Babies with Acid Reflux – Natural Tips & Solutions to Sooth Your Baby

Acid reflux in infants is on the fore front of many new parents mind when dealing with a “colicky” baby anymore. Before, if a baby was screaming bloody murder for no apparent reason, you doctor would call it colic. Now the culprit is infant acid reflux.

A friend of mine just had his first child who was 6 weeks premature and although she is now home and doing well, the poor little peanut is suffering from acid reflux AKA Gastroesophageal Reflux or GERD.

All babies have some level of reflux until the age of six months or so, that is why babies “spit up”. The valve at the base of the esophagus which connects to the stomach is not fully mature until that six month mark, give or take.

Another element to acid reflux that makes this so difficult to contend with is that not all babies suffering from GERD “spit up”, this is called silent reflux. There are a number of tests your pediatrician can perform to see if your baby is indeed suffering from acid reflux. If you suspect your baby is suffering from silent reflux then ask your pediatrician what can be done.

Today I want to focus on those who know their babies have acid reflux and offer you some tips and solutions to help lessen the symptoms and help calm your hurting infant.

There are four basic areas you can address when attempting to lessen your babies acid reflux symptoms and those are:

  1. Your baby’s position and activity level after eating
  2. What your baby is eating, breast milk vs. formula
  3. Your baby’s sleeping arrangements
  4. Your baby’s clothing

Your Baby’s Position After Eating

Let’s begin with your baby’s position and activity level. For the first 30 minutes after your baby eats, try to keep him/her upright in either a sling or some other soft carrier such as a wrap or pouch.

Soft structured carriers (like a Bjorn)are not ideal for this application. These types of carriers put pressure on the stomach rather then relieving it.

You also want to avoid car seats and infant seats (bouncy seat, bumbo, excersaucer) because your baby will tend to fold or hunch over putting pressure on the belly and causing the acid reflux to increase. Overall, you want a calm, quiet and soothing environment after your baby eats.

You also want to avoid bouncing or exciting your infant as this too can cause the acid to slosh in the baby’s tummy and cause irritation.

Granted, babies cry. But practicing baby wearing, one of the “attachment” parenting elements, has been proven to reduce crying in infants – crying aggravates acid reflux in babies. So, overall, try to “wear” your baby and avoiding bouncing or jostling in a sling, wrap or pouch for 30 minutes after feeding.

Breast milk or Formula

The next area you want to address is your infant’s diet.

Sorry if this but of information is “too little too late”, but breast milk is best for acid reflux babies. Breast milk is easier for a baby to digest than formula. The other side of the coin is that you will need to feed your breastfed baby more often since breast milk is digested faster than formula.

If you have chosen to feed your baby formula, don’t beat yourself up…there are still many things you can do to help your baby.

Try cutting the portion in half and feed your baby less and more often which will allow him/her to digest it much easier and again, reducing the flare up of the acid reflux. You may also want to try various types of formula as some are more digestible than others. Goats milk formula is said to be great for reflux babies. Your pediatrician should be able to recommend formulas that tend to be best for infants suffering from acid reflux.

The jury is still out on this tip, but some pediatricians suggest adding a small amount of rice cereal to the formula or breast milk in a bottle.

The thinking that being thicker, this solution will “stay” in your baby’s stomach. But, some advise against this as the the cereal will in fact make the meal harder to digest and therefor will kick around in your babies stomach for longer, essentially increasing the symptoms of the acid reflux. This is a judgment call only you can make.

Your Baby’s Sleeping Arrangement

Next on the list is your baby’s sleeping arrangement or position. I have seen some folks giving the advice of letting your baby sleep in a car or bouncy seat but like I mentioned above this may not be the best solution. Some models of infant seats are not as “deep” and allow for the baby to simply be reclined rather than folded, if that makes sense.

If you want your baby to sleep in a crib then you can try a sleeping wedge or you can elevate the legs at the head of the crib slightly to have the same effect.

There is actually a contraption called a baby hammock that was designed specifically for babies with acid reflux. It is an hammock style bassinet that allows you to adjust the bed to accommodate your babies sleeping preferences and naturally keeps the babies head and torso elevated to help relieve reflux symptoms.

Evalee in her Amby BabyI purchased an Amby Baby hammock for my daughter and she loved it. I purchased in instead of an arm’s reach co-sleeper because it came so highly recommended by other parents. Baby hammocks simulate the womb like environment and help babies feel more secure.

Your Baby’s Clothing

Finally, you want to be sure that none of your babies clothing is putting pressure on his/her waist. You will want to keep your infant in clothing that is one piece or with a non restricting waist band to prevent any undue tension pushing on your babies tummy.

This may seem a bit trivial but can really help your baby stay comfortable. I know it is tempting to dress your new little bundle in all of those adorable outfits, but save that fun for when this acid reflux stuff has passed.

Okay, I tried all of this and my baby is still miserable!

If all of these tips seem to show no effect and your baby is still crying, showing serious signs of pain, refusing to nurse or take a bottle, then you may need to ask your pediatrician for a prescription.

I urge you to use this as a last resort due to the many side effects as well as the strain any medication can put on your babies sensitive little system.

Are you a new parent? Then be sure to subscribe before you go! This way you won’t miss out on any new information I will find on acid reflux.

12 Responsesto “Babies with Acid Reflux – Natural Tips & Solutions to Sooth Your Baby”

  1. kelly doherty says:

    And Elizabeth,that message was for you.

  2. kelly doherty says:

    I don’t know why some of you are so judgemental. My son as a baby had GERD and it wasn ‘t just spit up. Because the doctors didn ‘t believe us that it was re├álly bad, our son was not diagnosed until he was a teenager, at which time they found that serious damage, permanent, had already been done. So please do not judge, what you know nothing about.

  3. Martha says:

    My 2 oldest children suffered severely from acid reflux and a milk intolerance. After struggling with it for 4 years I finally found some things that truly helped. They didn’t just make the symptoms go away but rather got to the root of the problem. I have written up my entire story in a blog of what all we went through so that I can hopefully be of help to other mothers and suffering babies. You can read it at

  4. Jess Ray says:

    Brendan, Thank you so much for sharing your tips and tricks and words of encouragement for all. And belated congrats on your new addition. Hope her reflux passes soon, for all your sake.

  5. brendan says:

    have found fo stop the reflux “burn” i hold my daughter facing forward w one hand under bum{thumb around her leg) and other gently across chest(under her arms). The back of her head rests in the middle of my chest. We call this hold “the princess chair”. Deep knee bends usually subsides the immediate burn —not too rough and usually takes 5-10 bends. Than a gentle 1-2-3 bounce side to side(waltzlike). This proceedure we have named “poopladdies”. This has worked so well for us that my girl loves to be held this way whenever i carry her. Note – often when shes tired ,and the burn has relaxed ,i turn the tub on and stand in the darkened bathroom,facing the mirror, and watch my angel fall asleep. The sounds seems to calm her. Theres no better feeling for her and me–to comfort her enough to fall asleep. As new parents(baby is now 11 weeksand a day—who counts) we have suffered from helplessness and sleepless nights. So try whatever works–it will change. But keep the faith. these trying nights will tests your limits but should increase the loving bond. and always remember—its temporary and the child will grow out of it —-we hope sooner than later!!!! Good luck all!!!

  6. shantel says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful information! It has helped us so much. Our daughter is doing so much better. Thank you!

  7. […] also emphasizes the importance of getting proper health nutrition and taking anti aging supplements.Creating the Perfect Environment For Your Baby Creating the right environment for your child can be …ur baby's nursery, you get to use your creativity and incorporate some of the fun spirit that you […]

  8. Tai says:

    Kudos to your site. Thanks for the info on acid reflux symptoms on babies.

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I’m sorry to say that a lot your information is incorrect in this blog and could really hinder new moms whose babies have Acid Reflux. First, all babies have some form of GER which causes spit-up but its harmless, the baby is smiling and cooing still, and there is no danger from this. GERD is when this results in stomach acid washing up and burning the esophagus. This is what is called “Acid reflux.” GER is just spit-up and every baby spits up. Now, silent acid reflux is very hard to diagnose and results in the baby spitting up but the spit up doesn’t actually come out of the mouth, nor do you see any spit-up, but the baby then swallows the spit-up causing the acid to burn on the way up and then on the way back down again which is extremely painful.

    As the mother of a baby who had Silent Acid Reflux that wasn’t diagnosed until 3 months of age and didn’t clear up completely until 11 months old–I find your article slightly irritating. I don’t feel that you understand what its like to deal with a child who cries non-stop for 8-12 hours every day/night, never sleeping longer then 45 minutes IF being held or rocked consistently. It sounds very apparent that you have not directly experienced the implications of a child with severe acid reflux.

    Additionally, the jury is not “still out” on rice cereal and that is incorrect information. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that rice cereal is a valid treatment option for children with acid reflux when they are having difficulty keeping any food down at all in their stomach and are experiencing failure to thrive. This should be done with the advise of the pediatrician and dosing can be found at the AAP website. The reason that this is arguably not the best solution is that infants should be on breastmilk/formula only for the first six months and adding rice-cereal can result in the risk of the child possibly developing food allergies because of early exposure of food resulting in exposure to the still open blood-brain barrier.

    Breast-milk is best, but if a mother formula feeds, she can try using Soy, Gentle Formulas or even the hypoallergenic formulas if allergies are suspected. Many children do much better on one particular brand or type then another. I have never heard of a “goats milk formula” and I do believe people that use goats milk, are using just that. Straight up goats milk which is not at all advisable because it does not contain the proper nutrients.

    A bouncing, (yes bouncing) or vibrating chair can often be your best friend for a child with Acid Reflux as its very soothing reminding the child of being in the womb. I have never read any medical information on how this would upset the child’s stomach, and I’m curious for a source citation on where you read this. Personally, I have found rides in the car to be the best thing for a crying baby as many mothers can attest too–it calms them right down. Advising against a carseat isn’t logical. It doesn’t put pressure on a baby’s stomach–as long as the car-seat is rear-facing at the proper 45 degree angle as it should be–the angle and uprightness will allow gravity to keep the food in its place. The carseat is the same concept as slanting the crib angle that you suggested earlier which is also helpful.

    There are two different types of medicine used to treat this in babies, and they are “zantac” and “prevacid” and their generic forms. Zantac is the much milder version and is often enough for most children.

    I am aware that none of my explanations are technical but a simple google search of the American Academy of Pediatrics or Webmd will clarify a much more textbook explanation of what I have already explained. Next time that you write an article about a medical condition that your child does not have, please allow a guest blogger or do an in-depth personal interview with a doctor or other informed person on the topic so that the correct information is passed along. I do apologize for any spelling/grammatical areas. This is quite rough but its 2 a.m. and I felt the need to respond even in my sleepy state. I hope this is helpful to some mother out there trying to find out why their kid just won’t stop crying. Peace.

  10. […] Yep, a super quick google search and there are a stack of links that all say the same thing, […]

  11. suzanne says:

    I liked this article the best. But, Peyton only spits up, which is a problem. Other babies are fussy and cry alot. I still think you should see dr. on Friday. If Peyton eats less and keeps it down it might be better than over feeding and she spits half up.

    Experiment, give her only 120 and see how she does.

    Also try the gripe water. Will phone you tomorrow.

    I think you should go to the doc. because before the two were only 15 oz. apart and now Ainsley is much more than that, Peyton is slowly falling behind.

  12. […] found this for you, maybe it will help some I also found this " 4. Try attachment parenting. At its worst reflux can make it impossible […]

  13. JH says:

    My link changed —–> Just wanted to share our treatment choice for acid reflux for our son:

  14. M.A. Rose says:

    This is a topic too often overlooked. Thanks for posting.

    Natural Remedies from A to Z – Discover Natural Remedies that are Safe, Effective, and Beneficial

    The Organic Market – Your Source for All Things Organic

  15. […] Acid Reflux in Babies Does your baby have acid reflux Baby Posted by root 7 minutes ago ( Baby hammocks simulate the womb like environment and help babies feel more secure all rights reserved powered by wordpress designed by woo themes Discuss  |  Bury |  News | Acid Reflux in Babies Does your baby have acid reflux Baby […]

  16. JH says:

    I’ve tried these methods (except for the baby hammock). What worked really well for us was infant probiotics. Prevacid and other natural treatments just didn’t do it for us.

    This is what we used:

    After using that, we finally got our happy baby! :)

  17. […] Green Mom – Happy Mom placed an observative post today on Babies with Acid Reflux – Natural Tips & Solutions to Sooth Your BabyHere’s a quick excerptPosted on 05. Apr, 2009 by Jess Ray in Baby Wearing, Breastfeeding, Child Development, Trials & TribulationsAcid reflux in infants has become yet another symptom of colic, the general term pediatricians use for a fussy baby.A friend of mine just had his first child who was 6 weeks premature and although she is now home and doing well, the poor little peanut is suffering from acid reflux AKA Gastroesophageal Reflux or GERD.All babies have some level of reflux until the age of six months or so […]

  18. […] Read more: Babies with Acid Reflux – Natural Tips & Solutions to Sooth Your Baby […]

Leave a Reply