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Reflux in babies

Reflux is when a baby brings up milk, or is sick, during or shortly after feeding.

Symptoms of reflux in babies include bringing up milk, being sick or hiccupping after feeding.

You can usually treat reflux by making some small changes to how you feed your baby, like keeping them upright. Speak to a health visitor for advice.

Reflux happens because the muscles in your baby's food pipe are still developing. They should grow out of it.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of reflux in babies include bringing up milk, being sick or hiccupping after feeding.

Check if your baby has reflux

Reflux usually starts before a baby is 8 weeks old and gets better by the time they're 1.

Symptoms of reflux in babies include:

Sometimes babies may have signs of reflux, but will not bring up milk or be sick. This is known as silent reflux.

Read more on the NHS website.

You can usually treat reflux by making some small changes to how you feed your baby, like keeping them upright. Speak to a health visitor for advice.

Self-care

Your baby does not usually need to see a doctor if they have reflux, as long as they're happy, healthy and gaining weight.


Do

  • ask a health visitor for advice and support
  • get advice about your baby's breastfeeding position or how to bottle feed your baby
  • hold your baby upright during feeding and for as long as possible after feeding
  • give formula-fed babies smaller feeds more often
  • make sure your baby sleeps flat on their back (they should not sleep on their side or front)

Don't

  • do not change your diet if you're breastfeeding
  • do not raise the head of their cot or Moses basket

Medical treatments

A GP or specialist may recommend some treatments for reflux.

If your baby is formula-fed, you may be given:

  • a powder that's mixed with formula to thicken it
  • a pre-thickened formula milk

If the thickening powder does not help or your baby is breastfed, a GP or specialist might recommend medicines that stop your baby's stomach producing as much acid.

In very rare cases, surgery might be needed to strengthen the muscles to stop food or milk travelling back up.

This is usually only after trying other things or if their reflux is severe.

Read more on the NHS website.

Reflux happens because the muscles in your baby's food pipe are still developing. They should grow out of it.

Read more on the NHS website.