Gastroesophageal reflux disease—or GERD—is common among millions of American adults. But did you know that infants can also develop GERD? If your baby has been diagnosed with GERD or acid reflux, you’re likely looking for home remedies, as well as diet and lifestyle changes you can make to alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms of GERD in your baby. Here are five tips for dealing with baby GERD.
Breastfeeding may help alleviate symptoms of baby GERD as breastmilk is digested more quickly and easily than formula. If you can’t breastfeed, speak with your doctor about the best formula options for a baby with reflux. Breastfed babies may also benefit from the mother making healthy changes in her own diet. Talk to your doctor about foods you can remove from your diet to alleviate your baby’s GERD symptoms.
Thicken Their Meal
Sometimes adding a little rice cereal to breast milk or formula makes it easier for your baby to digest and also keeps your baby from eating too fast, which can worsen reflux. There are formula options available that already have the rice added for convenience.
Prop Them Up
Laying your baby down directly after a meal can exacerbate his or her reflux, so it’s best to prop your baby up or sit them upright after a meal to ease some of the discomfort caused by reflux. It may also help to burp your baby more often after feedings.
Feed Less More Often
Giving smaller, but more frequent feedings is easier on your baby’s stomach. Your baby may become fussy without his or her full feeding, but allow some time to adjust—eventually your baby will modify to the new schedule. A stomach with less food in it puts less pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), or the muscle that prevents stomach acid from rising back into the esophagus. You can also add other foods into their diet that will alleviate their GERD.
Best foods to eat with GERD for babies:
· Rice cereal
Note: Avoid acidic fruits and vegetables, which can trigger acid reflux.
Avoid Post-Meal Play
A fed baby is a happy baby, and what do you want to do with a happy baby if not play? Unfortunately diving right into playtime after a meal can increase the likelihood that your baby’s reflux will be triggered. Instead, wait 20-30 minutes after feeding to engage in play.
Baby GERD Treatment
If diet and lifestyle changes still don’t help your baby’s GERD symptoms, it may be time to speak with your doctor about additional treatment options, such as medications or even surgery.
Call the specialists at the Tampa Bay Reflux center today and speak with them about how you can work to lessen the discomfort to your baby from their GERD.