Q: Can GERD start at any age?

A: Yes, GERD can develop at any age

Q: Does My Baby Have GERD?

A: If your baby is spitting up, but otherwise seems content and healthy, you probably don’t need to worry about GERD. But if your baby is fussy, failing to gain weight, or showing other signs and symptoms of GERD, consult your pediatrician.

Q: Is there anything I can do at home for my baby to reduce reflux or GERD?

A: Lifestyle adjustments can be extremely effective in reducing acid reflux and treating GERD in babies. In fact, many babies don’t need medication if you use these strategies for managing reflux and treating GERD:

  • Avoid overfeeding
  • Don’t feed the baby again after he or she spits up (wait until the next feeding time)
  • Check with your doctor to see if you are using appropriately sized bottles or nursing the appropriate amount of time.
  • If your baby is formula-fed, thicken the formula with a small amount of rice cereal
  • Keep the baby upright for at least 30 minutes after a feeding
  • Try not to let your baby spend too much time in a car seat (The baby’s position in the car seat can promote reflux)
  • Avoid tight diapers and elastic waistbands

Most infants with reflux or GERD will be helped with the treatment mentioned above. If symptoms are severe or persistent then your primary care provider may consider treatment with a medication or referral to a pediatric gastroenterologist

Q: Is there anything I can do at home for my child to reduce GERD?

A: If you are one of the millions of children with GERD, you’ll be glad to know that there are many effective ways to treat and manage your condition. In fact, lots of kids with GERD find that they don’t need to rely on medication once they make certain changes to their diet and lifestyle.

  • Eat smaller meals more often
  • Limit foods that are spicy or contain lots of acid (pickles, tomatoes, citrus)
  • Drink lots of water when symptoms arise
  • Avoid carbonated drinks, chocolate, caffeine, and foods that are high in fat (For example, pizza and french-fries)
  • Elevate the head of your bed with books or bricks about 30 degrees
  • Avoid wearing tight waistbands
  • Try to lose some weight if you are above your ideal weight
  • Avoid eating or drinking 2-3 hours before bedtime
  • Avoid eating large meals before periods of heavy or stressful activities