One of the most common and distressing conditions that affect babies in their first year is acid reflux, sometimes referred to as Gastroesophogal Reflux Disease.
It is the cause of great discomfort and sleepless nights and is caused by stomach acid coming up from the stomach into the oesophagus, the tract that takes food from the throat down into the gut. Whilst our stomach lining is quite capable of coping with the acid, the sensitive walls of the oesophagus cannot and the painful sensation is intense.
Of course babies can neither understand nor communicate what is happening to them and the feeling of helplessness at the baby’s distress causes great anxiety for parents. The symptoms in babies and very young children may include coughing, vomiting (sometimes dry) and possibly respiratory problems. Almost inevitably the baby will cry inconsolably and refuse food from the breast or bottle.
Some studies have suggested that as many as a third of babies suffer from acid reflux to some degree in their first year. There is no single cure or solution to acid reflux, but parents can take simple steps to reduce the impact.
Smaller more frequent feeds can help the digestive system cope as well as changing position during feeding. Pausing during feeding to burp can also help the baby to digest the milk more steadily.
Sleeping position is also important.
The simple effect of gravity can help during sleeping, if babies sleep on a very slight incline to help avoid the contents of the stomach moving upwards. The angle of the mattress must be very slight indeed to avoid the head being held at an unnatural position.
The SleepCurve mattress is designed to help babies avoid acid reflux. The mattress has a very gentle slope from the head down to the feet which both maintains a natural, comfortable position for the baby’s head whilst making it easier for the effects of gravity to benefit normal digestion.
See the short video clip below describing how a SleepCurve mattress can help prevent reflux in babies.