Managing Uncomplicated Reflux

The information provided on Crying Over Spilt Milk is designed to support, not replace the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician. Please do not change your child’s medical treatment without first consulting their health professionals.

Babies with uncomplicated reflux are often described as “happy chuckers”. These babies vomit or spill frequently, but are otherwise completely happy, sleep well, gain weight and have no other obvious reflux complications.

Happy Chucker

Breastfed Bottle-fed
Try a dairy-free diet for Mum for up to 2 weeks*. Try an alternative to standard cow’s milk  based formula for one week**.
AND
Check latching/feeding, flow of milk and position
Not working? Not working?
Karicare Aptamil  Food Thickener or Baby Rice***. Try these thickeners/formulas: AR Formula, Karicare Aptamil Food Thickener, Baby Rice***, Cornflour (cooked).
AND AND

General Management Techniques

Winding/burping regularly (preferably high on the shoulder with a nice straight body to allow the wind to escape more easily).

Avoid pressure on tummy except for during “tummy time”.  (Tummy time is important and newborns should have this at least once a day: http://www.plunket.org.nz/your-child/newborn-to-6-weeks/play-and-learning/)

Sleep pattern in place.

Avoid “crying it out” as crying worsens gastric reflux and is distressing to family. Bad sleep behaviours do not develop and sleep patterns are easily established once gastric reflux is adequately controlled.

Pacifier/dummy? (This is only an option if LMC and Parents are comfortable with it.  Consider latch and milk supply issues.) Sucking gives comfort but feeding continuously may exacerbate or encourage more GOR episodes.  See Dummy or no dummy? by Pinky McKay on Essential Mums for pros and cons.

Not working?

All happy chuckers will outgrow the vomiting/spilling with time. Many parents make a decision just to “ride it out”. There may be long term benefits to these babies for doing this.

 

  • If you have a child who gets both pain from reflux and vomits/spills, you will need to refer to the charts showing treatment options for both “GORD” and the “Happy Chucker”.
  • However, an important point to note is that with babies who get pain from reflux as well as vomit, it is important to control the pain and acid first before considering the use of thickeners or thickened formulas. When the pain/acid is under control with appropriate acid reducing medications, then try the options on the “Happy Chucker” chart. Babies who get pain due to reflux may have some degree of oesophagitis (inflammation/ulceration of the oesophagus). Studies have shown that although thickeners and thickened formula may reduce the number of episodes they prolong the length of time of the remaining episodes as thickened fluid does not drain as well from the oesophagus. It is these prolonged reflux episodes, when they contain acid that can do the most damage.  However, with the move away from prescribing for GORD by many Health Professionals unless there appears to be significant pain, severe complications, growth issues or difficulties feeding it may be appropriate to discuss thickeners with your Health Professional (doctor, Well Child Provider or dietician).

*The time frames mentioned for this diet is the length of time that the diet should be trialled for by the breastfeeding mother before deciding that it is not helping and before returning to a normal diet. The dairy free diet needs to be a complete removal of these foods as cheating does matter. A positive response may be seen earlier than the time frame indicated. If the baby has started solids then these also need to be free of dairy. If the diet is successful in resolving symptoms then it needs to be continued or another form of feeding considered. Breastfeeding is nearly always best for the baby with gastric reflux but the mother’s health is also important, so consider this decision carefully with the help of a paediatrician for future feeding options.

**For advice on an alternative to standard cow’s milk  based formula, please discuss which formula to choose with your Health Professional (doctor, Well Child Provider or dietician) or phone Nutricia on 0800 258 268 to speak to a Dietician.  If the baby has started solids then these also need to be free of dairy.

***Please check the ingredients as some brands of rice cereals, contains milk products.

NB:  Raising the head of the bed is no longer recommended and studies have shown that “head elevation may not always be of clinical value“.  http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/10/12/peds.2011-2284.full.pdf and http://www.changeforourchildren.co.nz/files/docs/infant%20positioning%20and%20reflux.pdf   Some health professionals still recommend raising the head of the bed and we would advise that you should only do this after discussion with your own health professional.

© Gastric Reflux Association for the Support of Parents/babies (GRASP) and Crying Over Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust (GRSNNZ) 2004. Used and edited by GRSNNZ with permission. Last updated March 2015.

Page may be printed or reproduced for personal use of families, as long as copyright and Crying Over Spilt Milk‘s URL are included. It may not be copied to other websites or publications without permission and acknowledgement. This information (unedited) was also provided (by GRASP) to health professionals in New Zealand to use ” to continue to support and inform families with babies/children with Gastro-oesophageal Reflux.”

  • i keep getting an error message when trying to register?

  • Has anyone else had a major setback with reflux after their little one starts moving? I am feeling so emotionally drained and thought it was supposed to get better, he's now nearly one and we are back to square one

  • I've just hit SEND on the newsletter so if you are a member, you should receive it over the next 24 hours. I'm using MailChimp for the first time, so it will look a little different.
    If you aren't a member and would like to receive newsletters or join our local support groups, please complete a membership form: http://www.reflux.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/grsnnz-membership-confidentiality-agreement-form/
    Membership is free. It has been great to see two to three new members every day since I fixed the form! :-)

    Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants & Children Charitable Trust Membership & Confidentiality Agreement Form / Newsletter Admin Page First Name Last name Email Street Address City/Town Area Auckland Bay of Plenty Canterbury Gisborne Hawkes Bay Marlborough Nelson Otago...

  • I've just discovered our membership form hasn't been working due to some unknown glitch and I've spent the last few hours getting it working again. I suspect this has been like this for a fortnight. So sorry anyone who has been trying to join. Remember membership is free and you can join in confidential chats with those in your local area.
    http://www.reflux.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/grsnnz-membership-confidentiality-agreement-form/

    Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants & Children Charitable Trust Membership & Confidentiality Agreement Form / Newsletter Admin Page First Name Last name Email Street Address City/Town Area Auckland Bay of Plenty Canterbury Gisborne Hawkes Bay Marlborough Nelson Otago...

  • Another Post created on our website from the Tips on Coping thread from National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week. Thank you so much to those who contributed. I might just try and add this into the Help! Menu as well.

    The following is created from a thread during National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week on our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/nationalinfantandchildgastricrefluxawarenessweek There were 38 comments with advice or tips on how parents coped with infants or children...

  • Story 2 from National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week transferred to our website for safekeeping. :-)

    Daughter number 3 was born in 2000, weighed 8lb, 6oz and fed well, but we escaped the maternity home earlier than with number 2 as she just wouldn’t settle at night easily. At eight days old, my husband found her grey and limp, but breathing. She went on to have prolonged apnoeas (cessation of...

  • National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week logo profile photos - The week finished 6th June. There are still a few people we've noticed with the logo as their profile picture. Can you please remove this now?

    Many thanks, for your support.

  • Thank you everyone who contributed to this. I think it will help others know that they are not alone in what they feel and experience. I also think it might be a great resource for health professionals.

    The following is created from a thread during National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week on our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/nationalinfantandchildgastricrefluxawarenessweek It included words or short phrases that had something to do with what gastric reflux meant...

  • Who has seen National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week Posters in waiting rooms, reception areas, play centres, consult rooms or anywhere else?

    There was quite a number posted or delivered around NZ so we would love to hear if you spotted one.

    This is the printed A4 glossy poster that has our phone number and website address at the bottom - not the digital graphic. Draft preview here:

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared their photo.

    Thank you so much to everyone that supported the Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ and promoted National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week by taking up the Challenge and using the logo as your PROFILE PICTURE on your PERSONAL PAGE.

    It was wonderful to see so many people doing this and I did lots of double-takes when visiting some pages as there were so many orange PROFILE PICTURES.

    I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to next year and am already making plans. Hopefully, many of you will no longer be dealing with Infant Gastric Reflux, but feel free to come back between 31st May to 6th June and give others some hope that they will get through this difficult time. Put it in your diaries. :-)

    Best wishes for the year ahead,
    Roslyn Ballantyne, National Coordinator, Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ, National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week 2015!

    (Please note the National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week logo is copyright and may only be used with permission from GRSNNZ. It may be shared using the Facebook Share Function.)

    A Challenge to you ALL except we ask that you only do this on your Personal Profiles i.e. NO PAGES or GROUPS. National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week starts tomorrow and continues until 6th June. During this time GRSNNZ would love you to create Awareness by using this logo as your profile picture. Once you have set it as a profile picture please add a comment to the picture on your page and put the link to this Facebook Page and our Website: https://www.facebook.com/cryingoverspiltmilk and www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz so others can find out more. (Please note the National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week logo is copyright and may only be used with permission from GRSNNZ. Permission is granted as above for the use of Personal Profile Pictures only. It may also be shared using the Facebook Share Function.) Example in the comment soon. Many thanks. GRSNNZ Committee.

  • I'm slowly copying over the Awareness Week happenings to the Crying Over Spilt Milk website so we don't lose them. You will also find some of last year's publicity and stories there. Here is Day 1.

    My first child definitely had very few, if no signs of gastric reflux. I can’t even remember her spilling much – mind you, she is 22 years old. Three years later we had another daughter, born 13 days late, who decided she should then enter the world in a rush. She became unsettled at about two...

  • Hi.

    Just wondering people's opinion or feedback on how they get their baby to sleep?
    My GP wants me to let my 5 month old 'cry it out' but I just don't think it's the best idea for him. At Present we feed him to sleep.

    Thanks

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared Mum 2 Mum's photo.

    Just sharing this back to our timeline again as this was a perfect way to promote National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week.

    The logo and Awareness Week is not used to sell a product or promote the business.

    It links back to our website and Facebook page so that users can identify that the logo belongs to the Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ ,and seek support and information.

    Top points Mum 2 Mum.

    Today marks the first day of "National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week" - here at Mum 2 Mum we are not strangers to refluxy and spilly babies and we we know how hard it can be as parents some times. If you have any concerns about your infant or child's health or think they may be suffering from Gastric Reflux, please contact a healthcare professional - if you wish to learn more (from symptoms to real experiences), please take a look at the national gastric reflux support website: www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz or check out Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ :)

  • Copyright: The National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week logo/graphic is copyright to Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand and may only be used with permission from GRSNNZ.

    During National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week 2015 the logo has been used without permission and in some cases to promote businesses.

    Crying Over Spilt Milk and Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust does NOT endorse any product, business, health professional or treatment as there is no one correct way to treat or parent our infants and children with gastric reflux.

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ updated their cover photo.

  • #NationalInfantandChildGastricRefluxAwarenessWeek Story 5

    I just looked back and re-read the archived version of daughter number 3's story. This is the edited version of the end of it which might be useful for those dealing with Child Gastric Reflux

    At the time of writing this, she was almost four years. She was almost seven before she had her Nissen Fundoplication surgery so it was not something we rushed into.

    "We have just reduced and stopped her medication to determine if she still really needs it, and she may be referred for a surgical opinion if reflux continues to be a problem. She does seem to still have reflux though, and we wonder how long she will be able to stay off medication.

    Some of the ways she describes what she feels are: "my tummy is hot", "my tummy has sick in it" and "my tummy feels sore", "sick" or "unwell" as well as the obvious sounds of refluxing occurring and sore throats.

    I have never been happy about the thought of surgery to cure her reflux, but over the last few months and with all the research and reading of other's stories (both negative and positive) I at last feel peaceful about this possibility. Whatever happens now we know that reflux is likely to continue be part of her life, but that as she gets older she will be able to tell us more clearly what is happening."

    Written by Roz, Regional Coordinator for © Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand 25/01/2004.

    Roslyn Ballantyne, National Coordinator, Gastric Reflux Support Network

  • #NationalInfantandChildGastricRefluxAwarenessWeek
    Please share one piece of advice that has helped you cope (no medical advice).
    Remember national guidelines for sleep are on the back, flat and in their own space.

  • #NationalInfantandChildGastricRefluxAwarenessWeek
    Let's play a game.
    Put in a comment on this post a word or short phrase that has something to do with gastric reflux for you.
    And sign it with your relationship eg mum.
    Please keep it to one description per person as we will potentially have 100s of replies.

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ created an event.

    Come and join us for morning tea to celebrate National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week in Christchurch. If you are not already a @[199074539208:274:Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ] or @[1569415393340472:274:Spilt Milk] member (with a completed membership and confidentiality form), and are attending for support with your infant/child with reflux or who spills or is irritable, you will need to complete one of these forms on the day. Please contact us for your personal invitation.

  • #NationalInfantandChildGastricRefluxAwarenessWeek Story 4

    My first child was a dream, eat sleep play.

    My second baby was a nightmare! Screaming the moment he was born. Sleeping upright on my chest for ten weeks!

    We couldn't find an answer, losing our minds! Five doctors later, high doses of medication for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and specialised formula we had a baby we could cope with, only just.

    He spilled until one and a half, was on formula and medication until three years and is now a beautiful amazing boy at 8 years.

    It was worth every minute of personal pain and we risked it again by having son number 3 who was a dream like the first.

    Keep your head high, things will be okay, struggle through but never give up!! Your baby will grow into a beautiful human being.

    Melissa, GRSNNZ Member

  • We need 3 more short stories or articles for Awareness Week. Please use the Contact Button App or private message the National Coordinator if you are a member.
    Thank you.

  • I'm not sure if we were clear enough yesterday. :-(

    If you want to promote National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week or if your business or organisation has been asked to do so by someone other than the Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ, please share one of our posts unaltered without any links to any other page, group or business other than the links in the comment below.

    If you would like further information on National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week, please feel free to contact us using the Contact Button App on this Page. Do NOT accept information from anyone other than GRSNNZ.

    GRSNNZ has been promoting National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week for a long time and has been given funding to do this. It is linked solely to them with their website, and the Awareness Week Logo/Graphic is owned by GRSNNZ with the trademark baby, organisation name, slogan and colours. Permission must be given or sought before it is used other than by sharing a post unaltered as stated above.

  • HI, is it possible for my 9yr old to develop reflux at this age? He had it badly as a baby but seemed to grow out of it. Just tonight he has told me that he often gets 'vomit like stuff' come up his throat and then go back down. I have a hiatus hernia and get reflux - can it be hereditary? Thanks for your help!

  • #NationalInfantandChildGastricRefluxAwarenessWeek Story 3

    The moment you first get handed your child says it all, it sets the scene for what is your future, or at least that's how it felt for me. My daughter seemed to come out fighting, boxing gloves and all, ready to attack this world; and as it turned out the burning inside her was literal.

    Reflux seemed such a dirty word, whenever I spoke it people's faces seemed to either screw up in pity or provide an expression of disbelief. The 'stigma' was the worst. Everybody seemed to either know it all and offer their advice which only seemed to judge and I felt like I was doing it all wrong, or they didn't understand and shrugged it off as a non-issue so that I was made to feel as if I was making it all up. ‘Surely my baby wasn’t really ‘projectile’ vomiting, I couldn’t have possibly seen blood in her spills and of course there was no way she cried for hours and hardly slept’. The lifeline was an online community where my story seemed to ring true; and in the rare people who did understand from their own experience.

    O's GORD was severe. I felt like I was drowning. We worked hard on sleeping from the start and though I felt like we weren't getting anywhere at the time, it really paid off in the end. Little miss independent had to deal with it on her own sometimes and developing some sleep independence was crucial for her because having a routine and knowing what was happening and when was her 'safety blanket'. I researched everything and felt like I tried everything. She would cry anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour every night to get to sleep and if she woke screaming in the night it could take 2 hours to get her back to sleep. We were expected to just manage. We skimmed the line of ‘healthy weight gain’ but only because I was determined not to let the reflux win and did everything I could to make it from one day to the next.

    There were many times I felt like I wanted to be the one to sit on the floor and ‘throw my toys out of the cot'. The hardest moment was when I realised I had forgotten to enjoy and have fun with my baby. The day when you hear them chuckle with another person and you realise it's the first time they have laughed, ever and it wasn't with you.

    But, we found a way through and there were happy memories too. Those are the ones you remember more that the worst.

    Erika, GRSNNZ Member

  • It is wonderful to see organisations and groups promoting National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week. Thank you!

    It is not good to see individuals using Awareness Week or our graphic without permission to promote their business. Please be aware that GRSNNZ has not authorised any such activity.