Can the Wrong Bottle Make Reflux Worse?

We all know that babies spit-up. This is a normal fact of life with a little one, and while it can be less than fun (after all, who wants to constantly smell like baby spit-up?) it’s not usually a big reason for concern. Babies spit-up. It happens.

Still, sometimes a baby will spit up more than what might be considered “normal.” Maybe they are spitting up regularly between meals, or perhaps they seem to be spitting up everything they just ate. Mommy usually knows best, and if you think your baby may be having more trouble with spitting up than most, it is fair for you to be concerned.

But is there anything you can do about it? And could your bottle choice be contributing to the problem? Will the wrong bottle make reflux worse?

The answer is, yes and no.

In most cases, babies who are fed at the breast are going to be sucking in less air than those who are bottle fed. So it is possible that a bottle fed baby, even those drinking pumped breast milk, may be experiencing more issues with trapped air in their bellies than a baby who is fed at the breast. And that trapped air can lead to more spit-up in some cases.

Which means that your baby may find some relief if you ditch the bottle altogether.

But does the type of bottle itself matter?

In most cases, no. Yes, there are some bottles that are designed to reduce the amount of air your baby swallows, and those certainly can’t hurt. Having the appropriate nipple size for your baby’s age is also important, because a nipple that allows your baby to drink too quickly may contribute to spitting up.

But the truth is, actual reflux is a medical condition, not something caused by anything you are or are not doing with the bottle. Proper feeding techniques can help to reduce general spit-up, but if you think your baby has full-blown reflux, a visit to the pediatrician is in order.

There are a lot of things that could be causing the reflux, and most of them can be treated fairly simply. For instance, your baby may have food allergies that indicate he or she would do better if you avoided those foods in your own diet while breastfeeding. But regardless of what the reason may be, reflux is a physiological problem—not one caused by how fast your baby is drinking or what type of bottle he or she is drinking from.

So if you have concerns, make a visit with your pediatrician before you go through the house replacing all the bottles.

Written by Leah Campbell, infertility advocate, adoptive mama, writer and editor. Find me @sifinalaska on Twitter.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.