Having a baby with acid reflux is frustrating and scary. You just want your baby to feel better, so try these survival tips for baby with acid reflux.
I'll never forget the first time my daughter showed signs of acid reflux. She was only a few days old, and I laid her in her crib while she napped. I heard strange noises, so I went into her nursery to find her gagging and choking on spit-up. She was surrounded by a huge puddle. I was so frightened!
The massive spit-up amounts continued. I eliminated food from my diet, I held her upright for long periods, and I eventually gave up breastfeeding and used a formula designed for babies with sensitive stomachs. Nothing worked!
Mommy groups weren't as common almost 9 years ago, and I often felt alone with the struggles. Eventually, we put my daughter on reflux medication, and it changed her behavior drastically. However, it did turn out that she had GERD and continued on medication for several years.
So, if you think your baby has acid reflux, here are some tips to survive the next few months. Reflux does peak around 3 to 4 months old and tends to drastically decrease by the time they're 6 months old!
Remove Dairy from Diet
Cutting dairy out of your diet should be one of your first steps and observe your diet. Other triggers can be soy, citrus, caffeine, chocolate, eggs, and other acidic foods.
Related: How Breastfeeding Turned Me Off Dairy For Good
Elevating your baby is a helpful trick. If you have acid reflux, elevating your head is helpful, so the same applies to your baby. You can try a wedge under the crib to lift the head a bit. You should also try elevating baby while eating. I typically use a nursing pillow under my arms to lift up my baby's head!
Many families swear by things such as the Rock 'N Play or the 4Moms MamaRoo. These are so helpful, but remember that they aren't designed for unsupervised sleep! You can leave your infant in them throughout the day if it keeps them happy, but they're not meant for safe, nighttime sleep!
Try a Probiotic
A probiotic helps to encourage healthy gut flora. Gerber Soothe is a popular choice amongst parents, and it is targeted to help babies with colic and food sensitivities.
Hold Upright After Feeding
After a feeding, it's best to hold your baby upright for at least 30 minutes. Hold your baby upright on your shoulder, burping for an extended time. You can wear your baby in a carrier or try a swing or bouncer. Keeping your baby upright is important to remember! It can make nursing to sleep complicated, but it's worth it!
Related: Link Between Antacids During Pregnancy and Childhood Asthma
Ditch the Guilt
You are a good parent! You did nothing wrong to lead to this; babies just often have sensitive tummy problems. Acid reflux is a problem many parents face. You're doing everything you can!
Ask for Help
Some nights, you won't get much sleep. Acid reflux causes babies to struggle with sleeping. So, ask for help from family and friends if you need a nap or two. Most people are more than willing to hold a sweet baby while mom catches up on some rest!
One Day at a Time
Many reflux babies have good and bad days, and you never know what the day will be. Take the day as it comes, one day at a time. If your baby has a good day, take advantage of it! Get out of the house, go for a walk, and do something for yourself. Self-care is vital as a parent.
Seek Medical Help for Baby
Last, make sure you seek medical help for your baby. Acid reflux can cause babies to not gain weight properly. Depending on the severity of your child's reflux, it may be a good idea to place your baby on medication.