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Help Your Baby’s Belly

While breastfeeding is best, some women can not breastfeed and turn to formula to feed their babies. With both breastfeeding and formula feeding however a baby can suffer from reflux causing belly aches, arching of the back, and painful cries from your baby. There are several things you can do to help your baby feel better, or help the reflux not hit your baby as bad.

help-your-babys-belly.jpgSlow Down
Don’t rush your baby with his eating. Let him take little breaks and have adequate time to eat his “food”. It may mean that you need to nurse for a shorter amount of time but more often in order to give your baby a chance to digest some of his food.

Don’t Overfeed
Don’t try to force feed your baby. If he acts full stop feeding him. Overfeeding your baby can cause a back up of gas leading to painful reflux before the food is properly digested.

Consider What Your Baby Is Wearing
Tight clothing can make reflux worse, so make sure your baby’s clothing is loose. Change your baby’s diaper before feeding him and leave it a little loose so that there is room for his belly to expand. Check his diaper afterwards to make sure it isn’t too tight.

Feed In a Comfortable Position
Try feeding your baby in an upright position and when possible hold you baby upright for at least thirty minutes after feeds to help reduce reflux. If this is not possible try setting him in his swing or a seat on the floor that allows him to sit upright. This allows gravity to work at holding the food in their tummies.

Try Thickening Foods
Ask your pediatrician about thickening your baby’s formula with cereal. Depending on your baby’s weight and age, his doctor may say it is safe to start this. Always consult your pediatrician prior to starting solid foods though with your baby as you don’t want to cause any other problems.

Avoid Foods That Cause Problems
If your baby has a milk allergy then soy based or hypoallergenic will likely help the reflux improve. It may mean cutting certain foods out of your diet in order to help your baby process breast milk easier. Avoid the known allergens such as whole milk, chocolate milk, tomatoes, and citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit and pineapple. You can also try to stay away from fatty foods.

Burp Frequently
Try to stop during your feedings to burp your baby. Getting rid of access air can help the food digest faster. Always remember to burp your baby for a last time after he is done eating.

Change Formula Brand
If you are using formula you may find that changing the brand helps. If your baby has a milk allergy or sensitivity then soy based or hypoallergenic will likely help the reflux improve. Only change formula however after talking to your doctor about the problems you are having.

Babies will normally get over reflux on their own eventually. In some cases of severe reflux damage can be done to your baby’s stomach and esophagus. If you are concerned about your baby be sure to speak to his doctor at your next well-check.

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