Reflux Baby Overweight?

Reflux Baby Overweight?

You may be struggling to help your baby with gastroesophageal reflux to gain weight, so it may seem impossible for a baby with reflux to be overweight or obese. We are watching for every single ounce of weight gain and jumping for joy when weight increases.

The reality is that some babies with reflux eat for comfort. A comfort feeder wants to suckle all the time, to push the bad taste of acid down and manage the pain and discomfort of reflux. If a comfort eater doesn’t vomit too much, there can be weight gain.

It is also possible to over-feed a baby with reflux. Signals a baby gives off are generally unclear. Crying and fussing may indicate a variety of messages: baby is tired, bored, hungry, cold, hot, over tired, tummy ache, wind etc. Most of us try a nappy change or offer some food since these options often work really well. The baby may be crying due to fatigue but may settle for a few ounces of formula, if it is offered. If there is a lot of fussing and many snack breaks, the weight gain can increase as well.

The earlier struggles with reflux often include poor weight gain and even weight loss. The doctor may prescribe a special diet, a thickener or other calorie booster to increase weight gain. Over time, as the reflux symptoms improve, the extra calories can add up and lead to weight gain.

The bottom line is, even if your baby has struggled with weight gain or has some discomfort from gastroesophageal reflux disease; you and the doctor still need to be vigilant about ensuring weight gain but not too much. Try not to compare your baby to others. Every baby is different and your baby’s pattern of weight gain may differ from your other children and your friend.

  • Limit juice intake during the first year unless the doctor has recommended juice for a specific reason (weight gain, extra fluid intake, control constipation).
  • Delay the introduction of solids (unless the doctor has prescribed early feedings).
  • Do not over-feed formula or solids. If your baby turns away from the bottle, breast or spoon, she is probably communicating that she is full.
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