Infant reflux or infant acid reflux occurs when the baby is unable to retain a feed and spits it out immediately after a feed.
Main symptom is spitting and vomiting.
Doctors state that most babies outgrow infant reflux and as long as they are healthy and growing well, there is no reason for parents to worry.
You need to consult your doctor in case of certain symptoms like if your baby does not gain weight, refuses to eat, spits out colored – yellow / green - fluid or blood continues to vomit even beyond six months or has difficulty breathing.
Some babies suffer from reflux since their esophagus and stomach is still underdeveloped. Sometimes, it could be due to other conditions like GERD.
Burping your baby, smaller feedings and proper positioning after feeding can alleviate infant reflux symptoms.
Medications or surgery are usually not recommended unless it is a serious condition. Sometimes a change in baby formula and simple home remedies will help.
Aloe Vera Juice for Infant Reflux
Aloe vera is a perennial plant with succulent leaves which grows well in tropical and subtropical regions.
Each leaf contains a thick, clear gel that can be scooped out after slitting the leaf in half laterally.
This gel can be used to treat various minor skin irritations and burns. Hence this product is used in various topical gels and cosmetic products. Aloe latex has laxative properties and is taken internally.
Aloe vera gel contains soothing properties that can treat heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in adults. You are advised to check label instructions before using it internally.
It has been suggested that aloe vera juice is mucilage that can help with digestion and provide a protective coating for the digestive system.
Hence, ½ tsp of aloe vera juice is suggested as a natural remedy for infant reflux.
While many parents like to go with herbal remedies to treat various childhood ailments, there are many that cause side effects too.
Aloe vera gel contains anti-inflammatory substances which are said to soothe the intestinal tract when taken internally.
There is no scientific evidence on the efficacy of oral aloe vera for infant reflux.
Studies have shown that nutritional supplements like licorice, aloe vera, bladderwrack, marshmallow, and slippery elm could help with symptoms of GERD.
As far as aloe vera is concerned, there is minimal scientific evidence on its benefits for GERD.
Infant reflux is invariably said to be due to an allergy to milk –, especially cows’ milk. When cows’ milk is removed from their diet, most infants get cured of reflux.
Some infants may suffer from MFPI or multiple food protein intolerances and in such cases, a regular formula must be replaced by one which is amino acid based.
Anyone with known allergies to plants of the Lilaceae family like onions, tulips, and garlic must avoid aloe vera products for prolonged use could cause hives or dermatitis.
So, always test your infant for allergies before using aloe vera gel topically.
Most infants will spit out their food occasionally and this is not always a case of infant reflux. While pure aloe vera gel may be applied on minor skin irritations for children, there is no evidence that oral preparations help.
There is no oral pediatric dosage of aloe vera gel.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are not advised to use aloe vera internally. Hence, always consult a pediatrician before you give your infant any herbal remedy like aloe vera internally.