The first night in the hospital after our baby was born, my husband and I were alone with our newborn baby for roughly 30 seconds when we heard him cough, gag, and projectile vomit. To say it scared the dickens out of us is an understatement. Whether we were ready or not, we were now parents of a baby with acid reflux.
Acid 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 acid 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, and other bottles support positive airflow 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 baby’s tummy. Some top-rated bottles for reflux are Dr. Brow’s, Comotomo, and Philips Avent Anti-Colic.
Switching formula types 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 consult your pediatrician before taking that step.
If you’re breastfeeding, cutting out dairy in your diet may be the fix for some of the acid reflux. 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 also recommend 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 a while.
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. 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. Anything to add an incline to the baby’s sleeping arrangement helped prevent any spit-up during bedtime, though this option isn’t 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.
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