Most babies with reflux have no symptoms other than spitting up often. As long as your baby is growing well and has no other reflux symptoms, he or she won’t need treatment. Call your child’s healthcare provider if your child vomits after every feeding or has new reflux symptoms. Babies with reflux who vomit often may not gain weight and grow normally.
I start with safe interventions that might help. Positioning the baby on their stomach at about a 30 degree angle is the least pressure on the stomach and does decrease reflux. We don’t let them go to sleep like that though because sleeping on their back is safest to prevent SIDS.
What is gastroesophageal reflux in children?
pH monitoring, which involves placing a small catheter through the nose and into the throat and esophagus; here, sensors detect acid, and a small computer worn at the waist records findings during a 24-hour period. Newer pH probes placed in the back of your throat or capsules placed higher up in the esophagus may be used to better identify reflux. Visit our Acid Reflux / GERD category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Acid Reflux / GERD. Reflux is common in children up to the age of 1 year, and only those who have difficulty feeding or breathing require treatment.
Snoring, cough, difficulty swallowing and sudden tightening of muscles around the windpipe may result from acid reflux affecting the throat and voice box. Crying after every few swallows during feeding may be seen in cases of esophagitis. In severe cases, discomfort caused by GERD can lead to feeding refusal, irritability, poor weight gain and anorexia. Choking – i.e. gagging – during feedings can be a sign of newborn acid reflux or GERD, since some of the contents of the stomach back up into the esophagus.
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Here’s how to tell if your baby is silently suffering-and how to make her feel better. If treatment is needed, your child’s pediatrician may recommend GERD medications, such as H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors, to help reduce the amount of acid made by the stomach. Give your baby a smaller volume of food, but more frequently. For example, if you’re feeding your baby 4 ounces of formula or breast milk every four hours, trying offering 2 ounces every two hours.
- They also have the downside of tachyphylaxis, where a drug loses effectiveness over time, in this case allowing acid production to rebound.
- Limit their time spent in things that make them uncomfortable (like the infant seat) and use seats or bouncers that position then comfortably.
- If it comes out of their mouth it is spitting or vomiting.
- Our pharmaceutical interventions carry significant risk with little evidence of benefit for most patients, and the combination of stress and a general lack of understanding of the pathophysiology of reflux leads to many parents seeking alternative treatments.
- This is gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.
Regurgitation and vomiting are the most common symptoms of infant reflux. A thorough history and physical examination with attention to warning signals suggesting other causes is generally sufficient to establish a clinical diagnosis of uncomplicated infant GER. Choking, gagging, coughing with feedings or significant irritability can be warning signs for GERD or other diagnoses.
How many times each day that a baby regurgitates, and the degree of fussiness during or between those episodes, is no different. Few parents are going to keep a detailed reflux diary.
It allows the “refluxing” of the contents back into the esophagus. This was a controlled study of infant GERD symptoms and may not be representative of a National average.
How to treat silent reflux
Only occasionally can reflux continue until adulthood. Talk to your doctor. When those other tactics don’t work, some medications can help reduce or neutralize stomach acids or make digestion more efficient (like Prevacid or Zantac) safely in babies. Just keep in mind that they can occasionally cause side effects and should only be used with a doctor’s supervision in babies with GERD, not in babies with ordinary GER. You can also talk to your doctor about giving your child probiotics, which are available as drops for infants who are breastfeeding or in powder that can be mixed into baby’s bottle.
A consultation with a pediatric GI specialist (gastroenterologist) may be necessary. GER and GERD in infants and children are caused by immature neurologic and gastrointestinal systems. In both GER and GERD, the stomach contents area expelled from the stomach into the esophagus through the opened gastroesophogeal junction.