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Infant Acid Reflux Symptoms

Infant acid reflux symptoms are often caused by GER (gastroesophageal reflux) which happens when the stomach contents flow back up into the esophagus.

The esophagus is a small opening which allows the food to travel down into the stomach and when working properly, closes and keeps those contents down. This typically happens during or after feeding as this valve is opening and closing in order to allow the food to travel through.

The actual ring of muscles which control this process is labeled as the LES (lower esophageal sphincter). Their task is to open up and allow for burping or release of gas to occur and this is a normal occurrence in people of all ages.

When this happens in little kids and the stomach contents also move upwards, this is what professionals call GER, spitting up or spit up. As you can see the later names are directly describing the action which takes place.

Numerous infants go through this stage and can still be content and happy but there are some symptoms which should be looked out for.

infant acid reflux symptomsSome of the more common infant acid reflux signs and symptoms might include:

  • Irritability after or during feeding time 
  • Chronic cough 
  • Wheezing 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Spitting up 
  • Crying when laying on her or his back, specifically after meals 

There are instances where your baby might arch her or his back so much while crying that it looks as if they are experiencing a seizure.

Time To Visit a Doctor

Although reflux in children as well as infant reflux is unpleasant to watch, it does not normally interfere with the baby's well-being or growth.

The time to contact a doctor is when the infant:

  • Will not accept feedings 
  • Starts losing or is not gaining weight 
  • Spits up so hard that the stomach contents fly out of their mouth 
  • Has yellow or green fluid in his/her spit up 
  • Has blood and/or small chunks which look like coffee beans in his/her spit up 
  • Starts to vomit at the age of 6 months 
  • Appears to have difficulty breathing, diarrhea, fever and other illness symptoms 
  • "Wet" burping 
  • Respiratory conditions (bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia) 
  • Insomnia / trouble sleeping 
  • Hoarse voice and bouts of sore throat 
  • Drooling excessively 
  • Ongoing sinus or ear infections 

These symptoms usually describe a more serious condition such as pyloric stenosis or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). These illnesses often cause poor weight gain, vomiting and a lot of pain which do inhibit the well being of the child. Pyloric stenosis is quite rare, and is cause by a small valve between the small intestine and the stomach which prevents the contents of the stomach to empty into the small intestines.