We know reflux can be very painful for your little one and also challenging for you.

Reflux in infants usually occurs when the muscle between the esophagus and the stomach is not yet fully developed. Discomfort may also happen if your baby has air bubbles in her stomach or she eats too quickly. 

In this article, we’ll suggest different things you can try out, and hopefully, they will help you and your little one during this time. 

During feedings: 

  • Hold her in an upright position.
  • Avoid TV or distractions that can cause her to feel too active or overstimulated. 
  • Try feeding her as soon as you notice she is hungry to prevent her from crying and swallowing air. 
  • Try feeding her slowly. If she’s having a bottle check that the air opening is the right size. If you turn the bottle upside down, it should leak several drops of milk per second. This will prevent your little one from sucking too much too quickly or having her suck very hard and swallow air. If you are breastfeeding, when you see that her suction has decreased and your breast feels softer, take a break and burp her. Do this before you offer her your other breast, as well.
  • When you are burping your baby, check if she’s more comfortable if you do this by supporting her head and sitting her on your lap. Burping her over the shoulder might put too much pressure on her stomach. 
  • After the feeding, try keeping her upright for 30 min. 

During playtime:

Wait one hour after the feeding before doing activities where your baby is on her tummy. See if she feels comfortable at a 45-degree angle in her seat. Try a boppy pillow or different kinds of support on her back to see if she prefers one over the other. If this is too much for her, you can try relaxing for half an hour while you carry her upright or you put her against your chest. Babies can try tummy time from day 1, so if she’s comfortable on your chest you can try activities in this position to strengthen her neck, back, and core muscles, which will help her with head control and her reflux. You can also browse our catalog section and filter by age to select the activities with which your baby will be more comfortable after eating and try tummy time later. 

For a relaxing time:

A baby massage really helps your little one with her reflux and overall digestive complaints; just remember to wait 30 min after the feeding to try it. You can also try it during bath time. Massaging her whole body will help her gain muscle tone and coordination, which help with her reflux pain. Even though you cannot massage the specific muscle responsible for the reflux symptoms, you can gently stroke her tummy to help relax the area and ease the pain. Try massaging her at a 45-degree angle or in a sitting position. Your strokes should go clockwise, as this is the direction in which the digestive system works. 

We recommend starting at the feet and legs so you can relax her even more before massaging her tummy area. Read more on this here.

Reflux in babies usually disappears by itself without causing problems to your little one. That said, it’s important to talk to your doctor if you have specific questions or concerns or if your baby is: 

  • Not gaining weight
  • Is continuously vomiting 
  • There’s blood in her spit up or stool
  • Has difficulty breathing or is constantly coughing
  • Refuses to eat

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Sofia Martinez is a psychologist with a specialty in Early Childhood Development. She’s a certified yoga and meditation instructor, eager to share these techniques with kids and parents. Sofia has spent time working with kids and studying normal development as well as working with kids with special needs, understanding individuality in development. She wants to keep studying ECD and help scale Kinedu’s model to families across the globe.