It’s true that some babies cry more than others, order and that all babies cry quite a lot in their first few weeks. However, if you’re a new mum (or even an old hand) and you have a baby that won’t stop crying and is fussy when he or she feeds, it can be a pretty miserable experience for both of you.
One infant condition that can cause these symptoms is reflux.
Reflux in babies occurs when the muscle at the base of the esophagus that usually closes off the stomach contents does not do its job properly, and allows acidic stomach contents to rise up the throat before the baby swallows them back down again. The lining of the esophagus is much thinner than that of the stomach, and so the acid causes irritation. As anyone who’s ever had heartburn knows, it’s not a very pleasant experience, and in babies it can be very hard to detect as there is no obvious vomiting.
Some of the symptoms of a baby with reflux include a baby that is overly fussy, cries, particularly at feeding times, and always wants to be carried. You might also notice sour breath, wet-sounding burps, bursts of crying when your baby sounds like he or she is in pain, frequent hiccups, and they might be arching their back after feeding.
How do I find out if my baby has reflux?
Ask your baby’s doctor as your first point of contact to diagnose reflux. Your doctor will then determine the appropriate test for your baby depending on weight and symptoms.
What can I do to help ease my baby’s pain?
Suggested natural remedies include putting something under the base of the cot at the head of the cot to put it on a slight incline, but not propping the baby up on pillows to sleep.
If you’re breastfeeding then changes to your own diet may also help. Experts also suggest to try feeding your baby in a more upright position and keeping them upright for half an hour or so after a feed.
Your medical practitioner might recommend giving your baby thickened formula if bottle-feeding, and can also prescribe medication to ease the discomfort.
* Articles written by third parties on the Dettol Mission for Health website are the opinions of the author/blogger only and do not reflect those of Reckitt & Benckiser Inc.