see it. This causes twice the damage, since the bile burns on the way up and on the way down. Poor baby!
Silent reflux is hard to diagnose. Look for him to be Mr. Cranky Pants, hate the sight of a bottle, and cry more after meals than at other times during the day. Call your doctor for an analysis and see if using one of these formulas for reflux can help.
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Nursing Mothers Should Take Care Of Themselves Too
Breastfeeding is the normal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development.
When you are breastfeeding your baby, you need to give importance to your diet, too. The diet you follow has a direct influence on your babys health and its growth and development.
In fact, breastfed babies may benefit from a change in the mothers diet. Hence, breastfeeding mothers should keep a close eye on their diet to help avoid acid reflux in babies.
- Give up all dairy products immediately, as the protein found in dairy products can irritate a babys immature digestive tract.
- Avoid common allergens including wheat, gluten, citrus, nuts, eggs, and soy.
- Limit high-fat, fried, or spicy foods, as well as carbonated drinks, chocolate, and caffeine.
- Keep away from alcohol and cigarette smoke.
- Breastfeeding mothers should eat probiotic yogurt daily to improve both their own and their babys digestive system.
- As water is a key ingredient in breast milk, nursing mothers should drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep their body hydrated.
Is There Medication For Infant Reflux
Of course, some medical doctors may recommend prescription medications to decrease or neutralize your babys stomach acid, and thereby reduce some of the initial symptoms of baby reflux. Examples include:
- Antacids such as Mylanta and Maalox
- Histamine-2 blockers such as Axid, Pepcid, Tagamet, or Zantac
- Proton-pump inhibitors such as Nexium, Prilosec, or Prevacid
Because many infants with baby reflux arent producing enough stomach acid, acid-blocking medications are not recommended in cases of uncomplicated infant reflux. Otherwise healthy children taking these medications may face an increased risk of certain intestinal and respiratory infections. In addition, prolonged use of proton-pump inhibitors has been linked to problems in iron and calcium absorption in infants.
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When Will My Baby Grow Out Of Silent Reflux
Theres no specific rule for when silent reflux will disappear, but specialists agree that its generally an issue for the first few months only, as a babys sphincter muscle is able to start blocking liquid coming up the oesophagus.
Most parents notice that signs of reflux are gone when their babies are able to sit up by themselves or walk, or when they start to eat solids.
What Causes Reflux
Reflux happens because of a problem with the ring of muscle at the end of the esophagus. The ring of muscle is called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES. The LES acts like a one-way valve between the esophagus and the stomach. When you swallow, it lets food pass into the stomach. If the LES is weak, stomach contents can flow back up into the esophagus.
In babies, this problem happens because the digestive tract is still growing. Reflux usually goes away as a baby matures.
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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.
Whats So Silent About Silent Reflux
In the case of silent reflux, babies swallow the milk that comes up their oesophagus instead of spilling or spitting up.
Because you dont see your little one actively spewing up, the symptoms aren’t always obvious, hence the terminology silent.
Not knowing whats causing your little one pain can be extremely heart wrenching. You may second guess your every move as a parent or caregiver, and wonder when oh when you will have a normal, more settled baby, and not feel at your wits end.
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Treatment For Reflux In Babies
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.
What Is Infant Reflux
When your baby is spitting up, it simply means that whats in your babys stomach is coming back up through their mouth or nose. The official name is gastroesophageal reflux which is usually shortened to just reflux.
Reflux alone is a normal thing for babies, and for most it doesnt become a bigger issue.
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