By: Steve Phillips
According to the National Institute of Health, more than half of babies under three months old are diagnosed with infant reflux. In the majority of cases, this condition is not be cause for serious alarm. Infant reflux treatment can often be accomplished at home with changes to diet and feeding routine.
For bottle fed babies, infant reflux may be controlled by thickening the formula or breast milk with a small amount of rice cereal. Add 1 tbsp. per four ounces of formula or breast milk and mix thoroughly. If this mixture is too thick to flow through the nipple, the infant may fuss and parents can confuse this with food refusal. However, if this happens while trying this infant reflex treatment, you should try switching to a different size nipple or enlarge the opening on the nipple slightly by cutting a small X on the tip. Alternatively you may spoon feed the baby.
Another infant reflux treatment some parents have had success with involves slight changes to the feeding routine. Though some infants like to drift off to sleep after a feeding, keeping the baby in an upright position for 30 minutes after a feeding may reduce infant reflux. The general advice is to keep the
baby’s head a minimum of 30% higher than their stomach. Also, babies with reflux should be burped more frequently during feedings. Stop to burp the baby after 2 oz. if bottle fed or if breastfeeding burp before switching breasts. This should also help keep the infant awake for the feeding and make it easier to keep the infant upright after feeding. Lastly, when your baby does nap after feeding, make sure he sleeps on his back.
For many babies with acid reflux, treatment can be accomplished at home with a few simple changes to diet and feeding routine. More serious cases of infant reflux may require immediate medical attention. Signs that your baby’s reflux is severe include: excessive vomiting or projectile vomiting; difficulty breathing after vomiting or spitting up; vomit that is tinged yellow or green,; or, vomit containing spots of blood that may look like coffee grounds.
If an infant does not respond well to the natural treatments for infant reflex detailed in this article, this can be indicated by poor weight gain or by weight loss, excessive crying or irritability, parents may need to consider a medical alternative to natural infant reflux treatment. These alternatives can include over the counter or prescribed medications or in severe cases feeding tubes.