GERD in Infants
In babies, reflux is quite common. Reflux occurs when stomach contents come back up into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach) during or after a meal. Common symptoms include spitting up, vomiting, or coughing.
However, sometimes a baby's reflux is more serious in nature, resulting in poor growth, breathing problems, or refusing to feed due to pain. In these cases, the baby may have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD for short.
Most babies outgrow GERD by the time they are one or two years old. If treatment is necessary, it will typically involve modifications in sleeping and eating, such as:
- Burping the infant several times during feeding
- If possible, keeping the infant in an upright position for 30 minutes after feeding
- Having the baby sleep on his or her back.
(To learn more about this topic, click Infant GERD. This article takes an in-depth look at GERD in babies, including details on how a diagnosis is made.)