Wedge For Baby Reflux

There are many gadgets that are marketed for treating reflux. Wedges and sleep positioners are not needed and although these are sometimes recommended by healthcare professionals, there is no evidence supporting their use.

There are many gadgets that are marketed for treating reflux. Wedges and sleep positioners are not needed and although these are sometimes offered by hospitals, doctors and pharmacists, there’s no evidence that they actually work. Spend the money on your child instead of on gadgets.

There are many gadgets that are marketed for treating reflux. The wedge and sleep positioners are not needed and although these are sometimes used as a last resort, they can be an expensive option with little effect on your child’s reflux.

There are many gadgets that are marketed for treating reflux. Wedges and sleep positioners are not needed and although these are sometimes used as part of treatment, they do not treat the root cause of reflux – overproduction of acid in the stomach.

A wedge for baby reflux is a must-have for parents with reflux babies. There are many gadgets that are marketed for treating reflux. Wedges and sleep positioners are not needed and although these are sometimes helpful, the wedge is probably the most effective option for preventing spit-up and other complications from frequent regurgitation of stomach contents.

Are Reflux Wedges Safe For Babies

Naturally, you want to do whatever you can to keep your baby safe. And if your baby is one of the many who have reflux―also called gastroesophageal reflux (GER)―there are a fair share of myths and misconceptions out there when it comes to sleeping positions.

Here are three sleep safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for babies with reflux:

Note: Many of the factors that contribute to GER in infancy are part of typical growth and development―including a short esophagus in newborns that will grow as the baby does, along with a muscle at the bottom that is also relatively short and not as strong as it will be later in life. GER typically starts at 2-3 weeks of age and peaks at 4-5 months in full term infants. GER typically gets much better after 6 months once a baby learns to sit up; the esophagus gets longer and the lower esophageal sphincter functions properly.

1. Back to sleep―even with reflux!

Though parents are often concerned that their baby may vomit and choke while sleeping on their back, it is a total myth! Babies automatically cough up or swallow fluid that they spit up or vomit because of the gag reflex, that naturally prevents choking from happening. There is no evidence that healthy babies placed on their backs are more likely to have serious or fatal choking episodes than those placed on their stomachs. But there is strong evidence that babies placed on their stomachs are at higher risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Take the spitting over the SIDS!
Back sleeping is the best way to reduce the risk of SIDS and is the recommended position until babies can roll over fully on their own―even for babies with reflux.

2. Transfer a sleeping baby to a firm, flat safe sleep surface when not traveling.

If baby falls asleep while riding in his car seat―which often happens―the AAP recommends transferring him out of the seat when you reach your destination and placing him on his back in a crib, bassinette or play yard with a firm, flat mattress, free from soft bedding, including pillows or blankets, toys and bumpers.

Car seats and other sitting devices, like swings or reclined bouncy seats, are not safe sleeping environments; neither are sleep positioners or nests―a mat with raised supports or pillows surrounding it, frequently resembling a raft. These products are unregulated and there are no safety standards that apply to them. The AAP does not recommend sleep positioners or nests, as their safety has not been well researched. In addition, there is evidence that a semi-inclined position can make a baby’s reflux worse.

Placing your baby in a semi-inclined position does not make reflux better.In 2019, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Fisher-Price issued a recall of 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play infant sleepers following reports of over 30 infant deaths. Death was associated with infants turning over while sleeping in these inclined sleepers leading to an increased risk of suffocation and strangulation.The AAP does not recommend letting infants sleep in inclined products like the Rock ‘n Play that require restraining a baby. AAP policy calls for infants to sleep on their back, on a separate, flat and firm sleep surface without any bumpers, bedding or stuffed toys. 

3. Gadgets are not recommended.

There are many gadgets that are marketed for treating reflux. Wedges and sleep positioners are not needed and although these are sometimes marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS, research is lacking.

Avoid devices designed to maintain head elevation in the crib.Elevating the head of a baby’s crib is not effective in reducing GER. It’s also not safe as it increases the risk of the baby rolling to the foot of the bed or into a position that may cause serious of deadly breathing problems.This recommendation is supported by the AAP, the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition.

So with sleep positioners and gadgets out, what’s a parent of a baby with reflux to do?

Reflux will end for most babies. As difficult as it can be, wait it out. Most babies outgrow the symptoms. We know that by 4 months of age, the great majority of babies are spitting up. By 6 months, that dramatically drops off because they’re sitting up on their own.

If you have any concerns about your baby with reflux, it is always best to talk with your pediatrician and come up with a plan together for best sleep practices. 

Additional Information:

Many gadgets are marketed for treating reflux, but wedges and sleep positioners are not needed. Alternatives such as propping the legs up with a tennis ball can be just as effective.

Bassinet Wedge for Baby Reflux

Significance of Reflux

Reflux is fairly common in young babies. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse reports that at least half of babies 3-months-old and younger have some degree of reflux. Reflux occurs when the stomach contents back up into the esophagus. While those who have severe symptoms are in the minority, they may experience severe episodes of spitting up, fussiness and changes in their eating patterns.

Considerations

Reflux symptoms can be worse when the baby is lying down. They may spit up more, or have increased discomfort from stomach acid creeping into their esophagus. This is why many doctors recommend infants with reflux be kept in an upright position for some time after feeding. They may also recommend infants with reflux sleep with their heads elevated, to minimize symptoms that occur during the night.

Features of a Sleeping Wedge

A sleeping wedge is a specialized device that fits in a baby’s crib, either on top of or beneath the mattress. AskDr.Sears.com reports that some wedges are designed for use in adult-sized beds, for parents who choose to co-sleep with their babies.

The baby is still placed down to sleep on his or her back; however, the wedge keeps the head higher than the stomach. This can keep some of the stomach acids from causing discomfort or spitting up overnight, which helps both the baby and the parents sleep better.

Alternatives

Wedges are not the only option for babies with reflux. AskDr.Sears.com reports that different sleep positions may help; however, this should first be discussed with the baby’s pediatrician due to the risk of SIDS.

Babies with reflux should sleep on their left side at night for optimal stomach positioning.

In severe reflux cases, tummy sleeping may be appropriate; however, the NDDIC warns that this recommendation is rare.

Babies should always be placed on their backs to sleep, unless otherwise indicated by their pediatrician. As an alternative to an expensive sleeping wedge, placing an object under the head of the mattress can keep it angled.

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Silent Reflux in Newborns

By: Amy Ouimette

13 June, 2017

There is nothing more disconcerting for parents than seeing their infant in pain and and not knowing why or what to do to help him. This is often the case with silent reflux in newborns. Because its symptoms are not obvious and, in some cases, difficult to decipher, silent reflux is often undetected or misdiagnosed in infants.

Definition

Silent reflux occurs when the acidic stomach content comes up the esophagus. Unlike with gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, infants with silent reflux do not spit up or vomit the stomach acid but swallow it instead. This can cause a painful burning sensation. While some infants may experience severe pain with silent reflux, others do not. According to Acid Reflux-Heartburn-GERD, some babies may not give any indication of pain or discomfort until they are about 3 months old.

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Symptoms

There are a variety of symptoms that babies with silent reflux may have, though they are not always obvious. The most common include crying during or after feedings, excessive swallowing, choking with swallowing and bad breath. According to Acid Reflux-Heartburn-GERD, parents can sometimes hear the stomach acid coming up the esophagus. Other symptoms that could indicate silent reflux include repeated hiccups, irritability, difficulty settling and sleeping problems, a frequent red, irriated throat, a persistent runny nose, bronchitis, recurring ear and sinus infections and a nighttime cough. Acid Reflux-Heartburn-GERD says babies with silent reflux are often overweight because they have a tendency to eat often as a way to try to soothe their pain.

Complications

Silent reflux can lead to different complications. The almost-constant presence of stomach acid in the esophagus can lead to redness and irritation and often esophagitis, which is inflammation of the esophagus. If left untreated, it can also result in a bleeding esophagus, leading to anemia. According to Kids Health, stomach acid also can enter the trachea, lungs and noses of babies affected by silent reflux, causing breathing problems. Children may also aspirate some of the stomach content, which could eventually cause an infection, leading to pneumonia.

Parents’ Role

Babies suffering from silent reflux sometimes require antacid medication, which can be prescribed by a doctor. But there are steps parents can take to help alleviate some of their baby’s discomfort. Infant Reflux Disease says positioning a baby with silent reflux upright during and for 30 minutes after feeds can help lessen reflux by keeping stomach contents down. It also recommends propping the baby up when sleeping on his back. Other things that may lessen discomfort are offering small frequent feeds, burping often during feedings and giving the baby a pacifier. Breastfeeding is best for reflux babies, according to Infant Reflux Disease. For formula-fed babies, thickening their feeds with cereal sometimes can help. Parents should consult their child’s pediatrician before trying anything new.

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Can a Newborn Baby Sleep on Her Stomach?

By: Rose Welton

13 June, 2017

You may find yourself wondering if your baby can sleep on his stomach, especially if he appears to be more comfortable that way. To prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, which remains a threat until your baby is 12 months of age, it is best for her to sleep on her back, instead of her stomach.

At Risk for SIDS

Although it is not known exactly how stomach sleeping attributes to SIDS, Healthy Children website states that it may be because on her stomach, your baby re-breathes in her own air and delivers less oxygen to her lungs. The American Academy of Pediatrics began recommending that babies sleep on their backs in 1992, and since then the rate of SIDS has declined more than 50 percent.

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Questions About Spit-Up and Flat Spots

Some parents may feel that placing a baby to sleep on his stomach can reduce his risk of choking on spit-up during sleep. However, Healthy Children states that there is no evidence that choking is more frequent during back sleeping compared with other sleeping positions. Although your baby may develop a flat spot on his head from sleeping on his back, he will grow out of it as he gets older. You can still place him to sleep on his back and help prevent a flat spot by varying his position throughout the day while he is awake.

No Blankets or Stuffed Animals

In addition to placing your baby to sleep on her back, you can also help prevent SIDS by making sure that she sleeps on a firm mattress. There should be no blankets or stuffed animals in her bed, and avoid dressing her in too many layers that can cause her to overheat.

Tummy Time When Awake

Although it is safest to put your baby to sleep on his back, it is safe for him to spend some time on his stomach while he is awake. According to Healthy Children, you should give your baby time to play on his tummy two to three times a day. This will help him to build his strength and improve his motor skills. Try holding a toy up in front of him to encourage him to lift his head and shoulders off the floor. Be sure to supervise your baby if he is playing on his stomach.

All Caregivers Should Know the Rules

In addition to placing your baby on her back to sleep, make sure that everyone who cares for her knows that she should not sleep on her stomach. In some cases, certain medical conditions can prevent your baby from sleeping on her back. If this is the case, her doctor will help you decide the best sleep position.

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