Stopping Reflux in Babies: 18 Tips to Prevent Tummy Troubles

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Stopping Reflux in Babies: 18 Tips to Prevent Tummy Troubles

Acid reflux in babies is a condition where the stomach sends its contents back up the esophagus and into the mouth. Half of children that are born suffer from it at approximately the time they are six months old or younger. Doctors consider acid reflux in babies a normal occurrence while they are growing and developing.

In this article, we are going to discuss the different ways by which you can deal with your baby’s reflux. Do not forget to go through the last few tips that indicate how you can make use of simple ingredients present in your kitchen to take care of your baby’s tummy pain.

First, learn what acid reflux is and why so many parents have to deal with it in their babies:

1. What is Acid Reflux?

babyReflux in babies, spitting up or posseting usually happens when the milk that you have fed to your baby comes up through their esophagus or the food pipe. Scientifically, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.

Reflux usually worries makes parents because it causes discomfort to babies and makes them cry in pain. However, you should know that this is a common problem found in many healthy babies.

The stomach of your baby contains acid, which works to break down milk in smaller particles. When the along with milk comes up because of reflux, it causes discomfort to your baby. People dealing with heartburn can better relate with the kind of burning feeling that acid reflux causes.

Reflux disorder generally goes away when the digestive system of your body becomes better. Nonetheless, there are some babies who suffer from severe and persistent reflux for a longer time. In such cases, it is better to get them specialized treatment.

2. Cause of Acid Reflux: Immature Lower Esophageal Sphincter, LES

The lower esophageal sphincter or LES is a ring of muscles present at the bottom of the esophagus. This opens up in order to allow food inside the stomach and then closes up for keeping it inside. There is a partial development of this muscle in infants. This is the reason the contents present inside the stomach automatically flows back into the esophagus and causes the infant to spit or vomit.

You need to keep in mind that regular regurgitation from the acid reflux might lead to the damage of the esophageal lining. This is a rare phenomenon, though. It can lead to symptoms such as poor weight gain as well.

3. Improper Diet: The Root Cause of Numerous Health Disorders

The food that you are feeding your baby with might be the cause behind persistent reflux issues. There are certain foods that might lead to reflux in babies, and this depends on the age of your infant. For instance, citrus fruits might increase the formation of acid in your baby’s body. Foods such as peppermint, chocolate and fatty foods will keep the LES open for longer than usual and may lead to acid reflux. You can try changing your baby’s diet and see if it is easing reflux symptoms. Some babies are allergic to certain types of formula, so talk to your pediatrician to see what you can try.chocolate

In case your baby is only breastfeeding, you can consider making some health changes to your diet. You should avoid consuming alcohol, caffeine and other stimulants when you are breastfeeding. You should consume at least eight to 10glasses of water per day.

Note:Kidney reflux in babies is a rare condition. About one baby in 100 suffers from this disorder.

4. Hiatal Hernia: One of the Probable Causes of Acid Reflux

A hiatal hernia is basically a condition where a part of the stomach sticks out through an opening diaphragm. A small hiatal hernia will not lead to any problems; however, a large one can lead to acid reflux. This is common in people above the age of 50 and is quite rare in babies.

A hiatal hernia is usually present in children right from their birth, and this might cause gastric acid to reflux into the esophagus from the stomach.

5. Reflux in Babies: Symptoms and Treatment

The stomach contains acid that splashes back and irritate the esophagus or the throat and lead to reflux in babies. Some of the symptoms are as follows.

Reflux in Babies: How to Spot the Symptoms

If your baby has acid reflux, they will:

  • Vomit often. Always call your pediatrician immediately if your baby is vomiting a lot, as it can be a sign of numerous health issues.
  • Have a persistent cough.
  • Suffer from heartburn and pain in the stomach.
  • Have trouble eating or they simply refuse to eat.
  • Cry after or during breastfeeding.

CryInfant reflux shouldn’t be a cause for concern; however, you should decide to go to a doctor if you notice that your baby:

  • Isn’t gaining weight.
  • Spits yellow or green fluid.
  • Spits up blood or substances which look like coffee grounds.
  • Spits up forcefully, constantly which causes the stomach contents to come out of their mouth.
  • Has blood in the stools.
  • Has a chronic cough or difficulty in breathing.
  • Refuses to eat any food.
  • Shows extreme irritation after eating.
  • Continue to spit up at the age of six months or older.

Some of these signs might be serious, but you should know acid reflux is a treatable condition.

6. What Should You Know About Silent Reflux?

Silent reflux in babies can be difficult to diagnose because there are usually no signs of the condition. Silent reflux differs from acid reflux disease in that babies often do not suffer from heartburn. Heartburn is one of the primary reflux symptoms that make the patient uncomfortable. When left untreated, silent reflux can cause other more severe medical conditions, so the earlier it is diagnosed the better.

Some people believe silent reflux means when the baby does not cry during a reflux. However, this is not the case. In order to treat baby reflux, you need to keep a check on the other signs of acid reflux in babies.

Signs your child may have silent reflux include:Irritability

  • Sudden crying
  • Colic-like symptoms
  • Red, sore throat
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Excessive drooling
  • Irritability
  • Spitting and vomiting
  • Hiccups
  • Trouble sleeping or waking up frequently
  • Distaste to food

7. Improve Your Baby’s Posture to Keep Acid Reflux at Bay

The position in which you feed your baby is the most vital thing to keep in mind when your baby is suffering from acid reflux. The manner in which you carry your baby around and feed them directly affects the symptoms of reflux. You should try to feed your baby when they are in an upright position.

Researches have revealed babies grow out of acid reflux disorders faster when they are handled, carried or sleeping in an inclined position. Gravity will naturally help your baby by preventing acid from flowing upwards, so follow these tips:

  • Put your baby on a firm mattress in a crib and keep their head turned to the side. This will prevent any obstruction from acid reflux to travel up to their mouth and nose. Gravity will help keep the contents of the stomach in their body and will prevent them from reverting into the esophagus of the baby.
  • Keep your baby’s head elevated by putting it on a mattress which is slightly inclined. This will prevent acid reflux. A foam block will also serve the purpose.
  • You need to keep in mind that you shouldn’t ever feed the baby when they are sleeping.
  • Do not lay your baby down immediately after feeding her. It is essential to hold your baby upright for at least 30 minutes after feeding them.

8. Prevent Baby Reflux by Feeding Your Baby More Frequently

breastfeedingIf you are breastfeeding then shortening the time that you spend on nursing your baby, will help prevent reflux. A baby is more likely to spit up and suffer from reflux when their stomach is full. This is because the fuller tummy exerts pressure on the LES, which in turns makes the stomach contents to rise up to the throat of the baby.

A reflux in breastfed babies can be cured by feeding them after every two hours during the early weeks. You can feed them for at least eight to 12times in a day. You may have to wake your baby if necessary, in order to feed them.

9. Therapeutic Massage for Your Baby: Soothe Your Baby’s Tummy

Giving a comfortable massage to your baby regularly can help to improve the function of both respiratory and digestive system.

When you massage your baby, it stimulates the vagus nerve. This is a nerve present in the brain, which works to control the various sections of the digestive and respiratory system. In fact, it also helps your baby’s body to develop more quickly.

With the proper development of your baby, each and every part of the baby’s body will operate more effectively. Regular massage of your baby not only improves the symptoms of acid reflux, but it also makes them less cranky and irritable. Also, they are able to sleep peacefully after a healing massage session.

Here is how you can massage your baby:

  • Lay down your baby on a soft mat.
  • Put a few drops of olive oil or coconut oil on your palm.
  • Gently apply the oil on the stomach of the baby in a clockwise manner.
  • Turn your baby and lay her on tummy.
  • Gently massage the back with mild strokes for a few minutes.
  • Massage the hands and the legs with firm and long strokes.

doctorNote: You can massage your baby at least twice every day. However, keep in mind that you should not massage your baby immediately after you have fed them.

There are many over-the-counter treatments for acid reflux and similar gastro-abdominal ailments available online and on stores. One such popular treatment that can help adults get rid of their IBS symptoms is IBS Relief System.

Manufactures have formulated it scientifically to help restore harmony in your digestive system with probiotics and enzymes. However, this treatment is widely applicable for adults. So, it is best that you use natural and prescribed treatments for your baby.

Reflux in Babies and Zantac: Your doctor may prescribe zantac for the treatment of acid reflux in babies. Zantac and many other antacids work by reducing the acidity of gastric juices.

10. Breastfeeding Tips To Prevent the Signs of Acid Reflux In Babies

Breastfeeding is one of the popular remedies to stop the reflux. Nature has perfectly formulated breast milk so that a baby can properly digest it. Not even the high quality formula milk is able to achieve this property. Scientists have noted the difference in the intestinal flora of a formula fed baby and a breastfed baby.

You should pay closer attention to how you nurse your baby to prevent signs of reflux. Here are a few breastfeeding tips for mothers with reflux babies:

  • You should cradle your baby when you are breastfeeding. This is comfortable for you as well your loved one.
  • Make sure that your baby establishes a good latch to lessen air swallowing.
  • Allow your baby to completely suck from one breast before you offer another. You need to empty one breast completely before you move on to the other. Switching your breasts too soon or too often can cause excessive spitting up of milk.
  • Avoid non-nutritive sucking.
  • It is essential that your baby drinks calorie-rich hindmilk. This comes towards the end of the breastfeeding when the breast empties. This hindmilk helps the baby to gain weight.

11. Exercises to Soothe Your Uncomfortable Baby

Lay down your babyIn order to help your baby deal with acid reflux, you can make them do a few basic movement exercises. Exercise works to improve the digestive system of your baby and make it strong.

Exercise that works to reduce bloating and gas in babies is bicycle legs. Here is how to do:

  • Lay down your baby on a soft mattress.
  • Grab both of her ankles in a half-bent position.
  • Gently move the legs of your baby in a way as if she is riding a bicycle.
  • Continue to do this for 10 minutes.

Note: Don’t feed your baby for 30 minutes before or after completing the exercise. Be sure not to make them do exercise immediately after you have fed them.

12. Burp Your Baby Frequently During Feedings to Provide Relief from Acid Reflux

Getting rid of the gas from the baby’s stomach can ease the discomfort caused by acid reflux. When you make your baby burp, you help them to release some of the air which they have swallowed during feeding.

Repeatedly and gently tap on the back of your baby to make her burp. You do not have to pound hard. You should experiment with different positions while making your baby burp. Here are some positions that you can try out.

  • Make your child’s chin rest on your shoulder and support the baby with one hand. Take the other hand and pat the back of your baby. You can also make the baby sit on a rocking chair while you do the patting.
    • Make the baby sit up on your lap or across your knees. Hold her head by embracing her chin with one hand. Use the other to pat her back.
  • Lay down your baby on her tummy. The head of your baby should be elevated than her chest. Softlypat her back.

Note: If you find that your baby is fussy when you are feeding, you should stop feeding and burp your baby before you start feeding again.

13. How to Cure Acid Reflux in Babies: Natural Remedies Works Well

coconut oilCoconut has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to reduce the irritation cause due to reflux. It also works to keep the digestive system of your baby lubricated and in turn enables it to perform better and successfully.

Coconut is a rich source of lauric acid, which is a strong and antimicrobial acid. It helps to protect the immune system of a newborn baby. Before you use it, be sure to check with your pediatrician to be sure it is okay for your baby.

Here is how to use coconut oil to soothe your fussy baby:

  • Add one or half a teaspoon of extra virgin coconut oil to the milk or the cereal of your baby. Do this twice or thrice a day.
  • Combine equal quantities of ginger oil and coconut oil. Rub this potion on the abdomen of your child for about a minute. Do it a couple of times every day for early relief.

Note: If you are breastfeeding, you may take two tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil.

14. Chamomile: The Healing Remedy for Infant Reflux

Chamomile is a holistic treatment for infant acid reflux. It has sedative and antispasmodic properties, which help enhance digestion, offer relaxation, and relieve colic pain. The mucilage, flavonoids and volatile oils present in this flower are capable of soothing the inflamed esophagus in babies who suffer from acid reflux.

Here is how to use chamomile to ease your baby’s discomfort:Chamomile

  • Bring a cup of water to boil.
  • Add about a half teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers or use a teabag.
  • Steep for about 10 minutes.
  • Allow it to cool down at room temperature.
  • Add a pinch of sugar, this is optional.
  • Give this healing tea to your child every day. However, do not give more than one or two teaspoons at a time.

Tip: Nursing mothers can also have a cup of chamomile tea at least two to three times every day.

15. Apple Cider Vinegar: An Old Age Remedy for Acid Reflux in Babies

Apple cider vinegar is an effective remedy for infants suffering from acid reflux. It helps balance the acid present inside the stomach because of its effective properties. This makes digestion easier and prevents the baby from spitting. Apple cider vinegar also boosts the immune system and prevents your baby from frequent illness.

Here is how you can use apple cider vinegar for your colicky baby:

  • Add one-fourth of apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water.
  • Feed a spoonful of this mixture to your child at regular intervals.
  • For babies who are more than a year or older, you can add honey for extra nutrition and flavor.

16. Fennel Seeds: The Tested and Tried Remedy for Acid Reflux

Fennel SeedsFennel seeds contain anethole, which is capable of suppressing stomach spasms.

In order to control acid reflux in infants with the help of fennel seeds, go through these steps:

  • Add a spoonful of grounded and crushed fennel seeds to a cup of boiling water.
  • Let it steep for 10 minutes
  • Strain the mixture.
  • Feed the mixture to your baby three times a day.

Note: Do not give your baby more than one teaspoon per serving.

17. Make Changes to Your Baby’s Food to Prevent Acid Reflux

Here are a few tips to help your baby’s reflux symptoms:

  • Consider trying out different formula brands for your baby’s food.
  • If you are a nursing mother, you should eliminate some food such as dairy products from your diet. Allergenic proteins in dairy products might enter the breast milk and cause colicky symptoms in babies.
  • With the approval of a pediatrician, you can add some rice cereal to the breast milk of formula milk to prevent acid reflux. When you thicken the food, it becomes difficult for the stomach contents to stream back to the esophagus.

18. Check the Nipple and the Bottle Size to Prevent Reflux in Infants

Nipple and the Bottle SizeYour infant may gulp air if the nipple of the bottle is small; however, if the nipple size is big, milk will flow out too rapidly. Thus, it is necessary that you use a correct sized bottle and nipple for feeding your baby. The right sized nipple will allow the appropriate volume of milk to stream out of the bottle without letting your baby gulp air at the same time.

The last thing you would want to see is your baby in discomfort. If your baby is fussy and colicky, remember that you are not alone. Acid reflux in babies is a treatable condition. You simply need to find out the proper lifestyle and natural remedies that will work for your child and help them to get rid of acid reflux.

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