The majority of parents are unsure of what to do when their infant cries for hours before going to bed. The reason might be silent reflux, baby. Your little one does not appear to be understanding what you are saying, even though you may be fatigued from caring for your kid all day and ready to fall asleep at any minute.

Babies frequently cry before going to sleep, making parents question what might upset their young child. Although watching your kid scream might be difficult, it’s vital to keep in mind that it’s a typical stage of growth. It will be easier for you to offer the required assistance and comfort if you are aware of some possible causes of these tears. The most common reason for this might be silent refluxes. Babies frequently have reflux, which typically starts in the first two months of life.

A kind of reflux known as silent reflux does not involve spitting up.

What is Silent Reflux?

Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), also known as silent reflux baby, is a disease where stomach acid runs backward into the neck and larynx without presenting the traditional symptoms of heartburn or indigestion. Silent reflux generally affects the upper airway as opposed to gastro-esophageal reflux disease GERD, which predominantly affects the esophagus. It can result in a variety of symptoms that affect the throat, vocal cords, and respiratory system.

Silent reflux can have comparable origins to GERD, such as a weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a hiatal hernia, or irregularities in the way the food pipe contracts. Lifestyle choices can also influence silent reflux, including obesity, smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating particular foods.

How to Identify Silent Reflux in Babies

Reflux in newborns may typically be identified based only on their symptoms, without the need for any testing. Although there is no open particular therapy for a silent reflux baby, you might find the feeding above advice useful. Anti-reflux medicine may be administered for infants who excessively or display apparent pain. A feeding evaluation to rule out other explanations may be beneficial in cases where symptoms don’t go better after making these changes.

An endoscopy, pH monitoring, or barium swallow test can be performed in exceptional circumstances and if the medical practitioner believes they would be beneficial. Infant reflux, also known as silent reflux, can cause a variety of symptoms. These signals may not be the same as more overt symptoms of typical reflux, including spitting up or vomiting.

Here are a few typical signs of silent reflux in infants:

1. Excessive Crying

Excessive Crying

Babies with silent reflux may cry excessively or get agitated, especially during or after feedings. They can cry for a long time without seeming to have any cause.

2. Difficulty Sleeping

Difficulty Sleeping

Silent reflux can cause a newborn to have sleep problems. Babies typically wake up throughout the night and may have problems falling or staying asleep.

3. Feeding Problems

Feeding Problems .jpg

Babies with silent reflux may have trouble eating. They could express pain by pulling away from the breast or bottle, refusing to eat, or having irregular eating habits.

4. Arching from The Back

Arching from The Back

Some friends with silent reflux may have back arches during or after feedings. This position is frequently employed in an effort to reduce acid reflux-related pain.

5. Choking


Babies with silent reflux may have gagging or choking sensations, especially during or after feedings. This could happen when stomach acid irritates the throat and triggers a reflexive reaction.

6. Coughing or Wheezing

Coughing or Wheezing

Infants with silent reflux may exhibit persistent coughing, wheezing, or recurring respiratory conditions, including bronchitis or pneumonia. Reflux gastric acid can cause respiratory symptoms by irritating the airways.

7. Hoarseness or Voice Change

Hoarseness or Voice Change .jpg

Hoarseness or voice changes might result from silent reflux, which can damage the baby’s vocal cords. The infant’s cry might be raspier or more strained.

8. Chronic Nasal Congestion

Chronic Nasal Congestion

Silent reflux can cause newborns to have persistent nasal congestion. The inflammation of the nasal passage brought on by stomach acid reflux may be the cause of this congestion.

Reasons for Refluxes in Babies

At birth, the esophageal sphincter muscles are underdeveloped. These are esophageal muscles at either end that open and shut to let food and liquids through. The muscles become increasingly developed and coordinated as they age, keeping the contents of the stomach where they belong. They are, therefore, common among babies.

Additionally, babies spend a lot of time on their backs, particularly before they learn to rule over others, which can occur between the ages of four and six months. The babies who are lying on their backs lose the assistance of gravity in keeping food in their stomachs. To prevent the danger of asphyxia, You should always lay your baby to bed on their back, never their stomach, especially if they have reflux.

What Can Be Done by You?

The first step entails changing your diet if you are nursing. This can lessen the exposure of your child to foods to which they could be allergic. In order to determine if reflux symptoms improve, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises cutting eggs and milk from your diet for two to four weeks. Also, below are some mentioned steps that you can try out at your home to get rid of reflux-

  • Change the formula your card is currently consuming to one that is based on hydrolyzed protein or amino acid.
  • After feeding, try to keep your baby upright for 30 minutes.
  • When feeding a child from the bottle, hold the bottle at an angle that will keep the nipple full of milk. Your kid will gulp less ear thanks to this. Air in the mouth can cause reflux and raise intestinal pressure.
  • A lesser amount of food should be given to your infant more regularly. Try feeding your infant 2 ounces every two hours instead of 4 ounces of formula or breast milk every four hours.

Other Solutions for Silent Refluxes in Babies

Babies with silent reflux are frequently managed and treated with a mix of lifestyle changes and, in some circumstances, medication.

The following are some remedies that might aid babies with silent reflux symptoms:

1. Change Feeding Methods

Change Feeding Methods

Feed your infant while holding him or her upright to lessen the chance of stomach content running back up.

2. Keep Them Upright

Keep Them Upright

After feedings, keep the infant upright for at least 30 minutes. This will allow gravity to keep the stomach contents down.

3. Increase Crib’s Head Height

Increase Crib’s Head Height

Elevate the crib’s head height by putting a wedge or pillow under the mattress. The little inclination here might aid in reducing acid reflux as you sleep.

4. Thickening Feeds

Thickening Feeds

Adding a tiny quantity of rice cereal to your baby’s milk or formula will help thicken it and reduce the likelihood that it will come back up if your pediatrician advises this.

5. Burping


Give your child a pause between feedings to be burped. Burping aids and air release can lessen the reflux symptoms.

6. Avoid Overfeeding

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Overfeeding can increase the probability of reflux, so pay attention to your baby’s feeding cues and limit your feeding.

7. Make Them Wear Loose Clothes

Make Them Wear Loose Clothes .jpg

Keep your baby’s clothes loose-fitting to reduce the strain on the belly, which can exacerbate reflux symptoms.

8. Consider Your Diet if Breastfeeding

Consider Your Diet if Breastfeeding

If you’re nursing, take into account your diet because some foods may make your reflux symptoms worse. Consult a healthcare provider about possible dietary adjustments that may be beneficial.

9. Talk to The Children’s Doctor

Talk to The Children’s Doctor

Your child’s doctor may occasionally prescribe drugs to treat reflux symptoms, such as proton pump inhibitors or acid suppressors, to lessen the production of stomach acid. Only utilize medication under a doctor’s supervision.

Medications for Silent Reflux in Babies

Medications for silent reflux in newborns are normally provided after a thorough assessment and under the supervision of a pediatrician or healthcare professional. Remembering that medicine should be administered under a doctor’s care and following a comprehensive assessment of the infant’s health is crucial.

Based on the baby’s age, weight, and unique requirements, the medical expert will choose the medication’s dose and duration.

Here are some typical drugs used to treat silent reflux in babies:

1. Acid Suppressors

To lessen the production of stomach acid and treat reflux symptoms, doctors may give proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or histamine-2 receptor blockers (H2 blockers). Omeprazole, lansoprazole, esomeprazole are some PPIs that are often used in infants. Ranitidine and famotidine, two H2 blockers, might also be used.

2. Prokinetics

Prokinetic drugs lessen the possibility of stomach contents returning by enhancing food passage through the digestive tract. However, prokinetics are less frequently given to newborns due to the scant data and probable adverse effects.

3. Alginate-Based Formulations

Some pediatricians could suggest Gaviscon Infant or comparable items if you are using an alginate-based formulation. These drugs create a gel-like barrier on top of the stomach contents, reducing the likelihood of reflux attacks.

When to Consult a Doctor?

If you think your kid may be having silent reflex, it is advised that you see a doctor. When seeking medical advice for a baby’s silent reflux, consider the following:

1. Persistent and Concerning Symptoms

Suppose you are distantly exhibiting symptoms like excessive crying, irritability, difficulty sleeping, feeding difficulties, an arched back, chronic coughing, wheezing, hoarseness, or other symptoms that could indicate silent reflux. In that case, it’s important to get your baby evaluated by a doctor.

2. Poor Weight Gain or Feeding Issues

It’s critical to speak with a healthcare provider if your infant is not gaining weight properly or is having trouble eating. They can determine whether silent reflux is a factor in these problems and offer suitable solutions.

3. Respiratory Complications

It’s crucial to see a doctor if your infant exhibits symptoms of respiratory problems such as chronic coughing, wheezing, or recurring respiratory infections. To ensure adequate care, these symptoms should be investigated since they may be caused by silent reflux.

4. Effect on Daily Life

It is recommended to seek medical assistance for effective treatments if silent reflux symptoms are seriously hurting your baby’s quality of life, including discomfort, sleep problems, or feeding issues.

5. Concerns or Questions

It is always preferable to visit a healthcare expert if you have any worries or inquiries about your baby’s health, including signs that you think could point to silent reflux. They can offer advice, assess the problem, and suggest suitable cures or treatments.

Summing It Up

All in all, the majority of infants who have reflux will outgrow their symptoms by the age of 12, while in certain instances, it may take closer to 18 months. Although silent reflux might be mistaken for colic, reflux is a common condition that is typically easy to identify. It is essential to speak with a healthcare provider while dealing with silent reflux in infants in order to receive an accurate diagnosis and the best course of action.

Finally, treatment alternatives can involve modifying one’s way of living, such as changing one’s feeding methods or raising the head of the cot.

In some circumstances, proton pump inhibitors, H2 receptor blockers, or formulations, including alginate, may be recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Silent Reflux in Infants Vary from Ordinary Reflux?

Silent reflex manifests as symptoms that largely impact the upper airway without severe regurgitation, as opposed to regular reflux, which often involves visual indicators such as splitting up or vomiting.

Do Babies with Silent Reflux Need to Be Treated or Made Resolved on Their Own?

Silent reflux in infants can occasionally go away on its own as they grow and their digestive systems mature. However, it is advised to seek medical attention and think about viable treatment choices if symptoms increase or continue to exist.

Do I Still Have the Opinion to Breastfeed if My Child Has Silent Reflux?

Breastfeeding is still permitted even if your child has silent reflux. Making a dietary adjustment or altering the nursing position might be useful in some situations. Personalized advice can be obtained by speaking with a lactation consultant or healthcare professional.

Dr. Lisa Patel (Nutritionist)

Dr. Lisa Patel is a dietitian and nutritionist who has revolutionized children's health and eating habits for over a decade. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Washington and a Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. Before joining our team in 2022, she worked with several NGOs focused on child nutrition and obesity prevention. Outside her professional life, she is an avid gardener and loves integrating her home-grown produce into family-friendly meals.

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