What to do when your baby has Infant Reflux?
One of my least favorite parts about parenting is getting spit up/thrown up on. Especially in the first few months, infant reflux is very normal as baby is learning how to eat and function as a human! Reflux after nursing/drinking a bottle will probably happen frequently. I frequently go through 3 shirts a day to avoid smelling like spit up all day!
Reflux usually goes away on its own by 18 months, but sometimes babies have severe reflux issues that need more serious help. Some simple things to do to help with reflux include:
· Fast Let Down: Some mothers have a very fast let down which causes baby to get too much milk too quickly. You can hand express before nursing your baby or lightly press the side of your breast to slow the flow. A lactation consultant can help you with this.
· Too much milk too quickly: A baby feeding every three hours may be drinking more milk then their little tummy can handle. Try feeding baby every hour and a half so they aren’t taking in as much milk.
· Aerophagia: This means baby is taking in too much air. Baby could have a poor latch or position. Working with a lactation consultant can help fix this problem. If your baby is bottle feeding you may need to try a different bottle, different position, or focus on bottle paced feeding.
· Allergy: The main culprit of excessive reflux is an allergy to cow’s milk. If you are breastfeeding it is best to try cutting out dairy. Other moms have found cutting out gluten has resolved their baby’s reflux problems. If your baby is on formula you may need to try several different formulas before finding the right one that works with baby’s digestive system. @theformulamom on Instagram is a great resource for finding the right formula for your baby.
· Pacifier: Recent studies have shown that infant pacifier use while in a seated position reduces reflux episodes. The Ingy Bingy Band is a must-have pacifier wristband that helps baby use their pacifier on their own from as early as 4 months! You can attach any pacifier to this pacifier wristband so no matter your baby’s paci-preference, you won’t be constantly looking for it when the infant pacifier keeps falling out or re-inserting it into their mouth on demand!
If none of these solutions work, consult a pediatrician to figure out the problem. Some doctors may prescribe acid reflux medication to help soothe baby’s tummy. There could also be more serious issues such as pyloric stenosis, Eosinophilic esophagitis, or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
A few signs to look out for to see if your baby has a serious infant reflux issue include:
· Baby isn’t gaining weight or is losing weight.
· Baby is projectile vomiting.
· Baby refuses to eat.
· Baby doesn’t have much energy.
· Baby is very irritable after eating.
· Spits up blood or green or yellow fluid.
Hopefully, a diet change, formula change, or a visit with a lactation consultant can help solve your baby’s reflux issues, but always trust medical professionals to help you solve your baby’s problems if infant reflux is overly concerning!