Not just adults, but also infants tend to suffer from acid reflux which is causing them to spit up. This condition could be quite frequently for many people. In infants, the muscle that is between esophagus and stomach is not yet fully mature, so the contents of the stomach more easily flow backward. There are some factors which can contribute to infant reflux in most cases such as consuming only a liquid diet, lying flat most of the time and being born prematurely. Also, children who have reflux, often spit up more than usual after feeding. Also they become fussier. As long as your baby is healthy, content and growing well, you do not have a reason why you should be worried. This problem will happen less frequently as your baby gets older and it becomes more active. You can try some of the below mentioned home remedies that are effective in reducing the episodes of infant reflux and associated discomforts. You need to talk with your doctor if your baby is showing signs of unusual irritability after eating, chronic coughing, blood in the stool, recurrent vomiting, spitting up food forcefully and signs of poor growth. All of the mentioned signs can indicate a more serious condition like GERD (gastroesophageal reflux) which can cause poor growth.
Natural cures for acid reflux in children
Chamomile: This is a very effective home remedy for infant acid reflux. It has sedative and antispasmodic properties which will induce relaxation, relive colic pain and help to improve digestion. In one cup of hot water you should put ½ teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers. Cover it. Steep for 5 – 10 minutes. Strain it and allow it to cool down. You should give your baby this tea in one to two teaspoon doses throughout the day. Also nursing mothers should drink a cup of chamomile tea two or three times per day.
Coconut oil: This natural cure has anti – inflammatory properties that can help to reduce the inflammation from reflux. Also it can keep the digestive system lubricated to help it function more effectively. Coconut oil has lauric acid which is a powerful antimicrobial fatty acid, which can protect the immune system of newborns. You should add ½ to one teaspoon of extra – virgin coconut oil to a warm drink or cereal before you feed your baby. You should do this natural treatment two or three times per day. Nursing mothers should ingest two tablespoons of extra – virgin coconut oil to boost their baby’s immune function. Also you can mix equal amounts of ginger oil and coconut oil. You should rub it clockwise on your baby’s stomach for one minute and do it few times per day.
Home remedies for acid reflux in children
Apple cider vinegar: This is a very effective home remedy for infants which are experiencing episodes of acid reflux. It can help to balance the acid level in your stomach which is making digesting food easier and prevents spitting up. Also it can boost the immune system and it can protect your baby from frequent illness. You should put ¼ teaspoon of raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar to one glass of lukewarm water. You should give a few spoonfuls of this home remedy to your baby at regular intervals. If you have baby which is older than 1 year, then you can even add organic honey because it will add flavor and nutritional benefits.
Some exercise: You must try some basic movement exercises because this can help your babies to deal with the symptoms of acid reflux. Exercise can improve the digestion. But it is important to know that you should not feed your baby until about thirty minutes after exercise and you should never feed immediately before an exercise session. Exercises that target bloating and gas, such as knee – pushing exercises or bicycle legs, are some of the best option which you can try. You should put your baby in a lying position. You should hold his legs in a half – bent position with your hands. You should gently begin to move your baby’s legs as if she or he was riding a bicycle. You should do this for ten minutes, several times per day.
Fennel: Fennel is a good home remedy for stomach aches due to gas, indigestion or acid reflux. Both nursing mothers and babies can benefit from the fennel. You should add one teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds to one cup of hot water. You should steep it for ten minutes. Then, strain it. You should give your baby ½ to one teaspoon of this herbal tea, two or three times a day. Also you can add roasted fennel powder to your baby’s food or cereal.
Nursing mother’s diet: Breastfeeding mothers should be careful how they feed themselves because this will help to avoid acid reflux in babies. This can have a direct influence of their baby’s health as well as development and growth. You should give up all dairy products immediately because the protein which is found in dairy products can irritate a baby’s immature digestive tract. Also you should avoid other common allergens such as soy, eggs, nuts, citrus, gluten and wheat. You should keep away from cigarette smoke and alcohol. You should limit spicy, fried or high – fat foods as well as caffeine, chocolate and carbonated drinks. It is known fact that the water is the key ingredient in breast milk and this is a reason why nursing mothers should drink a lot of water throughout the day to keep their body hydrated. Also breastfeeding mothers should eat probiotic yogurt on a daily basis because this can help to improve their own digestive system as well as their baby’s digestive system.
Massage therapy: Regular massage can help to improve the function of the digestive and respiratory systems in babies. Massage will stimulate the vagus nerve, which is the nerve in the brain that is controlling many regions of the respiratory and digestive systems. Also it can help the body to develop more quickly so every part of the body wills start operating more effectively sooner. There was one study done in 2014 in which was shown that massage can help to reduce the symptoms in infants who suffer from GERD. Massage can help to improve the cognitive ability, aid sleeping and reduce crying. You should put your baby in a lying position. You should apply some warm coconut or olive oil in your baby’s stomach. You should gently massage the stomach in a clockwise direction for three to four minutes. Then, you should massage the back gently for two minutes. Finally, you should massage the legs and hands with long and firm strokes. You should repeat it two or three times per day. You should not massage your baby immediately after the feeding.
Peppermint: It has antispasmodic and soothing properties which can calm the digestive system and ease the acid reflux symptoms. Also it can reduce indigestion and inflammation that is associated with acid reflux. You should mix two drops of peppermint oil in one tablespoon of olive oil. You should use it to massage the abdominal area of your baby in gentle and circular motions. You should do this natural treatment at least two times per day. Breastfeeding mothers can drink peppermint tea two or three times per day or they can take peppermint capsules after talking with their doctor.
Cumin: This is also a very effective home remedy for treating reflux in babies. Cumin seeds can stimulate digestion and also they can reduce digestive issues, such as gas and acidity. You should boil one teaspoon of cumin seeds in one cup of water. You should cover it and allow it to steep for five to ten minutes. Strain it. Allow it to cool. You should give your baby one to two teaspoons of this home remedy a few times per day.
Sleeping adjustments: Babies who suffer from acid reflux can have difficulties with their sleeping. The incorrect sleeping position and timing can worsen their condition and it can make them fussier. You should keep the head of your baby’s crib, bassinet or bed elevated by about thirty degrees with the help of some towels. When the upper body of you baby is elevated, then the gravity does its work and it can prevent the stomach contents from reverting back into the esophagus. Also you can try to make your baby sleep on their back or the left side to help clear the acid from the esophagus. You should never feed your baby while it is in a sleeping position. It is the best to have your baby sit upright on your lap while nursing and you should not lay your baby down immediately after the feeding. You should hold your baby upright for at least thirty minutes after feeding.