38 answers

Infant Reflux - Austin,TX

My four month old son spits up all the time, i've taken him to the dr's office, even specialist can't tell me nothing.......arggggg.....someone please tell me whatelse i can do...the dr told me he is to young for medicines and i'm freaking out.....my baby has suffer enough......:(

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My son was put on prevacid for his reflux when he was 5 days old. It helped....but putting him on the Similac AR formula (that has rice starch added) is what finally got the reflux under control. He was almost 7 months before he quit spitting up altogether, but the thicker formula helped from the very beginning. Good luck!!!!

Give 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp of Mylanta between meals. After each feeding, put him in an upright position for 30 minutes (car seat, swing, bouncy seat, etc.). *not straight up or leaning over, angled slightly back as he would be in a bouncy seat/45 degrees* Do not carry him around right after feeding and do not lay him flat. Sleeping on his side works best at night. Some spit up is inevitable, but this will help minimize it. My daughter saw the specialists, had the tests done (probe down her throat), etc. and in the end...this is what we were told to do and worked as well as the prescriptions, etc.

Have you tried a lactose free formula and maybe a playtex bottle with the throw away liners, definitely make him take breaks every 2ozs, maybe even mix a little rice cereal with the formula.

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My daughter was the same way, and the doctors said that it was fine because she wasnt losing weight. She would spit up almost her whole feeding EVERYTIME we fed her. So we had lots of clothes changes for her and whoever was feeding her. She was about 5-6 months old when she stopped spitting up. I know this wasnt much help, I just wanted to say "I know the feeling" Good luck with the little one!

Have you tried a lactose free formula and maybe a playtex bottle with the throw away liners, definitely make him take breaks every 2ozs, maybe even mix a little rice cereal with the formula.

find a new pedi... they put my son on reflux meds at 6 weeks so your isn't too young

Baby Bliss Gripe Water! My son was born at 27 weeks and had reflux - he spit up all the time, several times a day and they gave him two different medicines to take. Neither really helped much. Then I met a nurse who told me about the gripe water and she said just put it in his first bottle of the day. And oddly enough it worked like a charm. It's a natural product. My son is now 7 and healthy and fabulous. I have recommended this to a lot of mothers and they have all said the same thing, it really works. Good luck.

no baby is too young.
Go with your gut instincts. Trust yourself as a mommy.
Both my kids had relflux. MY dr didn;t want to give it an dhe finally did when I threatened to leave and go to another DR.
Stick to your guns on this.

Both my kids screamed in pain 12 + hrs per day. I was crazy as the screaming wears you down when you have done everything you can. My first one was on Zantac with no help. We then added prevacid, bethanochol, and reglan. She was on those for about 3 weeks with very little relief. We played around with my diet etc with no relief. Finally at 9 weeks of age she underwent an endoscopy. We found that she had a high eosinophil level when they biopsied which indicated a severe allercic process. Basically, she to start on Neocate formula which is like buying gold. Despite this she still had alot if discomfort. My advice to you is to ask your doc for prevacid solutabs. My little girl was about 3-4 weeks and on many meds. She is extremely intelligent and had no Ill effects from them. Prevacid helps many kids. Not mine though. Also, Dr Browns bottles might help.
I know you feel helpless and exhausted. If this is reflux, there is an end in sight. It diesvget better you just have to get through the hours. People who have not experienced this have no idea how awful it can be. I would also suggest you look online. I know there is a support group I think it is reflux.org . Feel free to contact me if you want to talk about more. I would be happy to help you
with suggestions or just listen. Good luck.

(I've actually never responded to anyone's questions, so I hope this comes out okay...)

I know it is difficult. All of my 4 kids spit-up and one more than others--she didn't ever burp well enough, so our pediatrician showed us how to sit her on her bottom and gently rock her back and forth after feedings until she gave a good burp (kind of like helping her with sit-ups). Stopping occassionally to just rub her back in circles... Worked like a charm for her...

Here's a part to an article I found that may also help:

Hobbie, C., Baker, S., & Bayerl, C. (2000, 2000 Jan-Feb). Parental understanding of basic infant nutrition: misinformed feeding choices. Journal of Pediatric Healthcare, 14(1), 26-31. Retrieved September 6, 2009, from CINAHL database.

Normal spitting up
Spitting up or mild reflux is very common in infants. Twenty-nine percent of mothers surveyed believed that the most common cause of frequent spitting up was a milk allergy, and 37% did not know or did not answer the question. If a baby is gaining weight well, does not have recurrent pneumonia, has no blood in the stool, and does not appear to be in pain while eating, no intervention is necessary. Health care providers can reassure parents that spitting up is normal and that most babies outgrow it by approximately 1 year of age. About half of normal 2-month-olds spit up twice a day or more. This incidence decreases dramatically after children learn to sit up. At 1 year of age, only 1% of infants continue to spit up (Balistreri & Farrell, 1983). A small percentage of babies will have more serious reflux that may cause failure to thrive, aspiration pneumonia, blood loss, or pain with eating. Some babies arch their backs and cry out. Infants who are spitting up and demonstrate any of these symptoms should be evaluated by a pediatrician or gastroenterologist (Colletti et al., 1995). Even when spitting up is normal, it is a frustrating and messy problem for parents, and health care providers need to acknowledge parents' frustration and give them whatever tips they can to help minimize the problem. Some interventions that might help include making sure the infant burps well, handling the baby very gently after feedings, giving smaller, more frequent feedings, putting a folded blanket under the head of the mattress in the baby's bed to elevate it approximately 30 degrees, and thickening the formula with a small amount of rice cereal. Weaning breast-fed infants who have a tendency to spit up is not necessary. Putting the baby in an infant seat where the stomach is compressed is not beneficial (Balistreri & Farrell, 1983). These suggestions will help the parents feel that they are doing something to comfort the baby.

When an infant spits up frequently, the temptation is great for parents and health care professionals to switch from breast-feeding to bottle-feeding or from one type of formula to another. However, it is important not to discontinue breast-feeding or switch formulas. Unnecessary changes are often made to more expensive formulas or to low-iron formula. The unfounded perception of ill health can also cause increased maternal anxiety and contribute to an adverse attitude in the mother toward the child (vulnerable child syndrome). This attitude on the part of the mother can persist as the child grows older (Forsyth, McCarthy, & Leventhal, 1985).

Give 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp of Mylanta between meals. After each feeding, put him in an upright position for 30 minutes (car seat, swing, bouncy seat, etc.). *not straight up or leaning over, angled slightly back as he would be in a bouncy seat/45 degrees* Do not carry him around right after feeding and do not lay him flat. Sleeping on his side works best at night. Some spit up is inevitable, but this will help minimize it. My daughter saw the specialists, had the tests done (probe down her throat), etc. and in the end...this is what we were told to do and worked as well as the prescriptions, etc.

my son at two months old, was curling in a ball in pain with severe spitting up. After a long battle with the Peds. we did a swallow study and found he had a mal rotated bowel and the beginning of a bowel obstruction, he was in surgery the next day. I was told it was colic over and over again and despite being a new mom, I knew it was something more. You can request the barium swallow study where they x-ray the swallow to see if it is reflux and see if there are congenital defects like we had. LImiting your diet sounds like a good place to start as well.

Does your son act like he is in pain? If he's just spitting up, then there really isn't anything to worry about. They usually call those babies "happy spitters" because they don't have pain associated with it. If he is arching his back after eating or crying after eating, along with the spitting up, then I would think reflux. My son had reflux and spit up constantly, but he also cried for 30 minutes after every feeding and would arch his back (one of the clear signs of reflux). It was pretty easy to diagnose because he had all of the signs. You can always get another opinion from a different pedi if you think yours is overlooking something, but just keep in mind that just because your baby spits up a lot, doesn't mean they have reflux. The reflux is the pain associated with it. Hope you find a resolution. It's horrible when your baby is sick and you don't know how to help.

Oh, and as for your son being too young for meds...my baby was given Prevacid at 6 weeks old, so if he truly has reflux, they can give him medication. My son grew out of it by around 6 months and didn't need the medicine anymore.

Hi S.,
I am assuming you have changed all the formulas- etc- but maybe you can try this- it will take more effort on your part but it may help. Try feeding him less -say if he is taking 6 oz- every 4 hours- give him 3 oz every two hours- if his tummy is not so full he may not spit up as often- maybe his little tummy is not big enough yet to hold the amount you are feeding him.
And yes, your dr's are right- he is too young for meds........try holding him upright longer after each feeding and maybe elevating his crib so he won;t be lying flat-
good luck and blessings

I don't think meds are bad but if you want to try things before going that route: My oldest had this problem and I didn't think there were options and didn't get any ideas from our pedi at the time. So we did the best that we could which was smaller amounts making a huge difference. She was never able to eat more than 6oz without projectile vomiting. She was prob the only baby that ever wore almost all the clothing a first child gets (min of three outfits a day). When our second baby was born she was in NICU for the first days of her life having come a little early. When she finally was able to have food and off the IV she wouldn't hold down her formula. They wouldn't release her till she did. I think they were just trying to overfeed her cause she too never took big amounts and to this day eats like a bird but they did switch us to Enfamil AR. I was never one who liked cereal in a bottle and this is leaning that directiion but It really did help.


If you haven't tried switching formula or some of your diet if you are breast feeding I would do that. I would also seek out another opinion. Our youngest had some really bad reflux issues, among others, and I was lucky enough to have a doctor that was as persistent as we were at wanting to know what was wrong. In the end we found out it was food allergies.

If you know something is wrong and you are not getting the answers you want don't stop...keep looking until you find someone that doesn't think you are crazy!


Hang in there, I know it hurts moms to see their little ones suffer. My 8.5 month old STILL spits up after bottles / meals. He has done this since he was born (even for the 7 months he was on the breast only). My question is "is your son in pain?" My son spits alot, but it doesn't really bother him. The doctor refers to him as a "Happy Spitter", so we haven't done anything to treat him. The doctor says it will go away without treatment, hopefully by a year.

Hope this helps! If your son is in pain, I would find a pediatrician that would help you manage his pain! Good luck!

My daughter had this problem. I do not know if you are breast feeding or not. I did not breast feed. We found switching to a different nipple on the bottle helped. We also did small feedings. You may also check with your doctor about changing formula to a soy based or hypo allergenic formula. I know how hard it is to watch your baby spit up all the time. Jen, our daughter would projectile--so everything got covered with spit up --there were many nights I thought I was going to go insane from lack of sleep. Eventually she out grew this but we still had to watch how much we fed her until she was about 18 months old.

Hi S.-
Ask your doctor for a referral to a pediatric occupational therapist or speech pathologist who specializes in feeding disorders. They can help you sort out all the different options to try, in addition to several good ones people have mentioned here. It's confusing and hard to know what to try in this situation without help from someone else (who isn't in the situation 24/7 and going crazy with it). Hang in there!


Some babies just spit up more than others--and most reflux is usually much more than spitting up. My breastfed daughter didn't spit up a thing for months from birth and then bam...she spit up after every feeding--from the breast or bottle--for months.

If you are breastfeeding, look at your own diet and consider removing aggravating foods (like dairy...I did and it helped). If you are using formula, then you might consider another formulation.

You might also consider burping more often during the feeding, using a slower or faster nipple, and keeping his head elevated after a feeding.

Have they done a screening where they put him in a tube and get him to drink and then watch if it comes right back up. My son had that screening and that is how they were able to see right away that he had reflux. He was only two months and they put him on prevacid. He still spit up pretty frequently but it took care of any pain associated with the spitting up. I gave it to him until he was about 5 months when I noticed he was no longer spitting up frequently. I say change drs if yours wont help you. Try not to freak out, even though my son spit up like crazy he gained lots of weight and was always in the 90% for height and weight. But I totally agree with you, there is no reason for them to suffer so little like that. If you are anywhere near Katy, I go to Dr. Fransisco Moreno he is in Katy Memorial office bldg next to Katy Memorial Hospital. The number is ###-###-####. Good luck!!

As you have heard in other responses "FIND ANOTHER DOCTOR". My youngest was breastfed so having Colic was very unlikely. His pediatrician kept saying it is Colic, change what you are eating (I got to the point of eating nothing but bland food, and drinking Soy milk-ugh!), burp him constantly, it is nothing, he will grow out of it, blah blah, blah. I tried special formula many times which never helped(pumping in the meantime to keep up the flow).

When I finally realized that they thought it was me being a nutty Mom I did what you are doing now. I asked the experts!!! I put the "call" out to other Moms and got a lot of great feedback, and a recommendation of some other docs. I ended up going to a different Pediatrician for a second opinion. He examined my little guy, listened to all that had happened, all that had been tried, and said "This baby has reflux". He prescribed medicine (Zantac I think) and said that it would help to ease the pain, and that eventually he would grow out of it. In the meantime give him the med and give him lots of love.

My youngest finally grew out of it, and now is a fairly good eater. Good luck to you! And invest in plently of laundry detergent. :)

hi S.
I had the same issue with my first born and figured out a simple solution and got her well. Email me if you want me to send info about what I did okay? I am confident I can help you and your soon.

Find a different doctor!!! My grandson had BAD reflux from the time he was about two months old, and we gave him Mylicon drops and some prescription med--can't remember the name of it right now. To tell you the truth, neither helped him very much. (I just remembered the Dr. Brown's bottles which have a straw mechanism in them and prevent the baby from taking in the bubbles that form in the top of a regular bottle. These are not cheap, but worth their weight in gold!!)

We did learn a few tricks which seemed to cut down on the vomitting: First, feed only one ounce at a time and be RELIGIOUS about burping him after each ounce. Also, while he's eating, hold him as upright as possible so that the gas doesn't pool in his stomach. Next, hold him upright for 30 minutes after each feeding is done. Another suggestion: Put bricks under one end of his crib so that the mattress is at an angle. This will help him get rid of the gas himself.

In the meantime, be prepared to do laundry every day and change you own clothes three or four times a day. Bless your heart, I know this is frustrating for you, but he will grow out of it as his digestive system matures.

(By the way, my grandson is now six years old, eats everything he can get his hands on--including hot sauce and jalapeno peppers!!!--and has caught up a bit in terms of his size. He was a bit on the small side because of his vomitting problem as an infant.)

Hope this helps you a bit.

Both my children had reflux from birth...still suffer at times. My doctor gave them Zantac and Reglan (the Reglan has other options...some drs do not like it). Their specialist gave them something else but I cannot remember the name. Had to go to a special compounding pharmacy to get it. My daughter was given Prevacid because hers was more severe and the Zantac did not work enough for her. The Zantac and Prevacid neutralize the acid and the other relaxes the valve between the stomach and esphogus so the acid comes up less.

My dr is with Memorial Pediatrics and the specialist was Dr. Bryan Vaudbedian (probably misspelled). He authored the book, First Foods.

Other things...have them sleep at an incline. Raise the bed 4-6 inches at one end and put their head at the raised in. Try not to lay them down right after eating. Feed smaller meals so the stomach is not overfull.

That is what I can remember off the top of my head. Hope that helps.

Hi Silvia, I know is frustrating and difficult. My baby had reflux the first 8 months, it was hard, but thank God he is completely health, he is 20 months now.

First if you are breastfeeding, you can pump your milk and mix it with baby cereal, give it in a bottle, is not going to stop all the reflux, but is going to be less. You can also do this with formula. How much cereal? enough to make it very thick.

You can also use enfamil AR (AR is special formula for baby with reflux). Also can mix it with cereal.

Also the baby can take medicine, mine started with anti-reflux medicine when he was like 10 days old, and as I said, he is perfectly health now...no secondary problems.

i might be way off but my son would spit up if 1 he had to burp and we didnt get it all 2 if he burped and we keept trying to burp him and he ended up spitting up or 3 he ate too much at one time. i hope you find the answer, dont freak out all babys spit up some more than others as long as he is keeping weight on for infant year i think your doing fine. hang in there it gets so much eaiser.

My baby spit up really bad as well. It worried me at first even though people encouraged me that it will pass. I tried everything I could think of and talked to the Dr. about it on several occasions. It has finally passed. She is now healthy and only spits up rarely (maybe once a month or so) She is now 14 months old. I got really good at getting spit up stains out of clothes, furniture and carpet. We could never travel with just one extra outfit. We needed several. We could never get enough burp clothes and we had piles of them. We would use them all and move on to kitchen towels. We used them so much that now my daughters little lovey is burp clothes she wants to carry one everywhere! As long as your baby is gaining weight then he is thriving and will eventually grow out of it. Until then hopefully you can learn to laugh about it. (It is hard but it makes it easier to get through.)

I was told my son had reflux, but it turned out to be hernia's that were unseen in his groin area. he spit up all the time since birth they gave him the diagnoses of reflux. Nothing worked for him until the surgery to remove his found hernias. I had to bug the heck out of my pediatrician to even get a referral to a specialist. Due to the fact she saw no signs of hernias. Nothing could be seen until an xray was done.

That's ridiculous. I can't tell you how many tiny babies I know that were put on medication for reflux. Does the dr say it's reflux and won't prescribe or does he not think it's reflux? Regardless, if you're not being helped, you need to switch pediatricians. My baby had reflux and although we were prescribed medication, we wanted to avoid using it. The things that helped us the most were: holding her upright for 15 minutes after every feeding (which allowed her food to digest and not back up on her), having her sleep in an infant seat at an incline, and gripe water. The gripe water we used was Colic Calm (www.coliccalm.com). Hang in there and keep fighting for your baby!

My son had bad acid reflux when he was born. It was so bad it was projectile and he was put on medication. I went into Joe Garret's and talked to his wife. She told me about Acidophulos Bifidous (not positive about the spelling). It didn't take long and he was able to get off the medicine.

I do not understand why they will not put him on prevacid or axid my son has been on it since he was a month old also my nephew was put on it by a specialist and he was also a month old maybe even younger i understand how you feel and if they are denying your child help i would seek out another opinion... I totally get it with other types of meds like cold and allergy stuff but not with reflux meds...poor baby it is not fair

S., my son did the same thing. The doc said it was nothing. It's a somewhat long story, but i finally had to go to the hospital. They did a blood test showing that a certain enzyme was raised indicating that he had allergies. They doctors at Texas Children's Hospital told me that 50% of babies who have allergies are due to milk. I was breastfeeding and, well, my diet consisted of probably 50% milk - milk in cereal, milk at dinner, yogurt for snacks, cheese in food...I completely cut out the dairy and it went away. Don't just assume your baby has reflux and give him meds. Figure out WHY he's having the symptoms. Try cutting out dairy first. IF that doesn't work or help, cut out other stuff - gluten, eggs, corn. See if that helps. I also had this happen to a friend. Her baby was 10months old before she finally mentioned to her doctor could his ear infections and wheezing be due to allergies-after I told her my story. It turned out HE WAS ALLERGIC TO DAIRY!

Please spread the word about food allergies in babies. People just don't think about it normally.

good luck, let us know how it goes.


No baby is too young for reflux meds. My 31 week preemie triplets were on meds for reflux from the beginning. Maybe your doctor doesn't think it really is reflux and that is why he or she won't prescribe anything. If that is not the problem, you may need to find another doctor. My boys were on previcid and reglan and something else that I can't remember. I know there are meds to help.


Hi S.,
Let me tell you first off that it gets better! Reflux is VERY common in infants.

I have a 6-month old that had SEVERE reflux. I am nursing, so I thought the problem was that my milk wasn't thick enough. We tried formula a few times, had the same result, so I decided to stick to nursing him. My doctor also let me know that continuing nursing was still a great idea.

Here is what I suggest: Get a new doctor! My doctor is excellent (let me know if you want her info), she ordered an upper GI (I think that's what it's called. It's the test where they drink dye in a bottle and do an ultrasound)to make sure that my son's anatomy was OK, then prescribed baby Zantac when he was 3 months old. The Zantac did not "cure" the problem, he would continue to spit up on occasion but no where near as much or as often. Now that he is a little older, he is off of the Zantac and has no more problems! So hang in there and good luck!

As you know, reflux in infants is caused due to their sphincter muscle being weak and not being able to close to allow the acid reflux from coming up.

I too experience the same when my daughter was three months old and it was not pleasant. However, I am fortunate to have a sister that is a Neonatal Nurse and she gave me the best advice ever....

During all feedings, make sure to have the babys' head elevated on an angle and make sure to keep the baby elevated 15 minutes after the feeding. This will reduce reflux. In my case it worked like a charm and my daughter never had a single ear infection. Elevation is key even during their sleep.

Good luck!

My son (now 2) had bad acid reflux. If you are nursing, that is the best thing for him. Breast milk is a natural antiacid. When he was 4 mos, our pedi told us to start giving him some cereal mixed with pumped breast milk. We would feed it to him on a spoon, not mix it in a bottle. He also slept in a swing until he was 6 1/2 mos old. The upright position helped a lot. We got the idea for the swing from the "happiest baby on the block" video. He was also prescribed Prevacid when he was 3 mos old. I would look at switching docs.

We had to switch formulas, finally got the right one. Infamil AR. Its a thicker formula because it has added rice milk in it (thats where the AR comes from).
Before we got him on this, he would throw up & it was like a gusher...It would fly out of his mouth. He was so skinny looking, but that Infamil AR worked for him. He is a chubby little baby now :) He isnt on formula, he's 22 months, but I added yogurt to the whole milk when I switched him & I also buy Horochta Rice milk for him still :)

Hi S.,

After you feed your son keep him elevated for about 1 hour. Also you need to elevate his bed and put him in a harness at night. It will not hurt him it just keeps him from slipping down. We had to do this for our son when he was little. He is fine now and he is 24. I hope this helps.


My son was put on prevacid for his reflux when he was 5 days old. It helped....but putting him on the Similac AR formula (that has rice starch added) is what finally got the reflux under control. He was almost 7 months before he quit spitting up altogether, but the thicker formula helped from the very beginning. Good luck!!!!

When my son was born he had a hard time gaining weight and keeping food down until our pedi told us to nurse for half an hour and then follow up with a soy formula bottle. That helped a lot along with the usual feeding guidelines: burp after every 2-4 ounces eaten, keep them upright for at least 10 minutes after feeding, avoid bouncing shortly after feeding and try to avoid noisy or stressfull areas when feeding.

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