Babies spit up, but what if it is more than just the ‘normal’ spit-up? Are you ready for handling reflux in your baby?
One of our mom readers contacted us because she was concerned for her two-month-old who was spitting up a lot after breastfeeding. Like every mother before (and after) her, she consulted the pediatrician, who explained that there isn’t much that can be done for reflux in babies. Most will get better by six months when they can sit up on their own, and by one year of age, it is not a problem anymore.
Tips for Handling Reflux in Your Baby
*This is not medical advice, but merely meant for informational purposes. Please talk to your pediatrician about any concerns regarding your baby’s health.
What does reflux look like in an infant? Well, for starters he could be spitting up more. By more I mean more than 5 times a day. My son was like this. After every feeding, he spit-up. It was concerning! Your baby might also burp or hiccup more as well, or appear to have a hard time swallowing.
What is happening in your baby’s tiny body causing him to spit-up is that the muscle at the entrance to his stomach doesn’t do it’s job at keeping the contents in his belly. He eats, but what he ate comes back up and you end up with that lovely new mom perfume Eau De Baby Vomit.
My daughter never had any issues when it came eating and spit-up, so when my son was spitting up after every feeding, I mentioned it to his pediatrician. He told me that unless he is not gaining weight there isn’t anything they do medically for acid reflux in infants. He suggested switching his formula to one with added rice (A.R.). It is a thicker formula that is designed to help your baby keep the important nutrients he needs, down.
But what if you breastfeed, like our mom reader? Babies who are breastfed handle reflux better than babies who are formula fed. Why? Well there are a few reasons.
- The suckling motion a baby uses his tongue when breastfeeding stimulates muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. This helps to move the food from his mouth, down to his stomach and into the small intestines.
- Breast milk digests quicker than formula, so the amount of time it sits in your baby’s tummy is a lot less, thus resulting in less spit-up. This is not to say that breastfed babies don’t experience reflux.
Positioning your baby in a more upright position while feeding will allow gravity to work it’s magic and help to keep the food where it belongs (and not on your shirt). Try small but more frequent feedings if you find him to be spitting up more.
One thing my son did before I switched his formula was he rooted more. This was because the formula acted as an antacid and soothed his reflux. Breastfed babies are the same way. You may think he wants to eat more because he is hungry, just be aware that filling his belly too much too quickly will also result in another dose of Eau De Baby Vomit.
You can rest assured this stage won’t last forever. You will get the hang of it and so will he. You will learn what helps to reduce his spit-ups and he will be happier for it, allowing more time for kisses and cuddling.
Did your baby experience reflux? What did you do to help alleviate that for him and keep your laundry pile down a bit? Share your oh-so-glamorous stories of handling reflux in your baby with us in the comment section below!