Most normal infants have a certain amount of acid reflux and this is quite common. However, there are some situations in which the reflux can lead to more serious medical conditions such as GERD. While many people may not realize it, GERD in infants is a frequent occurrence and there are many telltale signs. It is important to know and understand all of the symptoms of GERD in infants and to educate yourself on proper identification of GERD in infants.
One of the most common symptoms of GERD in infants is frequent vomiting or spitting up. Of course this is not the same as the “normal” spitting up that generally occurs between the first and third month of the infant’s life. The trouble is for some infants this problem becomes severe and requires treatment. In these cases you may be looking at GERD as the culprit.
Infants who have GERD also tend to be quite irritable when it comes time to eat. This irritability will be noted by crying, restlessness, fussiness, whining or even downright screaming. It is not hard to distinguish an irritable baby. If your baby is more irritable when it comes to feeding then you may want to consult your doctor to see what the reason is. It is very possible that eating is painful for your infant as a result of reflux.
If you infant does not seem to have much of an appetite or gets full to easily then this also could be cause for concern. GERD in infants tends to show itself in the form of a poor or under developed appetite. Of course, if it hurt you to eat, you would probably lose your appetite as well so such is understandable. While some infants may take less formula at some meals than others, if the problem becomes consistent, seek medical advice.
Another symptom of GERD in infants is clear and visible pain during feeding. If an infant is experiencing some sort of stomach discomfort, the most visible sign will be back arching and drawing up his/her legs. A comfortable baby will feel relaxed in your arms during feedings. A baby who is experiencing pain will struggle and you will be able to feel the tension in the infant.
A frequent cough or hoarse voice could also be indicative of GERD in infants. This is because the acid will eventually begin affecting the larynx of the child. In addition, hiccups which happen quite frequently and last for long periods of time may also be a sign of GERD in infants. This does not mean a tiny cough or a couple of spells of hiccups means your infant has GERD but ongoing issues should be checked out.
Many infants with GERD also spit up during burps frequently. These types of burps are generally referred to as “wet burps.” Again, a few wet burps probably isn’t cause for alarm but if it happens a lot then it would probably be safe to say a doctor’s visit would be in order.
Finally, a problem with sleeping comfortable or awakening frequently with what appears to be abdominal discomfort could be a sign of acid reflux or GERD in infants. This is because the acid is much more apt to rise into the throat and esophagus while the child is in a lying position. If your baby seems to experience painful bouts of wakefulness throughout the night then ask your pediatrician to check for other symptoms of GERD.