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Managing infant reflux

 
Infant reflux is not uncommon in babies, but how do you go about managing reflux and doing what's best for your baby? For many babies with reflux a few home management techniques will help ease their symptoms. However there is reflux medication available for those babies who might need it. We take a look at both home management techniques and reflux medication so you can see what might work for your baby.
Infant reflux is not uncommon in babies, but how do you go about managing reflux and doing what's best for your baby?

For many babies with reflux a few home management techniques will help ease their symptoms. However there is reflux medication available for those babies who might need it.

We take a look at both home management techniques and reflux medication so you can see what might work for your baby.
 

Managing infant reflux

 

Home management techniques for infant reflux


Home management techniques can help ease infant reflux symptoms, particularly in babies who are otherwise healthy and well.

Here are some home management techniques for you to try.

Not all techniques work on all babies, so it’s worth experimenting to find a technique that works for your baby.
 
  • Avoid overfeeding your baby. Two to four hourly feeds work best for most babies. Feeding more frequently than 2 hourly will exacerbate your baby’s reflux symptoms.
 
  • If your baby is formula feeding, an AR formula (anti-reflux) may help keep the formula in their tummy and prevent spilling.
 
  • Keep your baby elevated/upright as much as possible when you're holding them.
 
  • Raise the head of your baby’s cot higher than the other end of the cot, creating a slight incline (approx 30 degrees).
 
  • Change your baby’s nappies before feeding them. Their tummy will be empty and it will help to prevent spilling.
  
  • A dummy can be a useful tool when your baby is unsettled as sucking creates saliva which helps to soothe the throat and calm your baby. The dummy can also be used in between feeds to help stretch their feeds to at least 2 hourly.
 

Medication for infant reflux


If the home management techniques are not working on your baby, speak to your doctor or healthcare practitioner about suitable medication options to help relieve your baby's reflux.

Prescription medicines can help to reduce stomach acid and in turn the pain and inflammation associated with reflux.

However be aware that the drugs may interfere with your baby’s body and natural digestive process and important nutrients may not be absorbed.

Ask your doctor or medical practitioner to explain the possible side-effects to you as well.

The most common medications prescribed for infant reflux include:
 
Gaviscon
 
  • Gaviscon is a thickener and an antacid. It is often prescribed as a preliminary treatment for infant reflux.
 
  • Gaviscon can have a positive result initially, but many families find that the benefit plateaus after a short time.
 
  • Some babies may also experience constipation with Gaviscon due to the thickening effect it has.
 
Losec (omeprazole)
 
  • Losec is the premier treatment for infant reflux. It works in a different manner to Gaviscon.
 
  • Losec acts to reduce the overall volume of stomach acid and does not affect your baby's digestive system.
 
  • Losec is most effective when given in granule form, mixed with pureed pear.
 

Once your baby is on the right dose of the right reflux medication, their symptoms will become much more controlled.

Combined with home management, your baby will become much more settled and happier too.
 

More baby articles for you to enjoy:


Source: This article was written by Baby & Beyond – post natal and sleep consultants.
Image source: reflux.org.au.
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