What is reflux in a baby? Tips on how to avoid

Reflux in infants, as well as in adults, is the return of food eaten to the esophagus.

It is a very common condition, especially in newborns. Therefore, it can be responsible for discomfort in the child and concern of the parents.

After breastfeeding and at night, the chances of reflux increase, because at this time the child is in a horizontal position and ends up salivating less.

But this does not indicate a serious problem, as reflux usually occurs because the digestive system is still forming.

The mechanism that returns food from the esophagus to the stomach, called the lower sphincter, is still under development in this first year of life.

This makes it more relaxed, which facilitates the return of what was ingested.

The good news is that reflux tends to decrease over the course of child development . At around 6 months, the condition is already much less frequent.

In addition, with the inclusion of solid foods in your diet, the tendency for reflux is less, as liquid food can be more easily regurgitated.

What is hidden reflux in babies?

Hidden reflux in babies is when stomach contents return to the esophagus. But, as the name suggests, there are no visible signs of this reflux – so it is hidden. In this case, the food does not reach the mouth (regurgitation).

If it is frequent, reflux is no longer physiological (natural) and is considered an alteration.

In this case, it can cause damage to the wall of the esophagus and generate pain. In more rare cases, it can even be aspirated by the lung and cause complications such as bronchitis , asthma and sinusitis .

Because children cannot express clearly if they are feeling something, what will change is their behavior.

Constant crying, restlessness, irritability, altered sleep, discomfort when breastfeeding are examples of symptoms that may be indicative for parents.

Despite the concern, hidden reflux in babies is generally physiological and does not represent changes.

Symptoms: how to know when it is gastroesophageal reflux?

In general, physiological reflux does not cause symptoms or harm to the child. But if it is gastroesophageal reflux (ie, the pathological change), it can cause:

  • Irritability;
  • I am agitado;
  • Difficulty gaining weight;
  • Dry cough;
  • Difficulty or refusal to breastfeed;
  • Frequent crying.

In addition to the child’s signs, reflux disease can trigger frequent respiratory infections, such as sinusitis, and throat infections.

Read more: Colic in babies: what to do?

Reflux in a 1 year old baby: is it normal?

It is common to occur. When they are occasional, reflux is normal, but frequent conditions deserve attention.

Reflux is more common in young children, as the digestive system is not fully formed. As months go by, the trend is for staff to decline.

Along with the formation of the digestive sphincter, there is the insertion of solid foods. This favors the reduction of reflux.

However, it is worth remembering that the conditions can persist or occur at any age of the child.

In such cases, it is important to observe eating behavior and habits (such as lying down after eating).

How to prevent the baby from refluxing?

In the initial months, the concern with avoiding reflux is constant. It is necessary to pay attention to some precautions, and, for this, there are very valuable tips that can help when feeding the child. Care, especially for newborns, may include:

  1. Hold the baby in a position that prevents air from entering the mouth;
  2. Pause breastfeeding a few times so that there is time to burp;
  3. Avoid rocking the child.

Caring for the child’s position after feeding and wearing tight clothing in the stomach area can also reduce the chances of reflux.


Reflux can be considered as a normal problem in babies. Either because the food is based on liquids or because the digestive system is not yet fully formed.

Therefore, reflux at this stage of life should be a reason for attention for parents.

Don’t let this condition affect your baby’s health !!

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