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.

Is It Spitting Up or Vomiting?

All babies spit up as part of their normal pattern of feeding but how do you tell when a baby is really sick with a colic or in great pain from an acid reflex problem? Actually, all babies have reflux to some degree. On one end of the reflux spectrum are normal babies who just spit up a little bit. On the other hand are babies who are absolutely sick with reflux – that are losing weight, pale and listless.

One of the telltale signs of reflux-induced colic is a baby who vomits. This is different than a baby who is just spitting up. Vomiting works more muscles and is harder on the baby's stomach.

Seventy percent of babies spit up and it is normal. However what is considered normal and how do you tell the difference between spitting and vomiting?

The technical term for spitting up is regurgitation and it represents the passive flow of stomach contents up through the esophagus and out the mouth. It occurs when the valve above the stomach relaxes at the same time pressure is produced around the stomach.

There are several types of spit up and all of them are normal and are NOT indications of GERD or colic.

Spit up that looks like clabbered is normal. This spit up looks like white cheesy material and is no cause for concern. It is partially digested milk curds. It is acrid smelling but normal.

It is also normal for babies to spit up through their noses. It is part of the normal GER process and just means that the regurgitating material decided to back up into the sinuses to discharge instead of flowing thought he mouth.

It is also quite typical for spit up form babies to contain mucus. The stomach contains mucus that helps lubricate and move the intestinal contents along. Mucus can also comes from sinus drainage.

Many parents also become concerned if a baby spits up two or three hours after eating. This too is normal.

Vomiting is a little different than spitting up because from a physiological perspective it is a lot harder on the body then just spitting up. Vomiting involves retching, gagging and choking for the baby. This is why vomiting is a little more serious.

Some babies just vomit in the weeks after being born and it does not necessarily indicate any kind of problems.

There is something wrong with your baby if it is unable to feed and gain wait, if the vomit contains yellow bile or if the baby has distension of the tummy or poor skin color. If these symptoms are persistent you should take the baby immediately to a doctor.

Despite the fact that all babies experience hiccups from time to time, babies with colic caused by reflux tend to experience them moor frequently.

It is important to add that infants don't necessarily have to regurgitate or vomit to have. However if your baby is vomiting or burping it is likely caused by reflux.