If your baby shows discomfort, such as bringing up a large amount of milk, refusing to feed, arching, or crying after or during feeds, it can be a sign of reflux.
Acid reflux is the word used to describe what happens when the stomach contents (milk) and acid come back into the esophagus and result in bringing up or vomiting milk. When the acid contents are high it can be a painful burning sensation for the baby. Most babies, however, may have a degree of reflux as they will bring up small amounts of milk when burping or breaking a wind after feeds. According to literature, the prevalence of reflux peaks between 1 to 4 months of age, and usually resolves by 6 to 12 months.
Acid reflux in babies can be managed and in worse cases treated by a doctor. The first area that one should look at when addressing reflux control is to find the lifestyle changes that work for your baby. In many cases, adjustments at home may be all that is needed to make your baby more comfortable. Some of these adjustments include:
- feeding smaller amounts more frequently;
- keeping your baby in a more upright position during a feed and for at least half an hour after a feed and thereby making use of gravity to keep the milk down;
- making sure that your baby’s head is raised and higher than his feet when you put him back in the crib or cot;
- keeping your baby and the environment as calm as possible after a feed.
In the light of the above mentioned the nurtureOne nesting cushion can play an important role to enhance these adjustments. If you place your baby in the nesting cushion during feeds, it is much easier to adjust the cushion to a more upright position if needed. When your baby is settled and calm after the feed one can make a smooth transition to his or her regular sleeping area without any sleep disturbance with the baby still on the cushion. The wedge that can be purchased with the nesting cushion will also allow for your baby’s head to be higher than his or her feet when positioned in the cot/crib/bed. Remember to keep your movements slow and place the bottom of the cushion down first to prevent a sudden drop of your baby’s head, which may elicit a reflex response and result in waking your baby. Please avoid using a car seat for reflux management which can result in further aggravating the condition.
Should your baby persist with reflux and discomfort after your having introduced these lifestyle changes, it is advisable to contact your local clinic or doctor for further assistance.