How to Tell if a Baby Has Acid Reflux

By eHow Parenting Editor

Many babies have acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER). Part of the reason is because the small muscle that keeps stomach contents out of the esophagus is very weak in babies, so it's easy for stomach contents to come back up. If your baby is spitting up a great deal, you may be wondering how to tell if your baby has acid reflux.

Know that some spitting up is very normal for the majority of babies, especially during burping, if you lay your baby down after eating or if you jiggle your baby around after eating. The majority of babies don't seem to be bothered by spitting up; if your baby doesn't seem upset after spitting up, it probably isn't acid reflux.

Observe your baby after eating. If your baby spits up an hour or two after eating, it may be acid reflux.

Listen to your baby's cries. If your baby starts screaming, becomes irritable or seems in pain while spitting up, your baby may have acid reflux. Colic or inconsolable crying in the late afternoon or early evening at least 3 times a week for at least 3 hours may also be a sign of acid reflux.

Weigh your baby. If your baby isn't gaining weight appropriately, they may be spitting up the majority of their feeds.

Speak to your pediatrician. The person who's going to make the official decision that your baby has acid reflux is your baby's doctor. There are many tests your pediatrician can do to find out if your baby has acid reflux.

Notice how your baby spits up. If the spit up just dribbles out their mouth, it may just be spit up. If however the spit-up is forceful, or projectile, your baby may have acid reflux.