Infant Series: GERD & Colic
Spitting up or Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
All babies spit up, some more than others. Typically, this is not painful and is more noticeable after large volume feeds, feeding fast or laying down right after a feeding. GERD usually resolves by 6-9 months.
For some infants, GERD can be painful and cause symptoms of persistent crying, and back arching during or after feeds. If severe, this can lead to feeding aversion and poor weight gain. First line treatments involve slowing down the volume or speed of the feeds, keeping the baby upright for 20 minutes following the feed and elevating the head of the bed to 30 degrees. If your baby has persistent symptoms despite these reflux precautions or is not gaining weight, adding prescription antacids is the next step and often can provide huge relief.
As parents, you will learn your baby’s patterns. Crying usually indicates hunger, being cold, being soiled, or just wanting to be held. Gas and milk intolerance can cause excessive crying. Crying for greater than 3 hours per day with no other cause (as outline above) is a condition called colic.
Colic contrary to popular belief is not due to GI upset or food intolerance. New research shows it is a neurodevelopmental problem where babies are unable to self sooth. Typically, crying can last from 3 weeks of age up to 3 months, after which time it spontaneously resolves. Treatment involves outside factors to assist in soothing your infant such as rocking, swinging, cradling, white noise (running water), any kind of motion and soft music.