Acid Reflux in an Infant

Updated on August 04, 2009
J.H. asks from Irving, TX
11 answers

Hi Moms!

My 10 wk old has acid reflux. We changed bottles, formula, and have a prescription.
What are some of the tricks that worked for you? We're exhausted! I don't feel like I'm being a mom. I feel like I'm just surviving. And it's taking away time from our other son!

How did you get through it?

What can I do next?

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answers from Dallas on


I am an Independent Shaklee Distributor and I have come to really believe in pre and probiotics. Shaklee just came out with some wonderful new baby products, one of which is a multivitamin for infants with a prebiotic powder in it.

However, it is not recommended for children under 6 months of age. If I were you I would do some research on infant reflux, prebiotics and probiotics. Then I would consider talking to your pediatrician about adding these in to your babies diet... appropriately to such a young child.

I'm so sorry for your struggle. Exhaustion is a rough part of parenting. Exhaustion is real, and lack of sleep is literally a form of torture! Let friends and family help you whenever possible. Grab naps. My sister went through this and it is tough, but this too shall pass.
Best of Luck to You,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Is he crying DURING or AFTER feedings?
If it's JUST after feedings then it probably is reflux.
My 2 month old was fussy during feedings. And my ped Rx'd Prevacid to us, but that didn't work (we tried it for 3 wks - no change)... we tried different kinds of formula... no change.... referred us to a pediatric GI doc, he took us off Prevacid and said she probably doesn't have reflux b/c she wouldn't be fussing DURING a feed. Reflux babies only fuss after a feed, like 30 mins after. We tried the $80/can Rx Elecare formula for 5 days, thinking she might have a big sensitivity to milk proteins -- no change. So he told us to go back to any kind of formula we want...and he ordered a swallow study at a pediatric imaging center. They x-ray her while she's feeding to see where the formula is going.... how she's swallowing it.

They examined my daughter's swallow coordination and found that she had problems with this. The formula was being pushed over her windpipe and causing irritation... almost aspiration (penetration into the lungs), then she's push it back to the esophagus to swallow it. So the solution was to thicken the formula with a thickening agent like Hydra-Aid or Simply Thick (it's like honey or syrup & you add that to the formula). It's helped tremendously!! This is something she'll outgrow, but in the meantime, we just need to keep thickening the formula to help her swallow better.

Just a thought to pass along ... I know I was grasping for any type of advice when we had no idea what was going on with her. Now we have answers, definite answers.

Also, our ped rec'd we try using Good Start Protect Plus because it has cultures in it (good for digestive health).... and we've been using that too. About same cost as other formulas.



answers from Dallas on

I totally empathize with you. My daughter really screamed after nursing. Finally, I kept a chart, because I noted a pattern. It took me FOUR pediatritians to solve the mystery (the rest just basically said, "she's a baby, she'll cry, " but I knew there was a difference in this particular piercing cry). My ped. (the fourth one, with whom we have stuck with for the last 10 years) explained that sometimes the little flap that separates the esophagus and the stomach is not completely grown - and reflux easily goes up and burns -- explaining why she had that piercing scream - and followed the pattern that was illustrated on my chart. First, he suggested we try Mylanta. It led to the most wonderful 5 hours -- I really felt like a Mommy - I still treasure the pictures from that day. I called and let the nurse know, that it worked, but not that long. They prescribed Zantac. She was on it for about 10 weeks -- WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!!!!!! It truly changed everything.

Sinced I nursed, I do not know how the formula fits in with acid reflux (if there are some that are more desirable than others) -- I am sure you know more about that. I will tell you that the change was immediate. I can't imagine how difficult this has been with a 2 year old, also. Our reflux situation was with our first child. If you do not see a quick change (look for any advancement) in your child, you may want to contact your ped. I would suggest keeping some sort of chart (i.e. feedings,screaming, time screams begin, end, etc.). It may sound crazy - but it gives your ped. so much information (stuff that is very difficult to remember when you are sleep deprived!).

Good Luck! Your baby is lucky that you are working so hard to help him get comfortable : )



answers from Dallas on

I'm so sorry to hear that your little one is suffering. Below, I listed some of the things we did to ease my daughter’s reflux symptoms.

elevated the head of her crib
fed her small amounts at a time at more frequent intervals, some days it seemed like all I did was feed her
fed her in an upright position
diligently burped her
Kept her upright after feedings, she frequently napped in her stroller (without the carrier)
limited time in car seat
often, when she was inconsolable, the best thing I could do for her was place her on her back on her diaper changer pad - I don't know why but that seemed to soothe her
little tummies - gas x for babies
changed bottles - significantly less spitting up with VentAire
never warmed her bottles, room temp or cold right out of fridge
ran humidifier when she slept - she was always congested from the spit up
carried her in her Ergo*
swaddled her for bed time and when colicky
when I knew she was hungry but she arched her back and screamed, I just kept offering the bottle (while walking, swaying, singing) until she'd finally take it

I spent some time on and found some of the information helpful. Unfortunately, the page is not very user friendly and is full of ads. However, you can talk to a volunteer via email or telephone. That was helpful for me because I felt like I finally found someone compassionate and empathetic with some helpful advice.

Once my daughter was prescribed acid suppressers, she only occasionally experienced her reflux symptoms (for example, spending too much time in her car seat). She was on acid suppressers until a little after her second birthday but has been nearly symptom free since. We limit but have not entirely avoided greasy and acidic foods. Oranges are her favorite fruit and she loves Chick-fil-a.

Hope this helps.
I pray that your child quickly outgrows reflux and that God will grant your family peace and rest during this struggle.

*I received an Ergo (without the infant insert) when my daughter was almost 4 months old. My daughter turned 3 in November, and I still use it. It is one of the best gifts I have ever received.

You may find other helpful responses under the following mamasource posts:
Sun. Feb. 15, 2009, Stephanie R: Help for friend's baby with Reflux!!!!
Sat. Feb. 21, 2009, Jenny M: Silent Acid Reflux



answers from Dallas on

We used Playtex Drop in Liner Bottles it really helped with the air. We supplemented a little formula and we used Gentle Ease. We also used Gripe water which I feel worked and prescription Zantac. I think that worked, but after a few weeks it would get worse I think her body just got use to the medication. We had some friends at church that were Chiropractors so we took her to them when she was probably 2 months old. You might think this is crazy, but after three session's she was way better. It could have been that she was just getting older I feel like it really worked for us. If you do some research on Reflux you will see a lot of people use chiropractors. Best of luck I know how hard this can be just hang in there it will soon pass.



answers from Dallas on

my son had major issues with reflux. not sure if anyone told you but it takes up to three weeks to see if the medicine will work! Our one was very sick for about two and half months before I finally saw a gastro specialist. I was breastfeeding but it turns out he had milk/soy protien intolerance. he had to go on prescription formula and within 72 hours he was a new baby. Things that helped with reflux, thicken his formula with rice cereal, elevate him at all times....we used the swing, the bouncy seat, a wedge in his bed. We also used the amby bed which did help a little (its like a hammock bed). if he wasn't in one of those things, he was in a bjorn. My kiddo cried about 20 out of 24 hours at the peak, even when we were holding him! I would definetely see a gasto doctor if it is severe! I know it is exhausting, but know that it will pass in time! Good Luck


answers from Dallas on

Hi J.,
First of all I want to lend my empathy towards you and your family. Living with reflux is VERY stressful for everyone. Lack of rest,sleep and feeling helpless is an awful place to be. Hang in there.
The only thing that helped my son was an Rx of liquid Zantac. We tried several different drugs until one was found that gave him relief. So one drug may not do it and another may need to be tried. I found that I really had to become kind of aggressive with the doctors to get the answers I needed. I really thought at the time I was going to lose my mind, honest. My little boy asked me why I wasn't happy anymore since we brought home his baby brother "( I would suggest using Mylanta Cherry Supreme flavored (this one has no ilumium in it). A about 1 ml 30 minutes before eating might help. I used a WONDERFUL thing called a Tucker Sling that I found searching the web. It keeps them upright while sleeping. Truly a Godsend for us. Keeping him in an upright position like using a boncey seat might give him some relief. Sometimes keeping them too upright makes them hurt worse IE carseat. The biggest advice that I can give you is to SEARCH the internet and find out what you can about it. Here is a great forum that helped us so much:
Their is nothing like hearing the wisdom of someone else that has been where you are now.
I too tired changing formula, nipples etc... but the affect was only temporary. The medicine was the only thing that worked.
We really didn't have any support other than ourselves so if you can find someone to give you a break even for a short while just to step away and take a little breath it would be wise. Though it doesn't fix the problem it helps you to see clearer. Again sorry that this is the way it is right now. I understand it's really hard. My little reflux boy is now 2 and you'd never know he ever had a problem with it when he was younger.
Best Regards,



answers from Dallas on

I went through this too although the type of reflux my daughter had seemed to be more related to an under-developed sphyncter muscle in her esophagus.

The very best thing we ran into was Gripe Water, I used colic ease which has a great website explaining what's in it and the differences between brands...they sell this at Family Health Market in Frisco off of Preston. It's also a great help with adult indigestion and nausea.

Next, as far as bottles and formula go...we tried switching formulas and it should get better, not worse within 3 days if you go this route. I'd bought two cans of that Nutrimagen at Walmart-if you save the receipts they WILL let you return it if it doesn't work out for you. For bottles, I would buy only one and give it 5 days, we settled on the Avents after trying everything else under the sun. Those have a special nipple you can use if you wind up having to thicken formula with cereal so you don't have to alter (and possibly ruin) your regular nipples.

A soother that we used was taking one of those bean bag things from the spa section of walmart and microwaving it for 30 seconds at a time until it was just warm, then wrapping it in a thin receiving blanket and putting it on her tummy after eating, that seemed to soothe the muscles and help with gas.

Keep your baby upright for 15 mins after feeding.

She grew out of it right at 1 year.

Hope any of this helps! Good luck :)



answers from Dallas on

For my daughter 2 things that helped were "colic" holds. One was putting her on her tummy across my knees and bouncing my heels on the floor until she fell asleep, then putting her to bed on her back, with a wedge under her. The other was holding her with her back to my chest and my forearm under (along) her waist and letting that arm support some of her weight. The pressure on her tummy seemed to soothe her. You have some good ideas here, so good luck and know that it does get better!



answers from Dallas on

check out Original Limu.
This health drink has helped people with acid reflux and so many things. It works with your own immune system to help your body where it needs it the most.
This is not a medicine, it is considered a food. great for all ages. Just small amounts for the baby and ozs for kids and adults. Get in touch with me with any questions. Is also a great way to make money without selling. Share the product with others and the company sends you checks.
Hope to hear from you.



answers from Dallas on

I feel for you, my daughter had the same issue. We made sure to keep her upright 30 minutes after feeding. We also switched around the doses and times that we gave the medicine. One tablet once a day (Prevacid) did not work for my daughter, then we started half a tablet in the morning an hour before feeding and half a tablet in the evening half an hour before the bed time feeding. It worked wonders! My suggestion would be to play with the med's a little until you figure out the times of day the reflux is the worst. We also put cereal in the food processor and turned the flakes into powder. Then mixed the powder in with her milk, the slightly thicker milk seemed to help a lot. (That was our pedi's recommendation so I would check with yours before you do that). Swaddling was also a big help.

Good luck, and know that he will grow out of it eventually =)

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