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How To Handle Acid Reflux In Babies

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As a new mother or father, you are probably adjusting to having spit up on you when your baby burps. You may not realize that large amounts of spit up can actually indicate a condition known as acid reflux. Typically, acid reflux is associated with adults; however, approximately 50 percent of babies under three months old develop acid reflux. The condition usually goes away by the time they are twelve to eighteen months old, but in the mean time, it can be quite the headache.

What is Acid Reflux?

Normally, the ring of muscles between the esophagus and the stomach are constricted; they only open when you swallow. However, if there is a condition present that causes the muscle to be relaxed and open, the contents of the stomach (such as your baby’s milk and stomach acids) can spill out. Once these spill out, they flow back up the esophagus and out of the mouth in the form of excessive spit up or vomit.

The most common reason for acid reflux in babies is an immature digestive system.  Other causes include eating too much, too fast or getting air bubbles in the esophagus that cause the liquid to be pushed up and out of the throat.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux in Babies

Before you can begin to treat acid reflux in babies, you need to know the symptoms so that you can make sure it is acid reflux. Symptoms can include:

These are common symptoms. If your child has more severe symptoms, such as spitting up blood or bile, fever, projectile spit up, diarrhea, or is not gaining weight, call your pediatrician immediately. You do not have time to try home treatments.

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Treating Acid Reflux at Home

If your baby’s acid reflux has not affected weigh gain and they are not in obvious distress, you can try treating it at home with these simple, non-medication techniques.

If none of these home options work or your baby is worse instead of better, you should see your pediatrician. There are medications and procedures that can eliminate or reduce acid reflux and make your baby a happy, healthy baby. Some of the treatments include:

Acid reflux is an uncomfortable condition for anyone, particularly babies who have no way to tell you how they feel. When you see your baby spitting up more than normal or in voluminous amounts, ask your pediatrician if you can try the home remedies mentioned. If these do not work, seek the help of your pediatrician and remember most babies will outgrow the condition as their digestive system matures.

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