I know several bloggers have babies/children that have been diagnosed with silent reflux. What are the symptoms? When the Boy spits up, it’s usually if he’s been laying down after a feed – which he does almost all the time, because he plays after he eats and he can’t sit up yet. It does not, however, happen every time I lay him down after a feed.

There doesn’t seem to be a pattern. It doesn’t seem to matter if he burps or not, whether it’s hot in the house or cooler, whether he’s all bundled up in the Woombie (which is still cool!) or if he’s in a onesie. Doesn’t matter who is holding him to feed him. Sometimes it happens when I put him in the swing, but not nearly as often as it does when he lays down. Could this BE reflux? What do I do to fix it? It’s not like it’s a problem for ME, but it does upset him (especially if it’s particularly forceful) and it comes out his nose (because of the cleft) which I’m sure can’t be comfortable. Sometimes, too, it happens when he sneezes! I’m going to guess that’s because of the cleft again, that some formula is sitting near the opening to the nasal passage and just comes out when he sneezes. If something is wrong, though, I want to do what I need to in order to fix it. We HAVE tried a different formula – the one we normally use is lactose based, so we switched to a corn based one and there was no difference.

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  1. Babylicious

     /  July 17, 2011

    A lot of the babies in my due date message board group have reflux and the biggest thing that seems to make it stick out from “happy spitting” is the appearance that it makes him angry or in pain. OR if there's a lot of gurgling and unhappiness. Now, I have a happy spitter. He spits up after every feed (even if he's upright for 15+min), in a variety of positions etc like you described. It happened both with breastmilk and formula. What you described sounds like what we're going through…just spit up :-/ everywhere and on everything! If he's gaining weight well and doesn't seem to be in pain, then you're probably ok. There is a silent reflux but I think it's more rare.
    Hope that helps!

  2. Cathy

     /  July 17, 2011

    If he's spitting up, it's not really “silent reflux”. “Silent reflux” is more a term to describe when the acid is coming up the throat and burning the esophagus without any clear outward symptoms (like spitting up).

    Gulping, gurlgling, arching his back during and after feedings – those are reflux signs.

    If he's spitting up a LOT, I'd start with a few things (in this order).

    1) Keep him upright for 15-30 minutes after a feeding. Do NOT put him in a swing or carsat (or a bumbo style chair), because those put pressure on the stomach. We had better luck with the bouncer because they were straighter in it. (Similarly, prop his mattress up to 30 degrees at night. You can stick a normal bed pillow under the head of the mattress and that will do it, and hope he's not a scooter!)

    2) Thicken his feeds. Possibly especially with the cleft, it's going to be really easy for it TO come up and upset him – no one likes things coming out the nose even if it's not acidic. Some people add a little bit of rice cereal. We used Enfamil AR which thickens more in the stomach rather than at feeding time. That's my preference for thickening because it's formulated to be the same cal/oz as other formula, whereas other methods change the density which can result in over/underfeeding.

    3) Change his feeding schedule – if he's spitting up with every feeding, he might be slightly overfull and do better to have smaller meals a little closer together.

    If he seems in pain, that's when I'd look into reflux medications. Reflux meds will not stop spitting up, they will just reduce the damage done FROM spitting up.

    Chances are he does have some reflux – most babies do. It's just a matter of when it causes damage and other issues and when it's something they'll just outgrow. (Solid foods will be your friend!)

    Hope that helps some.

  3. Both my kids spit up and neither have reflux. They both have small bodies and huge appetites. E is at 7 oz per feed compared to a much larger older baby who only gets 4 oz per feed. We sit them up for 30 minutes after each feed and don't hold them facing us after a feed. We also make them space out the feed over a longer period to give it time to start running through. It got better with J when he started eating solids.

  4. Jess

     /  July 18, 2011

    LOL…What Cathy said. 🙂


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