Reflux can be really hard to manage, so it is helpful to know any things that can make infant reflux worse. My baby had severe infant reflux and this list were all triggers that made her reflux worse.
If you are worried about reflux then seek medical advice. I am not a medical professional, this is just my experience of having a baby with severe infant reflux and dairy and soy allergy.
9 Things That Make Infant Reflux Worse
Sucking from a bottle or breastfeeding can bring a baby comfort from the pain of reflux. Babies can then cry to feed because they want to suck which causes the overfeeding. When their tummy is too full it makes the vomitting worse.
To break this cycle try to find other ways to comfort your baby such as using as pacifier. Take a look at my 21 Tips and Tricks for Reflux Babies for more comfort ideas.
Another way to prevent overfeeding is to try and get an older baby into a routine that works for them. Or try changing the bottles you are using. Some bottles work better for reflux babies, take a look at some suggestions here.
2. Lying Flat
If you lay a reflux baby flat it allows the acid to rise and causes them to be in pain and vomit. Try to keep them upright for at least 30 minutes after eating and longer if you can.
Throughout the day hold them upright as much as possible or place them in a baby seat or carrier. Take a look at 4 ways to get a baby with reflux to sleep for more helpful advice.
3. Trigger Foods
Certain foods can make the symptoms of reflux worse. It is best to avoid these trigger foods when you are breastfeeding and when you start to wean your baby. There is a list of trigger foods to avoid in The Simple Guide To Weaning A Reflux Baby.
When you introduce any new foods to your baby’s diet keep a weaning diary and give a small amount over a few days. Record any change in symptoms over those days and for several days afterwards as a reaction can be delayed. Then look back over your diary and identify if the symptoms have increased and it is a trigger food.
Purees can also be one of the things that make infant reflux worse because they are introducing more liquid into the diet. Thicker foods are better for reflux babies as they stay down better and reduce the amount of vomiting.
I talk about the problems my baby had with purees in The Simple Guide To Weaning A Reflux Baby .
Dairy doesn’t cause reflux but it can often make reflux symptoms worse. Infant reflux can also be a sign that your baby is suffering with a dairy allergy. Take a look at Does My Baby Have A Cow’s Milk Allergy to read about signs and symptoms.
If your baby does suffer from a milk allergy then you will need to start your baby on a dairy-free diet. If you are breastfeeding you will also need to start a dairy-free diet to prevent any cow’s milk protein being passed over to baby in your milk. Always talk to a medical professional before changing your baby’s diet.
Some babies that react to cow’s milk protein will also react to soy. So if you begin a dairy-free diet and you are still seeing a lot of allergy symptoms talk to a GP about the possibility of a soy allergy as well.
A lot of babies with reflux are fine with teething and it doesn’t change their symptoms at all. But I found that when my baby was teething her reflux symptoms were always worse. You can read about my experience in How To Survive Teething With A Reflux Baby
I found that when my baby was unwell her reflux always got worse. Not all parents find this but I always had to be extra careful with her when she was poorly and offer her as much comfort as she needed.
If you are worried about your baby being unwell talk to your GP. Take a look at this NHS list of common childhood illnesses for more information.
9. Pressure On Baby’s Tummy
Anything that puts pressure on the tummy area can make reflux worse. I found lying on the tummy always caused my baby to vomit. Or any clothes that are too tight around the waist. Some sitting positions can also cause pressure.
This list of things that make infant reflux worse will give you some ideas of triggers and things you need to avoid. Remember most infant reflux does get better with time.