Reflux and Colic: 10 Ways to Soothe your Crying Baby

10 ways to Settle your Reflux Baby


If you find yourself here because you are struggling to settle your crying baby, firstly, let me give you a massive virtual hug.

I get it.

I have been there.

I know how hard it is.

I promise you are in the right place now.


How many babies struggle with reflux?

What makes me truly sad is that my experience and yours are not uncommon. So many mums have felt like they did not get the support they wanted or needed when they first asked for help. 67%, in fact. 

The statistics in the UK currently show that 40% of babies suffer from reflux of some sort or another. Then WHY is the support not there? 

Why, when mums speak to more than one health visitor, do 64% experience inconsistent advice?

If reflux is so widespread, why do we not have a standard approach to diagnosing and dealing with it?

And WHY are there so many missed or wrong diagnoses? 61% of babies on medication still have symptoms. Clearly, the medication isn’t working, but the answer seems to be to try another medication with a complete understanding of the consequences of long-term medications for a baby. 

Think of the ongoing suffering of those mums who desperately want help but are not getting it.

To me, the numbers are reinforcing that the health system has a lot to do to improve. There is a lot to do to support mums.


Something had to change...

I remember how I felt during the 5 months without any diagnosis. Being told that my baby was simply "a crier" and she would have to learn how to sleep the hard way. That really made me feel like I couldn’t trust the people I thought I could trust. 

And with 40% of babies experiencing reflux, what can we do NOW that supports them and their parents?

I felt the need to get my book written, to have it out there so that we can really push the conversation forward. I made it my mission to create a better support framework for newborn babies and their parents. To provide EARLY intervention to result in happier babies, happier parents and happier families.


Checklist for Settling a Baby with Reflux

If you are struggling with an unsettled baby and can resonate with the information above, start with my Free Symptoms Tracker. Document just how many behaviours and symptoms are directly related to your baby's reflux and how much discomfort you can expect to resolve by addressing the root cause of their reflux.


Have you tried these:

1. Learn to interpret your baby's cries

Remember that when born, crying is your baby’s way of communicating, and she does have different cries depending on what is going on for her. Listen carefully and patiently. See The Baby Whisperer Forum post for the different types of cries; this is such a fabulous explanation of how the baby is communicating. I was able to tell at about 3 weeks old what the baby was ‘saying’. 


2. Does your baby suffer from any of the common symptoms?

These are the most common symptoms that reflux babies experience based on a survey of 260 babies.


3. Complete a food & symptom diary for a few days

This will allow you to see and measure any changes that might happen. I cannot stress the importance of doing this first - if you're a tired parent, making reasonable judgements from a week ago is really difficult! You can download my Free Symptoms Tracker here.


4. Consider seeing a craniosacral osteopath

If the baby is more than 2 weeks old. We forget that the birthing process is a massive physical ordeal for the baby’s body, and it, too, goes through some massive physical strains as well as mum. A talented cranial osteopath will realign the baby and help the baby’s body adjust to its new life. This alone can result in massive changes in the baby’s latch, sleep and digestive system function. Repeat treatments may be required as the baby’s body goes through such rapid growth and development.


5. Has the baby got a good sleep routine?

If not, spend a few days getting your baby enough sleep, regardless of where this has to be: in the buggy, in a carrier, on your shoulder. Concentrate on ruling out any issues that might be due to over-tiredness alone.


6. Have your baby checked for a tongue-tie.

If the baby has a tongue tie, he will not be able to remove milk from the breast properly and will swallow air, as well as have long feeds and very frequent feeds. Consult an ILBC lactation consultant to have a proper assessment. Read why I believe Every Baby Should be Assessed for Latch and Tongue-Tie


7. Consult an ILBC-certified lactation consultant to have your baby’s latch checked.

If the baby is not latching perfectly, then she will be swallowing air as well as milk, and she will not be removing milk as effectively as possible from the breast.


8. If the baby is bottle-fed, is her latch on the teat perfect?

If you see spilling or dribbling from her mouth whilst feeding, then she isn’t forming a full seal, and air will be getting in, too. I recommend trying a range of bottle teats to minimise air intake. Pay attention to feeding all the time, but especially for nighttime feeds to really reduce air intake.


9. If you are breastfeeding, look at your diet

Your baby might be sensitive to something in your breast milk. Contrary to the medical opinion that your food doesn’t get into your breastmilk, I believe that anything you consume can get into your breastmilk. The medics know that cows' milk proteins and sugars can irritate babies through breast milk, so why not other foods? The logic doesn’t stack up. So, if you’re breastfeeding, remove the biggest allergens from your diet for a week or two and see if they make a difference.

My top recommendations are all dairy products, all soy products (and this latter one even includes most dark chocolate as there is a soy-derived emulsifier in them), eggs, wheat and nuts. This may sound like a big ask, but eliminate these for 2 weeks and see if there is a difference. Then, you can reintroduce one at a time. Believe me, you could save yourself 6 months of sleep and everything else that goes with it. A massive effort now could result in an amazing outcome much sooner. 

You can read my blog on Elimination Diets for Infant Reflux here. 


10. Try a tummy massage

Give baby a fabulous tummy massage after bath and before bedtime to support the movement of milk, food and air through their little digestive system.


The truth is, no matter what is going on, your baby is trying to tell you something. They may be tired, they may be hungry, they may be overstimulated or in pain or discomfort. And it's your job to figure it out. If they have reflux, silent reflux, colic or CMPA and are in any discomfort and pain, then start with the free symptoms tracker below, and I promise I can help explain everything and move your family to a place of more settledness.

Please share this blog with anyone who might be struggling with a newborn baby.

If you have done all the above and are still at your wit's end, I am here for you.


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