Reflux and Colic

Reflux in small babies can be extremely stressful for both baby and Mother.

Newborn baby’s digestive systems are still developing. The ‘sphincter’ a muscle allowing food in and out of the tummy is still immature and can be weak. This can cause swallowed food to be vomited back up, which may be painful for baby.

Signs of reflux are:

  • Regularly spitting up after feeds
  • Refusing feeds, gagging or choking
  • Irritability
  • Episodes of prolonged crying
  • Crying during feeds
  • Coughing and hiccuping
  • Ear infections

Some babies get ‘silent reflux’ where they display these symptoms but nothing comes up.

Reflux is not dangerous and generally disappears as your baby gets older.
However there are other symptoms that should be investigated.

Check the NHS website for more information:

If your baby has severe reflux you may be referred to a Paediatric Gastroenterologist. Medication may be necessary.

Helping with symptoms:

  1. Have breaks in between feeds allowing time for milk to settle
  2. Wind regularly to reduce an uncomfortable build up that can result in a whole feed being bought up.
  3. Try feeding in an upright position. Check this you tube vid:
  4. Keep baby held upright for at least 30 mins after feeding.
  5. Baby massage.

Other causes could be; Cows milk protein allergy or secondary lactose intolerance. Check the allergies and intolerances article.


The cause of colic is unknown, but is characterised, by daily episodes of prolonged crying in an otherwise
healthy baby.
It generally starts from a few week and can last till the baby is four to six months.

  • It’s more common in the evenings
  • Baby will arch their back, pull their legs into their stomachs and may stiffen
  • Your baby will appear in distress
  • You may have trouble feeding baby at this time

Schools of thought are it could be a result of uncomfortable wind although this is not a documented fact.


  1. Baby massage
  2. Regular winding
  3. Cuddling and rocking baby
  4. A warm bath