Babies are also prone of acid reflux similar to adults. In this case, infants spit up quite often because the muscle between the esophagus and stomach is not yet mature completely and hence the contents of the stomach flow backwards so easily. Kids with acid reflux also known as gastrointestinal reflux (GER), often spit up during feeding. They also become more fussier due to this problem. Acid reflux is not a major concern until the baby is showing normal growth signs because as the baby grows older, he or she will become more active.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux in Babies
- Spitting up of food forcefully
- Recurrent vomiting
- Blood in stools
- Chronic coughing
- Fussy behaviour
- Unusual irritability after eating
Causes of Acid Reflux in Babies
- Premature birth
- Lying flat most of the time
- Consuming only liquid diet
- Muscles between the esophagus and stomach not fully mature
Home Remedies for Acid Reflux in Babies
Certain home remedies can ease the symptoms of acid reflux in babies and provide them relief. However it is better to consult a doctor in case the kid is not showing normal growth signs along with this condition.
1. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is highly effective in treating acid reflux in adults and infants. Its anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing the inflammation in the reflux muscles. It also keeps the digestive system well lubricated for proper functioning. Lauric acid is a powerful antimicrobial fatty acid found in coconut oil the plays an important role in protecting the immune system of the infants.
- Add ½ or 1 spoon of coconut oil to warm drink or cereal for the baby
- Nursing mothers must ingest -2 spoons of coconut oil to boost baby’s immune system
- Mix equal amount of coconut oil and ginger oil. Rub it clockwise on the baby’s stomach for a week continuously
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an effective remedy for infants suffering from acid reflux. It helps in balancing the acidic inside the stomach by controlling the acid levels. This makes the digestion process easier and prevents spitting up. It also strengthens the immune system thereby protecting the babies from falling ill frequently.
- Add ¼ spoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of lukewarm water
- Give this mixture to the baby at regular intervals
- You can also add organic honey for added nutritional benefits
Chamomile is a great remedy to cure acid reflux in babies. Its antispasmodic and sedative properties help in improving digestion and relieve chronic pain. Nursing mothers can also drink chamomile tea to relax the body.
- Add ½ spoon of dried chamomile flowers to a cup of hot water
- Cover and steep it for 5 to 10 minutes
- Strain the mixture and let it cool down
- Give your baby 1 or 2 teaspoons of this tea at regular intervals throughout the day
Peppermint has soothing and antispasmodic properties that calms down the digestive system and eases acid reflux. It also reduces the inflammation and indigestion which is commonly associated with acid reflux in babies as well as adults.
- Mix one or two drops of peppermint oil to one spoon of olive oil
- Massage this on the baby’s stomach in gentle circular motion
- Repeat this at least twice a day for faster healing
- Nursing mothers can take peppermint tea or capsules after consulting a doctor
5. Fennel Seeds
Fennel is an excellent ingredient for babies and adults suffering from indigestion, gas and acid reflux. It has benefits for the both mothers and the babies.
- Add a teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds to a cup of hot water
- Steep it for 5-10 minutes
- Give your baby ½ teaspoon of fennel tea 2 to 3 times a day
- Alternatively, you can add roasted fennel seeds to the baby’s cereal or food
Cumin is also an effective remedy when it comes to curing acid reflux in babies. It stimulates digestion and reduces gas and acidity.
- Boil one spoonful of cumin seeds in a cup of water
- Allow it to steep for 5-10 minutes
- Strain the mixture and allow it to cool
- Give the baby 1 or 2 teaspoons of this mixture few times a day
- Also you can dry roast cumin seeds and grind it into powder and store it in an air tight container
- Add this cumin powder to the cereal or food of the baby
7. Diet of the Nursing Mother
The health of the baby is directly affected by the health of the nursing mother. It directly influences the growth and development of the baby. The following are the important suggestions for nursing mothers.
- Avoid dairy products as the milk protein tends to irritate the baby’s digestive tract
- Eat gluten free food and grains
- Limit high-fat, spicy or fried food
- Avoid carbonated drinks, chocolates and caffeine
- Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking completely
- Include lot of probiotic food such as yogurt
- Drink plenty of water as it is the key ingredient of the breast milk
Other Important Tips
- Hold your baby upright for 20-30 minutes after feeding
- Avoid putting the baby down immediately after eating
- Never attempt to give any solid food to the baby
- Feed the baby smaller amount of food at regular intervals
- Avoid tight clothing on the baby during sleep
- Avoid thickening the feed
- Check for food allergies
- Use a larger nipple for the feeding bottle as this will reduce the gulping of air and allows free flow of milk
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