Oh, the joys of having a ‘reflux baby’ ! I’m sure many of you can relate, both of my girls have had reflux and it’s something that can be very stressful on a new mama. It’s also super common! We eventually ended up medicating Piper around 6 months but so far Flora’s reflux doesn’t seem to be as intense and we are trying to help comfort her in other ways for now. In my research and experience I’ve found a few things that really help prevent bouts of reflux that I’m sharing today.
*I’m not a doctor or medical expert, as always please consult your pediatrician for any medical issues with your child.
KEEP YOUR BABY UPRIGHT AFTER FEEDING.
This can be much easier said than done, especially during nighttime feedings but I’ve found 20 minutes to be the magical number for both of my babies. Any less and they are much more likely to spit up. I usually just put the baby on my chest while I sit up completely straight (propped up with a pillow if in bed) and set a timer for 20 minutes while I read. If we are awake and its daytime after I burp her for 5 minutes I’ll put her in the Rock & Play.
TRY SMALLER MORE FREQUENT FEEDINGS.
This is a rule I followed when I had bad reflux while I was pregnant and the same applies for babies — smaller, more frequent feedings will keep your baby’s belly less full and less likely to experience reflux.
If you’re bottle feeding this is easy but when you’re nursing it can be more challenging to find an upright position that’s comfortable for both you and baby. I recently started using the Milk Boss Pillow and it’s amazing! It supports your arm and allows you to keep your baby propped on an incline which I find really helps with Flora’s reflux and spit ups. My husband uses it while he’s feeding Flora a bottle and I also love that its smaller than my other nursing pillows and not as cumbersome. I just find it easier to use this pillow now that Flora is a little bigger and more ‘sturdy’ and I can see us using it during the rest of our breastfeeding journey.
TAKE BREAKS TO BURP WHILE FEEDING.
Take a pause between sides or every few minutes to burp while you’re nursing or bottle feeding. Flora is super efficient at nursing so I burp her after the first 2 minutes and then again mid-way through and then after she’s done. This makes a 10 minute feeding take twice as long but it’s worth it. I use the Sprout app to time our feeds so its easy to know when to burp her!
IF ALL ELSE FAILS, TRY CHANGING YOUR DIET.
Work with your doctor to try to eliminate different common foods that can worsen reflux or determine if your baby has a food allergy.