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Reflux in baby - when to worry

baby chewing towel

Reflux in baby is common but can also be a real problem

Reflux in a baby is spitting or vomiting up milk. Almost all babies have some reflux but for a few, it can be very painful and the acid can burn their throat

Almost all babies reflux at some point and is often just a bit of overfeeding. It may last a few weeks and usually stops by itself with no real bother to the baby. They may show no real discomfort at all and by getting gas and wind to escape, reflux is usually helped.

But with colic babies, reflux can be the main symptom. Apart from the reflux, baby can be fussy, uncomfortable, moan, groan, battle to sleep and even cry. This is due to the acid burn that they are experiencing. In bad cases, medicine should be taken to reduce the burn. This may help the symptoms but doesn't address the cause.

These symptoms are thus very much the same as those causing other symptoms of colic - excessive gas in the digestive tract...a sort of airlock in the pipes leading to a back-up of milk. Consider the thought below as reflux can be dangerous and lead to dehydration.

Treatments and techniques you can try for reflux in baby

  • feed your baby in a mostly upright position

  • keep your baby in an upright position for 30 minutes post feeding

  • have baby sleep in a slightly angled position – a reflux wedge or simply two bricks under the head of their cot.

  • experiment with smaller feeds, more frequently

  • do a thorough burping routine after feeding. experiment with burping breaks half way through the feed.

  • if breastfeeding, be sure one breast is empty before switching

  • a thicker anti-reflux formula may help

  • if bottle feeding, experiment with a smaller and larger nipple

  • in some cases, probiotics may help, as can gripe water

  • consider solid foods when baby is twice their birth weight

  • if you are not getting enough burps out, or their abdominal area is bloated and hard, this is a problem

  • sign up for the Master Class and learn some great exercises to get excess gas and wind to release

When to see a doctor

  • if your baby isn’t gaining weight

  • winding techniques are working but baby continues to vomit forcefully – projectile vomiting

  • if vomit fluid is green or yellow, contains blood or looks like coffee grounds

  • has blood in their stool

  • refuses food

  • has difficulty breathing

  • starts vomiting when older then 6 months



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