Our 8 month old is having a bout of really nasty heartburn after getting over norovirus. Our doctor has looked at him and determined he's suffering from normal gastritis and prescribed zantec. Unfortunately Zantec takes 1-2 days to take effect and so he is still suffering from the pangs of heartburn. I can sympathize with him because his symptoms are identical to what I suffer when I have severe heartburn -- painful heartburn 1/2 hour after eating that prevents you from sleeping.

We should have asked our doctor this, I know, but I'm curious if there's more immediate sources of heartburn relief from OTC drugs/home remedies for a baby. If my baby was an adult or older I might give him Tums/Rolaids.

Apparently Pepto Bismol is out due to concerns over Reye's syndrome. Rolaids/Tums obviously seem out due to choking concerns unless I can crush them somehow. Water sometimes works for me personally, but can be a double edged sword--it lowers the pH of one's stomach, but it can also introduce extra liquid volume causing the contents to continue to slosh up one's esophagus, causing more pain.

  • I know this doesn't help with your immediate issue, but one remedy that has been inexplicably, miraculously effective for people with teeth is to eat 10 raw almonds (roasted ones can make it worse).
    – Taj Moore
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 19:46

7 Answers 7


Have you thought about trying gripe water? It's available at any big box retailer (WalMart, Target, grocery stores). We used it with some success with our daughter who had reflux. The brand we used contained ginger, fennel, and bicarbonate--and the bicarbonate might be the most useful in helping settle down the reflux.

The jury is still out as to whether Gripe water is really that effective, but it seemed to help Charlotte's somewhat and it might settle him down enough to at least make him comfortable so he can get some sleep.

Otherwise, try keeping him elevated for awhile after feeding (30 minutes-1 hour) which I know is hard sometimes, and if you can elevate the head of his mattress a little that might help, too (we stuck a small pillow under Charlotte's mattress).


Try Maalox liquid.

Also, have you tried changing the formula you use?

Finally, have you tried burping the child in the middle of the feeding?


Crush tums into powder inside a zip lock baggy using a wooden spoon to crush til it's powder. Put a pinch in baby's mouth if he or she seems to be in pain after eating. If baby calms down then you know that was likely the problem. Works like a charm for my son.


As an alternative to gripe water, my grandmother used ginger tea, flat ginger ale, and camomile tea on us (not all at once!).


Perhaps a slippery elm lozenge could be crushed and mixed with a little water to make a paste. My husband takes slippery elm before bed for mild heartburn. Remaining upright will help as well.

(Slippery elm is traditionally prepared as a slimy, gross liquid- if you can find it that way, great. I can only find it in a lozenge at my health food store.)


I had my daughter suck on a tum for a few seconds and it seemed to help. I just tossed the tums in the trash. Only had her suck on it until she seemed to calm down. I wouldn't give her or him a whole gum but I don't see the problem haing them suck on it for a little bit just to get some help with the reflux.

  • They aren't a choking hazard? Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 6:18
  • Could you please explain what you mean by 'a tum'? There's a Dutch sweet called 'tum tum', but other than that, I can't find anything.
    – SQB
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 8:30
  • tums.com - heartburn relief tablets. They sell a kids' version too. The active ingredient is calcium carbonate. Sounds like a major choking hazard to me though.
    – Vicky
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 10:22

Try some baking soda and water. Just a small amount

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