Infant Reflux

Katy Pediatric Associates

Pediatricians located in Houston, TX

Is infant reflux preventing your baby from gaining weight? If so, the expert pediatricians at Katy Pediatric Associates in Katy, Texas can help. Led by Asmaa Fotouh, MD, Hebah Aboul-Fotouh, MD, and Tabassum Imam, MD, Katy Pediatric Associates has the skill and experience to treat infant reflux and get your baby back to a healthy weight. To visit with a skilled, compassionate pediatrician, call the office or schedule an appointment online.

Infant Reflux Q&A

What is infant reflux?

Infant reflux, often called GER (gastroesophageal reflux), is a condition caused when formula or breastmilk flows into the esophagus instead of staying in the stomach. While infant reflux isn’t typically serious, it does cause infants to spit up their food, which can negatively impact their weight and growth.

In rare cases, infant reflux is a sign of a more serious health problem, such as a digestive blockage or an allergy, so it’s important to schedule an appointment with the Katy Pediatric Associates team if your baby is struggling to keep food down.

What causes infant reflux?

The small ring between the esophagus and the stomach — called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) — isn’t fully developed in infants, which makes it easy for food and other stomach contents to flow back up.

Some factors that increase the chances of infant reflux are:

  • Premature birth
  • Lying flat too often

While rare, infant reflux has been linked to more concerning conditions, including food intolerance and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

What are the symptoms of infant reflux?

Infant reflux typically disappears on its own within the first 18 months, as your baby's lower esophageal sphincter (LES) begins to develop. However, you should call the Katy Pediatric Associates pediatricians right away if your baby:

  • Isn’t gaining weight
  • Is refusing food
  • Spits up blood
  • Has difficulty breathing
  • Is coughing a lot
  • Constantly spits up food
  • Seems irritable

If your baby is experiencing any of the above symptoms, they may have a digestive blockage or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) — a condition in which acid begins to affect the esophageal lining.

How is infant reflux treated?

If you are concerned that your infant may have reflux, our team will first evaluate your infant's growth.

If your baby’s infant reflux doesn’t subside, or if it results in complications such as poor growth, the team may recommend a short-term acid-blocking medication to help them keep food down. In the meantime, you can try:

  • Smaller feedings more frequently
  • Holding your baby upright after feedings
  • Thickening formula or breast milk
  • Trying different formulas
  • Burping your baby more often

Early intervention for infant reflux can help your baby gain weight and leads to healthy growth. To learn more, call the pediatricians at Katy Pediatric Associates or schedule an appointment online.