Acid Reflux in Infants

Updated on October 28, 2008
J.P. asks from Schaumburg, IL
31 answers

My sister has a 4 week old who seems to have acid reflux. Her dr hasn't been really helpful with suggestions for her, and she's both worried about it and frustrated because her baby is crying a lot. I know it's not uncommon, but my baby never had that, so I can't help her. I'd love some suggestions to pass on from moms who dealt with this. Thank you!!

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G.T.

answers from Chicago on

Two of my children had reflux in the beginning. With one, zantac worked liked a charm. With the second, we had to switch to prevacid which also worked. With both children they had outgrown it in about 6-9 months.

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T.H.

answers from Chicago on

If you're looking for an herbal remedy, try Gripe Water. It contains chamomile, fennel, and ginger, which is very soothing to the stomach. The Wellements brand uses organic ingredients. I haven't had to use it in a while, but I think you can get it at Jewel.

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A.Z.

answers from Chicago on

My twins had it too, we used dr. browns bottles, no meds and just elevated their mattresses a little. They have these things now that you put under the wheels of the crib instead of under the mattress-I guess it is supposed to be safer. I saw them at onestepahead.com Also, sleeping in the swing worked great for us. Good luck!

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M.R.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter has been on AXID for the past 3 months (she is 6 months old). It works wonderfully as long as we break up her dosage three times a day. She takes it with her bottles and are sure to keep her sitting upright for at least 30 minutes after every feeding. We also elevated her bed and she sleeps 10 - 11 hours a night now! Good luck!

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M.S.

answers from Chicago on

If she is breastfeeding, the mom should eliminate all dairy from her diet and see what happens. Or, it may be that the milk supply comes out too strong. Or, something in her milk may be making the baby gassy (garlic, onions, broccoli, etc.) and she should drink some fennel tea to neutralize it or offer some drops to the baby. She can consult her local La Leche League for more ideas. If she is not breastfeeding make sure her formula does not contain DHA which is known to cause stomach/digestion problems. Taking any kind of medication for acid reflux (which I think is over diagnosed and then over-prescribed) should be the last resort.

Good luck,

M.

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L.

answers from Chicago on

Hi!
I feel her pain! It is a terrible experience. My number one suggestion is for her to see a GI Specialist. We had my daughter on medicines(Prevacid and Zantac) and they'd help for a bit and then she'd be back to terrible pain. Once we saw a GI he was able to prescribe a larger dosage which helped a TON--too bad we had waited 7 months to do so!! There is an online support group called PAGER which is an excellent resource that will even e-mail you directly from a support person to help with questions or suggestions. It is a hard road and I got very depressed and frustrated from all the crying. Thank God my mom was very helpful. We did the rice in the bottle which helped and she slept in a Papasan chair in her crib for 6 months! It was the only way she could get enough relief to sleep. She can e-mail me directly if she has any questions or wants the name of our GI. [email protected]____.com

Hope this helps!
L.

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G.H.

answers from Chicago on

Did someone test for acid reflux? Maybe baby just has a sensitive tummy. After eating lay baby tummy down on mommys barely spread legs (so tummy is in the opening). Gently pat on back until more gas/spitup is released. Rocking at the same time happens to help even more. Baby will probably fall asleep after doing this for a while. It's always easier on the tummy when not laying on it. Hopefully this helps. My husband figured this out many years ago. Cudos to Dick!

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M.C.

answers from Rockford on

My son has had reflux from the start. It's horrible! We put him on medicine. First it was Prilosec, but it didn't work. So, now he's on Prevacid and it works great! She should try to feed her baby in an upright position. Also, leave the baby sitting up for at least 30 minutes after each feeding. We tried lots of bottles, but the best were Dr. Browns bottles. They prevent the baby from swallowing too much air. You can find them anywhere. We also started putting cereal in my son's bedtime bottle when he was 2 months old. The dr said that it would help. She also should burp her baby often. Hope that helps. Also, if she puts her baby on medicine, it does take up to a week to start working.

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J.K.

answers from Chicago on

It could also be from a dairy sensitivity. If you sister is nursing and eating/drinking dairy, or if the baby is on a dairy based formula, she might want to eliminated dairy.

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D.

answers from Chicago on

My second child had a very bad case of reflux up until he was about 15months. I always feel for other couples who are dealing with it. It never seemed to help me at the time to tell myself it will get better because the amount of sleep that I was lacking overwhelmed us.
Suggestions that may or may not help:
Change formula if bottle feeding to soy; if breastfeeding cut all dairy out of your diet
I am anti medicine but demand to try zantac and if it doesn't work after a 2 week trial; try prilosec or prevacid (I believe prevacid works better)
Put a towel or something to elevate the bed or since he is a newborn have him sleep in his car seat or swing.
Vacuum cleaners and hairdryers (if you run them right by the baby the sound calms them and helps them sleep even it is only for 30min.
Good luck these things helped but it still was a trying time.

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A.R.

answers from Chicago on

Find another doctor, pediatrician for sure. Acid reflux has many solutions and a baby should not have to be uncomfortable with it.

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A.A.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter was diagnosed with reflux at 5 weeks of age. She went to an ENT out of Children's Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. Once they confirmed she had reflux, she was prescribed Zantac oral solution. My friend is a pharmacist at Osco in Gurnee and was able to formulate the Zantac with out the alcohol. It tastes terrible with the alcohol! Have your sister look into this if her baby is prescribed Zantac. Also, to sleep we proped her up in bouncey chair. Hope the baby is doing better!!!! Let me know if you have any questions. A.

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S.F.

answers from Chicago on

Our daughter had the reflux problem from day 1. Things that we did that seemed to help:

Zantac until about 7 months old (she basically weaned herself off b/c we didn't increase the dose with her weight)
Enfamil AR
Fed her sitting up with frequent burps
Dr. Brown's bottles
Kept her upright for as long as possible after feeding
Elevated crib
Positioned her on her side to sleep

She is now 13 months old and she may spit up once in awhile still, but other than that the problem seems to be gone.

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E.N.

answers from Chicago on

I don't know if she is nursing or not, but it turned out that my son's acid reflux was easily handled when I saw a nutritionist and got on a supplement for MY acid reflux. It handled within 24 hours. Dr. Timothy Voll up in Highland Park is a wonderful nutritionist that I've been seeing - totally worth the 45 minute drive to see him. But I guess that only works if she's nursing...

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K.K.

answers from Chicago on

As long as your baby is growing I know our Dr. does not recommend meds. Our oldest had it...still has boughts of it at 4...but she was growing fine and has not upper GI scarring from it.

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L.S.

answers from Peoria on

My youngest had acid reflux as a baby. Our doctor prescribed medicine (I can't remember the name). She also suggested that we add so many teaspoons of baby cereal to his bottle to help his feedings stay down better. It was several years ago so I don't remember the exact amount but it did the trick.

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R.R.

answers from Chicago on

Sometimes it is what the baby is eating, formula or if the mother is breastfeeding sometimes it is something being passed through that could aggregate the stomach. Holding after feeding for about 20 minutes in an upright position or placed in a bouncy seat help to ease digestion flow. Proper burping helps. In extreme cases there are drops that are given if the baby is spitting up a lot as the acid does burn the digestive track. Lots of love and patience. They usually grow out of it by the time they are sitting, though that is a while and can seem like an eternity. Again, sometimes switching formula may help to something very gentle if the child is on formula or just have the mom monitor what she is eating if she is breastfeeding as certain things can cause upset in the infant. Hope that helps a little

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N.S.

answers from Chicago on

My nephew had this and my sister-in-law had to switch her formula to Enfamil Nutramigen (don't know if it is spelled correctly), but that did seem to help. Of course it was much more expensive but there was nothing else that worked for her. Not sure if they sell it in powder form but she did use the pre-made kind. Hope this helps!

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J.E.

answers from Chicago on

My three children have bad reflu so bad that even at 7 and 3 years old theya re still onprevacid and nexium and they ahve tried almost all meds. With out the meds they vomit and cannot eat. As 4 months old she needs to allow the baby to sleep where ever it can slep, upright in a car seat, elevate the crib matress, in a swing etc. The after I put them in the car seat in teh crib and let them slide out, we still fed them though the night becaue short frequent feeds are best for refluxers too much and it hurts too much and comes right back up hence the burn. She needs to get the baby to a Pedatric GI dr and if they do not hep her get anotehr Gi dr opinion. There is so much going on that drs still dont know so dont always listent ot he first one, on an avergae it take the 3 dr to get the right problem and sometiems even the 5th dr or specials to diagnose CORRECTLY and treat CORRECTLY the problem so dont get frustrated jsut keep going till you find the answer someone out there will know and can help!
Dependingo n how bad teh reflux she oculd ask ehr pedatrician for zantax it is pepperminty my kids did worse on it so we went to the gi and they gave us prevacid suspension do not take the solutabs even though they are easier they ahve lactose in them and way too hard for a baby to digest with reflux problem can cause more stomach pain and cramping too just regular prevacid suspension and if the insurance compnay will not cover it becasue it is a liquid and you cannot mail order it all you have to do is get an override and get it at walgreens. Walgreeens can all your insuracne company too to explan they only make this medicine in a liquid and it is for an infant.
gosh if I can think of other things I will write again. Good luck and please get the baby to a Gi dr. all my best
J.

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T.A.

answers from Chicago on

You already got a lot of good suggestions however nobody mentioned a chiropractor. I would prefer the natural approach if possible but she was in so much pain we went with Zantac. Prevacid is a much heavier dose of meds so start light if you can. I love the Born free bottles which help prevent air getting in while eating. We also used proviotics in her bottle. She had the more silent type (not so much spitting up) but in obvious pain and you could just smell the sour breath! She is almost one (ON Halloween) and we have reduced her meds but am afraid to stop completely b/c she is teething right now but am hoping she will be off it all together soon. Best of luck. That is so hard. Many sleepless nights and her sleeping on me. Oh yeah, we let her sleep in a papasan type bouncy in our room. I think it's a combination of many things that can help the little one.

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K.C.

answers from Chicago on

My little guy seemed to have it too - certainly not a full blown case like some of the ones described below, so I'm not sure if our solution would work for you if it's worse than our situation, but we used one of the foam wedges that goes on top of the bassinet mattress - the little one sleeps directly on it. Just make sure to place the two side pieces close to her torso so she doesn't slip down. Good luck finding the thing that will work well for her!

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K.F.

answers from Chicago on

Our dr. said our daughter had it so we did the following:
When she was eating, she was at a 45 degree angle, and we kept her upright for 30 minutes after every feeding. At night it was a little hard, but we did what we had to do. Also, be very sure she burps well so that nothing makes it's way back up because of air stuck in her tummy. At 3 mos dr. had us try putting a very small amount of cereal in bottle to help keep things down, but our daughter HATED that so it was short-lived. NOTE: I am not recommending this, just saying what our dr. had us try. Check w/ dr. before trying. She kinda grew out of it...she's a pretty good eater now...and crys only for the basics, food, tired, diaper.

Good luck to your sister!

Kelly

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V.G.

answers from Chicago on

I feel your sister's pain! My now 6 month old baby has acid reflux (actually, full blown GERD) since he was that same age. He's on the usual meds (Prevacid, Zantac), but quite frankly, what we found helped the most was the Tucker Sling (see http://www.tuckersling.com/faq.htm for more info). You basically elevate one end of the crib at about a 30 degree angle (I use an empty box under the head-end of the crib mattress, but know others have used old phone books successfully). The sling slips over the head of the mattress, and the baby can lie on his back, tucked into the velcro-belted sling, and stay at the 30 degree angle safely, without scooting down to the bottom (foot) of the crib. This sling saved us!!! Before the Tucker Sling, I wasted a lot of money on the AR Pillow, which is a sling but attached to a pillow-wedge thingy, but found that because our son was too little and floppy, it did not seem comfortable or safe for him to use.

Regarding acid reflux meds, be aware that they really only help to de-acidify the reflux so it doesn't cause damage to the esophagus/etc. They won't help to prevent the reflux from occuring, since most babies peak with reflux at 4-6 months, then outgrow it.

Lastly, if your sister's not satisfied with her pediatrician's opinion, she might consider doing a consultation with a gastroenterologist (GI doc).

Good luck!
V.

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M.C.

answers from Chicago on

my daughter had reflux as an infant and I had the same problem with her doc. I pretty much had to be the one to diagnose her and give my doc suggestions of what other mothers were doing. She was on Zantac and it worked great - she became a different baby. Your sister really needs to be more persistant with her doctor or go find a new one that will help. I find it unacceptable that her doc isn't responding. There's lots of great doctors out there sometimes you need to shop around just like anything else.

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S.B.

answers from Chicago on

It was a nightmare with my daughter - she had to be upright all the time, especially after nursing for at least 45 minutes and slept on a big angle, until at around 4 1/2 months when we found out she was allergic to milk and I took it out of my diet - all kinds of stomach symptoms got better within the week. So if she is breast fed, try cutting out dairy or if she is formula fed try a hypoallergenic formula. It isn't necessarily the problem but worth a try (milk allergy is extremely common in infants these days) - she may have to cut out dairy for at least a couple of weeks to see a difference. Zantac seemed to help with the pain too.

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H.J.

answers from Peoria on

My Son had it when we brought him home at six weeks. The doctor didn't want to do meds so she had I put in a table spoon of rice cereal for every 2 or 4 ounces I can't remember now he's 15 mnths old and has outgrown it. I had a baby in my care and it was a tbs for every ounce. Depends on the doctor. But once we started that he didn't have any more problems at all. I would ask your dr. about that and if he/she is still not helpful look for a new doc. Hope this helps.
H.

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M.D.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter had acid reflux so badly she wasn't able to lay down even for a diaper change without vomitting. She slept in her carseat on the floor of my bedroom for the 1st 9 months of her life. Malox (sp?) helps and is safe to give. My daughter was also on adult-strength Prevacid until she turned 1. Happily, she just turned 4 and doesn't have any problems anymore with acid reflux. If the doc won't help, see someone different.

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A.M.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter was diagnosed with acid reflux after comming home on oxygen due to pre-maturity (27 weeker). I went to a specialist Dr Whalner(sp) ENT who works out of Luthern General & Rush Univ. Med Center. He was fantastic--gave me a perscription for Zantac (liquid) which I got flavoed grape & can use that pacifyer that helps give babies medicne (Walgreens/Osco) or I just used the eye dropper. He said she would work through it by 3 months after script & like clock-work, he was right. I also put rolled up blankets under the crib mattress to elevate her head at night...I exclusively gave her breastmilk (expressed--from a bottle) & it cleared up on its own after 3 months on the Zantac.

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K.N.

answers from Chicago on

My son had reflux starting about 8 weeks. We put a danny board, I think thats what it is called, in his crib. It is a piece of foamlike material, we got ours at babies r us, and it sort of elevates the one end of the crib mattress you put it under, so the baby isn't laying flat when sleeping. We also gave him baby zantac, and really those two things within 48 hours made him a brand new happy baby.
K.

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I.B.

answers from Chicago on

My daughter also had reflux issues. The best solution for us was the Amby Baby bed (you can find it online and sometimes find used ones on craigslist or ebay). It's a hammock bed that keeps the baby slightly inclined and rocks them. We couldn't lay our daughter down anywhere and she loved this bed. She was in it until about 4 or 5 months. Also, like others have said, keep the baby more upright when eating and immediately after eating.

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J.H.

answers from Chicago on

She might want to check her dietif she is nursing and take out the constant and see what happens or change formula. I have friends that were big milk drinkers stoped and the baby was happy.
all the best

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