Reflux in baby or to give it its medical term, gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) is the term used when your baby spits up or has a certain amount of baby vomiting.
All my parents worry that when their baby vomits they are beginning to develop reflux in baby. All babies suffer a certain amount of reflux in baby. Some babies do have more severe symptoms that need treating.
If your baby is what we call a sicky baby and not troubled by baby vomiting then please don’t worry.
Please take a look at my baby vomiting page to see what you can do to help with baby vomiting.
Reflux in baby reflux symptoms
- weight loss or poor weight gain
- wanting to feed often as this helps to relieve the burning they feel at the back of the throat
- baby vomiting before, during or after a feed
- waking at night
- bubbles around the mouth
- a lot of swallowing
- baby seems unhappy and may cry for no obvious reason
- baby may have a runny nose and get quite congested
- baby may get upset when laid flat
If you think reflux in baby is the problem then this page is aimed at helping you to understand what it is and what causes it.
What is reflux in baby?
Reflux in baby happens when the milk that your baby has eaten comes back up the oesophagus (food pipe) and is either vomited out by baby or swallowed back down again.
While your baby is feeding their stomach begins to make acids which mix with the milk they have eaten and this starts baby’s digestion.
Problems begin when the milk mixes with these stomach acids and when baby vomits they may burn the food pipe and baby’s throat. This is called acid reflux in baby. If you have ever had adult heartburn then you will know what this feels like.
What is silent reflux?
Silent reflux is when your baby’s tummy makes more acid than normal after nursing. This acid then rises to the back of their throat but is swallowed back down rather than being vomited up.
Signs of silent reflux are:
- bubbles around baby’s mouth
- lots of swallowing
- they may also have a very runny nose
- they may sneeze more than normal
- they will get upset when they lay flat
- when they lie down they may sound gooey or sound as if there is fluid in their nose and throat
What is Baby acid reflux?
Baby acid reflux is the same as silent reflux but baby does sick up the acid. This acid looks like clear liquid and normally happens about an hour after baby has fed.
What causes Reflux in baby
Between your baby’s mouth and stomach he has a food pipe that lets the milk he drinks to go down into his tummy.
This pipe has a muscle at the top of baby’s stomach that should open to let milk into his tummy as he swallows and then close to keep the milk there.
This muscle is still not matured in a new born baby and can let milk flow back up into baby’s mouth. This is what causes all reflux in baby problems.
This muscle will get stronger and grow in time but your baby’s tummy grows at a much faster rate and so this muscle has trouble coping. This is why most baby’s grow out of Reflux in baby by 6 to 12 months.
Reflux in baby
By the time your baby is a year old his reflux should have either gone or be very minimal.
Your baby’s tummy is still very immature and as your baby needs lots of calories to grow he needs to take in a lot of milk and his tummy may struggle to cope with this.
Your new born baby does most of his digesting in his small intestines. His digestive system is very slow and this means the milk he drinks stays in his tummy longer.
This is another reason why reflux in baby is more common in the first year.
Poor winding may be a cause of reflux in baby.
If baby’s tummy is full of air pockets it’s these pockets of air that make the stomach think his tummy is empty and this can cause it to make more acid. Plenty of winding is always good whether your baby has any forms of reflux or not and a well winded baby will settle and sleep much better as they will feel much more content.
If you think your baby is suffering from baby reflux, baby acid reflux or silent reflux then please click here to go to my baby reflux remedies page.
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