As first time parents there are so many unknowns and questions that you aren’t sure about. That is why when our first born was diagnosed with acid reflux at 6 weeks old we took to looking everywhere for answers and tips to help her. Here I wil compile the best tips and tricks that we found to work with our daughter’s reflux. I am not a Dr. or trained in infant reflux but just wanted to share what worked best for us.
There were many signs and symptoms that our little mini had that helped the Dr. to diagnose her with reflux. As a newborn she was so congested to the point where it would be hard for her to sleep and breathe when she was laying down. At times she would begin coughing while sleeping and then make gagging/choking sounds (which as first time parents would terrify us). She would also spit up and arch her back during and after her feedings which I assumed to be normal with infants. What I didn’t realize was that she would spit up way more than most other infants and the arching of her back was a sign of discomfort. My little mini was a very fussy baby but we just figured that this was how newborns were and that we just had a fussy, spitty, baby. We were so in love and soo tired and we didn’t realize that something just wasn’t right.
One morning our mini woke up and proceeded to be inconsolable the whole day. When this happened we knew something was up. She was normally very fussy but this took it to a whole different level. We called our pediatrician and got her in to be seen the next day. After the pediatrician checked her over and we talked about all her symptoms he determined that our 6 week old had a terrible ear infection caused by reflux backing up into her ear/throat and a bad case of acid reflux. He prescribed her with ranitidine (which isn’t prescribed anymore – they give you a different medication) and an antibiotic and sent us home with some tips and tricks. Using these and a few others that we heard about we were able to keep her reflux at bay and give her some comfort until she got older and outgrew it. Here are some of the things aside from the medication that we found worked best for our mini’s reflux:
1. Holding upright after feeds
We found that holding our mini up on against our chest or in a sitting position for 20-30 minutes after feeding helped her to spit less.
2. Anti-gas and colic bottles
We used the Dr. Brown’s anti-colic bottles. These bottles were great for us because they had an anti-colic venting system that is designed to decrease spitting and gas.
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3. Paced feedings
We found that if we slowed down and paced our mini while feeding her it seemed to help decrease her spitting up as well. We did this by using the slow-flow and preemie nipples for her bottles when bottle feeding. We would also take her off either the bottle or when breastfeeding and burp her after every 2 oz or so.
4. A good probiotic
At the initial apt where she was diagnosed with reflux our peditrician suggested we used Gerber Soothe probiotic. He highly recommended it as she was also going on an antibiotic for her ear infection. This is the one we’ve stuck two (and used now with both of our babies) and are very happy with. We definitely noticed a difference in our mini’s temperment if we ran out and had to skip a day or two.
5. Cutting out dairy
This is one of the ones that we found to be the most effective. Unfortunately, I love all things cheese and chocolate so this was our last resort. I was breastfeeding so I needed to cut dairy out of my diet. I cut out any dairy products as well as products that had even trace amounts of dairy in them. I found that this really helped our little one’s temperament the most. She didn’t seem to be in pain anymore and she was so much happier in general.
While it was so difficult for me, I learned with time how to still make delicious meals that tasted good without dairy. When I eventually went back to work and had to start supplementing with formula we used a dairy-free formula by Similac (Alimentum). I slowly started introducing dairy back into my diet around 9/10 months and found that she was better with it at that point.
*You may want to contact your child’s pediatrician before attempting this one. I did okay it with our ped beforehand just to be sure.
I added this one to this list but I am not sure that this was the biggest help for our mini. That being said I’ve heard amazing things from other moms about how it helped or even cured their little’s reflux. After reading about it and hearing from other Moms with reflux babies we decided to try this one out. We were hoping to eliminate the use of reflux medication by going the chiropractic route.
I was super nervous to take our less than 2-month-old to a chiropractor but they were so gentle and great with her. We researched area chiropractors and took her to one that was trained in working with infants. We tried 5 appointments over the course of a few weeks but didn’t find that it made a big difference in our mini’s reflux.
We still needed the Dr. prescribed medication and so we eventually stopped the chiropractic. It definitely didn’t hurt to try it and I am glad that we did as I have heard it works wonders. All babies are different so it could be a great option for some but for us, it just didn’t seem to be working enough to spend the extra money on more appointments.
All of the above things along with the prescribed medication helped our mini’s reflux. She eventually was able to grow out of her reflux and we were able to stop her medication around 7 or 8 months. She is now a happy, mischievous toddler and we are so grateful. It was definitely a time of trial and error for us but we ended up finding what worked best for her and for us. All babies are different so these are just different recommendations based on what worked best for us and our mini.
If you are a reflux mom and going through the stage of life right now where you have a baby in pain and are looking for anything and everything to help your little just know that it will get better with time and tips and tricks. If you ever have any questions for me please reach out at email@example.com. I am not a Dr. nor do I have any training just the kind words and experiences of another Mom who has been there!
Also, be sure to check out some of our other favorite items for our infants!
This is some great information and absolutely recommend Chiropractic as we still do this and has helped our little ones tremendously.
Thanks so much Sharon. So glad to hear it has helped your little one so much!
This was a great post! I agree with you about holding the baby upright after feedings; it helps tremendously!
Thanks so much Rachel! Yes, that was one of the tips that helped our mini the most!