Ever wondered why your baby has sudden episodes of spitting up or persistent crankiness after feeding? It's all about baby reflux, a quirky phenomenon where tummy contents decide to do an unexpected U-turn. Fear not, dear parents, this comprehensive guide is here to help you soothe your baby's discomfort and ensure those gurgles and giggles remain undisturbed.
Understanding Baby Reflux: Facts and Insights
When a baby vomits liquid or food, it is called baby reflux. This happens when the tummy contents sometimes decide to take a detour up to the esophagus. Most of the time, healthy babies experience this more than once a day.
But, hey, as long as your baby is the picture of health and happiness, there's no need to sound the alarm bells. Reflux tends to fade as your baby grows and is rare to last for more than 18 months.
What Causes Baby Reflux?
In infants, the underdeveloped lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle between the esophagus and stomach, allows stomach contents to go up to the esophagus. As time progresses, the LES matures, opening during swallowing and remaining tightly shut to retain stomach contents.
Certain factors contributing to infant reflux are typical and unavoidable. This includes constant reclining and a primarily liquid diet. At times, more serious issues trigger infant reflux, such as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and food intolerance, to name a few.
While GERD and acid reflux in babies share similarities, they differ in severity. Acid reflux usually involves occasional spitting up and GERD entails persistent, more intense symptoms like poor weight gain, irritability, and respiratory issues. Consulting your pediatrician is crucial for accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment when symptoms get serious.
Spotting Signs of Baby Reflux
Recognizing the symptoms of baby reflux is crucial for parents to seek appropriate care and support for their little ones. Baby reflux symptoms can vary from mild to severe and may include:
- Spitting up: One of the most common signs of reflux is frequent spitting up or puking after feeding. This can happen immediately after feeding or even hours later.
- Irritability and fussiness: Babies with reflux may show signs of discomfort, such as excessive crying, fussiness, or irritability during or after feedings.
- Poor weight gain: Reflux can interfere with a baby's ability to feed properly, leading to inadequate weight gain or even weight loss in some cases.
- Arching of the back: Some babies with reflux may arch their backs during or after feeding, which could be a sign of discomfort caused by acid coming back up into their esophagus.
- Difficulty swallowing: Reflux can make it challenging for babies to swallow comfortably, leading to gagging or choking during feedings.
Effective Reflux Remedies for Babies
Discover effective ways how to soothe baby acid reflux with these proven remedies. From natural approaches to practical solutions, learn how to comfort your little one's discomfort.
Do your best to breastfeed
Infants with reflux benefit most from breastfeeding since breast milk is digested twice as quickly as formula milk. If you can't breastfeed your infant, consult a doctor about the safest formula to use. Symptoms may subside after switching to a hypoallergenic or lactose-free alternative.
The breastfeeding position for reflux also matters. Keep the baby in an upright or semi-upright position when breastfeeding them. You can also try standing or walking while breastfeeding.
Choose the right nipple size
For bottle-fed babies, ensure the nipple size matches their needs. A small or large nipple can lead to excess air swallowing, affecting your little one’s digestion.
Choose regular yet smaller feedings
This technique will be gentler on the infant's stomach and reduce reflux as less food will regurgitate. Some babies with reflux prefer to eat in this manner, while others become irritable if they do not receive their full feeding immediately. However, your infant should adapt to this new schedule after a few days, so be consistent.
Keep baby upright after feeding
Maintain an upright position for your baby after feeding. Ensuring your baby remains seated during feedings and for at least 20 minutes. This helps prevent food from moving upwards into the esophagus.
Consider pausing every two to three ounces during feeding to burp your baby. Burping helps release gas and alleviate reflux symptoms.
Increase tummy time
Allow your baby to spend more time on their stomachs while awake and unsupervised. Tummy time encourages the development of a stronger lower esophageal sphincter, a key muscle in preventing reflux. Include regular tummy time in your baby’s routine to help prevent baby reflux.
Use loose diapers and clothing
Steer clear of snug diapers and clothing. Tight attire can create extra pressure on the baby's stomach, potentially causing discomfort and irritability.
Adjust mommy’s diet
When breastfeeding, certain foods like dairy or gas-inducing vegetables can worsen reflux. Citrus fruits such as oranges, pears, grapes, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, cucumbers, and aubergines should be avoided. Avoid foods containing cow's milk proteins and particularly flavorful foods.
Selecting The Right Feeding Equipment
Nursing moms must use the right breastfeeding essentials for their babies with acid reflux. Check out these products from Baby Company that will help address reflux challenges effectively.
1. Electric Breast Pump for Mom
Experience the exceptional Spectra S1 Hospital Grade Double Electric Breast Pump. With its super quiet operation and closed system for utmost hygiene, it's tailored for you and your baby. Equipped with a night light, timer, and all-inclusive double pumping components.
Its adjustable, powerful suction, letdown mode, and personalized program offer optimal comfort. This rechargeable breast pump also includes slow-flow teats ideal for newborn feeding.
2. Keeping Breastmilk Fresh for Baby
Lansinoh's Breastmilk Freezer Storage Bags are the ultimate solution for safe breastmilk storage. Featuring a tamper-evident, spill-preventing tear-away top and double seal, they're fridge and freezer friendly.
Pre-sterilized and BPA/BPS-free, these bags boast extra-strength double-sealed side seams. The secure double zipper and date-noting tab ensure spill-free, organized use.
3. For Comfy Baby Feeding
A nursing mother's ally, the Bloom Maternity Pillow is crafted to bring mom comfort and support during pregnancy and nursing. Versatile in shaping, upgrade your nursing experience with this essential, fostering rest and ease.
Parents hold the compass to their baby's well-being, empowered to make choices that resonate with their little one's unique needs. By learning the causes, symptoms, and baby reflux remedies, you’ll be able to handle your baby’s reflux problems confidently.