34 answers

GERD (Reflux)

My daughter is a poor eater and frequently refuses the bottle (screaming) all together even after several hours of not eating, including many mornings after sleeping through the night for 8 hours. She's still gaining weight, but she was small to start with and now feeding is so stressful for both of us. After all of the reading I've done, I hypothesize that she has GERD (reflux) and I've been researching medications . Have any of you found a great prescription or over-the-counter medication to help with this?

What can I do next?

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My son had acid reflux when he was little stemming from swallowing placenta at birth. The poor littl guy spit up and had collick for the first three months. He was prescribed Zantac at that early age because the over the counter stuff doesn't work well. My doc said that the Myconsol (sp?) was just like giving him water. It did seem to help him, but he is still a very picky eater. He is five now, so it's a distant memory. :D Good luck!

Do you use a Dr. Brown's (I think it is the name) bottle that helps with reflux? I have an extra one that I don't use...which I could send it to ya. If you want it, I can do that my email is ____@____.com Put "bottle" in the subject line. I never have used it...so who knows if it will help or not. Good luck to you!

XanGo has helped numerous people with GERD. Stay away from meds, too many bad side effects for such a young one.

D. B

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Try Gripe Water. Made by Wellements or Baby's Bliss. That worked better than the prescription the doctor gave my daughter. You can get it at Fred Myer in the natural remedies section.

My son has reflux - it's not about poor eating, reflux is throwing up after EVERY feeding, crying after eating and when laying down flat on his back. She's too young for over the counter meds - take her to your doctor.

Go see your Doctor!! My infant had GURD being an infant ICU RN I recognized the symptoms and sought professional help right away. GURD is not only painful for your child, but potentially can cause damage to the lining of her esophagus. Yes there are over the counter treatments for GURD for adults but the children's meds are based on weight, generally come in liquid form and are all prepared by a pharmacist. If you can find a compounding pharmacy, they can even be put in a tasty syrup. My daughter was fond of banana! My daughter was initially on zantac, and then switched to prilosec, because the zantac didn't block the acid sufficiently. One thing to bear in mind, the meds only treat the acid component. My daughter continued to vomit frequently until she was able to sit up independently at 9 months. The meds just make sure she was not in discomfort while refluxing. We did a heck of alot of laundry in those months, for her and me. Anyway, for her sake I urge you to get some professional help. yes she will outgrow it eventually, but she will suffer with acidy discomfort until then, eventually she may become adverse to feeding as she associated it with pain. AS for pro-biotics, and the "natural approach" they may help with encouraging good bacteria in your digestive system, But GURD is a result of ANATOMICAL factors which will not be helped by bacteria, only time and development will "cure" it. pro-biotics will not block the acid (nor the pain associated with that) But don't try and diagnose it yourself from reading boards or books. Message boards and advise from helpful strangers who haven't met or examined your child, or taken a careful history from you CAN NOT replace a Doctor's knowledge and prescribing ability.

It's odd that she sleeps fine all night and then wakes up screaming. Most often, GERD is worse at night simply because of gravity allowing a backflow of acid into the esophegous (sp?). But hey, every body is different.

I don't think you'll want to experiment with OTC meds on such a young baby. The reason is they are sized for adults, not children. My son is on prescription Zantac in a liquid form. You can go through a compounding pharmacy and get the alcohol-free kind. Cost is $25 per month (insurance doesn't cover compounding in our case). Really, it's just as cheap as any OTC price. Prevacid is twice that amount, but again, you need a prescription.

Both of my children had GERD as infants although my daughters was worse than my sons. The pediatrician treated both of them with liquid Zantac and it worked wonderfully for both of them. My daughter took it for about 18 months and my son took it for about a year. Both of them were preemies and it was surmised that their little stomachs and esophagus (sp) were slightly underdeveloped and just needed time to catch up. I would make sure that you have her checked for pyloric stenosis just in case that is the problem. You also may need to look into changing her formula in case she is having problems with milk proteins and/or sugars. Hopefully you will be able to fix this quickly and not have to watch her suffer any longer. Good luck!

Hi, I just read your post and thought I would reply. I don't have the names of prescription medications, but I was talking to a nurse that said in her experience prescription medication has helped babies (and their parent's) with GERD tremendously.

Have you tried an AMBY baby motion bed? (www.ambybaby.com). They are supposed to work wonders for babies with reflux and/or colic! My daughter is 6 weeks and she doesn't have either, but she absolutely loves it. If your baby has trouble sleeping due to GERD you should check out the site.

The beds are a little spendy, but I got mine (almost brand new) on Craigslist for less than half.

Good luck to you both,


J. -

My 12 week old has GERD and we diagnosed it at 3 weeks. We have had him taking PREVACID Solutab and it has made a world of difference! He is so much happier. It taste like a sugar tab so the kids don't mind taking it. He actually smiles when I give it to him. My doctor was more than willing to give it a try when we asked her about it. She had given him Zantac liquid and he wouldn't take it - it tasted so bad. She was thrilled when someone else recommended this to me as it has worked wonders.

Good luck!

I understand your pain. My daughter was born small. She was
6 pounds at birth. Within a few weeks of breastfeeding it was clear she was having problems with the lactose in my milk. We switched her over to lactose free formula which helped only to discover she had colic till she was 5 months. After the colic ended she tended to spit up a lot some nights and complain if she was on her back so again we went to the doctor and they determined she had acid reflux so because she was only 7 months old at the time we got a perscription to a liquid medicine called Cimetidine and she can have up to 2ml every 6 hours.It's a liquid antacid. I give her a dose in the morning and once in her night time bottle and it helps a lot.
Another thing I noticed is when they have the acid reflux they get gassy so I give her a dose of the gas drops before bed and she sleeps soundly and openly accepts her bottle with out problems. I hope this helps. Good luck!

Do you use a Dr. Brown's (I think it is the name) bottle that helps with reflux? I have an extra one that I don't use...which I could send it to ya. If you want it, I can do that my email is ____@____.com Put "bottle" in the subject line. I never have used it...so who knows if it will help or not. Good luck to you!

Morning, Your daughter at 3.5 months old, has colick. An old fashioned illness that some babies get. She will probably be fine in just a few months. Do not try to medicate her yourself, please. Take her to the doctor.

Colick is a gaseous condition, that some babies get, when you are done feeding her, lay her on your lap on her stomach, it will help dispell some of the gas.

If she is terribly fussy, you might want to take her to the doctor, but again please don't medicate her yourself, as you might hurt her or worse.

I am the mom of 2 adult children...so been there. T.

Hi J., My son is now 13 months old and we discovered he had GERD when he was about 3 months old. He was almost 7 weeks premature, so I guess it is pretty common for premies. My son has been on omeprazole (prilosec) since he was about 3 months old and it works great. We tired several different medications including zantac, and the omeprazole is the one that worked the best for him. For babies you can only get it at a compound pharmacy, but I am sure your DR will know where one is closest to you. Also it is a bit pricey, around $50 a month, but worth every penny if it gets rid of your babies pain!!! We have tried a few times to take our son off of it, but at 13 months he still has the reflux. Once our son was put on the medication the stress of eating was gone for all of us!! I sypathize with your frustration, I have been there!!! Hang in there, it will get better!!!

Your story sound very much like ours. My daughter had reflux (she might still at 13 months) and her doctor put her first on Zantac. It tasted terrible and she screamed when we squirted it in her mouth. We then switched to Prilosec(suspension) and she took to it much better. We mixed the med with a few cc's formula or breast milk to hide the saltiness of the medicine and she drank it down. You have to get this medicine from a compounding pharmacy. They literally grind up the pills and mix it with liquid so that your teeny tiny can drink it.

As for the stress part of feeding, she can probably sense your stress and it could be part of her reaction. It's a vicious cycle: she doesn't eat and you get stressed. You try to feed her already stressed and she refuses. You get more stressed, she gets more pissed. Etc, etc, etc. If she's big enough (our daughter was 12 lbs when we did this - much bigger than her 4 lb premie birth weight) back off and offer her bottle once when she tells you she's hungry. If she refuses, don't offer again until she's ademant. She'll drink when she's hungry. Before you know it she'll be downing her milk as she should.

My heart goes out to you. I know how absolutely terribly frustrating and sad it can be when such a basic thing as feeding your baby isn't enjoyable.

Hi J.!

I was down this road with my almost one year old daughter. Colic IS different from reflux (although medical thought is now maybe reflux may be most of colic). Anyway, they have different symptoms and treatment. So my first advice is to check with your doc. They will look at symptoms, which for colic is periods at certain times a day of screaming/crying with difficulty to console.

Reflux, on the other hand, is present pretty much all day. ALL babies get some kind of reflux, due to their esophageal sphincter being yet fully functional. It's the severity of symptoms caused by the reflux that the pediatrician will assess. We went to our pediatrician then were referred to Mary Bridge GI as she wasn't sleeping more than 1-2 hours around the clock, not eating, crying all the time, arching her back, irritable; given the severity of her symptoms we choose to try medications. We tried other non-medication options: small meals, rice cereal in bottles, wedges, etc with no sucess.

We then tried medications. We tried Zantac, which is an H2 blocker exactly the same as Pepcid and Tagamet. She had about 30% reduction in her symptoms so we tried Prilosec (a proton pump inhibitor) and the difference was amazing. She was a whole different child. We used it for 4 months, as usually they grow out of reflux over time as the sphincter matures. It does have to be compounded, but there are pharmacies that do that in town.

This may or may not the answer for your child, but their doc can help you!


I can sympathize with the stress of feeding. I would say go to the doc and have it confirmed. My son is now almost 8 months but for the first two he screamed. I would nurse for about 2-5 min and spend the next 1-2 hours trying to calm him down. The cycle would start all over about every 2 hours. At his 2 month check up I was expalaining to the doc about his "fussiness" and she asked me to show her. I nursed him and he instantly started screaming she said he was not fussy but had acid reflux and he was in pain. I felt horrible. She ordered AXID. It was the cure. The same day I started him on it he started to eat so much better w/o pain. I was worried about dependency on this med and the doc explained that the dose never changes, they don't up it as he gets bigger. His body will naturally take over and the med will no longer be needed in about a year. I was so greatful for the Axid Solution. He is given .6ml in a dropper twice a day. Check it out with your little girls doc ASAP!!
I hope that this helps.
Best of luck and congrats on your new little one.
It tastes like bubble gum. My son loves it!!!

XanGo has helped numerous people with GERD. Stay away from meds, too many bad side effects for such a young one.

D. B

I am so sorry you and your daughter are going through this. GERD does seem like the most likely cause, but be sure to get a prescription from your doctor. I wouldn't do an over the counter medicication for a baby so young. That hazelwood necklace thing sound interesting too - no need for a prescription for that one! Good luck!

Don't beat yourself up too soon. If she is adopted get her a complete physical if you haven't already and if the doctor thinks she is fine, than 10 to 1 she is okay and you will just have to see it through. Iive it till she is four months. Keep a diary of the simtoms just in case. It could be a form of colic or maybe the formula is to hard on her little tummy try a few things, take notes and just wait. -Washington

Good Morning! I'm so sorry you are going through this. I so remember the pain I felt for my baby girl when she was going through similar difficulties & I did not know what it was. We even had her tummy exrayed to find out what was going on. A friend of mine had tried some probiotics with her daughter that was similiar. She gave me a powder form probiotic that tastes good & yet is easy to give. I started giving it to my daughter Stephanie at age 2 weeks, we were so desperate to help her feel better. It's so easy, just get your pinkie wet, stick it in the powder & put in her mouth. My daughter did much better within 2 hours & within 1 day her relief was apparent. She began sleeping better, eating better, crying significantly less. I to this day get the probiotcs through a website, you can look it up at https://www.advocare.com/00121544/Store/ItemDetail.aspx?i... . I also keep it on hand for my children as well as my friends. Please feel free to call ###-###-#### with any questions. I am all about treating my children in natural ways & not with unnecessary prescriptions. I'm so thankful my friend shared this product with me & I would love to share it with you. M. :)

Unless you are a healthcare provider, you probably should get a professional opinion before you start her on medications...
True GERD is an unusual diagnosis in a young infant.

There are no over the counter meds for pediatric GERD, that I know of. Ranitidine is usual first line of treatment, but you need a prescription to get the correct weight-based dose.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

My daughter is on rantadine (i think thas how it is spelled) I has worked wonders. it is a script so all the more reason to make an appt.

My son had acid reflux when he was little stemming from swallowing placenta at birth. The poor littl guy spit up and had collick for the first three months. He was prescribed Zantac at that early age because the over the counter stuff doesn't work well. My doc said that the Myconsol (sp?) was just like giving him water. It did seem to help him, but he is still a very picky eater. He is five now, so it's a distant memory. :D Good luck!

Our son hated eating as well. This lasted until he was nearly 5 months old. He's 9 months old now, and since he's been eating more and more solid foods, he's been taking his bottle much better. We decided not to medicate after consulting with our doctor, since our baby was also doing just fine gaining weight and didn't actually spit up much after eating. To get through the tough times, I figured out a way to hold him where he would at least eat 2 to 3 ounces at a time without throwing a fit. I call it the "baby goat" position - much like those nature shows where the baby goat or deer tips his head up and drinks the bottle from his caregivers while standing. I hold the baby facing me on my left side so he is in a nearly standing, lengthwise position -- not reclining or laying down at all. The baby's head is just a little bit below mine and the bottle then is tipped up near my face. This is easier with the shorter bottles, but the larger bottles get a little tricky. It sounds really odd, but to this day, he still eats this way and now gets a little excited and happy when he sees his bottle. His legs are getting a little too long for the original "goat" so we're modifying as we go, almost more of a neal now. It works best if you can be on a couch or put your legs up for a little support. I think this worked for our son because he didn't have to be reclined at all and thus the reflux was a little less intense.

Both of my boys were diagnosed with GERD as babies, my oldest at about 2mo old and my youngest at about a week. The ped said and I knew he had it from birth but didn't want to medicate him until we knew it wasn't just his system adjusting. Benjamin has since out grown it but he was on Zantac and Jonathan had it so bad he sees a gastroenterologist and is on Zantac but as an infant was also on Reglan as well. Talk to your ped. and see what they recommend.

Hi J.,
My daughter Olivia, who is now 5 months old, also has reflux. At 6 weeks she stopped breathing, which doctors think was due to the formula being stuck in her airway, and spent some time at Doernbecher's. Since then she has been on reflux medication. She first tried Zantac, which worked but as she gained weight she needed higher and higher doses, so our doctor recently switched her to Prilosec. Although it's hard to get down her because of the horrible taste, we have noticed a difference. Our doctor said that eventually babies with reflux will stop eating completely because of the pain and discomfort, so I would encourage you to get it checked out right away. If you happen to find anything that works better I would love to hear back!
Good luck!!

I just recently discovered a natural remedy that has really helped with my 5 month old daughter's reflux & eczema.

She was covered in red splotches so the doctor said to slather on the petroleum jelly, but that ultimately, there was nothing that could really be done! A friend of mine told me about hazelwood necklaces and ointments that had dramaticaly helped her son’s reflux (she was able to take him off Zantac within 2 weeks of him wearing it).

Apparently, the hazelwood (wood from a hazelnut tree) has the property of absorbing excess acid(which is the root cause of many problems including reflux & eczema) in your body when the wood is against your skin.

I was really skeptical but I decided to buy a necklace and give it a try. Within 2 weeks, my daughter's eczema was all but gone. She also doesn’t spit up nearly as much anymore (she used to spit up so much that we had to have a pocket bib to catch it all) All she has left are a few dry spots, but nothing like before! I have been so amazed by this product that I decided to make them available to other moms here since they are not commonly available in the US (these necklaces come from Canada) and could help so many people!

I know it's hard to believe that wearing a necklace could help so much, but when you're facing the potential of harsh meds, it's definitely worth a try, especially since they are inexpensive!
I can't tell you how thrilled I am to see my baby daughter's skin soft and smooth and not all blotchy and red...there are no words!

If you’re interested, check out www.hazelaid.com

I really hope this is as helpful for you as it was for me.

S. (mom to Kate 3 ½, Ben 22 months, Emma 5 months)

You really need to take your little one to a naturopath. I'd recommend Dr. Molly O'Neill, she's really good with kids. Good luck!
Dr. Molly O'Neill: ###-###-####

I had a baby in my daycare that had this same problem, of course this was 30 years ago and they didn't call it gerd. The mother decided at 3 months that she would switch to formula, and it was a few days into it and he started throwing up everything, and I mean it was bad.
Turns out the baby was allergic to something in the baby formula and breast milk was the only thing he could be given. It stopped immediately.
I think I would totally try breast milk to feed the baby before any medicine.
I think there are too many things we give our children that they don't need as far as medicine goes.

Just a thought!

My son has reflux- he's called a happy spitter bc he doesn't cry much but sleeps only 10 hours in 24. My MD put him on Prevacid and now we are trying a probiotics which is really supposed to help. If you can get the book. Colic solved by Bryan Vartabedian MD it is all about Reflux and is amazing. It was our little guy to the tea. We have tried everything, the drops, the gripe water, elevating his and bed holding him for hours he is now 4 months. I would ask your Pedi about the probiotics since they are a natural approach. Good luck hopefully he is like most babys and will get better with time
PS have you tried holding her, sitting on a therapy ball bouncing. My son loves it.

My sister had this with both her boys. Think heart burn for little ones, except they grow out of it. Definitely treat it because otherwise it may lead to later problems. She got a prescription for something like zantac (in baby form). I would really question dosage or effectiveness for over-the-counter for that age, so talk to your dr.

Before you start researching medications that usually have some sort of adverse reaction, try a soy based formula. My daughter did the same thing untill my doctor suggested soy. A lot of children have uncomman symptoms to food alergies, including ADHD. Annie

My doctor put my twins on a liquid version of prevacid (sp) it is helping a lot

HI J., my daughter is 7 months old and has had really
bad reflux since she was born, the doctors put her on zantac and regaln and they seem to help a ton. We just now weended her off of them. But they if your doctor can prescrip that, it works!! Good Luck!!


GERD is an all to familiar diagnosis in my home. My baby girl was diagnosed with GERD and Failure to Thrive (terrible title for a child who doesn't gain weight, stops growing etc..) due to GERD. It's affected her health and developement tremendously. Signs of severe GERD: Projectile type vomiting at all meals, several episodes of vomiting daily (without signs of fever or other illness), increased swallowing, sneezing (severe sx can reflux into ears and nose), coughing/choking (very dangerous, they may aspirate into their lungs),arching their back to relieve discomfort (my daughter for the first several months of life would just look at the world upside down, cute until we learned why, poor baby!), then the I'm in pain cry or colic type cry (Abby had silent GERD, no crying), last but not least, hiccoughs. An unusual symptom that can be related to GERD: torticolis of one side of the neck (their head will tilt to one side), tilting their head when they eat. My little Abby had all the above symptoms except the crying. Our pediatrician didn't recognize the symptoms right away, she sent us to a specialist about another issue and our specialist recognized and diagnosed her. As a result she was sent through some testing (blood work, swallow study etc...) We were sent to a pediatric GI specialist and she was placed on meds. We had to try a few different meds before finding one the worked for her. Even with the medication we did end up having to have a feeding tube placed in her belly to catch her up calorie wise. We also use Gripe water, recommended to us by our lactation specialist but just more recently tried and it too has seemed to help. She's a different kiddo these days at almost 2 years old. With all that said, I just can't stress enough that you speak with your pediatrician and have your little one examined to rule out anything else that could be a cause of her symptoms. As I understand it most kiddos grow out of GERD by the age of 2 or even sooner. Your little one doesn't, from your description, sound like an Abby and Thank Goodness for that!! Also a little note for you GERD and Colic symptoms are very stressful for all involved, it's normal to feel stressed and to feel guilty. Remember to take time for yourself, relax and breathe.
All My Best,

When my daughter was small and colicky, my midwives told me that baby's digestive systems sometimes take a while to adjust to the world of food, even what is in breastmilk and formula. Figuring out what your baby is reacting to in the formula will probably the most helpful thing. Probiotics are also helpful, although sometimes they can make gas a little worse before it gets better, if that's the issue. My daughter at age two has outgrown most of her allergies, as her digestive system has matured. Naturopaths are really helpful with food allergies (I am one, and I went to a different one for help!)

Good luck,
E. M

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