Sleeping Tips For Babies With Reflux
Reflux in babies can be a really stressful issue to navigate. Not only are you worried about your baby’s well-being, there’s nothing more disheartening than seeing them spit up what looks like an entire feed. While they say not to cry over spilt milk, sometimes you just can’t help yourself.
Reflux is common in many young babies because the muscles at the very top of their stomach aren’t strong enough yet to hold down milk. Reflux or spitting up will usually go away with age. As their digestive system matures, they start to sit up and can sit for longer periods, which means their stomach muscles get stronger.
As parents, it’s only natural to wonder how we can support our little ones and how to help a baby with reflux sleep at night – because when the baby isn’t sleeping, no one is sleeping! So, the following are 6 handy ways you can help your reflux-affected baby sleep more peacefully.
1. Sleep them on their back
A baby with reflux needs to be put to sleep on their back as this gives their airway protection, as opposed to sleeping them on their tummy or sides. Parents might be worried their baby will choke on their spit-up, but the gag reflux naturally prevents that from happening.
As per Red Nose’s safe sleeping guidelines, placing a baby on their back to sleep instead of their stomachs or sides greatly reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and should be adhered to for all children — even if they have reflux.
2. Keep them upright after each feed for 15-20 minutes and burp them before putting them down
Gravity and time will guarantee your little one can appropriately process their feed without presenting to everything back up. You can pop them in the transporter assuming you really want to finish stuff around the house; simply ensure they’re not lashed in excessively close. Giving them an intensive burp before bed and getting out any troublesome air pockets will guarantee they are agreeable for their rest.
3. If they’re bottle fed, check the teat size
If you’re bottle-feeding your baby, always check what size teat you’re using, as there are several different sizes and flows based on how old your baby is. If the teat is the wrong size, your little one might be having to work overtime to get their milk, and in turn, be taking in a lot of air which can cause them to spit up more. If you are unsure what the best teat size is, ask your GP.
4. Don’t elevate their bassinet
A baby with reflux should never be elevated while they sleep. Raising a bassinet or bed means your child could slide down into a hazardous position which could make them think twice about relaxing. You ought to likewise try not to utilize a cushion or wedge under your child’s head since it could cover their face and become a suffocation risk.
5. Small but frequent feedings
Giving your baby small but frequent feeds means they’ll have less liquid in their tummies and will be able to digest it easier. Speak to your doctor about how many feeds your baby should be having based on their age and ask them how you can split that amount up into smaller, more palatable servings.
6. Make sure their nappy isn’t too tight
When it’s time for bed, always double-check your little one’s nappy and loosen the tags if they’re cutting into their stomach.
Overall, reflux and spit-up tend to be harmless, but if you are worried that your baby doesn’t seem to be gaining weight, or there are streaks of blood in their spit-up, or your baby seems extremely distressed, then you should contact your doctor.
This article is published in collaboration with Kiindred.co by writer and editor Bella Brennan, who has over a decade of experience in women’s publishing. Head to Kiindred.co for more easy-to-digest content for new and expectant parents.