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Tips for Managing Infant Reflux

These tips are written by the parents of babies with infant reflux, based on their own experiences. They may be helpfult but are not meant to replace medical advice. Different techniques work for different refluxers so trial and error is needed to identify any that may work for you.

Use gravity to fight infant reflux. Feed your baby in an upright position keeping their body straight with the head higher than the stomach. Keep your baby upright for at least thirty minutes after feeding.

Try feeding smaller amounts slightly more frequently so there is less food to reflux. Avoid overfeeding. If your baby vomits wait until the next feeding rather than feeding them again. Check with a healthcare professional about appropriate intake.

Consider offering a spoonful of thickened milk (formula or breastmilk) following the feed.

If breastfeeding, avoid foods that can aggravate reflux such as tomato, fatty foods, citrus, spicy foods, chocolate and carbonated drinks.

If the baby is bottle-fed, it may be worthwhile trying AR (anti-reflux) formula, or a hypoallergenic one.

Burp your baby frequently during feeds.

Food allergies may also cause infant reflux. The most common culprits are cow’s milk and soy proteins in formulas. Foods in mother’s diet can also affect breastfeeding babies. Cow’s milk is the most common cause of this, but other foods such as soy, egg, and peanuts could also be a problem. Try to feed the baby without these exposures to see if this solves the reflux problem before trying any medication If you suspect foods may be responsible for your child’s condition.

Consider using a pacifier. Sucking a pacifier increases saliva production - the swallowing action may help reduce infant reflux and saliva helps neutralize acid when it comes up from the stomach.

Leave a TV or radio or a 'white noise' CD on for background noise so that the baby is not easily startled by loud noises.

Use products to help keep baby upright or help calm them, such as an automatic baby swing, bouncer and/or baby hammock. Be careful no to let them fall asleep unsupervised in these devices as they are not designed as sleeping products.

The best time to lay your baby on the floor is when baby’s tummy is empty, i.e. before a feed

Change diapers before a feed and try to avoid lifting your baby's legs while changing try rolling the baby to the side instead.

Avoid tight clothing around the waist, such as tight diapers or elastic waistbands. As little pressure on the tummy as possible helps

Avoid exposure to tobacco smoke. Good advice even at the best of times, but infant reflux can be aggravated by smoke,

Put your answering machine on or take the phone off the hook when you get a chance to rest. Invest in a portable phone if possible - it is handy to keep beside you during baby feeding times.

Contact a reflux support organisation for further information and support. These groups can provide more detailed information, and offer the emotional support you may need.

Tips for Managing Infant Reflux References

By Mortin - Copyright 2009
Last modification 31/12/2009