Introducing solid foods to your baby can seem like a daunting challenge, but with some helpful guidance this task will be a lot easier—especially for those babies that struggle with infant reflux or Infant Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (Pediatric GERD).
Currently, medical research indicates that roughly fifty percent of babies are born with some degree of infant reflux. Sadly, in many cases infant reflux is misdiagnosed as colic and as a result many months may pass without the simple diet modifications that will make your baby healthier and more comfortable.
Below are the symptoms of infant reflux that you should be aware of:
- frequent crying
- vomiting or spitting up
- arching of the back or neck during or after feeds
- frequent ear infections
- inability to sleep or frequent waking
- frequent hiccups
A vast majority of children will grow out of infant reflux around age two. In fact a lot of parents and professionals notice positive changes when solid foods are finally introduced.
What Solid Foods are Good for Babies with Infant Reflux?
Having a comprehensive list of the solid foods that babies with reflux tolerate well would be a wonderful tool to have—unfortunately the reality is that every baby is different. How one baby reacts to certain foods will be different than another. But there are mainstay solid foods that can help infant reflux.
With your doctor’s permission, you can try introducing oatmeal instead of rice cereal or even pureed vegetables. For some babies with reflux, rice cereal contributes to excessive gas and even constipation.
On the fruit side, avocados, pears, and bananas tend to be good first foods for babies with reflux. All aid in digestion, are low in acidity, and provide great nutrients.
In ordinary cases, doctors recommend starting a baby on solid foods around six months of age. The pattern generally is as follows, first cereal, then vegetable, and lastly fruit.
However, in the case of infant reflux a growing number of medical professionals recommend using cereal to thicken the formula or breastmilk before they are six months old to help keep down the milk.
While there is not a large amount of medical data that backs up the assertion that this method works, a number of doctors prefer parents try this trick before prescribing medication.
What Foods Make Infant Reflux Worse?
Many parents have found that when introducing solid foods to their baby with infant reflux that some fruits and juices like oranges, apples, and tomatoes make the reflux worse.
Let’s take a look at a list of foods that increases the amount of burping and therefore may worsen an infant’s reflux.
- Brussel sprouts
The above foods only increase the amount of burping, and may make reflux worse, but the foods below are common triggers of reflux flares and should be avoided when you have a baby with infant reflux:
- whole milk
- high fat foods
- carbonated drinks
- creamed vegetables
This is a common list of foods known to trigger reflux flares, but your baby may be triggered by something else. Pay attention to your baby’s diet and how they respond to it especially if your baby has infant reflux.
Is your baby struggling with reflux? What have you tried to find success in soothing your baby’s reflux symptoms? Tell us in the comments!