9 Lifestyle Changes Preventing Infant Acid Reflux

Many babies have spitting up problems that don't require treatment. Referred to as "happy spitters," their symptoms usually disappear after six to eight months. For some infants, however, their symptoms are a sign of something more serious, and they need medical attention. The lifestyle changes below can help reduce your baby's reflux.

1. Hold Baby Upright

Keep infants upright during feedings, and for at least 30 minutes after feedings. This will decrease the amount of gastric reflux.

9 Lifestyle Changes Preventing Infant Acid Reflux

2. Laying Baby Down When Awake

If you lay your baby down after feeding, place the baby on his stomach (prone position) on an incline of at least 30 degrees. This can reduce regurgitation. But only place the infant in this position if he is awake. Also, this is not recommended during sleep for infants from birth to 12 months because of the link between this position and sudden infant death syndrome. Based on guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics, positioning the infant on his/her back (supine position) during sleep is generally recommended.

In infants with GERD, the risk of SIDS generally outweighs the potential benefits of prone sleeping. Prone positioning during sleep is only considered in unusual cases where the risk of death from complications of GERD outweighs the potential increased risk of SIDS. It is very important to discuss this with your infant's doctor before undertaking any changes in sleeping positions.

3. Nighttime Sleep Position

As noted above, position your infant on his back, and elevate the head of the bed 30 degrees. Gravity will help keep stomach contents where they belong.

4. Try Smaller, More Frequent Feedings

Feedings every two to three hours when the infant is awake will reduce the occurrence of gastric reflux. Overfeeding can increase abdominal pressure, which can lead to gastric reflux.

5. Rice Cereal May Help

This can reduce the amount an infant will regurgitate. Start with one teaspoon of rice cereal to each ounce of formula. If the baby is breast-feed, try pumping and then adding rice cereal to the breast milk.

6. Diet Modifications For Mothers Who Breastfeed

Certain foods -- such as caffeine, chocolate, and garlic -- can promote reflux, so if you breastfeed your infant, you should consider cutting these foods out of your diet.

7. Infant Seats And Car Seats

The way the infant is positioned in the car seat can cause regurgitation to increase. If the infant slouches over, it causes abdominal compression, increasing the risk of reflux. Using simple supports to keep the infant upright will prevent this.

8. Burping The Infant

Burping your infant several times during the feeding will help minimize gastric pressure, and the reflux it can cause. Waiting to burp your infant until after she has a full stomach can increase the chances of regurgitation.

9. Other Things You Can Do

Avoid tight elastic around your baby's waist, and keep diapers loose. Also, don't give your infant caffeinated beverages, orange juice or other citrus juices.

For most babies, reflux will resolve itself during the first year of life. If your baby is otherwise healthy, is happy, and is growing, a few lifestyle changes for your baby in order to ease the reflux problem. If the reflux is more serious, or if your baby has been diagnosed with GERD, the doctor may prescribe a prescription medication or over-the-counter remedy to help treat the reflux. These remedies including :

1. Antacids :

These neutralize stomach acid. These include Tums, Mylanta, and Maalox.

2. Acid Suppressers :

These suppress acid production in the stomach. These include Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac. and Axid.

3. Acid Blockers :

It completely block acid production. Prilosec and Prevacid have been approved for children over certain ages.