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Tips To Treat Infant Reflux

Dec 22, 2007
While more than half of all babies experience infant reflux in their first few months of life, the condition usually resolves itself within 12 to 18 months. Often times reflux symptoms are similar to colic or the average infant fussiness. Here are some basic guidelines to answer the questions, as to how to tell if reflux is the culprit and what you can do.

Babies spit up... a lot. This happens because the lower esophageal sphincter (the valve that closes the throat) isn't fully developed yet and the soft tissue allows for liquid to come back up just as easy as it went down. Generally, as the child ages this will be less of a problem, although it's possible that he or she may have infant reflux.

Aside from being kind of gross, it can be a sign of GERD (a severe version of reflux resulting in awful pain, vomiting and poor weight gain) or Pyloric Stenosis (a rare condition where a narrowed valve prevents stomach contents from emptying properly into the intestines).

You should seek medical advice if your baby resists feeding but seems hungry, isn't gaining weight, has fewer wet diapers than normal and seems lethargic, spits up forcefully, spits up green or brown fluid, or spits up more than a few tablespoons at a time. If your baby sounds hoarse all the time, has diarrhea or difficulty breathing, then definitely ask your doctor about this infection.

While breastfeeding, try to keep your baby in a slightly upright position by holding, using pillows or a feeding product, such as the Pollywog Nursing Positioner. It's also possible you're simply feeding your baby too much at once. Try smaller feedings, which could reduce the incidence of regurgitation.

If you're bottle feeding, you may want to try a different bottle, such as Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Bottles, which are specially designed to reduce air bubbles that trigger burping, ear fluid and infant reflux. There are also other formulas that your baby might digest better.

For babies with merely infant reflux and no milk allergies, Enfamil AR is designed for them. However, if the milk-based formula seems to upset your baby, soy-based, lactose-free or hypoallergenic formulas are available.

In fact, approximately 25% of babies in the US are on soy-based formulas. Isomil and Prosobee are two popular soy-based formulas on the market. Hypoallergenic formulas include: Alimentum, Nutramigen, Pregestimil, Neocate and Elecare.

Don't lay your baby down on his or her back after feeding. Often, babies cry when they're laid on their back after spitting up because the acid burns and causes added discomfort.

Some products are available, such as "the tucker sling/wedge," which is a soft pillow combined with a Velcro strap that allows babies to rest on their stomachs at a slight incline. Similarly, the "Amby Baby Hammock" will encourage babies to sleep in a slightly upright position, instead of laying down in a crib. Another helpful product is a "swaddling blanket," which eases fussiness in babies and can assist babies who develop infant reflux from stress-related agitation.

When all traditional methods fail, medication can treat severe GERD symptoms. Decreased dosages of Zantac, Nexium, Prilosec and Tagamet have been prescribed for infant reflux. In some cases, surgery can tighten the improperly functioning esophageal muscle associated with the reflux.
About the Author
Educate yourself further about infant reflux treatments from Mike Selvon articles portal. Your feedback is valued and appreciated at our acid reflux treatment blog where a free audio gift awaits you.
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