Dad feeding baby on a Boppy Feeding and Infant Support Pillow.

How to Help Baby with Reflux

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As breastfeeding or bottle-feeding becomes part of your new mom routine you might find yourself readily prepared with a burp cloth for messes. What causes him to spit up afterwards is part of a common symptom most babies experience, infant reflux. Two factors known to cause it cannot be avoided: he lies flat most of the time, and a liquid diet at his age is a must.

While you want to follow any advice your doctor may give regarding reflux, there are simple changes you can make for feeding time that may either relieve or get rid of it altogether.

Try a Slow Flow Bottle

If he’s bottle-fed, one of the easiest first steps is checking the bottle and nipple flow. It could be the bottle is creating too many air bubbles, or that the nipple opening is too big and needs to be smaller for a slower flow. If you have the opportunity, try out a different bottle or experiment with nipples that offer him a slower flow than what he’s used to.

Try an Upright Feeding Position

For reflux, feeding him in an upright position is highly recommended. Have him sit up with his head positioned on your chest or in the crook of your arm. In addition to making sure his head is supported above his stomach during feeding, keep him upright for 20 to 30 minutes afterwards.

Try Small, Frequent Feedings and Burp Often

Feeding him less at a time but more frequently may prevent acid reflux. For this reason you want to make sure you’re not overfeeding him either. Make sure he’s getting the exact amount of breast milk or formula recommended. If breastfeeding, one recommendation is to try one breast only per feeding to reduce overfeeding.  You’re also avoiding two milk ejections and excess swallowing of air. Instead of waiting until he’s finished feeding, burp him intermittently. This will help him release gas faster.

Try Switching Your Diet for Breast Milk or Switch Formula

Aside from your breastfeeding providing great moments to bond, your breast milk also has beneficial properties for his digestive health.  Not only is it hypoallergenic, but he can digest it twice as fast as formula. In cases of reflux where your baby is breastfeeding or solely given bottled breast milk, pay attention to your diet. According to some experts, removing certain foods such as cow’s milk and eggs may relieve his digestive symptoms. If you’re feeding him formula instead, consider switching to one that’s hypoallergenic or lactose-free to see if it helps.