Acid reflux is a nasty problem to suffer from, but when it is acid reflux in babies or children, it is so much harder to deal with. Just as people can get acid reflux to go away, we can also do this for children and babies, and it doesn’t have to be drugs that are used, although you need to get the approval of your doctor before trying anything new.
For babies, it is common for up to 65% of them to regularly spit up after their feedings, and this is whether they are breast or bottle fed. We all have those horrible memories of being spit up on by our precious babies, the smell of the milk lingering on us and our clothes! So yes, reflux is common for the first three months of a baby’s life. But problems arise when a baby continually fusses about eating, or maybe only eats a very little. This may be because the food is irritating the esophagus because of acid reflux that has caused burning there.
If a baby is constantly arching their back while feeding, that may be because of stomach pain, or discomfort, and it is very hard for parents to watch their baby in such distress. In some cases, the reflux does not get all the way into a baby’s mouth, because they are able to swallow it down again. This however, causes extra damage, as the aid from the stomach goes up the esophagus, and then back down again, causing extra damage.
So, how long does it take for acid reflux in babies to go away? Obviously it will depend on each baby, and their symptoms, and how much damage has been done by the acid reflux.
The reflux in babies brings hydrochloric acid from their stomach up into their mouth and out, just as it does in children, teens and adults, but in a baby it is harder to treat. There are some things that you can do to ease the problem. The baby needs to learn to eat while in a more upright position, so that it is harder for the stomach acid to flow into the mouth, and the baby should be kept upright as much as possible after a feeding. As with adults, smaller meals more frequently are better than a few much larger meals. The less full the stomach of a baby is, the easier it is to digest the food in the stomach.
After the baby has fed, avoid rocking motions, or putting the baby to sleep, as this can encourage the flow of acid reflux along the esophagus. By the time the baby is one year old, infant acid reflex has usually subsided, but every baby is different. That means that you could have months of dealing with this problem, with the help of your doctor and physician. You may find that certain foods are worse for your baby than others, so you obviously need to reduce those that cause problems, or feed them much smaller amounts of these.
By feeding your baby whole fruits and vegetables, with very little fried food, and as little processed food as possible, your baby will not only learn healthy eating habits, but will also have less of a problem with acid reflux. Introduce new foods carefully in small amounts, and hopefully the acid reflux in your babies will go away quickly and before they are one year old.