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Baby Reflux & Colic Info

How common is baby reflux & why does reflux happen? Preemies too!

There is a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus (lower esophageal sphincter -- LES) which opens and closes, allowing food to enter the stomach. Sometimes the stomach acid backs up into the esophagus causing varying degrees of discomfort and damage. Safely elevating/positioning your baby to a 30 degree angle or more will optimally relieve colic and reflux without pharmaceutical side effects (read down further for more information about a 30 degree angle).

Gastroesophageal reflux occurs often in normal infants. More than half of all babies experience reflux in the first 3 months of life (approximately 6 out of 10 of all newborn babies). Newborns babies who suffer from acid reflux and colic are even more common among premature babies (preemies) and multiple births. Most infants stop spitting up between the ages of 12 to 18 months, but not all ...

What are the worrisome symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux?

In a small number of babies, gastroesophageal reflux may result in symptoms that are concerning. These include problems such as:

  • Poor growth due to an inability to hold down enough food
  • Irritability or feeding refusal due to pain
  • Blood loss from acid burning the esophagus
  • Breathing problems

For an accurate diagnosis contact your Pediatrician!

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Information About a 30 Degree Angle ...

THE SECRET: Research has found that positioning your baby at a 30 degree angle (or more) after feeding helps to keep acids down naturally.

Why 30 Degrees?

Because it WORKS !!! The following quote from coliccalm.com explains it best ..."...This position causes the stomach to fall forward, closing the valve at the bottom of the esophagus..."


Why does elevation of 30 degrees work?

See why from more sources below:

“Reduce spit-up at night and during naps by putting a wedge under the head of the mattress so that she sleeps at a 30-degree angle.”. (Parents Magazine, Feb. 2008, author Rachel Morris in consultation with Aeri Moon, M.D. a pediatric gastroenterologist in New York City (Cornell Medical Associates) and William Byrne, M.D., chief of pediatric gastroenterology at Doernbecher Children‘s Hospital in Portland Oregon)

For Infants with Reflux - Elevate the head … to a 30 degree angle … this can help to minimize night refluxing and aspiration. (Parent-2-Parent.com Newsletter*March-June 2007, by Susan Agrawal)

“It’s recommended to place your baby at a 30 degree angle for sleep … there are also products you can buy that keep your baby elevated, for example … the A.R. pillow …” (12 - Parent-2-Parent.com Newsletter March/April/May/June 2007 By Kim Ketchum - References Thompson WG. The Ulcer Story. Perseus Press. 1996 Chapters 14-17 Richter JE. Unresolved issues in gastroesophageal reflux-related ear, nose and throat problems. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 1999;94:2812-17. Thompson WG. Gut Reactions. Plenum, New York. 1989. Chapter 10.)

“Usually an angle of about 30 degrees is recommended. This position prevents any stomach content from moving up towards the baby's throat due to gravitational pull generated from the baby's stomach pulling down the contents and this helps the baby in sleeping peacefully without any disturbances from acid reflux.” Acid Reflux in the Newborns Proving a Hard Nut to Crack; Author: Wangeci Kinyanjui Posted: 18-04-2008

“Positioning: This intervention is a mainstay of non-invasive treatment for GER. Positive benefits are thought to be due to the effects of gravity as well as changes in lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure … Positioning on a foam "wedge" during sleep and other times during the day to maintain a 30 degree angle.“

“Raise the head of the crib. Lying flat may aggravate reflux. Place your baby to sleep on his or her back, but elevate the head of your baby's crib 30 degrees. Remember, reflux is usually little cause for concern. Keep plenty of burp cloths handy as you ride it out.” (Source: CNN)

REFERENCES - Orenstein SR. Infantile reflux: different from adult reflux. Am J Med 1997;103:S114-9.

Vandenplas Y, Lifshitz JZ, Orenstein S, Lifschitz CH, Shepherd RW, Casaubon PR, et al. Nutritional management of regurgitation in infants. J Am Coll Nutr 1998;17:308-16.

Hart JJ. Pediatric gastroesophageal reflux. Am Fam Physician 1996;54:2463-72.

Behrman RE, Kliegman R, Jenso HB, eds. Nelson Textbook of pediatrics. 16th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 2000:1125-6.

Orenstein SR. Gastroesophageal reflux. Pediatr Rev 1999;20:24-8.

Breastfeeding the Baby with Reflux, La Leche League International, 1999

More Information from: www.coliccalm.com . . . . . . . . .

“Positioning. Babies with reflux need to be positioned so gravity can help keep the food from coming back up out of the stomach. The best position to put the baby after feeding is on their stomach with the head propped up about 30 degrees. This position causes the stomach to fall forward, closing the valve at the bottom of the esophagus."

“Avoid placing the child in an infant seat or swing since this causes increased pressure on their stomach.“


See our natural baby products::

Safety: Reasons why natural products to relieve reflux are preferred - especially for premature babies:> 



some antacid drugs contain aluminum and other ingredients which are NOT safe for babies; See. Parent-2-Parent.com Newsletter March/April/May/June 2007, By Susan Agraw

car seats (often suggested to elevate and position) are proven to WORSEN the condition!!** The reason is because the position inside a car seat squishes the stomach of the baby thus pushing stomach acid upwards and into the throat -- exactly the opposite of the intended effect!!; See. Orenstein, S, Whitington, P, The Infant Seat as Treatment for Gastroesophageal Reflux, New England Journal of Medicine, Sept. 1983.

“… respiratory symptoms associated with GER may be worsened by the addition of cereal to infant bottles. Orenstein et al. (1992) found increased cough in infants with respiratory disease who were given thickened feedings. The addition of cereal to formula feedings may decrease gastric emptying time and actually increase episodes of reflux and aspiration.”

“The researchers, led by Dr. Ajay Kaul of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, looked at … infants who were kept overnight so that their episodes of reflux could be continually monitored. The children were given a variety of antireflux drugs or no medicine at all. The medicines, the study found, appeared to offer little if any benefit, at least at the current dosages.” THE NEW YORK TIMES: Child Care: Infants, Acid Reflux and the Question of Drugs; By ERIC NAGOURNEY, Published: October 24, 2006

“A new study published in Pediatrics found that reflux medications are being over prescribed for infants whose test results indicate GER, not GERD - and in these cases, the medication has no effect. (from Pediatrics)

See what parents and medical professionals have to say - Testimonialss

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OK so 30+ degrees is ideal to relieve reflux after feeding, but how about sleeping?

What if 30 degrees is too steep to sleep

Click <here> for the solution - the Baby AR Pillow 15 degree wedge and ..

Click <here> for the solution - the Preemie/Bassinet-sized 15 degree wedge

Click <here> for the solution - the Preemie/Bassinet-sized 15 degree wedge