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Reflux in Babies

Stanley Chow

Soothe Your Infant Now

  1. Listen and react Babies with GERD cry because they hurt, and uncomfortable crying increases pressure inside the abdomen and aggravates reflux. Crying also increases air swallowing and trapped stomach bubbles, which also aggravates the condition. Respond to baby's cries as promptly and sensitively as you can.

  2. Provide frequent, small feedings The less food in the stomach at one time, the lower the degree of reflux and the faster the food empties from the stomach; so small, frequent meals are best. Also, the more often baby eats, the more saliva is produced, and that helps neutralize stomach acid. Saliva also contains a substance that heals the damaged lining of the esophagus. A good rule of thumb is to feed baby twice as often, but half as much.

  3. Keep nursing Breast milk is digested twice as fast as formula and contains enzymes that aid digestion. In fact, it's like a natural antacid.

  4. Switch formulas Babies with reflux may also suffer from food and milk allergies. Your pediatrician may advise a “hypoallergenic” formula in which the proteins and/or lactose are better tolerated by sensitive intestines and digested more easily.

  5. Create a jostle-free zone No tossing, bouncing or jostling baby for about half an hour after feeding. Too much movement can cause stomach contents to move around and up into the esophagus.

  6. Gravity is your friend Keep baby upright for about 30 minutes after a feeding. (If holding her in your arms wears you down, try wearing your baby in a carrier.)

  7. Burp baby well If you're nursing, burp him when you switch breasts. If bottle-feeding, burp baby after every 3 to 4 ounces.

  8. Let 'em be a sucker A pacifier might be helpful to a baby with severe reflux. Frequent sucking stimulates soothing saliva.

  9. Loosen up Tight diapers and waistbands can increase intra-abdominal pressure and aggravate reflux.