Colic and Feeding Disturbances

Reflux and milk allergies definitely impact the way your baby feeds. As you may be able to imagine an irritated throat and esophagus make for painful swallowing. When your baby is in pain it does not feel like eating and it will grimace and push the bottle or the nipple away. The baby then remembers it is hungry and tries again. This cycle repeats itself for half an hour to an hour until either the parent or the child becomes so frustrated that they give up.

As the child's intake of food is impaired the parents try to compensate by feeding the baby sooner than is normal. However the feeding pattern of trying and grimacing and pushing away followed by long bouts of crying just continues.

Colic caused by reflux is actually quite likely if you notice an improvement in your baby's feeding habits at nighttime. When babies with sever reflux esophagits are half asleep they feed better because they are all out of fight and they are more relaxed.

Strange as it may seem voracious feeding, which means the baby feeds in a fast and furious manner is also a symptom of infant reflux. These babies will act as if they haven't been fed in days and make squeaking and slurping noises as they suckle.

You will also probably notice that babies with reflux have a lot of gas. Gas comes from the baby swallowing too much air when they are suckling. When a baby with GERD fusses too much around a human or bottle nipple the air creates a gas filled belly. This in turn leads to the pain irritability and crying that is associated with colic.

As gas makes it way through the intestinal tract bowel movements may seem difficult for the baby. Simethicone drops such as Mylicon which typically break up tiny air bubbles can help break up the air bubbles that cause pain.

Chronic irritability is a common symptom in the baby with reflux and milk allergies. As acid washes up into esophagus and throat repeatedly the lining of the esophagus can become inflamed. This is called esogphagitis. With each subsequent reflux even the baby will experience chest and throat pain that makes the cry and cry

the colic is due to colitis then your baby will not like to be on its back.

There is a good anatomical reason for this. The esophagus connects to the stomach closer to the back than the front. When a child is on her back this allows for fluid and stomach contents to flow backward and collect over the LES.

As that LES valve opens milk and stomach acid can pass freely into the esophagus causing discomfort and other symptoms.

As a general rule the irritability that comes with colic caused by esophagi is worse after meals, accompanied by regurgitation and when lying down. The baby may also arch its back, stiffen its legs and turn its head to express that it is in agony. If your baby is doing this convince your doctor to check it for an acid reflux problem.