After puzzling over random symptoms that seemed completely unrelated, I did a little “research” and concluded that our Baby Boy has what appears to be a mild case of infant reflux. From what I’ve read, reflux is pretty common in newborns and is caused when the acid from the stomach travelings backwards in the throat, resulting in “spit up” or even vomiting.
Some of the symptoms of reflux in a newborn can include wheezing, gasping for breath, difficulty swallowing, excessive spitting up after feedings, vomiting, stomach discomfort, difficulty gaining weight, etc. BabyBoy had quite a few of these symptoms– enough that it sent me digging to find out what was going on. (None of our other babies had reflux.)
We got pretty quick results after trying two things: a simple tummy “massage”, and a few doses of gripe water from Nurtured Family.
- The tummy “massage” is to simply run your two fingers (index and middle) in a straight, downward “line” from the middle of your baby’s chest cavity to the naval area. Repeat, gently, about twenty times. The point is to close the sphincter so that the stomach acid stays in the stomach and doesn’t come back “up”. (Try this tummy massage on your baby sometime too!)
- Nurtured Family’s gripe water specifically states that it is good for treating reflux symptoms, and I have found it to be helpful in Baby Boy’s case. (It’s great for any tummy trouble!)
- I’ve had much better results with both the massage and the gripe water when they are given before feedings. When I massaged our son’s tummy or gave him the herbal remedy after he nursed, he almost always spit up nearly everything he ate.
With a little effort on our part, we’re keeping Baby Boy in fine shape. See that smile?
Another thing that seems to help keep his dinner “down” is holding him in an upright position for a few minutes after he nurses. Patting his back to help him “burp” between feedings, and making him nurse slower (by removing him from the breast every few minutes) also seems to help. Baby Boy is a bit of a
hasty eater, so he needs the encouragement to slow down in order to keep his tummy settled. :o)
According to my midwife, most infants outgrow reflux within a few months. Compared to the horrible colic we endured with our first baby, reflux really isn’t so bad! I do want to keep my poor little guy from losing his meal every time he eats, though– kinda hard to gain any weight doing that.
Ladies, do you have any further thoughts or ideas on infant reflux?
Kristy Howard is a pastor’s wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time! Kristy writes about motherhood, ministry and life at KristysCottage.com.