Having a baby with reflux can be messy and frustrating for all involved. It is a struggle to hear your baby cry and not know what to do. Here are 5 tips for how to living with baby reflux can be made easier, from how to sit up a baby with reflux to how to find the best bibs for babies with reflux.
While Owen has proven to be a very easy-going and happy baby in comparison to Ryan, it’s very apparent that he has a case of reflux. Basically, after each feeding, he’ll cry and whine until he spits up, usually multiple times. While Ryan occasionally spit up, it was nothing compared to what we’ve experienced with Owen. The sheer amount that comes out of such a small boy baffles me (and covers me, eeww) daily.
With all of this gross goo day in and day out, I’ve learned a few things that have made living with a baby with reflux so much easier. I hope these tips can help other moms and dads as well!
Psst! Before I get into these tips, I do just want to mention that I will be referencing babies with mild reflux. As I’m sure you know, some babies suffer horrible, horrible cases of reflux that must be constantly monitored for their health and safety. We are fortunate that Owen only suffered from mild reflux and while he seemed to be constantly covered in ick and you can definitely tell he’s very uncomfortable at times, he is still a happy and thriving little boy. PLEASE always talk to your pediatrician before making any assumptions of changes.
5 Tips for Living With a Baby With Reflux
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Invest in some cute, super absorbent bibs.
While the cute part is a bonus, the absorbent part is the important part. Those 5 packs of bibs that say, “#1 Grandson” or whatever to use while feeding them are not going to cut it. They will get soaked and then the clothes will get soaked and you’ll find yourself changing your poor damp baby’s outfit every other hour. I got these off Amazon – they were pretty affordable, have a ton of cute and trendy patterns, and they have multiple snaps to adjust the size for a snug fit, which is also important for catching the ick.
When Owen is sitting up in my lap and I’m waiting for his big spit up, I cup the bib under his chin to try and catch it. It’s not glamorous, but it cuts down on laundry. Find my tips for finding the best bibs for babies with reflux down below.
Have some kind of cloth nearby at all times.
I have a stack of cheap washcloths that I keep on our kitchen table next to Owen’s bouncer. There are also 2 or 3 in my diaper bag, and a couple more in my car. These are perfect for when it gets on you or furniture as well as for wiping little faces. Make sure they are always within arms reach so that you’re not scrambling when a spit up surprises you and it’s slowly soaking into your pants. Plus, they’re washable and way cheaper than fancy burp rags. I’ve been known to use one when I forgot a bib.
Another option that my dad’s girlfriend actually introduced me to was cloth diaper inserts. They’re SUPER absorbent and relatively inexpensive, so they can hold the same purpose.
Bring extras of everything.
In my diaper bag is now always: 2 onesies, 2 sleepers, and an extra t-shirt for myself. I can’t speak for formula fed babies, but breast milk spit up reeks. Very bad. So while you might think of bringing extra clothes for your baby, don’t forget to bring a shirt for yourself because it inevitably will get on you as well. This is extra important if it’s summer, because milk + heat is not pretty.
Sit baby up.
After Owen eats, I sit him up in my lap for 5-10 minutes at least. He’s usually crying and needing to spit up, so sitting him up helps it come up and not bother him. I only do this during the day, but when I don’t at night I regret it because he usually does a giant spit up all over himself. I also don’t nurse him to sleep like I did with Ryan – he just gets one feed after he wakes up. Burping obviously also helps.
If this means delaying leaving somewhere so you don’t have a baby choking on spit up in the car or screaming the whole way, just be late to whatever you have to get to – trust me. Not worth the stress.
When possible, sleep sitting up.
Talk to your pediatrician about this first, obviously, since generally it’s suggested to put baby to sleep on their backs, but during the day Owen will not sleep on his back, he just screams. So in agreement with our pediatrician, he naps in the bouncer sitting up and he falls asleep happily on his own and takes 1-2 hour naps perfectly. The bassinet he sleeps in also is at a very slight incline, so I think that helps. I know that some pediatricians will recommend a wedge to put under the mattress for babies with reflux, so that could be an option.
How to find the best bibs for reflux babies
The most important thing you need when it comes to a baby with reflux is a lot of quality bibs. Here’s what to look to in a great bibs for spit up.
- Super absorbent. Obviously, look for the most absorbent bibs ever. Fleece or microfiber are usually my vote.
- Easily washable. Skip any bibs that require any kind of special washing treatment. If you’re going through 4+ bibs a day, you don’t want to have to manage that kind of laundry.
- Backed liner. This is one of the most important aspects of a good bib for reflux. A water resistant or waterproof backing that keeps the ick in and not soaking through to their clothes is so important.
- Adjustable snaps. Ideally, the bib should be tight enough that nothing will leak in between the bib and the neck. Be sure to find one with adjustable snaps for different sized babes.
So tell me – did you have a baby with reflux? Did your pediatrician choose to treat it? What’s your must have for a baby with reflux? Let me know in the comments!
*Remember that I am not a pediatrician, nurse or anyone with any sort of medical training. I’m just a mom living with a baby with reflux, hoping that my own experience can help others. Always talk with your own pediatrician if you think your baby is suffering.*
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