Helping Children With Reflux Sleep Better


This time I am going to share some quick tips that I learned through my journey of helping my son get to sleep.  If you read my blogs, you are probably familiar with the topic of Sensory Processing Dysfunction and how this neuronal disorder affects children’s sleeping habits.

Many children who have sensory processing difficulties also have acid reflux. This issue has on extreme impact on the sleep quality of a newborn.  When my son was a baby, his reflux was so severe that he would only sleep upright on my chest. I basically had to spend most of the day and night adjusting him so that he would be comfortable enough to sleep.

Other things that I practiced to alleviate my baby’s reflux to help him sleep:

  • Using a wedge under my baby’s mattress to help elevate his upper body. This helped position my baby on the wedge, and prevent him from wiggling off. I used this position for a while because this is the safest way for babies to sleep in order to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). However, I noticed that my baby was uncomfortable and the symptoms of reflux even worse. Later, I found out that the good position for a baby with acid reflux was laying the baby down flat on his tummy. My son was able to sleep longer on this way, but I was next to him all the time.
  • Writing a log of my baby’s feeding times, as well as periods of discomfort. This helped me to compare those times when reflux symptoms occur with the baby’s eating patterns and that may help you make necessary changes.
  • Feed your baby early and then hold your baby semi-upright for twenty minutes before laying him down for bed. Repeat the same step for middle of the night feedings.
  • Comfort your baby often in order to help him feel calm and cared for.
  • Another thing that helped me was cutting out dairy and gluten from my diet when I was breastfeeding. A healthy nutrition can help to get a good night sleep.
  • Another thing to manage your baby’s reflux is to see a healthcare provider and get your baby’s reflux under control. Some doctors prefer to wait for symptoms to improve and they say that most babies outgrow their reflux symptoms as they developed.
  • However, infants with severe reflux may struggle for months or years if parents do not ask for medication. If your baby seems fussy and uncomfortable after eating or if you hear lots of tummy gurgling after your baby eats, and this discomfort makes it hard to stay asleep. These symptoms are big red flags, and one should start medication sooner rather than later.

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