Baby Feeding Issues: 6 ways to help reflux and constipation

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It may have been a while ago now but when my boys were babies they both suffered from acid reflux. Before becoming a parent, I never realised just how common it was. Studies show that up to 55% of babies have some kind of feeding-related problem in their first six months of life. Reflux is where babies bring up milk either during or after they have been fed. This is usually down to the fact that their digestive system is still maturing.

It wasn’t nice seeing them in discomfort and have their milk come back up after a feed. We were given baby Gaviscon to help for E which helped and thankfully he eventually grew out of it.

Baby Feeding Issues: 6 ways to help reflux and constipation

M was a little different, when he was around 3 weeks old he began projectile vomiting everything back up and didn’t seem to be able to keep a feed down. I had stopped expressing my milk by this point so we had been formula feeding. We decided to give anti-reflux milk a try – it’s slightly thicker than normal formula and hoped that this would help keep the milk down. My advice to parents would just be to always check the preparation instructions as these can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. M also suffered from baby constipation. His poop was really hard and difficult to pass and I felt awful.


Reflux and constipation are usually nothing to worry about as the majority of cases are not serious. Babies, like E, will eventually grow out of it. However, there are ways to help ease baby feeding issues. Take a look at some of the tips below from SMA Nutrition.


If your baby appears to be in pain or if you are concerned for any other reason, always seek the advice of a healthcare professional such as your GP, health visitor or public health nurse.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The best way to feed a baby is to breastfeed, as breast milk provides the ideal balanced diet and protection against illness for your baby and also many non-nutritional benefits for both baby and mother. We recommend that you speak to your healthcare professional when deciding on your choice of feeding your baby. Professional guidance should also be sought on the preparation for and maintenance of breastfeeding. If you do choose to breastfeed, it’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Infant formula is intended to replace breast milk when mothers choose not to breastfeed or if for some reason they are unable to do so. A decision not to breastfeed, or to introduce partial bottle-feeding, will reduce the supply of breast milk. If for any reason you choose not to breastfeed, do remember that such a decision can be difficult to reverse. Using infant formula also has social and financial implications which must be considered. Infant formula should always be prepared, used and stored as instructed on the label, in order to avoid risks to a baby’s health.

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  1. Some great suggestions here! #KCACOLS

  2. I’m lucky we didn’t have any problems like this, it sounds awful. Great advice x #KCACOLS

  3. What do you mean by ‘social’ implications? “Using infant formula also has social and financial implications which must be considered.” #KCACOLS

  4. My son had reflux when he was a baby. We used to keep him upright after he ate as well. That seemed to help but was a challenge in the middle of the night! #kcacols

  5. Both such common baby complaints and horrid to see a little one suffer. #KCACOLS

  6. A really informative post, thanks. #KCACOLS

  7. lovely pics and I’m just so glad we managed to avoid the dreaded reflux. x #kcacols

  8. kristin mccarthy

    Somehow we evaded the reflux with all four girls.



  9. I am so greatful that none of my kiddos have struggled with either!!! But amazing too the effects babywesring can have in helping with reflux!!! #kcacols

  10. Very helpful article, thank you. We discovered my son’s discomfort was lactose intolerance, always worth trying a lactose free formula to see if it helps too.

  11. windy babies are such hard work. bran used to suffer quite a bit at night and it used to disturb all our sleep :/ I found infacol helped and also massage. #KCACOLS

  12. I wish I had advice like this when the twins were younger. One of my boys had a terrible time with reflux and I felt like we didn’t get any good advice or support. It was just a case of ‘he will grow out of it’ 🙁 #KCACOLS

  13. Fran Back With a Bump

    Some good tips. I remember not knowing if Poppy had colic or reflux and why she was screaming every evening. Thankfully it passed with some milk thickener but its horrid watching them in pain. Thanks for hosting #kcacols x

  14. wonderful tips, my little one also suffered from reflux when he was a baby #KCACOLS

  15. Great written post. All my kids have suffered with constipation and my middle suffered with colic! #KCACOLS

  16. Cygnet had reflux and regularly used to projectile vomit. I didn’t give him any drugs for it. He also used to poo once every 7-8 days so I was also really worried about constipation. He is now 2.5 and eats well. It all sorts itself out in the end. Pen x #KCACOLS

  17. Some good advice – we’ve been really lucky with Snappy but we did have to sit him up for a while and he still sleeps at an angle. #kcacols

  18. Great advice. Luckily we didn’t have reflux problems with our two x

  19. As a parent with a child who suffers from chronic constipation my top recommend would be a chest deep warm bath. Horrible but obviously beneficial results often ensue! #KCACOLS

  20. Great tips here. Booey had the odd bit of reflux, but nothing major. She soon grew out of it.

  21. Some great suggestions. My first had terrible colic so rather than go through it all again with our second we took her for some cranial osteopathy treatment and boy did it help! There are scientific reasons as to why but I can’t remember them now, but who cares – it worked!! 😉 #kcacols

  22. This is really useful advice. I wish I had read it when my eldest was first born. Now I’ll have to bear it in mind for my grandchildren!

  23. My son used to vomit his milk quite a lot but we never got diagnosed with reflux officially. When he started solid foods, it subsided. I can see how a thicker milk might help too. #kcacols

  24. My two were lucky enough not to suffer either of these but I know people whose babies had terrible reflux and it was so stressful for them especially those that were breastfeeding – to spend all that time and effort feeding the baby for them to throw it all back up again 5 minutes later! #KCACOLS

  25. Peachy used to spit up a lot too when she was on an all liquid diet. We did the feeing her upright and keeping her upright for half an hour. We burped her and fed smaller meals more often. These things helped but didn’t solve the problem. It’s usually something they just grow out of and we can only make them more comfortable until them. It’s hard though when you work so hard to feed them and it seems like nothing is staying down. #KCACOLS

  26. My youngest daughter really suffered with reflux and constipation, she was actually hospitalised countless times over it. These are great tips though, I wish I had read this four years ago! #KCACOLS

  27. Thankfully I’ve not experienced either with my girls. #KCACOLS

  28. This will be really helpful for families with baby feeding issues. Great idea 🙂


  29. My daughter suffered from constipation when switched to formula. We ended up trying a couple of different ones before we found one that was ok for her! Horrible having an unhappy baby #KCACOLS

  30. Sarah Barrett

    We’re lucky that none of our three had reflux. I used to see it a lot in my work as a nurse. Thanks for sharing #KCACOLS

  31. I am so lucky to not have experienced a reflux baby. Mine were breastfed which I think can sometimes ease it but the youngest still got constipated occasionally. Great tips!


  32. Ah yes, reflux is horrible! My first had it too, and we were also given the Gaviscon. Hated it all! Thankfully it passed as he got a little older! Thanks for sharing these useful, visual tips! #KCACOLS

  33. Ben suffered from terrible Colic for about a week and then one of my mummy friends suggested tommee tippees anti colic bottles alongside aptamil anti colic and constipation formula. These alongside the tilted cot, upright feeding, and some other tips you mentioned did the trick and within the next week it was like a completely different baby.
    My milk had dried up by this point unfortunately, but im quite thankful it happened once he was already on bottles as I dread to think how hard it would have been to combat it without these two aids! Colic is such a horrible thing to witness! #KCACOLS

  34. Remember these guidelines well. My lo didn’t really suffer reflux but he did bring his milk up a lot so I used to try and keep him upright using a feeding cushion for 30 mins after a feed.

    Weirdly this post makes me broody. Remembering back to the newborn days. Ahhhh.


  35. We were lucky not to have any issues like this with either of our girls, but I know plenty of people who have had reflux problems. Good advice! #KCACOLS

  36. We were lucky I think and didn’t have any reflux issues with either of ours, and we found that a little bit of orange juice used to help if they were ever constipated. x #KCACOLS

  37. I was really lucky with my two, other than the colic phase, they seemed to escape these problems. #KCACOLS

  38. Great tips, thank you for sharing. #KCACOLS

  39. Thankfully I’ve never had to deal with reflux or constipation, and fingers crossed we won’t have to! #KCACOLS

  40. I didn’t realise the percentage of babies with problems was so high! x #KCACOLS

  41. Good tips that will help a lot of parents #KCACOLS

  42. We were quite lucky with our son, he didn’t have either! I breastfed up until 4 months, so I don’t know whether that has anything to do with it? Great advice though 🙂 #KCACOLS Becky x

  43. Tabitha Siklos

    Great tips, I’lll pass on your blog to any friends who have issues with their babies. We’re past that stage now – phew! #KCACOLS

  44. Alana - Burnished Chaos

    Great tips. Both my babies were quite colicky and had some reflux but thankfully nothing too bad. One of friends babies both had really bad reflux though and she had a really hard time of with her first. Thankfully with the second she knew every trick in the book x

  45. Great tips my boys all had constipation issues. #KCACOLS

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