Reflux happens in babies because the muscular valve at the base of their food pipe isn't developed enough to keep milk and stomach acid down, which causes discomfort and heartburn. While it's normal for babies under 14 months to spit up milk, it can make your baby uncomfortable so it's worth trying to ease the issue.
If your baby seems to cry more during feeding or when lying on its back, they could be struggling with excessive reflux. It's unusual for a baby to still have reflux after 14 months, which is when the muscles of their food canal strengthen and they can keep milk down.
Symptoms of reflux include:
If your baby is vomiting violently, or reflux symptoms occur often, make an appointment with your GP and health visitor, especially if the following symptoms occur:
These symptoms could indicate GORD (a serious and long-term reflux issue), a cow or formula milk allergy, or a blockage. A visit to your GP should determine what the issue is at hand.
The following things can help avoid or ease reflux:
If your baby is bringing up a lot of milk, they might get hungry again quickly.
You can also avoid reflux while they are sleeping by raising the end of their crib using books under the legs. A pillow under one end of the mattress can also raise their bodies up at the head end slightly, meaning that stomach acid and milk is less able to travel up their food pipe.
Sharon Trotter, midwife, parenting author and founder of tipslimited.com suggests more things to help sooth a baby with reflux: