This is a condition where the contents of the stomach are spat out, frequently shortly after feeding. Infant reflux fades away as a baby gets older, and it's unusual if it's still happening after 18 months of age. In some cases, reflux can also be a sign of a more severe problem such as GERD, an allergy or a blockage.
Infant reflux is often related to a number of factors. The muscle between the oesophagus and the stomach- the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) is not yet fully grown, making it possible for the stomach contents to flow backward. As the infant grows, the LES will open only when the baby swallows, thus remaining tightly closed keeping the stomach contents where they belong.
Since babies are lying flat most of the time, this makes reflux more likely to occur. Also, their diet is completely liquid which also favours infant reflux. At times, the air bubbles in the stomach may push liquids backward, and in other cases, your baby might drink too fast. Infant reflux can also occur when the baby cries, coughs or strains too much.
Vomiting and spitting up are usually the main symptoms of infant reflux. But you should contact your doctor if your baby:
• Refuses food and isn't gaining weight
• Spits yellow of green fluid
• Has blood in the stool
• Difficulty breathing
• Spits out vigorously causing the stomach contents to shoot out of the mouth
• Spits materials that look like coffee grounds or blood
Consider these tips to minimize reflux:
• Feed your baby in an upright position and make it a point to hold the baby in a sitting position for about 30 minutes after feeding.
• Feed in smaller quantities.
• For your baby to burp, make sure your baby is in an upright position supporting his or her head with your hand. Frequent burps can keep the air from building up in the baby's stomach.
• Babies should be placed on their backs to sleep, even if they have a reflux.