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Reflux in Babies

Stanley Chow

Your baby is crying uncontrollably, not sleeping and spitting up (lots!). The cause could be gastroesophageal reflux disease, a long name for a well-known condition: heartburn. Referred to in the medical world as GERD and reflux, the condition is super-common in babies, and, luckily, the solutions are usually super-easy.

One-third of babies spit up without it being a medical problem. But for scores of others, it can be painful and interfere with feeding, sleeping, growth and development. When babies don't spit up, it can make the condition hard to diagnose. Reflux occurs when contents of the stomach make their way up the esophagus and irritate its lining. How much pain this causes baby depends upon the severity of the reflux. If the stomach contents come up just a little, baby may feel pain but not spit up. But if the reflux is severe enough that the stomach contents come all the way up, baby may spit up a lot, especially when lying flat. On the following pages, find out how to spot the signs of GERD and give your baby some instant relief.