If your baby is spitting up or crying after feeding, it could be a sign that they have reflux. Although common in infants, it can still be concerning for parents. Reflux is a condition where stomach contents—including food, milk, or saliva—are brought back up from the stomach into the esophagus. Let’s look at what you need to know about reflux in babies and how to help them feel better.
The Symptoms of Reflux in Babies
The most common symptom of reflux in babies is spitting up food shortly after eating. Other symptoms may include frequent burping, vomiting, coughing, irritability during or after feeds, arching their back while eating (as though they are uncomfortable), and refusing to eat altogether.
Some babies may also experience abdominal pain due to gas buildup within their stomachs. It’s important to note that these symptoms can vary from baby to baby; some may exhibit all of the above signs while others may only show one or two.
How Can I Help My Baby?
If you suspect that your baby has reflux, it’s important to talk to your pediatrician about any concerns you have as soon as possible so that they can provide further guidance for treatment options. Depending on the severity of the case.
There are several ways that parents can help their babies manage reflux symptoms:
keep baby upright for at least 30 minutes after feedings; use smaller feedings more frequently; thicken formula with rice cereal if prescribed by your doctor; hold off solid foods until 6 months old; and consult with a lactation specialist if breastfeeding (there are certain breastmilk positions that can help reduce reflux).
Reflux in infants is very common but can still be concerning for parents who notice their baby exhibiting unusual behavior during and after meals. Knowing what signs and symptoms to look out for is key when determining whether your child has this condition so that you can take action right away and make sure they get the help they need. Fortunately, there are several things you can do as a parent to reduce your child’s discomfort such as changing their diet and making positional changes just before or during feedings.