Bébé RGO : quelle position adopter pour donner le biberon ? - Élhée

Baby GERD: what position should you adopt to give the bottle?

Some babies require even more attention during meals and taking bottles. Babies with GERD, also more colloquially called GERD babies, present easily recognizable symptoms , which we will tell you about to help you take action and relieve your baby.

GERD is indeed very painful for babies who suffer from it. It requires medical monitoring. Fortunately, it is possible for parents to put in place solutions to limit their children's pain .

Let's see which ones together.


What is GERD in babies?

GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a medical condition characterized by the reflux of acidic stomach contents into the esophagus . It is often confused with acid reflux; an ordeal that pregnant women sometimes encounter during the third trimester when the fetus, having become larger, puts pressure on the stomach.

The causes of GERD are different from simple acid reflux.

Normally, the role of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is to prevent stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus.

However, in babies with GERD, the LES does not function properly , allowing stomach acids to migrate toward the esophageal wall. The phenomenon is accentuated in a lying position .

To date, researchers who have looked into the subject have no certain explanations, but it is possible that the cause of GERD is an immaturity of the valve aimed at protecting the esophagus from food contents during the digestion phase.

Signs that your baby has GERD

The most common symptoms of GERD primarily include a burning sensation in the chest (pyrosis) or a sour feeling, commonly known as heartburn.

In babies, unable to express their pain verbally, these burning sensations will manifest themselves mainly through screams , crying and seizures that are impossible to calm down... Each end of a meal can turn into real panic for fathers and mothers, helpless in the face of this harsh reality.

Baby has clenched fists , turns red, goes into apnea, squirms , struggles, contorts... The scene is as impressive as in the case of colic and can also be confusing.

Other symptoms specific to GERD include:

  • acid regurgitation ,
  • intense sore throat ,
  • a chronic cough , most often nocturnal ,
  • difficulty swallowing,
  • a potential refusal of the bottle that you hand him,
  • restless sleep ,
  • a lot of agitation during waking phases, accentuated after meals.

If your child has some or all of these symptoms, it is important to consult a pediatrician or your doctor as soon as possible.

Baby GERD Elhee Bibrond anti-colic

Solutions to relieve a baby’s GERD…

  • During and after taking your bottle

1. Choose an anti-reflux bottle and a temperature that satisfies baby

Some bottles designed specifically for babies with colic or reflux can help reduce GERD symptoms. They have ventilation systems or anti-colic valves that prevent air from entering the baby's belly while he drinks. The formation of gas actually accentuates the symptoms of GERD.

However, there is no consensus on the ideal bottle temperature for babies with GERD. Some babies prefer warm or room temperature liquids rather than cold.

You can try different temperatures to see what works best for your baby. If necessary, use a thermometer to identify the value in degrees that your child likes best! This will allow you to heat the bottle to the same temperature for each meal, which will reassure him.

2. Thicken the milk in the bottle

Some parents use rice starch or special infant cereals that you can find in pharmacies, organic stores or supermarkets to thicken their baby's milk .

This action helps reduce reflux by making milk thicker and less likely to back up into the esophagus. Ask your doctor's advice beforehand, thickeners on the market may not be suitable for all babies.

3. Feed baby small amounts

Try feeding your baby small amounts more frequently rather than feeding larger amounts at a time. Furthermore, we do not recommend shaking the bottle vigorously, as this causes air bubbles to form and aggravates the symptoms caused by reflux. Instead, you can gently slide the bottle between the palms of your hands to mix the formula.

4. Put your baby to bed at least ½ hour after taking the bottle

Avoid feeding your child just before he or she goes to sleep. It is in fact preferable to allow a period of time of at least 30 minutes to an hour between the end of the meal and the time you go to bed.

If your child falls asleep on the bottle, don't panic! Keep him in a vertical position against your shoulder then place him in his little bed, even while asleep.

  • In case of sleep problems

Using an incline may benefit babies with gastroesophageal reflux disease and sleep disturbances. As we said, GERD is worse when lying down.

In stores or online, you can find a device specially designed to slightly raise the head of your baby's bed. The purpose of the tilt is to keep the baby's head up and above the rest of his body. Gravity will do the rest ! 😉You can also place a pillow or cushion under the mattress.

Attention :

  • Never place any object on top of your child's mattress to avoid any risk of suffocation or suffocation!
  • Make sure that the inclined plane is specially designed for this use and approved by safety standards.

Adopt the correct position when bottle-feeding a GERD baby

When bottle-feeding your baby, adopting the correct position can help reduce reflux symptoms. Always prefer a semi-vertical position , in the same way as if you were breastfeeding your child in a sitting position.

And by the way, make sure you sit as comfortably as possible so you don't have to move back once baby is drinking in your arms.

Tilt your baby's head slightly, keeping it in a semi-vertical position, about 30 degrees . Make sure his head and chest are slightly higher than the rest of his body.

Then, place your hand under the baby's upper back to provide stable support while he drinks. Your child's head should not tilt backwards or forwards.

Sucking should be calm and relaxed. Give your baby short breaks during feeding to prevent him from drinking too quickly. Too many distractions are not recommended! Create the quietest environment possible while feeding.

In summary

  • Gastroesophageal reflux is nothing other than the rise of acidic contents from the stomach towards the esophagus. It causes painful symptoms in babies and is worrying for parents.

  • Adopting the correct posture during meals helps relieve GERD symptoms. Opt for a semi-vertical position , keeping your head and torso higher than the rest of the body. In case of sleep disorders, a special inclined plane can reduce regurgitation and burning sensations.

  • It is advisable to choose a bottle with an anti-colic system to reduce the entry of air into the digestive system. Thickening milk can also help reduce reflux.

  • Feed your baby small amounts more frequently and avoid shaking the bottle too vigorously before offering it to your child. Take breaks during meals. Finally, wait at least 30 minutes after each meal to put your baby to bed.


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