Could Your Infant's Constant Crying Be The Result Of Acid Reflux?

Posted on: 2 March 2017

If you've ever found yourself battling heartburn after a night of too many hot wings and beer, you understand firsthand the pain and discomfort that can be caused by acid reflux. For babies dealing with this condition, without the knowledge of how it's caused or how to fight it, it can be even more debilitating -- and you may find yourself crying right alongside your inconsolable baby in exhaustion. How can you tell whether your baby's constant crying is due to reflux problems or some other issue? Read on to learn more about some signs that your infant's colic or general fussiness may be due to acid reflux, as well as a few options that may bring you both some relief.

What are some signs that an infant is dealing with acid reflux?

Acid reflux in infants can often be tricky to diagnose, and may take some trial and error for both you and your child's pediatrician. However, there are some signs that can point to high acidity in the gut, including:

  • Frequent crying after meals (rather than crying when hungry)
  • Drawing knees up to chest while crying
  • Spitting up or vomiting frequently
  • Inability to be comforted without applying pressure to the stomach

If you observe any of these symptoms on your own, or if they appear to be getting worse rather than better, it's a good idea to take your child to the pediatrician to rule out any more serious ailments.

What are some treatment options?

Acid reflux can impact both breastfed and bottle-fed babies, so the right treatment method can largely depend on the source of your child's nutrition.

If you're breastfeeding, you may want to examine your own diet to see whether there are any changes that could bring relief. Certain foods, like spicy foods, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and beans, can cause gas and stomach discomfort for both adults and children; switching to a blander diet with fewer gas-producing foods can often be all that's needed to calm your infant's stomach as well. You may also want to take an over-the-counter gas reducer or reflux medication (after consulting with your pediatrician) to see whether this improves the digestibility of your breast milk.

Formula-fed babies may simply need a new type of formula. There are a number of options designed for babies with reflux or other sensitivities, and you may need to try a few kinds before you find one that seems to work well for your baby.