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My 9-month baby suffers from moderate acid reflux since she was 3-month old. Our doctor put her on prescription, but we also tried the usual solutions like keeping her propped during sleep (I use a wooden board under the mattress) or avoiding acid foods. All this has helped, but she still sometimes wakes up at night crying.

Is there something else you have found to be useful? At what age, in your experience, reflux mostly disappears?

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is the baby on breast milk or formula? If formula, what kind? –  Mike Ohlsen Apr 1 '11 at 11:52
    
Breast milk, we recently started to swith to Humana 2 –  realbot Apr 4 '11 at 8:19
    
just a comment: None of my babies had reflux issues, but they still woke up crying at night sometimes. If you feel you have addressed the reflux issues, maybe she is just hungry, or misses you (9 month has separation anxiety start) or something else (my youngest is easily constipated, and before we were able to address it he would wake up crying trying to pass stool). –  Ida Jul 24 at 16:10

7 Answers 7

Our daughter had acid reflux and it was a disaster until we figured out what was going on. We put her on daily meds (prevacid) and it improved her life and ours drastically. It started before she was on food, and would spit up all the time. We tried many types of bottles and nothing worked. After she was on the prevacid, she drank so much more, was so much happier, and slept through the night. She is now just over a year.

She had the flu a few weeks ago, and we switched to soy formula / soy milk just to be gentler on her stomach. And then things got even better. Kinda a fluke that we switched, but it made a difference. We have kept her on the soy, and have been able to cut her reflux meds completely. The Dr. thinks she just just a mild sensitivity to lactose, not intolerant, it was just hard for her to digest and it upset her stomach. Her stools also went from soft to hard almost immediately. We did a test, and went back to milk, and almost immediately, she had reflux and soft stools.

So in our case, it was not that she had bad reflux on her own, it was just made worse by the milk or lactose. The Dr thinks she will certainly outgrow it and will never be an issue long term.

Good Luck!

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Ingesting air when eating is one of the contributers to the problem of reflux in infants. The stomach is very similar to a balloon. When it is filled with liquid and air, and pressure is applied (by lying on the tummy, a diaper that's too snug, positioning in sitting or with knees bent, or held closely against someone) the liquid can backflow or reflux. The flow may stop before it comes up to or out of the mouth or it may spew out of the mouth as vomiting.

Babies often swallow air when drinking. The Dr. Brown Bottle at http://www.handi-craft.com/ is the only bottle that takes air out of the swallow and is very beneficial for reducing reflux in many babies. I usually do not mention brands, but this is necessary to help answer this question.

I am a speech language pathologist that works with feeding disorders. It is important for parents to be armed with information about products that can affect the health of their child. I have NO connections with the Dr. Brown Bottle. This bottle is patented and is the only bottle with a laser cut nipple. Research reported on their site also indicates the bottle can increase nutrition.

Sensitivities/allergies/intolerance, preterm birth, and autoimmune disorders are other culprits associated with reflux. The duration of reflux will vary from child to child and will often depend on the causal factors and how they are addressed. Reflux can and often does disappear by 12 months of age. It is common however for adults to have adult onset reflux from gaining excessive weight and incompatible diets as they age.

At http://www.jacn.org/content/17/4/308.full.pdf+html is an excellence research-based review of reflux and its treatment.

Reflux can have very serious consequences, including pain, aspiration of acid/food/liquid into the lungs leading to infections/bronchitis/pneumonia; erosion of the tissue of the throat/nose/mouth (esophagitis), erosion of teeth, ear infections, and food avoidance.

Understand that medication my not stop backflow, but it does stop or neutralize the acid (depending on the medication). The acid is the source of pain, esophagitis, erosion of teeth and food avoidance. Basically, it reduces the refluxing to "spit" and we often say, "spit happens".

I suggest that you try the Dr. Brown bottle that reduces air intake when swallowing as well as continue the medication and strategies you are already implementing. Hopefully this problem will resolve quickly.

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Acid reflux is not a joke let me tell you that. I have it too did have it as child too.

There are multiple things for you to watch out for.

First: Food. You are doing right in watching out for that. There are tons of good lists out there that provide you with a good direction. Later on, when he grows up, make sure he follows it. Chances are that the reflux will go milder but unfortunately it will never fully disappear.

So when he gets older he should really pick hes food. No fast food, no sugar, no whit flour, no juices, no spices, no pepper and so on. Yes that sounds really hard, i know. But you really have to watch out for that or you end up taking medicine your whole life long.

Other thing you can do is avoiding milk. I know it sounds interesting and many lists say milk is okey but really it's not. Try avoiding it and see if it helps. Basically he can only drink water. :(

I do think that you should use medication as late as possible. Don't let him get used to it.

So eating is key. There isn't really to much else. :( Hope this could help. And good luck!

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Care to explain the -1? This is a working advice you know. I use it on daily basis. Eating healthy is the best thing against reflux. –  Hannibal Mar 30 '11 at 8:40

Our daughter was similarly diagnosed (at a similar age) and the doctor recommended Infant Gaviscon (we're in the UK, although I think this is an international brand), which definitely mitigated the situation. The (very) basic theory behind Gaviscon is that it thickens the milk in the stomach, which will stop it from sloshing around so much.

In conjunction with significantly more winding after feeding, and more breaks with winding during feeding, the reflux was reduced.

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Some things to try:

Remove all chocolate and mint from her diet. When I had acid problems, my doctor told me that cocoa and mint contain some component that causes the muscle that keeps the acid down in your stomach to relax. If you already have an acid problem, these foods can exacerbate it.

Not feeding her immediately before sleep (I know, for a baby it sucks, but our bodies do increase acid production in response to food).

Changing her diet -- some people with food sensitivities have acid problems when they consume the offending foods. If that is the problem, and you can nail down which food is the offender, you could end the acid issue entirely.

Good luck!

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i doubt the 9 moth old get much chocolate and mint! –  Mike Ohlsen Apr 1 '11 at 11:51
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@Mike The baby was receiving breast milk, so if mom ate chocolate or mint go through the milk. –  Christine Sep 18 '11 at 2:34
    
Also put a rolled towel under the "head end" of her matress in her crib as it will raiser her up just a bit so the acid is likely to come up as high when she is having a problem. If you co-sleep do this to your own mattress. –  balanced mama Jul 10 '12 at 3:51

I agree that its all about the food. Plus, if your baby was breastfeeding - the mother's diet is critically important. The mother should stay away from foods which loosen the esophagus or produce acid: milk, chocolate, coffee, mint, cinnamon, peanuts, wine, alcohol, tomatoes, etc. Everything that the mother eats, the baby consumes in the breast milk. As your baby switches to foods, maintain the same restrictions on her diet. Dairy replacement is probably going to be a big factor - try soy milk, rice milk or (my personal favorite) almond milk.

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We went through something similar with our daughter and we tried the following:

  • Keeping her sat up for a while after feeding
  • Infant gaviscon
  • More winding (but avoid infacol/gripe water)
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