Reflux can often be treated at home. For babies, it can help to feed smaller amounts more often — your doctor can tell you what amount and timing is best. For formula-fed babies, doctors sometimes recommend adding one tablespoon of rice cereal per ounce of formula to thicken it.
Babies with reflux usually do better on a regular feeding schedule. If your baby spits up, don’t feed them again right away. It’s best to wait until the next feeding time. Burp your baby frequently and avoid tight diapers and waistbands.
Smaller and more frequent meals also are helpful for toddlers and older children with reflux. These strategies also can help:
- Avoid feeding your child within two to three hours of bedtime.
- Help overweight kids lose weight.
- Keep your child away from tobacco smoke, which can make reflux worse.
- Elevate the head of your child’s bed 30 degrees.
- Don’t give your child carbonated drinks, chocolate, caffeine or foods that are high in fat. Also avoid spicy foods and those with a lot of acid, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes and pickles.
Your doctor also may recommend an over-the-counter antacid or a prescription medication to stop acid production or help the stomach empty. A combination of medicines may work better than a single drug.