Pediatric Acid Reflux: Symptoms and Treatment for Babies and Toddlers

Acid reflux is very common in newborn and babies. It is a condition when the baby vomits out its feeds, for e.g. milk in newborns. In simple words acid reflux in pediatric is regurgitation of the stomach content, into the esophagus (tube connected from mouth to the stomach) and occasionally spited out from the mouth.

Normally newborns often spit out excess intake of breast milk, when their stomach is full. It can also happen when the infant cries and coughs. Acid reflux problem is common between 1 to 3 months in infants, but gradually decreases after 6 months to 1 year.

Acid reflux disease in newborns should be addressed seriously as ignoring it will often lead to serious health problems for infants and newborns.

Pediatric (Newborns) Acid Reflux Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of acid reflux in newborn and toddlers are:
Spitting and vomiting of milk and liquids.

  • Hiccup and coughing after a feed.
  • Constant crying and irritation when the newborn feeds.
  • Failure to put on weight.

Treatment for Acid Reflux in Toddlers and Babies

Solve acid reflux problem with simple tips before and after feeding in newborns:

  • Do not feed your baby for a long time, in one go.  Instead take a break in between, this will allow the digestive system to relax.
  • Give few sips of water after each feed, as this will flush the extra acid formed at the time of feeding.
  • Do not make your baby to lie down immediately after a feed, hold him in upright position for 20 minutes after feeding, pat him gently at the back to make him burp.
  • Keep a pillow under the head while sleeping, as this will prevent the back flow of acid into the esophagus from stomach.
  • Give small frequent feedings of thickened formula in toddlers with acid reflux.
  • Esophageal hiatus hernia in pediatric patients is a congenital condition; acid reflux is commonly seen in toddlers and babies having hiatus hernia.
  • The toddler with acid reflux due to hiatus hernia may have aspiration pneumonia, poor weight gain or iron deficiency anemia as presenting symptom.
  • Symptomatic acid reflux often occurs in toddlers and newborns after tracheoesophageal fistula repair, in babies with sever scoliosis (a spinal defect), and in brain damaged babies.

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