Baby spit up happens. Depending on the severity, it can be an inconvenience or one of the hardest trials you face as a new parent.
For example, it’s an inconvenience when your baby spits up on your new outfit and you don’t have a burp cloth nearby. It’s a bigger problem when you feel you can’t leave your home because of your child’s incessant crying and discomfort.
When baby spit up occurs frequently and leads to weight loss or difficulty feeding, it is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (also called acid reflux).
Acid reflux in babies is more common than you think. A medical professional can usually diagnose your child with GERD upon hearing your child’s history and eating patterns. Sometimes testing is required.
Why does my baby have acid reflux?
According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, a child’s immature digestive system is usually to blame.
The sphincter between your baby’s stomach and esophagus opens at the wrong time allowing food and milk to come back up.
Unfortunately, there also is an inherited component to acid reflux. If your family has a history of acid reflux, the chances are more likely that your baby will be affected.
Foods to avoid
The good news is that most infants grow out infant reflux by their first birthday. But that may not make the months of spit up pass any quicker.
Breastfed babies generally have less severe symptoms of acid reflux, but, as a mom, you should try to avoid these common foods that may trigger acid reflux in babies:
- Brussel Sprouts
Treating acid reflux in babies at home
Caring for your baby with reflux can be exhausting. You could be dealing with all or some of the following—frequent night wakings, excessive crying, spitting up, vomiting, slow weight gain, respiratory problems, and feeding difficulties.
Babies don’t come with a manual, which is why we look to the experts for advice when treating our children. Here are some lifestyle changes you can try to incorporate to improve your baby’s acid reflux:
- Elevate your baby’s head.
- Keep your baby upright for 30 minutes after eating.
- Try feeding your baby smaller amounts of food more frequently rather than one large feeding.
- If your baby is older than six months, the introduction of solid foods may help.
If your baby’s acid reflux doesn’t improve and becomes severe, seek the advice of your child’s pediatrician.