Acid reflux in babies is pretty common. Let us look at the causes, symptoms and remedies for acid reflux in babies in this article.
When my first daughter started burping and throwing up a little, I was afraid as to why she was doing it. That is when my mom told me that it is pretty common among babies to do so. I started researching more about it and learnt that it goes on for up to 18 months. I also understood that a lot of new mothers worry about the acid reflux in their babies. So, I decided to write an article on acid reflux in babies: causes, symptoms and remedies to help new mothers understand their babies better.
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What is acid reflux?
Before we jump into the remedies for acid reflux in babies, let us first understand what is acid reflux. Acid reflux/ infant reflux is when a baby spits up food or liquid. Acid reflux happens when the contents in the baby’s stomach moves back into the esophagus. The esophagus is a muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. That is why acid reflux is also called gastroesophageal reflux (GER). Acid reflux happens many times in a day and it is completely healthy. It is normal for babies to have acid reflux for up to 18 months.
It should be noted that the acid reflux will peak when your baby is four months old and it will stop before they turn a year and a half. More than half of all babies experience acid reflux and some babies might spit up more than others. Spitting up is usually painless and if your baby does not cry after spitting up, you don’t have to worry about your little one’s acid reflux. Let us look at the causes and symptoms of acid reflux before we move on to the remedies, so that we can help our babies better.
Causes of acid reflux
As mentioned above, acid reflux happens when the contents in the stomach moves back to the esophagus. At the bottom of the esophagus where it meets the stomach, there is a ring of muscles that opens up and closes when you swallow. This ring of muscle is called the esophageal sphincter. Acid reflux in babies happens because their esophageal sphincter is underdeveloped. Thus, the contents in the baby’s stomach easily moves into the esophagus.
Symptoms of acid reflux
Acid reflux/ GER is not something to worry about. You can usually expect your baby to throw up a little after they have had milk or food. But look out for symptoms like yellow or green puke, crying for a long time after puking, projectile vomiting, forceful puking, and your baby not putting on weight. These symptoms are an indication of an allergy, a block in the digestive system, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Consult your pediatrician if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above.
Feeding you little bundle of joy properly when they have acid reflux is quite important. Check out our article on what to feed a teething toddler to know more.
Coconut oil for acid reflux in babies
Now that we have looked at the causes and symptoms of acid reflux in babies, let us move to the remedies for the same. You don’t have to worry about any remedies if your little one is not throwing up frequently. But if your baby throws up a little frequently, one of the home remedies you can follow to reduce it is to give coconut oil. This worked wonders on my first daughter and I followed the same for my second daughter as well.
We know that coconut oil has a lot of benefits for adults but it is equally beneficial for infants as well. Coconut oil has anti- inflammatory properties and it will reduce the causes for the acid reflux. Look for organic coconut oil as it will improve the immunity of your little ones as well. Give your baby a spoon of coconut oil with hot water before every time you feed. Follow this at least three times a day for a few months. Coconut oil for acid reflux in babies has worked for my kids but if it is not working for your’s check out other home remedies below.
Other home remedies
Indian cuisine and condiments have a lot of medicinal properties and a lot of them help reduce acid reflux in babies. Let us look at three more home remedies that help with the acid reflux in babies.
- The easiest and the most important remedy is to look at your baby’s position while they are feeding and sleeping. Make sure that your baby is upright while feeding and that their upper body is elevated up to 30 degrees while they are sleeping. This will help with the food/ liquid not moving up into the esophagus.
- The next remedy that has proven to reduce acid reflux in babies is cumin. Boil a few spoons of cumin seeds in water and strain the water after it gets cold. Give your baby a few spoons of this cumin water after feeding.
- The last but not the least remedy for acid reflux in babies is to make them exercise a little bit. Lay your baby on their back and move their legs as if they are riding a bicycle. Do this for a few minutes everyday but not immediately before or after feeding.
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I hope that the article has given you an understanding of acid reflux in babies and the causes, symptoms, and remedies for the same. A healthy baby is a happy baby, so make sure that you pay close attention to the acid reflux in babies. Do not hesitate to take your little one to the hospital, if you feel like the symptoms are not reducing even after following the home remedies.
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