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What Causes Reflux in Babies and Children?


If your toddler or older child has reflux and it is causing them distress, take them to see your family doctor.

In babies, reflux, otherwise known as 'spilling' or 'spitting up' stomach contents, is a normal process that helps to relieve an uncomfortably full stomach. Reflux usually begins before babies are 8 weeks old and may continue until approximately 4 months of age. A few children will still experience reflux after 1 year of age.

While reflux generally does not need medical treatment, there are a few things you can do to cope with your baby's spilling.

  • During feeding: Avoid feeding your baby in a lying-down position. Try to keep your baby’s head upright.
  • After feeding: Keep your baby upright for 30 minutes – usually over your shoulder.
  • Avoid putting your baby in a car seat immediately after feeding because this can make reflux worse.
  • Give your baby smaller feeds more often, unless the feeds are already small and frequent.
  • Burp or wind your baby a few times during each feeding. Do it when they pause and look around rather than interrupting their feeding rhythm.
  • Avoid tight nappies and clothing around the tummy.

If you are concerned about the frequency or amount of the reflux, contact your doctor or Life Pharmacist for advice.

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