How to help baby with reflux sleep? Roughly 1 in 3 babies have some degree of reflux, making it the most common gastrointestinal disorder among infants. When your little one has reflux, they might experience discomfort while sleeping or having a meal.
- 1 What is reflux?
- 2 What causes reflux?
- 3 What are the symptoms?
- 4 How do I know if my baby has reflux?
- 5 How to help baby with reflux sleep? Best 12 Ways
- 6 What is the safest sleep solution for my baby with reflux?
- 7 How to support infants with reflux to sleep better?
- 8 Why does reflux cause sleep problems?
- 9 How Should I Position My Reflux Baby for Sleep?
- 10 Helping your Baby with Reflux Sleep Better
- 11 Why baby with acid reflux won’t sleep?
- 12 signs of baby reflux at night
- 13 Final Thoughts
- 14 FAQS
What is reflux?
Reflux is a condition characterized by the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus. This is a serious condition. If left untreated, it can lead to long-term health problems.
Infants with reflux may be fussy, cranky, and frequently wake at night. They may also wake up with a cough, runny nose, rough skin, or change in bowel habits.
What causes reflux?
There are two types: functional and non-functional. Functional reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close properly. This allows stomach acid to continue to flow into the esophagus and cause pain, problems with sleeping, and bad breath.
Non-functional reflux is caused by a medical condition that is not yet identified.
Babies with non-functional reflux vomit quite often and are inconsolable and fussy. They could have feeding difficulties, such as a weak suck and swallow reflex, oral aversion, or excessive drooling.
Non-functional reflux is usually the result of neurological conditions, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. These babies may have trouble swallowing and will not be able to keep the food down long enough for it to settle in their tummies.
What are the symptoms?
Even if your baby has reflux, you may not see or feel anything. You might have to pay closer attention to detect the signs.
The main sign is that your baby is fussy and does not want to be put down. They will not sleep for long periods without waking up, even when well fed.
How do I know if my baby has reflux?
Reflux occurs when the lower portion of your baby’s esophagus is not protected by the muscle ring (called the lower esophageal sphincter). When this happens, stomach acid travels into their airway, causing coughing or choking.
How to help baby with reflux sleep? Best 12 Ways
Here are some ways to help a baby with reflux sleep:
1. A humidifier can help clear mucus or excess phlegm from their airways.
2. Right before bed, try feeding the baby finger foods such as a few pieces of apple, banana, and eggs. If your baby has already gone to sleep, stick their finger in the bottle to ensure they don’t get too much fluid.
3. Use white noise to drown out their noises. When sleeping, make sure not to place the noise machine too close to their ears as they might get a minor ear infection.
4. Elevate the head end of your baby’s crib. They might feel better when their head is slightly elevated. You can also buy special wedge pillows for babies with reflux that help elevate the baby’s head and make them sleep more comfortably for longer periods.
5. Give them a smaller amount of feedings. A baby with reflux may feel better if they don’t eat for a few hours before sleeping.
6. Try putting your baby to sleep on their back in a healthy sleeping environment. This might help decrease reflux symptoms because it will keep air from going down the esophagus and into their stomach, causing heartburn and other discomforts.
7. Never prop your baby up or let them sleep in an inclined position. Doing so increases the chances of them vomiting.
8. Burping your baby after each feeding can help reduce the amount of acid in their mouth.
9. Be sure to burp your baby often during feedings, especially if they are taking a bottle; this will prevent them from swallowing too much air and developing gas, which can cause discomfort and reflux pain.
10. Throw out all pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and other objects that could be harmful if swallowed by your baby while they are sleeping.
11. Babies with reflux might need to keep their heads elevated. You can use a high chair for feeding and refilling it when it’s needed.
12. It is not uncommon for babies to have some degree of reflux; the discomfort might be mild enough that they don’t even realize anything is wrong. If they are in pain, they will probably tell you so you can take care of them.
13. Try eliminating dairy products, caffeine, and spicy foods, as these can aggravate reflux symptoms.
What is the safest sleep solution for my baby with reflux?
The only thing that will be able to help your baby sleep more comfortably is by using the right support, like a bed wedge pillow or a specially designed mattress. When your baby has reflux, the most comfortable positions are either on the back or side.
If your baby tends to sleep better when lying on their back and you don’t know how to position them, you should try a wedge pillow or other simple solution.
Here are three sleep safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for babies with reflux:
1. Back to sleep―even with reflux!
Babies usually spend more time sleeping on their backs than in other positions. They will only react when they can’t breathe, so going back to sleep is the only thing that solves their problem.
2. Support your baby’s head
It’s very important for a baby with reflux to maintain the crib’s proper head and neck position. If they push out of this position and force themselves to turn from side to side, they may get reflux pain, heartburn, or another serious gastrointestinal disorder if you don’t support their head.
3. Position your baby in the crib
This is essential to reduce reflux symptoms. A baby with reflux will probably have problems sleeping while their head is turned from side to side, which will lead to other consequences.
How to support infants with reflux to sleep better?
As a mother, you should try not to worry, as all reflux symptoms are temporary and will disappear once your baby grows up. To help your baby get a good night’s sleep, follow these safe sleeping tips:
1. Baby wedge pillow
Slip into the snug-fitting wedge cushion and prop the cushion to rest at an angle just above the bases of the feet.
2. Avoid or reduce sleeping bag or swaddle
Baby swaddling can restrict breathing, especially if babies have poor muscle tone. A safer option for infants is to use a small blanket in place of a swaddle or sleeping bag.
3. Use of a blanket
Covering your baby with a light, breathable blanket helps them stay warm while they sleep, and it’s also one way to prevent swaddling that can increase the risk of SIDS.
4. Baby mattress pad
A mattress pad prevents the baby from getting moisture on the skin, leading to rashes and dryness. It also prevents your baby from getting too hot while sleeping.
5. Don’t use crib bumpers
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents avoid using crib bumpers because they risk suffocation, strangulation, and entrapment to babies.
6. Keep your baby in their crib
When they are just a few months old, you need to prop your baby, so they can’t roll over in the crib. When they get older, you can help them roll over by placing their back against the side of the crib and letting them practice turning to their other side.
7. Use a pacifier
Babies who suck on pacifiers during sleep are less likely to wake up if they experience any reflux issues.
Why does reflux cause sleep problems?
When your baby has reflux, it damages the esophagus and leads to irritation in the neck and upper chest area. The discomfort made it hard for them to sleep well at night ever since birth. Without proper rest, they may have difficulty sleeping during their future childhoods.
How Should I Position My Reflux Baby for Sleep?
If your baby has reflux, you need to make sure that his best positions for sleeping are the following:
1. Their back
If your baby tends to have reflux, you should position them on their back in a safe environment. You can make sure that they stay on their back by putting pillows under them, so they don’t roll over into an incline position.
2. Side sleeping
The next best position is side sleeping because it reduces the reflux symptoms of most babies with reflux. Although some babies tend to sleep better when they are on their backs, it’s best not encourage them to stay in one position.
3. In a crib or bassinet without bumpers
Babies need plenty of room in the crib or bassinet, so you should ensure that there aren’t any bumpers, blankets, or toys that can cause suffocation or interfere with proper air circulation.
4. An incline position
The positions mentioned above are the best for safe sleep, but you should make sure that your baby is positioned properly before turning over on his own.
Some parents prefer to place pillows under their babies when they turn over in their crib, but this can increase the risk of SIDS. You should also make sure that there aren’t any blankets and bumpers in the crib.
5. In the correct sleeping position
Even though some newborns sleep better when they are on their backs, the most important thing is to make sure that they are not in a risky position. Babies with reflux should be placed in an optimum head and neck position.
It’s also important that you don’t allow your baby to sleep for longer than 2-3 hours during daytime naps and 90 minutes during nighttime sleep.
Helping your Baby with Reflux Sleep Better
As a parent, you must do everything you can to help your baby sleep well. Although reflux is a temporary condition, it could cause serious health problems for your baby when they grow up.
If you are looking for natural ways to reduce your baby’s reflux symptoms, then check out this homeopathic remedy. The secret is to make sure that the problem doesn’t get worse in the first five months of their lives with these tips:
You must nurse your baby when you notice reflux symptoms. Babies with reflux have a sensitive stomach, so their symptoms are likely to worsen when they are hungry or feel very tired.
It’s best to nurse your baby for at least twenty minutes until he is full. You can also help reduce reflux symptoms by avoiding eating before you feed your baby and burping them often during the feeding.
2. Stop smoking
If you smoke, then the best thing to do is to quit. Smoking increases your baby’s risk of developing asthma, allergies, and even ear infections. It also has negative effects on their breathing abilities and digestive system.
3. Avoid feeding your baby right before going to bed
It’s best to feed your baby at least a few hours before they go to sleep. You should also avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and caffeinated drinks right before feeding your baby.
4. Reduce stress
If you are feeling stressed or anxious, then there is a chance that it will increase the reflux symptoms in your baby. You should take a break from your daily routines to give yourself some alone time to relax and enjoy the time with your baby. This way, you can have the best sleep at night and during the day!
Why baby with acid reflux won’t sleep?
There are many reasons why your baby has reflux, and they may not be able to sleep well. Some of the most common problems that can cause your baby to have reflux include:
It’s very important to feed your baby only when hungry and burp them often during feeding. Babies with reflux will often experience more serious symptoms when they eat faster than usual or on a full stomach.
2. Taking a bottle or breastfeeding
Babies with reflux should always drink from the breast. It’s best to avoid using bottles, and you should also avoid breastfeeding them too fast.
3. Using a pacifier
If your baby tends to have acid reflux, you should avoid using a pacifier during sleep because it can worsen the condition.
If your baby has a lot of saliva in his mouth, he may swallow air and experience more serious reflux symptoms while they sleep.
4. Nurses before sleep
You should never nurse your baby just before they go to sleep. If you notice that your baby tends to be in pain during the night, you should let him cry for a short time. He will learn that he can’t nurse for an indefinite period, and it’ll help reduce reflux symptoms.
5. Swallowing air
You should teach your baby how to swallow properly. This will help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux and make sure that they eat more easily.
6. Sucking on fingers
You should discourage your baby from sucking on their fingers during the day because it’s likely to cause reflux symptoms at night. You should also ensure that there are no fingers in their mouth when you burp or change a diaper.
signs of baby reflux at night
Every baby will experience acid reflux at night at one time or another. However, some babies are more prone to it than others, and these symptoms may not be as obvious as they are for other babies.
It’s important to know what signs to look out for if you have a baby with acid reflux to detect it before the problem gets worse.
1. Tongue soreness
Your baby might have a sore tongue when suffering from acid reflux at night due to having excess saliva in his mouth. This can cause a lot of pain and lead to swelling and possible infection. You should try using a tongue depressor to clean the back of your baby’s tongue and give it some time to heal.
If your baby has acid reflux at night, you may notice that he dribbles at night. This is caused by acid reflux affecting the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. This can cause discomfort for your baby and may lead to vomiting, stomach cramps, weight loss, or diarrhea.
3. Having loose stools
If your baby has acid reflux at night, you may notice that he has a lot of loose stools. This is caused by acid reflux affecting the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. This can cause discomfort for your baby and may lead to vomiting, stomach cramps, weight loss, or diarrhea.
Your baby might experience nausea when he has acid reflux at night due to having too much saliva in his mouth. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, or additional pain in his stomach and digestive system.
5. Blood in stools
You might notice blood in your baby’s stools if he has acid reflux at night. This is caused by acid reflux affecting the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. This can cause discomfort for your baby and may lead to vomiting, stomach cramps, weight loss, or diarrhea.
Diagnosing acid reflux at night is important because it can cause further discomfort for your baby. Learning about the signs and symptoms of acid reflux and how to deal with it can go a long way. However, you should get other medical help if your baby has more serious symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or being completely unable to sleep.
I hope this article gives you an overview of acid reflux in babies and tips on beating it. I also hope that this allows you to start a better life with your baby.
Don’t hesitate to ask me in the comment section below if you have any questions. Also, please share this with your friends and relatives if they have babies or expect a new arrival!
Can Baby Choke To Death On Reflux?
Yes, this can happen if your baby has too much reflux and he swallows air. It can also cause him to choke on a finger or tongue depressor.
Does Taking Acid Reflux Medication Affect Baby’s Development?
Yes, it can hurt your baby’s brain and development during their first year. You should talk to your baby’s pediatrician when they are less than 4 months old or if you notice that they are not eating well.
Baby Reflux Sleep Left Side?
This is often caused by reflux impacting the stomach and esophagus. It’s important to carefully change your baby’s position and make sure that their head is on a pillow that is high in their crib.
Baby Reflux Sleep Do It Get Better?
Yes, many acid reflux babies tend to leave ventilator fissures and develop into allergies later in life. Always take your baby to the doctor if you notice any discomfort with their medications or changes in behavior for more information about acid reflux.
What To Do For Baby Reflux Back Sleep?
You should ensure that your baby’s head is not on a flat surface and that their spine is properly aligned. You should also make sure that their mattress is firm enough, and you should never let your baby sleep on a couch or armchair.
What Causes Baby Reflux Medicine Side Effects?
Reflux medication can hurt your baby’s brain and development during their first year. You should talk to your baby’s pediatrician when they are less than 4 months old or if you notice that they are not eating well.