1. Feed baby on an incline to help gravity keep the liquid down. Using an elevated sidelying or football hold work well.
2. Slower flow nipple. When the flow is too fast, it can irritate the stomach. Baby also is more likely to gulp and take in air which can worsen reflux.
3. Pacing or breathing breaks. Again, this helps slow the flow down.
4. Offer frequent burp breaks to help the liquid settle in the tummy. Even if baby doesn’t burp, the break can help!
5. Offer smaller, more frequent feedings. When we space out feedings and offer large volumes, the amount of liquid may be too much for baby’s tiny belly.
6. Hold baby upright after feedings. This allows gravity to help you out and keep the liquid from coming back up.
7. Stir the liquid in the bottle, don’t shake! It’s a hard habit to break but the air bubbles from shaking can be irritating.
8. Offer a pacifier after feedings. Non-nutritive sucking (sucking without getting nutrition from formula or breast milk) has been linked to esophageal peristalsis and gastric emptying which can improve reflux . (Cui-xia Zhao et al. Zhonghua Er Ke Za Zhi. 2004)
You do NOT need to implement all the strategies, but you can use trial and error to see which ones your baby responds to best.
You’ve got this!! 🍼
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