Remedies for acid reflux in babies are simple solutions that can make a huge difference! Get back your happy baby with handy tips.
Babies suffer easily from acid reflux during their first year. The valve that is meant to seal off their stomach, doesn't close properly, due to an immature digestive system.
The trick is to keep stomach pressure as low as possible and use gravity as a counterforce to keep acid stomach content down.
What can you do to help your baby?
Every time your baby drinks, it swallows some air. Locked air stays inside its stomach until it is burped back out. Air bubbles trigger acid reflux by increasing the pressure inside its stomach.
Some babies burp easily, while others take their time to make even a little burp.
The best way to burp your baby is to place your little one over your shoulder and pat its back. Gentle movements, like walking up and down the stairs or bouncing on a therapy ball, can help too. Don't forget to place absorbent burp cloths over your shoulder in case your baby spits up.
Babies don't sit still. They explore their body by moving, kicking, crying, laughing and squirming. These movements involve contractions of their stomach muscles and diaphragm, which exert pressure on their stomach. The raised pressure pushes gastric juices out and triggers baby reflux.
This is not ideal ...
After burping, swaddle your baby if he/she is difficult to calm down. You wrap your baby in a blanket to keep it warm and make it feel secure. It looks a bit odd, but it helps. Special swaddle blankets can make this feat easy.
This is better ...
You don't want to increase pressure on your baby's tummy. Avoid clothes that put pressure on the waist. Clothes in one piece or with an elastic waist band are ideal.
When changing a diaper you shouldn't find any marks around your baby's legs and waist. If so, fasten less tightly next time. If that doesn't help, your baby is ready for the next size diaper.
Digestion starts immediately after feeding. Muscles inside the stomach wall contract to mix your baby's food with acid and enzymes. They exert pressure on its stomach, pushing gastric content out.
Gravity counters this pressure and keeps the food down. That is why it's important to keep your baby up. Simply hold your baby up against your chest, even after burping. If you find this too tiring, use a wedge pillow for acid reflux. Reflux pillows are specially designed to keep your baby up with a straight back.
Baby bouncers are not ideal. They position your baby in a slumped position because they lack a proper support for the spine. Slumping squeezes your baby's tummy, raises stomach pressure and triggers acid reflux.
Some people find it useful to visit an osteopath to check for abnormalities. This can be helpful in some cases. Osteopaths mobilize your baby's neck in order to improve digestion.
Take your baby for a walk
It's a simple solution that pays off. A sling enables you to 'wear' your baby against your chest. Gravity prevents reflux because the food is pushed down. The gentle movement of walking encourages burping.
Find a sling and go for a walk. Your baby will love it!
Make sure that he/she never needs to sleep completely flat. Instead, make sure your baby's bed is inclined about 30 degrees. You do this by placing bed blocks under the headstock. A baby spends most of his time sleeping, so this is the most important remedy for acid reflux.
If you buy bed blocks, make sure that they have a rubberized base to provide stability and protection for every floor type (wood, carpeted or hard surface). Slipsticks are the best:
Recent recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics are crystal clear:
As you can see, most remedies for acid reflux in babies are simple rules. Follow them, and instead of dealing with a fussy baby, you will get back moments of fun between you and your little one.
IT'S TIME FOR SOME ACTION!