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Managing infant reflux

 
So how do you manage and relieve you little one's reflux? Medication is one option and another is with home management techniques.
So how do you manage and relieve you little one's reflux?

Medication is one option and another is with home management techniques.

We take a look at both options.
 

Home management techniques


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, but it’s worth experimenting to find a technique that works for your little one.
 
  • Avoid overfeeding. 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.
 
  • Roll your baby onto a nappy rather than raising their legs too much to put it on. This prevents pressure in their abdomen which can make symptoms worse.
 
  • A pacifier/dummy can be a useful tool when your baby is unsettled:
    • Sucking creates saliva which helps to soothe the throat and calm your baby.
    • The dummy can be used in between feeds to help stretch their feeds to at least 2 hourly.
 

Medication

If the home management techniques are not working on your little one, speak to your doctor or healthcare practitioner about suitable medication options to help with their symptom relief.

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 child’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.

The most common medications prescribed include:
 
Gaviscon
  • Gaviscon is a thickener and an antacid. It is often prescribed as a preliminary treatment.
  • It can have a positive result initially.
  • However, many families find that the benefit plateaus after a short time.
  • Some babies may also experience constipation with this product due to the thickening effect.
 
Losec (omeprazole)
  • Losec is the premier treatment for reflux.
  • It works in a different manner to Gaviscon.
  • Losec acts to reduce the overall volume of stomach acid.
  • Digestion is not affected.
  • Losec is most effective when given in granule form, mixed with pureed pear.
 
Once your baby is on the right dose of the right medication, their symptoms will become much better controlled.

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

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