Does your baby have reflux?

While most all babies spit up, some babies spit up more frequently and experience unusual discomfort that may be symptoms of a more serious condition.  If you suspect your baby may suffer from acid reflux, the most important thing you can do is monitor your child's spit up behavior, especially after meals or snacks and during bedtime hours.

There are many symptoms of infant acid reflux. Your baby may have some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Spits up frequently or more than an hour after feedings
  • Vomiting, not related to colds or flu
  • Appears colicky, irritable and/or cries more than most babies
  • Has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Likes to feed often and/or in small amounts; may refuse feedings
  • Wet burp or wet hiccup sounds
  • Bad breath
  • Blood in stool

The less common symptoms include:

  • Intolerance of certain foods
  • Poor weight gain and/or weight loss
  • Gagging and/or swallowing problems
  • Respiratory problems, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, wheezing, asthma, nighttime cough, apnea, aspiration, noisy or labored breathing
  • Frequent and/or persistent ear infections
  • Frequent and/or persistent runny nose
  • Excessive drooling
  • Peculiar neck arching

Almost all babies spit up to some degree. Some babies will spit up and not have any other symptoms. However, some babies when they spit up will become fussy or irritated. The severity, duration and frequency of the above symptoms will dictate whether or not your child has a condition known as Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease or GERD. Only your pediatrician or trained professional can make this diagnosis.