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Mom’s Question:

How can I help my baby with acid reflux? My son is only 8 weeks old. He wants to eat all day. He cries a lot and I know I am feeding him plenty. Sometimes 2oz every hr but never more. I don’t know what to do to make him comfortable?


Baby Helpline:

Tips To Help Baby With Acid Reflux & Mitigate the Discomfort

What is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is common in young babies and means that their food backs up (refluxes) from their baby’s stomach, causing the baby to spit up. As I am sure you know, most babies spit up and the reflux is only a problem if it causes pain or so much vomiting that the baby will not thrive. A baby with acid reflux can be in pain due to the stomach fluids traveling upwards.

Most babies grow out of their reflux with any intervention.

Remedies to mitigate reflux in babies

Now, has your son actually been diagnosed with acid reflux? If so, then you should discuss with his doctor whether he should receive medicine for it or only home remedies (which I will get to).

Here are some additional things to consider:
1. Hunger – Being 2 months old and spitting up a lot, his crying might actually at least also be due to hunger. Do you suspect that he is actually hungry? If so, is there any way you can feed him just slightly more or slightly more often?

I know reflex babies can’t eat full bottles, but you need to somehow help him stop being hungry. He is growing incredibly fast, so it isn’t strange if he is hungry. His growth rate will slow down at around 3 months old.

2. Pacifier – You could also try giving him a pacifier. That is a great help for some little fellows with a huge suckling need even when not hungry.

3. Upright position – Keeping him in a more upright position may then help. For example, you can elevate the head end of his bed a bit and also place him in a baby bouncer to vary his position. He is old enough to start enjoying toys placed so that he can see them and try to reach them.

An upright position is also important after feeding, for some 20-30  minutes to mitigate any pain from the food traveling back up.

4. Changed feeding schedule – Try feeding him more often, but less each time.

5. Burp often during the feeding, after every ounce or two

6. Dress him in loose-fitting diapers and clothes over his belly

7. Infant massage – there are great books and resources (possibly a class offered at the pediatrician’s) to show you the best movements to use and the exact locations of the belly, back, and chest. You can read about starting baby massage here too.

8. Adjust YOUR diet – I don’t know if you breastfeed at all, but if you do, you can try eliminating dairy and certain veggies like broccoli for a week and see it if helps.

9. Do breastfeed – Breastfeeding, in general, is good for reflux babies because the milk is digested faster than formula milk.

10. Rice bag – Some doctors also recommend putting a warm rice bag on the baby’s belly if they seem to be in pain.

Consider other reasons for his crying

In addition to being hungry or in pain, his crying may well be something else.

At 2 months of age, crying is a baby’s main way of communicating that they need some kind of change. It can be a new diaper, that they are tired or simply need a snuggle.

The latter, a need to be closer to mom or dad, is very common at this age. The baby has barely adapted to being outside the womb, and they are still usually the most comfortable when in body contact. Try carrying him in a baby carrier or a baby sling.

Studies show that babies that are being carried a lot cry a lot less. (Actually, 75% less crying on average!)

Conclusion

As you can see, there is quite a lot that you can do to help your sad little baby. 2 months is a very exhausting time and it is not easy to interpret their crying and know what to do.

Try different ways to help him!

You should be aware that there is medicine available if his reflux is severe, although usually only given to babies that have so severe acid reflux that they don’t gain weight as they should. But it is still an option that you can discuss with a doctor.

Hope this helps!
Paula

More Babies With Acid Reflux

References

Mayo Clinic: Infant reflux

Moms and dads, share your experiences of acid reflux and your tips to help and a reflux baby feel better! 🙂

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Hi, I just wanted to add a comment.

    My son suffered bad reflux oesph reflux for 2 yrs from 4mths to 2 1/2 yrs old. After so many tests all that had to be done was a simple allergy test to find an underlining allergy to tree nuts and peanuts which was causing him to vomit. He was getting this via my breastmilk and it was causing him to vomit all the time sore tummy, heartburn. Now he’s healthy.

    Also at every sleep/nap time I used a raised wedge in which his body was slightly raised thus allowing the food to stay down in his tummy when placed just lying flat down everything goes up and can cause discomfort for the baby. We continued this for a few years.

  2. Avatar

    Reflux is a very common ailment of newborns and can be very disconcerting to parents.

    My daughter had reflux from six weeks until about 5 months. She was a colicky baby in general but her reflux made her inconsolable at times. I read quite a lot about it in magazines and books when I was going through this.

    We tried keeping her upright after eating but it didn’t make a difference. We saw a very impressive change in her demeanor when we started her on Zantac. You need to have your baby seen by the doctor in order to have this prescribed.

    Also, there are many feeding styles practiced with newborns. For me, I was most comfortable to feed on demand and once my baby’s reflux cooled off she reverted to a more normal eating volume and schedule. If I were in your situation I would continue feeding the baby on demand. But if it is distressing you, you could try feeding higher volumes of food.

    Another thing to consider is whether the formula or breast milk you are giving is affecting the baby. I breast fed and my child would get very fussy if I had had a lot of dairy in my diet. I essentially had to cut out all milk and dairy from my diet while breastfeeding. I also had to stop eating chocolate.

    When I stopped breastfeeding and switched to formula, the only thing that didn’t make her fussy was the soy formulation.

    Some babies with reflux vomit after eating and the recommendation is to continue feeding them on demand to ensure they get the appropriate nutrition.

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