How to Deal with Colic and Reflux in Babies? (What You Need to Know)

How to Deal with Colic and Reflux in Babies? (What You Need to Know)

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A baby crying is not such a pleasant experience now, is it? When that happens, all you want to do is calm her down. So you try methods like walking with her or rocking her. If that fails to work, you either change or feed her. You keep at it until she stops crying. But there might be times when she doesn’t. This is when you need to know how to deal with colic and reflux in babies.

It’s either colic or reflux if your precious little one is shrieking away to glory. Her body tends to become stiff, and fists clench up. So at such times, babies don’t calm down until you do the right thing. So save yourself all that agony by finding out what is the best formula for babies with colic and reflux.

But first, how do you know if it’s colic or reflux?

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Dealing with pregnancy is not the only thing you need to read about. You should also know how to tell if your baby has colic or reflux. Because both the conditions bring about the same kind of results and that is excessive crying and shrieking. So at such times, when you can’t seem to console and calm your baby, you head to the clinic or emergency room.

Babies can only communicate through crying when in pain, right? So it gets difficult to determine the cause of the problem, even for a doctor.

And this is how they differentiate between colic and reflux in babies. GER, also known as gastroesophageal reflux, leads to vomiting, poor eating, and lack of sleep. The disease form of this particular reflux also causes constipation or infection. So these are the signs to look for as far as reflux is concerned.

Now let’s talk about colic. If the baby is crying relentlessly without showing any abnormal signs, then it’s colic. It means that your child is healthy and gaining weight along with a properly functioning digestive system. But the only problem here is that she’s crying for hours. This means that she might be dealing with colic.

So let’s find out more about these two common conditions.

What is colic?

If you want to know how to deal with colic and reflux in babies, then you should keep reading. Colic is nothing but extended, uncontrollable crying in well-fed and healthy babies. Now I know that babies only cry. But it’s not normal for them to cry for a long time. Anything more than 3-4 hours per day indicates that they have colic.

Colic Symptoms

The most common symptom is crying for many hours, obviously. And this can occur anytime in the day. But the crying tends to heighten only at night.

You will be relieved to know that colicky babies don’t experience any pain. Even though it looks like they’re going through pain or are uncomfortable, that’s not the case.

At such times, a baby might lift her head, draw her legs all the way to the abdomen, turn red-faced, or pass gas. Another common sign to look out for is a lack of sleep.

What is reflux?

Reflux in babies is also known as GER (gastroesophageal reflux). This develops due to the backward motion of the stomach contents. They travel up to the esophagus.

You should know that GER is a condition that affects adults too, especially after meals. But in babies, it is a result of the incomplete formation of the lower esophageal sphincter. Also known as LES, this region is nothing but a muscle located between the esophagus and stomach.

Reflux Symptoms

When the reflux is uncomplicated, it can lead to symptoms such as:

·      Pain and irritability.

·      Frequent hiccups or wet burp.

·      Sinus congestion or ear infections.

·      Arching the back and neck after or during spitting up, eating, or vomiting.

·      Poor sleeping habits.

·      Sudden or constant crying.

How to Deal with Colic and Reflux in Babies?

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We all learn the basics of pregnancy and motherhood, such as what the best nighttime diapers are or which breast milk storage bags are good for your babies, but sometime we forget to understand how to deal with these conditions. So here’s how.

1. Position your baby correctly

Lay your baby higher than you normally do. This causes her breast to push against the stomach gently. Also, make sure that her head is slightly leaning back.

What such a position does is make it easier for the baby to unleash that burp.

2. Tap in the upward motion

Tapping on her back does help, but do you know what works better? Tapping in an upward motion. It brings out more burps.

Begin by tapping on her lower back before moving to her upper region. And please don’t think twice before applying a little bit of force. Tapping too gently doesn’t do any good.

3. Induce three burps every time

It doesn’t matter how huge the first burps are, you have to keep them coming. Anything less than three leads to colic.

Once you make it a point to initiate three burps, your baby won’t spit up more often. And even if she does, it will be due to a cough or improper burping. When a baby is going through colic, the best thing that you can do is make her burp not once or twice but three times.

4. Pump the arms

If you want to know how to deal with colic and reflux in babies, then you should start pumping her arms. Many doctors treat severe conditions of colic by lifting the baby’s arms repeatedly.

5. Try the alternative positions

There are two other positions that you can try. The first one is the crossover arm. Lay your baby straight with her head resting on your hand. Slightly angle that arm and her head before tapping away.

The other position is when you lay your baby on the lap. At this time, her head should be resting on a single leg. Keep the second leg under her belly. Then tap the center region of her back in an upward motion.

And that’s about it! The chances of these methods not working are highly unlikely. But nevertheless, the efforts are worth a shot, aren’t they?


So this is how to deal with colic and reflux in babies. Now that you understand the difference between the symptoms of the two conditions, you know what to do next. If your child is only crying without showing any other abnormal signs, then it’s colic. But if the crying is accompanied by vomiting, poor eating, or lack sleep, the condition is reflux.

Do you know how to deal with colic and reflux in babies in any other ways? If you think that I failed to discuss something important, please let me know. The comments section is right below. You can also leave your feedback in there.

I hope the content was useful and informative. Thank you for spending time on reading my article. Hope to see you again soon!

About the author:

Barbara Davis is the founder of MomTrustedChoice. Her articles show how compassionate she is about life-changing experiences like pregnancy and motherhood. Her goal is to make the process easier for women by providing everything they might need along the way. She has been writing about all kinds of products and tips that parents require to give their babies a healthier and happier life.





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