Reflux aggravators

Reflux can be aggravated by many things, and can recur after the symptoms have completely subsided. Again each baby is different, but examples of factors that worsen Reflux are:



  • Introducing solids- generally, solids help to settle a refluxy baby as they make the stomach contents heavier and less likely to reflux. However, feeding a Reflux baby can be a very difficult exercise. The pain in the oesophagus (or memory of pain in the oesophagus) can make him resist food even if he is hungry.


  • Crawling- The baby starts to sit and the symptoms seem to improve, but then when he starts crawling he returns to a horizontal position which once more causes the contents of his stomach to leak more easily, causing a return of symptoms. Some people however report that the Reflux improves at this stage.


  • Illness- When your baby gets sick, the extra mucous seems to aggravate the symptoms.


  • Teething


  • Certain Anti-Biotics- my baby had her first anti-biotic at 1 year old, when we thought that the Reflux was a thing of the past. The anti-biotic, I believe, caused the most unbelievable flare up of the Reflux that for 2 weeks she woke every 40 minutes at night. Be sure to discuss this with your Paediatrician when anti-biotic treatment is recommended. I have researched the topic, and I have discovered that once again each baby is different and different anti-biotics have differing impacts on the Reflux.


  • Constipation


  • Vaccinations


  • An over tired baby


  • A disruption in routine - Reflux babies can be very sensitive to change. The first time we took our little one on holiday at 8 months old, it was a complete nightmare- she was soo unsettled and restless that we came back more exhausted from the "holiday" than we were before!


The information in this article was reviewed for medical accuracy by, Paediatrician and Allergy Specialist, Dr Claudia Gray (MBChB (UCT), MRCPCH (London), MScClin Pharm(Surrey), DipPaedNutrition (UK), PostgradDipAllergy (Southampton), Certified Paediatric Allergologist (SA))

Dr Gray works at the allergy clinic at the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town, and has a private practice at Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Cape Town, contact 021 531 8013.