How Can You Tell If Baby Has Reflux

13 Replies
ry - June 4

Just wondering what the signs and symptoms are. My dd is br___tfed and given about 1 bottle of formula per day. Lately she has been very difficult to feed (with either). Not every feeding but during several she will pull away and start screaming in the middle of a feeding. I can feel her passing gas when she does this and she screams like she is in great pain! It is heartbreaking and I cant get her to eat one good "meal" I am constantly feeding her a little bit here and there. Her diapers are always full and she has gained 6lbs since birth (she is only 9 weeks) so I know she is getting enough but it is really frustrting and I cant stand seeing her so upset! Any thoughts on this?


ry - June 4

oh, and the doctor switched her from enfamil to nestle good start to soy and now enfamil gentlease but it hasnt helped. I also use mylicon right after or sometimes during a feeding which doesnt seem to do much. i dont know what else to do!


Kel - June 4

ry, my baby had the same problem. She is formula feed, but it I would stop her and she would burp, she would scream after the burp and then afterwards she wouldn't eat anymore. She would suck a minute like she was hungry and then start crying. It was like she wanted to eat, but it hurt or something. Then she started to spit up with her burbs pretty frequently. Before this episode she was also spitting up when I would lay her on her back to play or change her diaper. So I told the doctor and he preecribed her Axid. He said she may have a little reflux and / or heartburn. It helped for about a week and now this weekend the spitting up has started all over again, so I don't know now either!! She is on Similac Advance so I am wondering if it is her formula.......I plan to call my doctor on Monday. I know they can do an upper GI (basically and Xray) to determine if its reflux, so if he wants to precrbe her more meds,. I want him to do that first just to be sure is reflux you know? I don't want on all drugged up if its a gas or formula issue. Sorry I probably wasn't more help, but that was our issue with relux. Here is a little quiz I found out online that asks you questions about the symptoms, I hope it helps you: (PS my dd is 10 weeks old)


Kel - June 4

of course take out the dashes :-)


Sarahsmommy - June 4

ry is she spitting up any? A lot of babies have reflux before 4 months but it shouldn't cause them pain. If she is not spitting up she could have "silent reflux". It sounds to be like it defintely could be reflux, I would call the doctor first thing in the morning and see if you can get an appointment. It's so sad to see your baby hurting.


Bonnie - June 4 is a few links of signs and symptoms..... also one for silent reflux (no spitting up) (no dashes but keep the underscores). That site saved me with Mason because they kept b__wing it off as colic and switching formulas on us as well.


mrsfiveday - August 4

my 5 week old son started making throat clearing sounds and grunts, he spits up once a day if even. my dr suggested a touch of acid reflux is the problem. none of the sites list throat clearing as a symptom but it makes sense to me.


Jenn2 - August 4

ry- I just wanted to say you have described what my dd is doing to the last detail!! She is 7 weeks old, and has been doing this for the last 3 or 4 weeks. She will pull off and start screaming, but then latch back on as if she were still hungry. She seems to do better if she feeds when she is in a sleepy/calm state. My dd spits up a TON after almost every feed. The doctor thought it was reflux, and gave her zantac drops...which worked for about a week, and then the screaming started back during feeds. We have tried everything, and I have asked for advice from several friends/family. The conclusion I have come to (which is probably not what you want to hear) they have to grow out of it. Its fairly common, and as long as your baby is gaining weight should not worry too much. Its frustrating when it happens (belive me I know), but nothing I have tried helps. I have heard that once they are able to sit up and become more mobile...most of the spitting up will totally stop. Its also b/c their esophagus is not fully developed yet, and there is an opening that allows some of the feeding to come back up. anyway, just hang in there.


Bonnie - August 4

Jenn, I saw you post something similar in a different thread and I wanted to respond to you. If you think your daughter has reflux, you may want to check into it further. Firstly, and I normally do not say anythign bad about doctors, but ped's are not always so good when it comes to reflux. My ped said Mason had colic and kept b__wing me off. When mason got up to 10+ hours of inconsolable crying (I can't even describe what that was like) I finally flipped out. He prescribed Zantac which did nothing. To make a long story short, Mason DID have reflux so i wanted to share a few things with you...................firstly, Zanatc is osed by weight and it is extremely picky. Mason was HIGHLY underdosed by our ped and as I have met many other reflux mommies....that seems to happen quite often. I don;t know why, you would think a pediatrician would know how to look up the correct dosage. But scary to say, the majority of reflux mom's I have met have had clueless pediatricians (maybe because they just don;t deal withr eflux enough). Secondly, even with the right dosage, Zantac is not always the right choice of medication. Some children need different kinds of reflux medications. Mason goes to a pediatric GI and to be honest, even THEY have a tough time finding the right combination of things to sort it out. Sometimes lifestyle changes liek thickening the formula, elevating the bed, etc. are enough to control it. Othertimes Zanatc is great. Sometimes they need to go to a different type of drug such as Prevasid or Prilosec. Othertimes they need motility drugs to make the contents move through the tummy faster. And to complicate things even worse, reflux is USUALLY (not always) brought on by something else. Food allergies, tummies not developed enough, swallowing problems, etc. And then you have stages of things that make it worse such as teething....and then on top of that you have to figure out if it is really reflux or something like colic. I probably sound liek aknow it all with this, but I have been through a lot with reflux and I know plenty of reflux mommies who have it FAR worse than we did.......Colic is generall heavy periods of crying, but it usually is at the same times (typically evening) everyday. Reflux will happen throughout the day. There can be excessive spitting up. OR, if they have silent reflux (no spit up) you may see or hear things like fluid coming up into the babies throat but they swallow it. You can hear swallwing sounds, choking, etc. When pain is involved, hence the screaming, you need to act on it, and this is why I am writing to you. Untreated painful reflux can lead to scarring of the esophagus and food aversions where they just refuse to eat as they get older. I have seen some nasty cases. :( If your daughter is spitting up, but has no pain...the growing out of it comment is absolutely right. But if she is having pain, don't take your ped's word for it that the Zantac didn;t help so it must not be reflux theory. Keep going back if she is hurting. Ask point blank for a pediatric GI IF your ped doesn't seem to help. I am a full believer in mommy's instinct...look at the signs and symtoms areas on and decide for yourself what you think. And if you think maybe she does have reflux after all.....check out the page on dealign with doctors. Also, there is a journal to print out and keep track of. All of these things were a huge saver for Mason and I. Goodluck!! (And pardon any typos as I am too tired to proof read and can't type for sh**, lol)


Jenn2 - August 4

Bonnie- thanks for the advice. Sounds like you have been through alot with the reflux. The confusing thing about my daughter is that she will do the fussing during feeds and pull of alot, but then within the hour after feeds is when she does most of the spitting up. She used to scream alot all day, but now when she is actually doing the spitting up.....she is not fussy most of the time. sometimes she fusses, but its so random...we cant tell if its the reflux or just "colicy" behavior. I have tried elevating her bed, and holding her upright for several min. after a feeding, the formula thing I have not tried since she is b___stfed. The other strange thing is.....I have read that if a baby has a bad case of reflux they dont gain weight very fast. My daughter is gaining on average an ounce per day (which is the higher side of "typical" weight gain), so she is obviously getting enough to eat. Its all so confusing, and we have already been to her doctor 4 times in the matter of 7 weeks. I dont want to make this into a book (which it would easily become if I explained each visit), but basically the doc's in my town are not much help, and they are the only clinic in town (its a large clinic of 9 doctors). anyway, ry- I did not mean to cut in on your thread, but I just wanted to respond to bonnie. And, bonnie....thanks for the detailed response...its good to hear from others who have been through the same thing.


Bonnie - August 4 And I totally relate about the docs. It is very frustrating sometimes trying to decide if it is reflux or not. That's why I suggest you check out that site and then use your instincts. Just to touch on a few things...spitting up all day long is common (reflux or not). Mason started out having silent reflux (no spitting up) and then once he started solids he is now a major puker. I literally color coordinate my shirts to whatever he is eating for the day, lol. And while yes, most babies don't eat a lot or gain weight, that's not alwasy the case. In the beginning Mason never spit up and was eating a lot and gaining a lot which is why the ped kept b__wing me off. Unlik eyours, his crying kept getting worse though and I was getting very desperate. It turns out that Mason was comfort feeding. The acid was coming up but then he would swallow it back down so he got burned both ways. The formula was coating his esophagus and making him feel better. To this day he is a huge eater and a very large baby (he is 6 months and 21 pounds....I forget his height but he is 97th percentile there too...just a big boy). It is possible yours is doing the same. I can totally feel yoru frustration trying to figure it all out. Anyway, take a peek at the site as I think you would get a good gut feeling after lookking through all the info. Or email me anytime [email protected]


Steph - August 13

Bonnie, thanks for all your advice. My son who is six weeks old is on Zantac and has been for the past three weeks. It really seemed to be working in the beginning, but has seemed to work now for only a little while throughout the day and then it stops. I have been dealing with a screaming in pain baby for quite sometime now and I plan on calling his ped tomorrow to see if I can get him perscribed something else. I think that Trevor is comfort feeding exactly how you are describing what Mason used to do. What medication is he on now and when did you first discover that he had reflux? Thanks! :o)


Bonnie - August 14

Mason is on both Prevacid and Pepcid now. I can't remember exactly when we diagnosed it. I felt something seemed off at the hospital because he was constantly gaggin but no one seemed concerned so I just a__sumed I was being paranoid. And then since he was gaining weight well, the doc blew it off as colic. When Mason reached over 10 hours of straight inconsoloable crying and was sleepign less than 7 hours in a 24 hour period (generally about 1 hour increments), I new something was really wrong. Someone on this Web site gave me the address of Once I went there and looked at the signs and symptoms I knew without a doubt he had silent reflux and was comfort feeding and it went from there. Incidently, Zantac is VERY weight based on the dosage. The dosage has to be changed as they gain weight and it's super sensitive about that from what I have heard. So you may just need an increase int he dosage. :) I will cross my fingers for you :D


Steph - August 14

Thanks Bonnie. I'm hoping all goes well tomorrow, and hoping that I can even get him in tomorrow. It's really hard to see your child in pain and there's nothing that you can do...till you get to the doc's office. When I originally took him in, I was glad that they didn't say that he had colic evey though he has been gaining weight steadily. He'll want to eat every thirty minutes or so if I'd let him and sometimes I do just to help him to feel better, even if it is just for a bit. I'll be sure to post my findings. Hopefully all I'll need to have done is an increase in Zantac and that'll solve his problem.



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