Is Reflux Keeping Your Baby Awake?
Reflux is a common problem in babies in the first months. Here are some things that can help.
Sleep is so important to a baby’s development, not to mention Mum’s energy levels too. So, if your baby tends to suffer from reflux, they can be kept awake by it at night. And that’s not fun for anyone! Here’s what you need to know and what you can do to help your baby.
What is reflux?
Reflux means habitual spitting up of milk and is quite common in young babies. Digestive issues, overfeeding, weak abdominal muscles or food allergies are often the cause. Generally, the issue starts around 6-8 weeks and by the 12-month mark, has usually passed. This issue can be remedied in several ways. For instance, medication or cranio-sacral therapy is often recommended. For milder cases where sleeplessness is the main problem, there are a number of things you can do yourself.
Feeding: Reflux is often caused by the baby taking in too much air when they feed. If you are feeding your baby in an upright position, this is less likely to happen and it will minimise spitting up.
Take breaks: Hungry babies tend to gulp down their feed and again, this can cause issues. Let them rest every few minutes with frequent breaks. They might not like being interrupted but it does help.
Winding: Reflux can also be caused by trapped air, which can cause discomfort, crying and wakefulness so make sure baby is thoroughly winded before putting them down for sleep.
Elevation: Placing your baby at an elevated angle aids digestion and can help your little one get that last bit of wind up before sleep. The Clevamama Reflux Wedge or ClevaSleep® Plus Elevated Anti-Reflux Support are ideal for this. Made from their pioneering ClevaFoam, and with an inbuilt safety harness to prevent baby rolling off, these are perfect for the job. (Note: Not to be used for prolonged periods of sleep. Baby must always be supervised while the wedge is in use.)
Babywearing: Keeping your little one upright is always a big help and babywearing is ideal for this. Invest in a good sling or baby carrier. It may take a few tries to find the best sling so contact Babywearing Ireland about their sling library and fitting service.
Remember, reflux is a temporary condition and will pass. If you have any concerns, check with your GP.