08 Jul How to Help Prevent Your Baby’s Reflux
Babies spit up. Plain and simple. This is a very normal and healthy behavior in most babies as they start to grow and develop. Typically, this “spitting up” starts to subside around age 6-8 months. Most babies have normal “spitting up” or reflux, and while in some more rare cases, this can be a problem such as GERD—there are many things that parents can do in order to keep their baby’s reflux symptoms at bay.
Here are a few easy things that you can do at home to help keep your child more comfortable.
Hold Your Baby Upright
If your baby is struggling with reflux, try holding your infant in a more upright position both during their feeding and for around 30 minutes after their feeding. This will help reduce the amount of gastric reflux. It is important to remember that when you hold your baby in this position, their abdomen shouldn’t be compressed—this can worsen the reflux.
Make Sure Your Baby is Sleeping Properly
It used to be recommended that babies who have reflux sleep on their stomach. However, this is not the current recommended approach. Babies should always be sleeping on their back, even when they have GERD to help lessen the chances of SIDS.
Consider Smaller, More Frequent Feedings
Babies who struggle with reflux often do better with smaller and more frequent feedings—such as feedings every two to three hours while they are awake. This will often reduce the occurrence of gastric reflux. Overfeeding can increase abdominal pressure. In addition to smaller feedings, you can also try nipples with smaller holes that can reduce the amount of air your baby takes in.
Changing the Diet
For babies who are eating solid foods (typically 6 months and older) rice cereal can help lessen the amount an infant spits up. You can even try adding it to breast milk if you are pumping. Mothers who breastfeed may also try modifying their own diets as certain foods like caffeine, chocolate and garlic can promote reflux.
Some parents find success with burping their infant several times during their feedings. Typically, this after every ounce or two. It can help minimize gastric pressure and the associated reflux. Try this instead of waiting until after a feeding to decrease the chances of regurgitation.
Most children will stop spitting up around 8 months old. However, not all infants grow out of this “healthy spitting” phase. This is because there are some babies who have more serious reflux issues such as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.
If you notice ongoing issues with spitting up, you should ask your pediatrician about it. They can help determine if your child’s symptoms are normal or if they are dealing with a more serious issue. No matter what your reflux questions may be, feel free to call and schedule an appointment today at Continuum Pediatrics by calling us at 817-617-8600.