6 Changes to Help to Alleviate Baby’s Reflux
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Hannah Southerland is a young mom of two little boys and a wife to one handsome man. She loves helping women in their marriages and motherhood and feels like community is the best way to make it through this crazy thing called life. She is the lover of all things coffee and chocolate. On the weekends you could find her snuggled on the couch watching “Fixer Upper,” or spending time with her family playing the very dramatic game of “Pictionary.”
My husband, newborn baby, and I were roughly 30 seconds into our first night alone together in the hospital when I heard my baby cough, gag, and projectile vomit. Whether we were ready or not we were now parents of a baby with reflux.
Reflux is a medical condition where the muscle at the top of the stomach doesn’t work well enough to stop the contents of the stomach from rising up the esophagus, which can result in vomiting. Acid reflux is common in babies, and as long as your baby is happy, content and gaining weight it isn’t a serious concern. However, you may notice your baby has more severe symptoms and learning how to cope with a diagnosis of “reflux” may seem overwhelming. Don’t worry–here are some practical changes to try when dealing with a baby with acid reflux.
Some moms that are dealing with reflux in their babies swear by a specific type of bottle. The bottles you want to look for need to have the best system for minimal air bubbles. Some bottles have a built in vent system, other bottles support positive air flow because of their angled design, other parents use the drop in bags so they can be sure of the amount of air getting into their babies tummy. Some top rated bottles for reflux are Dr. Brow’s, Comotomo, and Philips Avent Anti-Colic.
Switching formula type can help tremendously. We went from a more generic brand of formula, to an allergy specific brand–hellooo incredible price jump–but it seemed to help. Some fellow moms have told me that their doctor recommended adding some rice cereal to the bottle to help it thicken up, and hopefully reduce spit up, but definitely consult your pediatrician before taking that step.
If you’re breastfeeding, cutting out dairy in your diet may be the fix. You can also try reducing spicy and gas-inducing foods (think veggies like broccoli and cauliflower).
Feeding in a more upright position helps the food settle. If breastfeeding, a suggested hold is having baby face the breast while straddling your leg, or to stand up while feeding in a modified twin-style hold.
Burping the baby often, possibly after every ounce is essential in getting all gas bubbles out. From personal experience with a constant puker I would recommend also using heavy duty burp cloths. Cute little rags from a trendy boutique may end up ruined and completely drenched in one feeding so we opted for heavy duty, thick hand towels. Stock up on stain remover, towels, and don’t plan on wearing anything nice for awhile.
Try to feed after baby wakes instead of feeding them to sleep. Allowing your baby time to stay upright for as long as possible after feedings will help. Also, changing diapers after waking up, but before eating, will negate the need to lie your baby down to change after eating.
Lots of moms suggest adding a wedge under the crib mattress for a slight incline in the bed, or using a Rock-n-Play. Anything to add an incline to the baby’s sleeping arrangement helped prevent any spit up during bed time, though neither of these options are pediatrician recommended.
Be sure to check with your doctor before giving any medications to your baby, or switching up their formula. More than likely your baby will eventually grow out of this but for the time being these options will hopefully help you along the smelly journey of acid reflux.