Pregnancy and Parenting Features

Symptoms of Reflux In Infants

You know how babies seem to spit up a lot? Well, that is really reflux! Most infants have reflux several times each day because their little digestive systems have not quite grown enough to handle the daily meals and so reflux occurs. Many times babies have reflux without any other symptoms and this is known as “happy vomiting” however there are other situations where babies have reflux that is serious and needs medical care. Regardless of whether or not your baby has mild or serious influx he/she will certainly outgrow it so it is something you must deal with for only a short period of time.

Again, keep in mind that the majority of babies experiencing reflux simply have uncomplicated cases and have no other symptoms at all other than just a little spit up after each meal. Most of these babies do not need treatment, but a few do. The following are some of the typical symptoms of infant reflux you should be aware of:

• Frequent ear or sinus infections
• Frequent Hiccups
• Wet burps
• Symptoms of colic
• Spitting up or vomiting
• Frequent waking/poor sleep habits
• Arching of the neck during or after eating
• Gulping or choking noises
• Constant or sudden crying

Many times lifestyle changes can reduce these symptoms and help your baby’s reflux considerably. Frequently the way you feed your baby can be part of the problem not to mention what you are feeding your baby and if you change these around a bit you will sometimes see great results. Additionally, babies might respond better to eating less more often, being burped more, eating thicker food, or even a different formula. After feeding make sure you keep baby reclined and relaxed for at least 20 minutes and avoid any contact with the abdomen. After feeding your baby just needs to be calm and quiet to digest the meal.

Infrequently babies have GERD, which is a reflux disease, and this can be a serious condition that requires medical care. If you believe your baby is experiencing more than simple reflux and are concerned about GERD make a doctor’s appointment to get clarification, a diagnosis, and medication if needed. While you should never diagnose your baby yourself, some GERD symptoms to look for include:

• Gagging him or herself with fingers
• Eating more food than necessary
• Sore throat
• Resisting mealtime and eating little when hungry
• Ear infections
• Gagging or choking
• Poor body weight
• Excessive drooling
• Bad or sour breath
• Arching of neck
• Pneumonia, bronchitis, wheezing, cough, aspiration, asthma
• Anemia
• Hoarseness
• Erosion of dental enamel
• Runny nose or sinus infections
• Apnea

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child then you have reason to worry about GERD. Not all of these symptoms must be present for a diagnosis as only one, two, or a few could mean your baby has GERD and needs medical treatment. Only your doctor can diagnose whether your baby has GERD or simple reflux and it is important to address this condition early in order to determine what can be done to help your baby feel better. Most of the time a diagnosis is easy and based on information you give in response to questions as well as a physical evaluation of your baby. In some extreme instances testing may need to be done, but generally this is not the case.

If you believe your baby has reflux or even GERD go ahead and schedule an appointment with your pediatrician to learn what is really going on with your baby and the best method for treating it.

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