It can be stressful to watch your baby experiencing pain and discomfort but not know the cause or how to soothe them.
If you notice any of the following signs, your baby might be suffering from reflux:
+ They aren’t easily soothed
+ They arch their backs and become very stiff during and after eating
+ They spit up frequently and experience discomfort with it
+ They refuse to eat
+ They pull on and off the breast or bottle
+ They are fussy at the breast or bottle
If you suspect reflux is the cause, here are 20 tips you could try.
- Keep baby elevated 20-30 minutes after feeding (sometimes hard to do!)
- Have baby nap and sleep at an incline with approval by your pediatrician.
- Use a safe swing in the furthest reclined position. Turn it on at a speed that seems to make baby calm. Sometimes just level 2 or 3.
- Use loud white noise. Try vacuum or blow dryer sound via an app on your mobile device or an actual white noise machine. The noise MUST be constant. It should not be waves crashing, music, rainforest sounds, etc. It needs to be a constant sound.
- Swaddle with a swaddle contraption. Halo Sleep Sack with Swaddle Arms and Love to Dream Swaddle Up are great
- Attempt to get your baby calm before trying to feed. To do this, try swaddle your baby, turn on white noise and hold them on their side prior to feeding. You can add the pacifier in this position as well.
- Temperature. Keep temperature cool between 68-72 degrees to help keep baby comfortable. They burn calories and heat up while fussy.
- Gripe Water. True Gripe Water is made of Chamomile, Ginger and Fennel to help soothe the stomach. Check the ingredients before purchasing. Avoid added sugars and brands that do not use these ingredients.
- Gas Drops (Simethicone) Start giving baby gas drops BEFORE feedings starting in the morning to help prevent gas build up throughout the day.
- Colic Calm drops
- Probiotics. BioGaia makes an excellent formula to help gas and reflux. Probiotics restore the healthy bacteria in the gut and often help babies with reflux. The BioGaia drops also have Vit D which is a great addition, especially for breastfed babies who aren’t getting Vit D found in formula. Gerber Soothe is also made by BioGaia and is the same formulation just without the Vit D. Another wonderful effect of probiotics is they help boost immunity.
- Chiropractor Adjustments. Chiropractor adjustments for babies are very different than for adults and can be tremendously effective for babies with reflux. Adjustments are like gentle massages using pressure points around the spine and neck to help loosen any tightness in the body that could be blocking the easy flow of bodily fluids. MAKE SURE THE CHIROPRACTOR IS CERTIFIED IN INFANT CARE.
- Cranial Sacral Therapy with a Physical Therapist. Very soothing in helping to calm the nervous system.
- Acupuncture. Needles are NOT used when treating infants
- Prescription Medication. Consult your pediatrician
- See a GI Specialist
- Have baby assessed by a lactation consultant or your pediatrician for a lip and tongue tie
- Consider your diet. If you are breastfeeding, there are some foods that can be bothersome to babies: Think: if a food might bother my stomach, it might be hard on my baby’s stomach too.
- Dairy. (You will need to cut out all forms completely for at least two weeks to see the full effect of eliminating it.)
- Gassy vegetables
- Eliminate whole food prenatal vitamins. If you are taking a prenatal vitamin that is made with WHOLE FOODS, your vitamin might be causing your baby discomfort. The ingredients in the vitamins are highly concentrated amounts of foods that are highly bothersome to a sensitive stomach. Either eliminate it for a few days and see if you see improvement or switch to a synthetic prenatal vitamin temporarily.
- Focus on lowering your own anxiety. Anxiety produces cortisol (stress hormone) which passes through milk. Use a meditation app and practice daily. Try yoga or breathing exercises. Attend our free weekly support group for breastfeeding and postpartum adjustment. Reach out to a therapist who specializes in postpartum depression and anxiety disorders. Talk to your OB or a psychiatrist about medication if you aren’t able to tackle it with other methods