Last week I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Warren Shapiro speak about “the incidence , pathophysiology and treatment GERD during infancy.” Reflux has become a common issue among infants and is also what pediatricians consider to be commonly over-diagnosed.
One important factor to remember is that some amount of reflux is normal; all babies have reflux to some degree and it’s completely normal. When considering whether your baby has reflux that requires a treatment plan or if they may possibly have GERD, which is an abnormally frequently occurring reflux that can cause painful damage, make sure you get the proper medical tests. In order to receive a true reflux or GERD diagnosis, your child must first have a biopsy and endoscopy, both of which are often not done.
At Home Remedies:
Before choosing medication or a more drastic course of action, you can make basic lifestyle changes that can greatly help the incidence of reflux.
- Make sure they aren’t being overfed- feed more frequently with less food
- Make sure they stay upright after a feeding until you get a good burp out of them, typically around 5-7 minutes
- Try to help safely elevate their head while sleeping
- Consider doing a trial of a hypoallergenic formula
-make sure if you are bottle feeding that the hole in the nipple is the right size. If the nipple hole is too small, they might be sucking so hard that they are swallowing a lot of air and if it’s too big they might be getting too much liquid too quickly.
When Is It Time To Use Medication?
If none of the above result in any improvement, consider trying drug therapy. Ask your pediatrician for their recommendation which can range from simple antacids to frequently prescribed proton pump inhibitors like priolesec and prevacid.
When Will The Reflux Stop Occurring?
Once your child reaches around 6-7 months of age their reflux symptoms should clear up. This is typically attributed to the fact that they can sit up by themselves which aids in digestion as well as most babies have started eating solids which cause fewer problems because it makes it harder for the liquid to come up.
Treatment Not Working?
If your child is on a reflux treatment plan including medication and isn’t seeing any results, they may not have reflux. Make sure the reflux has been properly tested for, you might just have a colicky baby on your hands and no amount of reflux medication can fix that.
Is It Okay To Sleep Train With Reflux?
Absolutely. It’s fine to sleep train with reflux and some tears in the process will not hurt your child. The key here is making sure there has been a proper diagnosis and that the reflux is being successfully treated, i.e. make sure your child isn’t suffering any pain from the reflux before beginning. Once the symptoms have been alleviated either by utilizing home remedies/lifestyle changes or with the use of medication, you will be all set to begin training.