Infant Reflux - Natural Remedies
Infant Reflux - Non-Prescriptive Natural Remedies
Babies are being medicated for infant reflux at an alarming rate these days, often before common sense lifestyle changes are recommended. As a society we have been programmed to look for medication as a quick symptom mask but when it comes to a baby we are more concerned that the product is "natural".
There has been a huge increase in the last decade of "natural remedies" for infant reflux and colic in the form of gas drops and gripe water, Baby's Bliss and Colic Calm to name a few. Be aware that any product can use the term natural and not all ingredients are required to be listed on the packaging. These products may be no more natural than pharmaceuticals, and in fact some have been subject to recent market recalls. Read our article on the differences between probiotics, gripe water and simethicone drops for more information.
Oral treatments, whether natural or medicinal, may be beneficial for easing immediate symptoms but we believe in eliminating the actual cause of the problem. Many things can cause a baby intestinal discomfort, or trigger fussiness, colic or infant reflux.
Before introducing a foreign substance into your baby's already delicate system try these natural remedies for infant reflux. In cases of severe GERD the baby may need a combination of oral treatment and these natural remedies.
Because colic and fussiness are frequently caused by undiagnosed and often silent infant reflux (meaning the baby refluxes but does not spit up), these home remedies may also be helpful for easing colic and fussiness.
Infant Reflux - Breastfeeding Natural Remedies
Infant Reflux - General Feeding Natural Remedies
Infant Reflux - Positioning as a Natural Remedy
Infant Reflux - Other Natural Remedies
Remedy infant reflux naturally through positioning
Visit our online infant reflux store for a complete line of feeding and infant reflux sleeping wedges as well as other products handpicked for infant reflux. Our infant reflux wedges are covered by most insurance. Find out how.
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Infant reflux natural remedy #1: Breastfeed your baby.
Breastmilk digests much quickerthan artificial milk formulations. The less time food spends in your baby’s tummy, the lower the chances of spit-ups. In addition, the motion your baby’s tongue makes while breastfeeding creates waves along his GI tract that help push food lower in his stomach and into the intestines.
Learn more about breastmilk versus formula as an infant reflux and colic home remedy.
Learn more about breast versus bottle feeding as an infant reflux and colic home remedy.
Learn more about how formulas are not all alike as an infant reflux and colic home remedy.
Infant reflux natural remedy #2: Minimize forceful letdowns.
Your baby may have difficulty keeping up with the flow and swallow too much air, which can cause gassiness and more spitups. Try pumping a small amount first, or removing your baby until the spray has lessened.
Learn more about overactive letdown and oversupply as an infant reflux and colic home remedy.
Infant reflux natural remedy #3: Be sure to finish the first breast before switching sides.
Leave your baby on the first breast as long as he appears to be sucking for comfort rather than calories. Only offer him the second breast when he truly begins to seem hungry.
Learn more about getting a good balance of foremilk and hindmilk by finishing the first breast before switching to the second as an infant reflux and colic home remedy.
Infant reflux natural remedy #4: Nurse on one breast for at least 2 hours before switching if your baby wants to constantly nurse.
This will help keep your baby from overeating.
Learn more about "block nursing" as an infant reflux and colic home remedy.
Infant reflux natural remedy #5: Alter your diet for a trial period of several weeks.
Dairy, spicy or acidic foods, caffeine and alcohol can all trigger infant reflux through your milk supply. You may also consider an elimination diet.
Learn more about making your breastmilk even easier to digest as an infant reflux and colic home remedy.
Infant reflux natural remedy #6: Avoid offering your baby formula as a means to end fussy behavior.
Learn more about the pitfalls of offering supplemental formula bottles. Read about evening fussiness and cluster feeding.
Infant reflux natural remedy #7: Feed your baby on an angle of at least 30 degrees and make sure he has a totally straight spine.
A Pollywog Nursing Positioner can make this easy to do. The more upright he is while feeding, the more milk will enter the intestines and the less will come back up. A baby lying on his back or with even a slightly "kinked" or turned neck will swallow more air and is more likely to reflux.
Learn more about breast or bottle feeding positions as an infant reflux and colic home remedy.
Visit our online store for a complete line of feeding and infant reflux sleeping wedges as well as other products handpicked for babies with infant reflux. Our wedges are covered by most insurance. Find out how.
Positioning during feeds is an important natural remedy for infant reflux.
Infant reflux natural remedy #8: Give your baby smaller, more frequent feedings that are easier for him to digest.
A too-full tummy can put pressure on the lower esophagus sphincter, causing your baby to spit up. Your baby may want to eat more often to compensate for this.
Infant reflux natural remedy #9: Burp your baby thoroughly.
If breastfeeding, you may want to try burping between breasts, anytime your baby pulls off your nipple, or anytime he gets squirmy. Bottle fed babies should be burped frequently, even as often a every 1-2 ounces if they seem irritable or gassy after a feed.
Choose burping positions that put less pressure on baby’s tummy. Place his head over your shoulder and hold him in close to you so he doesn’t slump or slouch, gently patting his back. Try gentle bouncing on a therapy ball, walking up and down stairs while patting his back, or raising on toes and thumping down on heels rhythmically. The key is to find what works for you and do it as frequently as possible. You may also consider purchasing some clothing protection. Visit our online store for inexpensive, highly absorbent burp cloths.
Infant reflux natural remedy #10: Thickened Feedings.
Many pediatricians and websites will suggest that you thicken liquid feeds (including breastmilk) with (especially) rice cereal. Thickening breastmilk is ineffective because the digestive enzymes in breastmilk will thin cereal out within minutes. Thickening feeds can be beneficial for some babies but can actually be detrimental for others. If you do decide to thicken feeds, keep a journal of what times you are thickening Baby’s liquids and note any possible reactions he may have. Reactions can occur instantaneously or up to 16 hours later. If you do choose to use rice cereal for acid reflux be sure to use an organic brand to be sure the grain has not been modified with anything. Most GM food has been crossed with soy which is very allergenic.
Infant reflux natural remedy #11: Experiment with different bottles if bottle feeding.
Every baby has a different suck and may do better with a different nipple. Because of this there is no best nipple for all babies with infant reflux. However, Dr. Browns' bottles do actually reduce the amount of air your baby takes in because of it's internal straw system that removes the vacuum that builds up inside the bottle. Try Dr. Brown's bottles to see if they reduce your baby's gas and infant reflux.
Infant reflux natural remedy #12: Keep your baby upright for 20 – 30 minutes after each feeding.
Let gravity help keep food down. Be sure that baby is upright with a straight spine, and not just upright but slumped. Visit our online store to find infant reflux positioning products and baby carriers that put your baby in the correct upright position after feedings.
Infant reflux natural remedy #13: Keep from stimulating your baby for 20-30 minutes after each feeding.
Stimulation, including laughing and crying, can trigger infant reflux episodes. If he is stimulated, swaddling is a great way to soothe and calm him. Visit our online store to find what we believe are the safest swaddle blankets you can get.
See our other colic and reflux comfort ideas.
Infant reflux natural remedy #14: If your baby is having a feeding aversion or seems to be more uncomfortable than usual
check with your pediatrician to be sure that the infant reflux medication dose he is on is still appropriate for his weight. Colds and teething are also common causes for nursing strikes and feeding aversions. Try a feeding wedge, co-sleeping, increased skin-to-skin time, bathing together, nursing in a quiet and dim room with no distractions, or nursing necklaces.
Infant reflux natural remedy #15: Avoid placing your baby flat on his back.
Studies have shown that infant reflux is minimized by left side lying and prone (stomach) positioning. Please discuss prone positioning with your doctor before trying as it is thought to be a contributor to SIDS.
Learn more about sleeping positions and helpful infant reflux products.
Learn more about infant reflux wedges.
Infant reflux natural remedy #16: Avoid putting your baby in any seat or baby carrier (bouncy or car or sling) that causes him to slump right after feedings.This often puts pressure on his stomach and can cause infant reflux. In the bouncy seat, a rolled up hand towel behind your baby may stop him from slumping as much.
Read how baby products can make infant reflux better or worse.
Infant reflux natural remedy #17: Elevate the head of the crib by 30 degrees.
You can purchase infant reflux wedges for sleeping or try using old phone books to prop up the crib.
Visit our online store for a complete line of feeding and sleeping wedges as well as other products handpicked for babies with infant reflux. Our infant reflux wedges are covered by most insurance. Find out how.
Need a sleep remedy for your baby with infant reflux?
Infant reflux natural remedy #18: Elevate the changing station and change your baby's diaper before feeding instead of after.
You can purchase infant reflux wedges for the changing station in our online store.
When changing your baby's diaper, roll him side to side when placing the diaper under him rather than bringing his legs up toward his head which can squish the tummy.
Most of our infant reflux positioning products are covered by insurance.
Find out how to get your reflux products reimbursed by your insurance company.
Infant reflux natural remedy #19: Avoid putting your baby in tight diapers and clothing that put pressure on his tummy.
Velcro style diaper wraps in particular have a very stiff band of Velcro across the tummy which is right where your baby needs some give. Fuzzi Bunz, Kissaluvs or just pinned pre-folds with pull up covers work great. You can find these and many others at www.diaperware.com.
Infant reflux natural remedy #20: Avoid exposing your baby to cigarette smoke, dust, mold or other respiratory triggers.
Anything that can trigger breathing difficulty can also trigger infant reflux
Infant reflux natural remedy #21: Carry or hold your baby often.
Carried babies are less stimulated and so experience fewer incidences of colic and infant reflux. Never put your baby on your hip! This puts pressure on his tummy. The best position that I found to carry my son was with his bottom on one forearm and my other hand behind his back to support it and keep him close to me. Carriers and slings are a particularly nice way to hold your baby and still get things done. Be careful that your sling or carrier keeps your baby's spine completely straight and does not put pressure on his tummy. We've tested dozens of carriers and believe that the baby cuddler, the Moby Wrap and mei teis put your baby in the best position for infant reflux.
Check out our online store for Moby Wraps and other products hand picked for babies with infant reflux.
Read all about slings and carriers as an infant reflux and colic home remedy.
Infant reflux natural remedy #22: Don’t neglect yourself.
Dealing with a fussy baby is sometimes overwhelming. You may be experiencing sleep deprivation, self-doubt, some degree of depression and general frustration at not being able to soothe your infant reflux baby. See our tips on preserving your sanity and health for more information.
Learn more about infant reflux and colic.
Positioning is the best natural remedy for infant reflux
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