During gastroesophageal reflux (GER), your run-of-the-mill acid reflux, stomach contents move backward into the baby’s esophagus. This occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter is undeveloped or relaxes when it should not.
This esophageal muscle allows the contents of the stomach to travel back into the esophagus which then causes your baby to regurgitate . Prematurely-born infants are more prone to acid reflux than those born full-term because their digestive systems are less developed. Once the baby’s digestive system fully matures, reflux symptoms will disappear.
Silent reflux or laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), is a symptom of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Chronic symptoms of acid reflux that last more than 10 to 14 months and prevent the baby from feeding may point to GERD. GERD symptoms affect two-thirds of infants until they are four months old. By 12 months, 10% of infants will still have acid reflux symptoms .
Silent reflux occurs when the stomach’s contents (including stomach acid and digestive enzymes) back up to the baby’s larynx and pharynx (voice box and throat). The real danger of silent reflux occurs when contents enter the nose, ears, sinus, and lungs.
Another risk of LRP is that stomach contents remain in the esophagus before they go back to the stomach. This can damage the esophageal lining and digestive tract which are still developing.
Acid Reflux Disease Symptoms In Babies Include The Following:
- Frequent regurgitation
- Projectile vomiting
- Chronic ear infections
- Vocal cord contact ulcers
- Buildup and pooling of fluid in the middle ear
- Persistent coughing, wheezing, or noisy breathing
- Chronic hiccups
- Sour breath
- Hoarseness caused by the narrowing of the area under the vocal cordsRunny nose and red eyes during feeding
- Refusal to feed
- Low weight gain
If you suspect GERD or LRP in your child, it is best to consult your healthcare practitioner. Even natural remedies for acid reflux should be discussed with your doctor. Fortunately, effective and safe natural remedies for these forms of acid reflux are available. Some will immediately address the symptoms and lessen the discomfort and pain for your baby.
Top Ten Proven Natural Remedies For Acid Reflux
Natural Remedies For Acid Reflux Babies Tip #10 – Frequent and Shorter Feedings
Reduce the amount of milk or food during each feeding, but increase the number of feedings so you can meet your baby’s required dietary intake.
Natural Home Remedies For Acid Reflux In Babies Tip #9 – Feeding Position
During and after feeding, ensure that your child is in a vertical position. Hold your baby against your stomach facing outward if you are bottle feeding. If you are breastfeeding, hold your baby at 40-degree angle. Maintain this feeding posture during and for at least 30 minutes after each feeding. This will help direct the milk straight to your baby’s stomach. Burp your baby frequently.
Natural Remedies For Acid Reflux Babies Tip #8 – Sleeping Position
Adjust the sleeping position of your child by inserting a folded blanket under the crib mattress, but do not elevate your child’s head using pillows or a booster. This will increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Natural Home Remedies For Acid Reflux In Babies Tip #7 – Change Your Diet
If you are breastfeeding, examine your diet. Make an inventory of lifestyle habits and food that will affect your child. Avoid or restrict the following:
- Restrict your intake of fats, chocolate, citrus, oily and spicy foods.
- Avoid dairy products, caffeine, and carbonated drinks.
- Stop smoking.
Natural Remedies For Acid Reflux Babies Tip #6 – Restrict Physical Activity
Refrain from playing with your baby after feeding. Avoid any physical activity that includes bending or rolling as this increases the probability of food going back into the esophagus. Use the time after feeding for storytelling, or schedule the feeding before naps.
Natural Home Remedies For Acid Reflux In Babies Tip #5 – Exercise the Legs
You can regulate acid reflux by exercising your child in a certain way. Lie your baby on their back, and then move the legs as if you were teaching them how to ride a bike. Repeat several times. As mentioned above, do not engage your baby in physical exercise after a feeding.
Natural Remedies For Acid Reflux Babies Tip #4 – Massage and Touch Therapy
To naturally treat acid reflux in babies, try massaging your baby’s stomach with coconut oil or olive oil. Massage your baby on their back using long, gentle, downward strokes to stimulate the vagus nerve which interfaces with the digestive tract, lungs, and heart.
Natural Home Remedies For Acid Reflux In Babies Tip #3 – Coconut Oil Safe For Baby
Another way to alleviate symptoms of acid reflux disease is by adding 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to your child’s drink or food, preferably something warm. Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties which alleviate the discomfort caused by acid reflux.
Infants less than six months should not consume anything other than baby formula or breastmilk . Always check with your pediatrician before adding anything to your infant’s diet.
Natural Remedies For Acid Reflux Babies Tip #2 – Apple Cider Vinegar
Acid reflux disease in babies is not caused by too much acid. It is actually caused by not having enough acid in the stomach. Apple cider vinegar is a natural, fast-acting acid reflux treatment for your baby. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar with 6 to 8 ounces of water for acidic balance. Again, always consult your pediatrician before adding to your baby’s diet.
Acid Reflux In Babies Remedies Natural Tip #1 – Chamomile
Chamomile has sedative and anti-spasm effects which make it a natural acid reflux treatment. It can immediately address chronic symptoms, improve the body’s digestion, and reduce acid reflux occurrences. Steep 1/2 teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers in 1 cup of hot water. Let cool, and then strain. Use 1 to 2 teaspoons a day.
At all times, consult with your doctor about your choice to use natural remedies for your child.
Natural Remedies For Acid Reflux Babies, Acid Reflux In Babies Remedies Natural Reference: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Acid Reflux (GER & GERD) in Infants, April 2015.
 US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; Pediatric gastroesophageal reflux clinical practice guidelines: joint recommendations of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) and the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (ESPGHAN), Vandenplas Y, Rudolph CD, Di Lorenzo C, Hassall E, Liptak G, Mazur L, Sondheimer J, Staiano A, Thomson M, Veereman-Wauters G, Wenzl TG, North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition, European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition, October 2009.
 United States Department of Agriculture; Infant Nutrition and Feeding, 2009.