It is common for babies to bring a little milk up or spit up after feeding, specially when they are burped. But frequent vomiting accompanying discomfort and crying which leads to weight loss is a more serious condition commonly known as infant acid reflux or GERD.
What is Acid reflux ?
Acid reflux or Infant acid reflux a.k.a Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD) is a condition in infants where food and acid flows back up or reflux into the oesophagus or sometimes into mouth. In infants, it is also known as spitting up or regurgitation.
But while spitting up is normal and seen in most babies, Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD) is a serious condition whihc can cause weight loss in infants.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux in babies are :
- Spit up or Vomit
- Refusal of food or eating very little
- Sudden or constant crying
- Frequent burps
- Bad breath in babies
How common is acid reflux ?
Acid reflux in some degree is present in almost all babies, whether breast-fed or bottle-fed. Some amount of milk comes back when you burp the baby and most babies outgrow the condition by 6-12 months. Some babies may experience it for a little longer but usually not after 2 year mark.
Can acid reflux be serious ?
Some babies experience heavier than normal spit-up or vomiting and it is important to keep track of it. Be sure to consult baby’s doctor if :
- Baby is vomiting large amounts consistently after feeds
- Vomit is green or yellow or has blood
- Difficulty in breathing after vomiting
- Difficulty in swallowing food
Treatment of acid reflux
There are different treatments which your doctor might suggest depending upon how serious the condition is.
What to do to minimize spitting up
- Ensure baby does not over-feed.
- Burp baby frequently between feeds.
- Give frequent smaller feeds. This will help to keep the food down.
- Keep the baby sitting up for atleast half an hour after feeding.
- Do not allow rough-housing or play immediately after feeding.
What to do to minimize spitting up, if your baby is breast-fed
- Try to feed less in every feed
- Feed frequently but in smaller quantities
- Ensure that you burp between feeds.
What to do to minimize spitting up,If baby is formula-fed
- Check the bottle for right nipple size. Too much flow could also be a reason for reflux.
- Try changing the bottle and nipple in case you feel the flow is too fast.
- Try changing the brand of formula
- Frequent burping might help
If your baby does not benefit by these, make sure to take medical device.