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Why Do Babies Have Acid Reflux?

Updated: Mar 25

As new parents, you may have noticed your baby frequently spitting up or seeming uncomfortable after feedings. This is likely due to infant acid reflux, a common condition affecting up to 50% of babies.

Infant Acid Reflux Explained

Acid reflux occurs when the contents of the stomach back up into the esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. This can happen in babies because the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach (the lower esophageal sphincter) is still developing and tends to allow stomach contents to come back up more easily.

The stomach produces acid to help digest food. When this acid refluxes back into the esophagus, it can cause discomfort, pain, and burning sensations for your little one. Common signs of infant acid reflux include frequent spitting up, projectile vomiting, arching of the back during feeds, fussiness and crying, coughing fits, and poor sleep.

Causes of Infant Acid Reflux

There are a few key factors that can contribute to acid reflux in infants:

Immature Digestive System: As babies' digestive systems are still developing, their esophageal sphincter muscles may not close tightly enough to keep stomach contents from flowing back up.

Overeating: Consuming too much milk or formula can distend the stomach and increase pressure, making it easier for stomach contents to reflux.

Air Swallowing: If your baby gulps down their milk or formula too quickly, they may swallow excess air leading to gas buildup in the stomach.

Certain Foods: For breastfed babies, mom's diet can play a role. Certain foods like dairy, spicy foods, or acidic foods may contribute to reflux.

When to Seek Help

While occasional spitting up is normal, persistent or severe reflux can signal a more serious condition. Consult your pediatrician if your baby is experiencing:

- Weight loss or failure to gain weight adequately

- Persistent forceful vomiting

- Choking or gagging episodes during feedings

- Breathing difficulties or wheezing

- Arching of the back and crying with most feedings

- Blood in vomit or stools

Trusted Tips for Managing Infant Acid Reflux

Feeding Position: Sit upright when bottle feeding and hold your baby in an upright position after breastfeeding for 20-30 minutes. Gravity can help keep milk down.

Burp Frequently: Burp your baby every few minutes during feeds to release air that may have been swallowed. This can prevent gas buildup.

Smaller Feedings: Offer smaller, more frequent meals to avoid overfilling the stomach.

Thicken Milk: Ask your pediatrician about thickening formula or breast milk with rice cereal to help it stay down more easily.

Adjusting Mom's Diet: For breastfed babies, eliminating dairy, caffeine, spicy foods, and acidic foods like citrus or tomatoes from mom's diet may help.

In the most severe reflux cases unresponsive to these tips, your pediatrician may recommend medication or changes in feeding practices. Be sure to follow their advice closely.

Bay-Bay Water: Supporting Healthy Babies

Here at Bay-Bay Water, we understand the concerns parents face when it comes to their baby's well-being. Our 100% pure distilled water, free from impurities like chlorine, fluoride, and heavy metals, is the perfect choice for mixing formula and preparing nutritious solid foods as your baby grows. Visit our website at to order our baby products today and join parents across America in choosing the safest water for their little ones.

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