How Do I Know If My Baby Has Silent Reflux?

Posted by Kerry Nevins on

It's normal for a baby to cry for 2–3 hours a day for the first 6 weeks. Tears are your baby's way of expressing their discomfort. However, many babies with silent reflux do not cry but can be difficult to calm or put to sleep. Spitting up is common in newborns and is caused by a still-developing digestive system. But how do you know if your baby has silent reflux? Keep reading this blog to learn more.

Silent reflux is especially painful – and not always easy to diagnose at first glance. Sometimes babies don’t spit out what comes back up but swallow it instead. Even though there isn’t any spitting up, they may show other symptoms similar to reflux, such as crying or being unsettled after feeds or having a cough or hoarse voice. 

Because you don’t see your little one actively spewing up, the symptoms aren't always obvious, hence the terminology ‘silent’. Not knowing what’s causing your little one pain can be extremely heart-wrenching. You may second guess your every move as a parent or caregiver and wonder when you will have a more settled baby and not feel at your wit's end.  

Silent reflux bears similarities with colic in that babies suffering from either condition scream and cry often, showing signs of discomfort. The difference is that little refluxers may cry the whole day through, whereas colic is more of an evening occurrence. And colic generally resolves at around the three-month mark.

Treatment for reflux and silent reflux is the same, and a paediatrician can usually spot the signs during a simple examination. In a few severe cases, medication might be prescribed. Rest assured, however, that in most instances, because the cause is often down to gut immaturity, the condition dissipates around six months or when solids are established – even in the absence of treatment.

Symptoms of Silent Reflux in Babies

Symptoms of Silent Reflux in Babies

Babies with silent reflux may not spit up after feedings, making it more difficult to spot. Infants with silent reflux also often present with feeding difficulties, which can slow weight gain and even cause weight loss. In extreme cases, this can result in undernutrition.

Inadequate growth or inability to maintain growth during early childhood is referred to as failure to thrive and can occur due to reflux. Symptoms of silent reflux include:

  • Irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Choking
  • Gagging
  • Nasal congestion
  • Arching the back while feeding
  • Chronic coughing
  • Refusing to eat
  • Pauses in breathing (apnea)
  • Noisy breathing or wheezing
  • Hoarseness

How can babocush help relieve silent reflux in babies?

How can babocush help relieve silent reflux in babies?

After feeding, letting your baby lie at an incline can prevent regurgitation, one of the tried-and-true treatments for reflux. The ability to adjust the angle to place your baby in the ideal position to prevent acid reflux is one of the main advantages of the babocush bouncer and cushion set. Our babocush items help avoid colic by holding your baby on their tummy, and they also provide the added comfort of a moderate vibration and heartbeat sound for added relaxation. Since reflux can sometimes induce colic in babies, babocush offers benefits here.

Want to read more on reflux and ways you can cope with it? Check out our blog post on our six tips on how to cope with baby reflux.

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