If you catch your baby spitting after a meal, don’t worry it’s normal and is called acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux (GER). The upward movement of food & acid from the stomach, into the oesophagus and coming out through the mouth is what causes the little one to spit a little after a meal. One of the many reasons why moms often have their baby sit up on their laps and pat their back, in order to help food move downward instead of upward.
When you really need to worry, is when your baby suffers from frequent vomiting, weight loss, breathing difficulties & pain after eating. These are the symptoms of GER disease or GERD. The real cause for GERD is not yet known but doctors do believe that the following factors play a role in triggering GERD.
-The length of the oesophagus in the abdomen
– The angle of the His, that’s where the stomach & oesophagus meet
– The condition of the muscles at the lower end of the oesophagus (this muscle acts as a valve between the stomach & oesophagus, it relaxes for the food to pass through the oesophagus into the stomach and then stays closed to disallow upward movement of content)
-The pinching of fibres in the diaphragm
So how can you deal with acid reflux in your toddler and prevent it from becoming a disease?
Here are some helpful tips:
– Feed your baby smaller meals.
– Make sure they don’t take a reclining position immediately after food. They should ideally stay upright for 3 hours after a meal.
– Avoid tight-fitting clothes on them.
– Avoid feeding them highly fatty or acidic foods.
– Get them to sleep at the right angle. The child’s bed can be raised 6-8 inches by safely putting some blocks under the bedposts.
-Of course, the most common trick-burping them after every meal.
– Ensure that your baby is not exposed to cigarette smoking-this is a major cause trigger for GERD.
What foods do you need to avoid?
– Acidic food, such as pickles, citrus fruit and juices, and ketchup or other tomato-based foods.
– Carbonated drinks.
– Peppermint, mustard & vinegar.
– Fatty foods like french fries or pizza
Boost your child’s digestive system with healthy & home-cooked foods. Avoid packaged foods as best as you can. Your child deserves tasty & healthy food so that he or she learns to love food instead of being averse to it. Try new home recipes and keep your baby healthy & happy 🙂