The first three months with Chicken Little were the hardest of my life. I was completely unprepared for a fussy baby with infant acid reflux. He cried more than I did and my husband was working long hours so I went at least 10-12 hour stretches without a break. He constantly spit up on me and refused to be put down even long enough for me to use the restroom. Medications the doctor prescribed had little to no effect on his acid reflux and it took quite awhile before I had the energy to begin researching things that might help him. Once I did, things improved dramatically for us.
Here is what helped:
Positioning for infant acid reflux
Be sure your baby is always upright with a straight spine and no pressure on the tummy. Carriers, slings and bouncy seats that allow him to slump will put pressure on his tummy. To keep from going insane check into a nice adjustable baby carrier that keeps him close to you so you can actually use your hands. I recommend the moby wrap and the baby cuddler. For sleeping, invest in a good sleeping wedge like the Tucker Sling. When feeding always be sure your baby’s spine is straight and he is as elevated as possible. It is virtually impossible to do this without using something like a Pollywog baby feeding pillow. I sell these items in my store because I have virtually tried them all and these are the ones that work for babies with infant acid reflux.
Dietary changes to cure infant acid reflux
If you are breastfeeding try eliminating triggers from your diet. Dairy, soy, and wheat are very common ones. It may take several weeks for these foods to clear your system so you really need to continue the trial that long. Pay close attention to your baby’s diapers and spit ups when you do add things back. It can take 12 hours or more for a food you consume to hit your baby’s system, although you may notice changes immediately depending on the level of his intolerance. Read more about making breastmilk easier to digest.
Breastmilk imbalance can trigger infant acid reflux
Be sure your baby is getting the adequate amount of hind milk. Only switch breasts once a side is empty! Too much foremilk can cause gas or reflux. See Empty the first breast for more information on how to tell if it’s time to switch or not.
The right baby bottles can improve infant acid reflux
If you are bottle feeding try Dr. Brown’s Bottles. They are uniquely designed with an internal straw that eliminates air bubbles and vacuum buildup. They really are the best bottles for baby spit up and gas.
Medication for infant acid reflux – a last resort
Talk to your doctor about medicating your baby only once you have tried these other natural remedies for infant reflux. Medications are not tested for infant use, nor have there been any follow-up studies done.
Dealing with infant acid reflux
Get as much help for yourself as possible. It’s so easy to slip into depression when you are dealing with a refluxer. Be sure to leave the house. Getting outside will change things dramatically for both of you! Visit friends, go for walks, but above all take care of yourself. See reflux and colic sanity tips for more ideas on how to preserve your sanity when dealing with a refluxer.
Wishing you hugs,