colic and reflux often overlap 

reflux in a baby is spitting or vomiting up milk. silent reflux is where milk moves up and down the throat but doesn’t quite come up. your baby may show no real discomfort at all or can be fussy, uncomfortable, moan, groan and even cry. night waking is also common. these symptoms are thus very much the same as for colic. reflux occurs most often soon after a feed but can happen anytime they cough, cry or strain.

 

almost all babies reflux at some point.  it may last a few weeks and usually stops by itself with no real bother to the baby. reflux is mostly due either to overfeeding or gas bubbles that are clogging up the pipes - a sort of airlock. it can also be simply an immature esophageal sphincter (the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach) that allows milk to flow upwards because a baby spends so much time lying flat.

asking the right questions as to the nature and timing of your babies reflux can give us excellent diagnostic assistance. treating the undelying cause correctly will help to resolve the problem much faster then just medicating alone.

 

treatment

 

  • the parent should make every effort to get as many burps out as possible - by far the most common way to relieve reflux.

  • 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

  • be sure to 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

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

  • in some cases, probiotics may help, as can gripe water. eliminating dairy and wheat products from mom’s diet has also been shown to help in a small number of cases.

  • consider solid foods when baby is twice their birth weight

 

when to see a doctor

 

  • if your baby isn’t gaining weight

  • if 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