Tips to Help Your Baby with Reflux
Question: My 2-month-old daughter is constantly spitting up through her nose and mouth at the same time. I have her sleeping in a rock and play on an incline, should I be transitioning her to a flat surface to help with her reflux? I’m just very concerned with choking.
Answer: Thank you for submitting your question, and I’m sorry to hear about the trouble your little one is having. Many babies have a form of reflux and eventually grow out of it around 9-months-old. The good news is, there are tools and tips to help her with this in the meantime. For your baby, one change you can make is to stop using the semi-sitting position (like in the rock-and-play) for long periods of time. Some sitting positions can actually increase reflux in some infants. Keep your baby semi-upright, especially during feedings in an attempt to reduce the spit up and see if that helps. After her feeding, cuddle with your baby upright or wear her upright in a baby sling or baby carrier for at least 30 minutes.
The best sleeping tips for reflux in your baby is to not have her sleep on a horizontal flat surface. Babies with severe reflux sleep best on their stomach and propped up at a 30-degree angle by elevating the head of the crib. Discuss with your doctor whether the reflux is severe enough to warrant tummy sleeping. If your baby will be sleeping in your bed, try placing her on a reflux wedge. (Babies without severe reflux should always be put down to sleep on their backs).
Dr. Bill Sears has a great article with more information on what gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is, and what can help, found here.
Martha is the mother of Dr. Bill’s eight children, a registered nurse, a former childbirth educator, a La Leche League leader, and a lactation consultant. Martha is the co-author of 25 parenting books and is a popular lecturer and media guest drawing on her 18 years of breastfeeding experience with her eight children (including Stephen with Down Syndrome and Lauren, her adopted daughter). Martha speaks frequently at national parenting conferences and is noted for her advice on how to handle the most common problems facing today’s mothers with their changing lifestyles. Martha is able to connect with both full-time, stay-at-home mothers and working mothers because she herself has experienced both styles of parenting. Martha takes great pride in referring to herself as a “professional mother” and one of her favorite quips when someone voices their concern about her having eight children in an already populated world is: “The world needs my children.”