Natural Remedies for Baby Reflux

My baby's infant reflux was horrible. Our doctor’s medication just made things worse. But when I tried these natural remedies, the results were amazing.

Does your baby fight the breast? Or arch her back regularly? Or scream if you lay him on his back? Does she projectile vomit after meals? Or does his breath smell sour? Then you may be experiencing the troublesome effects of baby reflux.

Believe me, I’ve been there

Soon after our Paloma was born, I could tell she wasn’t comfortable. She always had a reddish hue to her skin and she was very stiff. Every time I tried to bend her legs or arms, she would fight me. She never spit up so I didn’t think it was baby reflux but she was gassy and got hiccups a lot. Since I was nursing, I gave up dairy in hopes that it would help. I also noticed that she liked sitting up and even sleeping in reclining chairs versus flat on her back. But it wasn’t until I happened to smell her breath, that I suspected reflux. It was sour…. huge red flag.

The effects of baby reflux are horrible. Doctor’s medication just made things worse. But when I tried these natural remedies, the results were amazing.

What are baby reflux symptoms?

While symptoms may vary, here are some main ones to look out for:

  • Crying or uncomfortable after eating
  • Coughing or choking regularly
  • Refusing the breast/bottle
  • Arching back after eating
  • Resistance to laying on back
  • Gassy and/or foamy bowel movements
  • Colicky, unhappy or seemingly uncomfortable in body
  • Wheezing, apena or breathing difficulties (respiratory infections)
  • Sour breath, burps and hiccups
  • Throwing up, usually projectile vomiting (not with silent reflux*)
  • Failure to gain weight

What causes acid reflux in infants?

First, let’s ground ourselves in this truth… all babies have some level of reflux. This is because their entire digestive tract is more immature than older children. The sphincter muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach is often undeveloped and opens regularly, allowing stomach acid to flow back up the throat causing burning and pain.

As their brain and nervous system develops, they can have some weakness in their vagus nerve function, which controls bowel mobility and digestion. It also doesn’t help that we often put babies on their back, whether for play or sleep, and this can only exacerbate symptoms. For some children, their reflux will be more severe or they may be more sensitive to the effects, whatever the reason, we want to help alleviate their discomfort.

How is baby reflux diagnosed?

As I started to research what could be wrong with my girl, I discovered that there are actually two forms of baby reflux: acid reflux and silent acid reflux. While acid reflux in infants usually results in regular projectile vomiting and intense crying, silent reflux is more subtle. Sour breath, hiccups, and physical stiffness or discomfort are more typical symptoms. Thankfully, most doctors will diagnose acid reflux or silent acid reflux in infants by persistent symptoms. However, some doctors may suggest the following tests:

Blood tests. Some doctors will look at various blood markers to see if the eating issues stem from something else like anemia or an infection.

Ultrasound. A device that uses high frequency sound waves to create an image of the upper GI tract looking for obstructions or abnormalities.

Barium swallow or upper GI test. The baby is given barium to drink, which coats the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of small intestine. Barium is a chalky white liquid that helps to highlight any obstructions or abnormalities in an X-Ray.

pH probe. A long, thin tube with a probe at the tip will be inserted through the mouth and positioned in the lower part of esophagus. It will measure the baby’s stomach acid levels and determine if there are any breathing problems as well. This is a very invasive test and baby will have to be hospitalized to administer.

Upper GI endoscopy. Another invasive test which requires hospital stay. It uses an endoscope to look directly inside the upper GI tract and detect any issues.

Because most of these tests are invasive or involve some negative side effects (ever tried to find a vein on a baby?!), it might be best, with your doctor’s approval, to start treating based on your baby’s acid reflux symptoms and see if he improves.

Conventional approach to acid reflux in infants

Of course, some mainstream medical doctors would recommend prescription medications to decrease or neutralize your baby’s stomach acid, and thereby reduce some of the initial symptoms of baby reflux. Examples would include:

  • Antacids such as Mylanta and Maalox
  • Histamine-2 blockers such as Axid, Pepcid, Tagamet, or Zantac
  • Or Proton-Pump Inhibitors such as Nexium, Prilosec, or Prevacid

Ironically, many infants with baby reflux actually aren’t producing enough stomach acid and are struggling due to a weaker digestive fire. By giving these drugs, you may have temporary relief but it could set up a bigger, long-term problem.

In fact, acid-blocking medications are not recommended in cases of uncomplicated infant reflux. And, otherwise healthy children taking these medications may face an increased risk of certain intestinal and respiratory infections. In addition, prolonged use of proton pump inhibitors has been linked to problems in iron and calcium absorption in infants.

There’s got to be a better way. And, thankfully, there are several natural remedies for baby reflux that have helped thousands of suffering infants.

Natural Remedies for Baby Reflux

  1. Try body work

    Some babies may have reflux due to the birth process. Griffin’s birth was long and difficult so I got him to a chiropractor right away. I was sure to find one who specializes in baby care as it’s a delicate art. It isn’t the traditional snap, crackle, pop that we can associate with chiropractor care but very gentle manipulations that are more like massage. You can find chiropractors trained for the postpartum/newborn stage here. You can also try massage therapy or cranial sacral treatments. Again, look for practitioners with clinical experience with acid reflux in infants. Finally, you may want to do do some basic movement/massage exercises with baby targeting gas and bloating such as bicycle legs or moving your hands gently clockwise along her digestive tract.

  2. Use essential oils

    When Griffin has tummy troubles, I dilute Young Living’s Ginger oil (here’s where to buy Young living essential oils) with fractionated coconut oil and rub clockwise on his stomach. Ginger has been long used for digestive issues and I find it very effective and safe for young children. You can use 1 drop of essential oil per 1-1.5 TB of carrier oil to be sure it isn’t too concentrated for a young baby. Orange oil and Roman Chamomile are other excellent oils as natural remedies for baby reflux. Of course, talk to doctor on what is right for your child.

  3. Elevate baby while sleeping

    I did this instinctually with Paloma as she never seemed to settle to sleep when I placed her on her back. When she was very young, we swaddled her and put her in a chair. This is an excellent rocker/sleeper for baby with acid reflux as well. If you are co-sleeping, you can use this device, which would also work well in a crib.

  4. Elevate baby while eating

    While it’s tempting to use your nursing pillow and feed baby as he lays down, it’s best to have him sit upright. This ensures that the milk goes down into the stomach versus staying up in the esophagus, which causes the discomfort. You can also have baby lean slightly against your chest if you’re bottle feeding, or have baby nurse upright. A Boppy pillow can be helpful for positioning baby upright after meals which can help baby reflux symptoms.

  5. Hold baby upright for at least 30 minutes after feeding

    I always held Paloma upright for at least 30 minutes after I fed her. To make this easy, you can babywear them in an infant carrier or simply snuggle them as you walk around the house or sit in a comfy chair. If baby needs to go to sleep after feeding, be sure they sleep elevated to reduce acid reflux symptoms.

  6. Nursing mom elimination diet

    If you are a nursing mom, give up all dairy products immediately. I know this is tough but it can be majorly worth it. By doing this, some babies acid reflux symptoms disappear altogether! This was the case with Griffin. Dairy can cause problems because the proteins found in this food can irritate baby’s immature digestive tract. Be sure you give up the offending food/drink for a good month before you determine if it’s the culprit. Other common allergens include wheat, gluten, citrus, coffee, nuts, eggs, and soy. By eliminating these foods, you can help your reflux in baby.

  7. When all else fails…

    While I normally don’t recommend supplements for young babies, there are times they can make a big difference, particularly with baby reflux. Yes, Paloma made good improvements by implementing the above suggestions, but I still felt she needed some extra support. I started by giving her a probiotic specially formulated for infants. L. reuteri is an especially helpful probiotic strain as it has been clinically shown to reduce crying time by 50% in colicky breastfed infants! The idea is that probiotics can help boost baby’s digestion and help alleviate many of the acid reflux symptoms in babies naturally. I even mixed some of these probiotic powders into breastmilk and let it ferment overnight to make breastmilk yogurt!

    I know some moms also have success using products like Gripe Water or Colic Calm for baby reflux. I tried a few but I found a Homeopathic Remedy called Nat Phos 6X worked the best. In fact, it was a miracle worker for our daughter! I read about it on this website and decided to give it a try. Nat Phos is a natural cell salt that we normally produce to aid in digestion but it can be insufficient in newborns. I took 1/2 a tablet and dissolved in my breastmilk and fed to Paloma with a syringe after each feeding. Within a day, she was so much happier and wasn’t nearly as stiff! YAY! I kept using the remedy religiously. (Again, 1/2 tablet dissolved in milk after each meal, up to 6 tablets a day for children under 3 months. Check with your pediatrician or a trained Homeopathic doctor on what is right for your child.) After about 1 month of using it, I slowly started weaning her off  the homeopathic and we never had to use any digestive support again.

Paloma’s days of baby reflux are long gone

We stopped all the natural remedies for baby reflux when Paloma was about 4 months old and never looked back. She now has the digestion of an ox and can drink pasteurized milk, and any other food with no discomfort. YAY! I’m so grateful we didn’t use any of the harsher medications and instead found natural remedies for baby reflux. If going through it can help just one other mama not resort to harsh pharmaceuticals, then it was worth it!

How about you?

Have you tried natural remedies for baby reflux? Share it with us in the comments below.



About Genevieve

After battling weight, digestive, and immune system issues for years, I know firsthand the harmful effects of conventional life. Through a long road of detox, I discovered the healing power of natural living. This transformation spread into every area of my life - physical, emotional & spiritual. Now I'm on a mission to help other mamas live happier, healthier lives.

Please note: Many links on this site, especially those to Amazon, are affiliate links. Should you click on these links and purchase something, the price is no different for you and I earn a small commission. Thanks for supporting Mama Natural!

Disclaimer: The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.


  1. Susan July 13 at 12:08 pm


    This was a great post. My baby is also struggling with gas pains and I’ve been on an elimination diet: no dairy, soy, gluten, eggs for about 2 weeks. I would love to try the homeopathic remedies but I noticed they are lactose based. If I was trying to go dairy free wouldn’t taking the homeopathic remedies be a problem for my infant? thank you

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  3. Kelly May 10 at 5:28 pm

    GENEVIEVE I have to say what a great information holder you are! I followed so many of your tips during pregnacy and now after I’ve had my little guy.

    You listed two probiotics one was udos brand and another was made by gerber ( L. reuteri) did you use both or just one?

    My son has many of the symptoms your little girl had a d I’m desperately looking to help him feel better.

    Thanks so much!

  4. Miranda September 23 at 11:12 pm

    I would definitely not reccomend any essential oils for any child under age 2 especially a blend…you should do more research about using on hour children. Learningabouteos dot com is an excellent site that I have came across. I mistakenly was using doTERRA oils the wrong way because they Dont teach anything about safety and I was so upset at what I learned :/

    • Nicole March 30 at 12:06 pm

      That is not true information. You can use essential oils on babies. Pls do Your research before telling someone what not to do, especially if it helps! Young living has oils for babies and you can dilute.

  5. laura Ulloa July 30 at 6:49 pm

    I have a question how many times a day is it normal for a baby with reflux to throw up. Today my 2 month year old baby has throw up 4 times. I want to take him to the hospital but don’t know if too wait to see if the do terra strats to work. Please help?

  6. Kathleen June 22 at 5:53 pm

    Thanks so much for these tips! Our 4 wk old son seems to be struggling with reflux and I’d really like to avoid medication. We’re using DigestZen, too, and have tried elevating his head during feedings and his crib mattress as well. And I give him an infant probiotic by Klaire Labs. I’m looking into chiro care this week. Have you heard of using slippery elm, gripe water or aloe vera juice?

  7. Kendra March 20 at 3:36 pm

    Has anyone tried taking apple cider vinegar for breastfeeding baby’s reflux? It’s been recommended to me and I’m wondering if anyone has any experience? Thanks!

    • Alicia April 23 at 8:19 pm

      My 6 mo old just came off zantac last week. I drink acv at least 2-3 times per week. Didnt seem to make a diff in her reflux

    • Erica May 7 at 3:23 am

      Hello Kendra. I was wondering if you have gotten any information on the apple cider vinegar question you had. I too have been recommended to try it out. However, I bottle feed so my question is more if the baby could or would tolerate apple cider vinegar if diluted enough. A friend of mine suffers from acid reflux herself and she swears by ACV. I just curious if it can be consumed by infants. My little one is a month old. Thanks

      • Genevieve May 7 at 9:45 am

        Hmmmm…. I’m not so sure about apple cider vinegar for a young, young child. I would check with your doctor for sure. My concern would be the acidity and the live bacteria that might be foreign to a baby’s gut.

        • Megan December 19 at 12:48 am

          Talk to your doctor, BUT know that the reason we aren’t supposed to give food to an infant before the age of 6 months is because the cells in the small intestine actually have a gap between them (called “open gut”) making proteins and other elements of food able to pass into the bloodstream. Fascinating!! Introducing food too soon can cause allergies because of this transfer from the small intestine to the bloodstream. And ACV is a food.

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  11. Ingrid March 9 at 1:28 pm

    It’s 4am as I write this sitting rocking my 8 week old baby girl. We have been at a loss at how to naturally her with terrible reflux, short of holding her upright anytime she is on an angle she spits up and is miserable. I see a chiropractor regularly who has done wonders for me but have been scared to take baby to see them but after reading your post and the comments I am going to. Thank you for an informative blog, it’s so reassuring when sitting up all hours by yourself that you aren’t actually alone in all this!

    • ami March 9 at 7:11 pm

      I’d also recommend cutting dairy from your diet. It’s difficult, but can make an extraordinary difference in terms of baby’s reflux. You can always try it and go back to your regular diet after 2-3 weeks. I know for me, when I cut down on dairy consumption I noticed a big difference: when I eliminated it, it was even more significant!

      • Susan July 13 at 12:05 pm


        This was a great post. My baby is also struggling with gas pains and I’ve been on an elimination diet: no dairy, soy, gluten, eggs for about 2 weeks. I would love to try the homeopathic remedies but I noticed they are lactose based. If I was trying to go dairy free wouldn’t taking the homeopathic remedies be a problem for my infant? thank you

  12. No March 7 at 5:26 pm

    My baby girl who jus completed a month yesterday suffers from severe reflux problem where she pukes after every alternate feed almost even after keeping her in an elevated crib, burping her nd keeping her in upright position for twenty mins nd giving her acidity medicines. She is colic too. I also want to go the natural way with treatment pls suggest what to do as she is constantly unconfortable after feeds

    • Cathrin March 7 at 10:11 pm

      Have you tried probiotics? Slippery Elm supplement? DigestZen? You may need to try a few different things to see what works best for her. Read the other comments for info.

      • Joyce Langley, CHC September 16 at 5:29 pm

        My daughter’s 4 week old baby boy has reflux as well. At first uncertain of the condition waited for the diagnose from Doctor. As a health coach practitioner I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the ACV because of the acidic level. As far as products that contain Slippery Elm. There are no known side effects, what is has is a coating action that coasts the digestive tract. It may slow the absorption. Not always a desired affect. Herbs have not been tested on infants and precaution should be used.
        Reflux is due to the lower esophageal sphincter muscle doesn’t close well. This is the opening that allows food/liquid into the stomach and keeps it from going back into the esophageal. Normally though difficult to deal with all the spitting up/wet clothes and burp cloths there is really no harm. The natural approach would be everything that has already been mentioned. My only thoughts and concerns were the apple cider vinegar (causing too much acid and leading to damage to the esophageal), with reflux coating the stomach and esophageal would not necessarily produce wanted results, though if the spit up is acidic this would have a soothing effect. The content of the spit up is almost always the same content going in and merely running back out.
        If a probiotic ( we give and a digestive enzyme) both by Transformation Enzymes for children. They are pure enzymes and pure enzyme probiotic no additives, fillers, preservative, comes in powdered form and the baby doesn’t mind the taste.
        I hope this information is helpful. I love the chiropractor as well. I will express my thoughts to that as well. Make certain they see children and experience with infants.

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  15. Jiffy February 24 at 7:37 am

    We have struggled with reflux since my sons birth. We have been through 3 medications that each worked very temproarily. Now we are seeing a chiropractor and his bed is elevated but now it has become common that he will go 7-10 days without pooping I am going to try the coconut oil massage thank you for sharing.

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  20. Flavia griswold February 13 at 10:38 pm

    To a good father, my daughter was in the same path as your baby, she is three months old now and was weighting only 9 pounds, I found out that she had pyloric stenosis she went under surgery two weeks ago now she is a happy baby!!! She was misdiagnosed for a very long time trust your instincts!

    • A good father February 15 at 3:55 pm

      Thank you Flavia. I’ll let you know if doctors will opt for surgery. I wish a healthy life for your baby :)

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  22. A good father February 13 at 10:09 am

    Thank you for Genevieve for the nice article. I’m a new father from Tunisia. My child is now 19 months. She used to have medecines before and after eating (Motilium and Apyrosis) to avoid reflux problems until she’s got 1 year. Since then, she went under a painful cycle of ill and relief from bronchiolitis, otitis … She weighed 10 kilograms when she was 12 months old. She’s still 11 kilograms right now :(.
    Her painful status made us nervous, my wife is about to quit work, stopped her PhD studies… We almost visited about 20 pediatricians: All they did is giving her antibiotics, corticoids, antitussives and so… to get a temporary relief, … UGI ray exams has shown a persistant sus-carina reflux. Doctors prescribed her some pills to reduce stomach acidity. I see no progress since last week because her tiny nose is still runny and she can’t sleep as a normal child even if her mattress is angled. We also tried cannella.
    We are running out of ideas! Thank you for pointing two young parents to the light :)

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  25. Lauren February 1 at 4:11 pm

    Our daughter, who turned 9 months today, has had awful silent reflux from day 1! She was born via c-section and had to go on antibiotics right away, and I’ve always blamed that combination for not setting up her gut properly with good flora. At 2 months she was diagnosed with reflux and colitis and as a breast feeding mom I got off of dairy, gluten, soy, peanuts, eggs, spicy foods, caffeine, and all acidic and gassy foods for the next 7 months. It’s only since finally seeing a specialist last week that I’m considering adding some back in! It looks like of one of her main culprits, weirdly, is nuts and even coconut which is supposed to be a good alternative to dairy for reflux babies….That’s when I eat it–she’s not eating coconut herself. Anyway, we have had her on Axid since 2 months and started Prevacid at 6 months but the program hasn’t been managing her reflux well enough as she has still had awful sleep issues and hasn’t gained weight in 3 months :( I’m working on increasing my supply right now so that when she does want to eat she gets a lot, and we’re carefully encouraging solids (which many times she’s refused). I will try the oil you suggested! Thanks for this post.

    • Lindsay Gray February 2 at 3:25 pm

      Oh my gosh, mama, it sounds like you guys have really been through the ringer! I hope you find some more things that help and that she starts taking more solids soon!

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  27. Lindsay Gray January 19 at 7:48 am

    Ashley I am so sorry you’re going through this! I would definitely recommend taking him to the chiropractor, using essential oils (DigestZen by doTerra talked about above) and giving him a probiotic. Also, since his symptoms are so severe it might be worth going to talk to a nutritionist or other expert to help with dietary issues. Good luck mama!

  28. Ashley January 19 at 5:27 am

    My sons 21 months old and he’s arching his back and crying and getting sick…I have extremely bad acid reflex and it scars me that he’s going to be as bad as me! He’s fussy as it is with only wanting surtain foods like Speghetti..not sure what to give him to help his acid.reflex and if he.can.still eat the.things.he.likes I haven’t eaten.well or.anything its stressing about it and this is my first.child…any advice please

    • Cathrin January 21 at 8:12 pm

      I’ve been able to help my son’s reflux by giving him an herbal supplement called Slippery Elm. I found it on Amazon for a very reasonable price. I buy the powdered variety and it’s super easy to mix into his food. Helps a lot of adult acid/digestion problems to. Basically it helps to line esophagus and digestive tract. It also can help gel the stomach contents so that liquid is less likely to come up. At 16 lb. my son gets almost 2 tsp. of powder per day. Using Slippery Elm has helped me get my son off of medicine for reflux in addition to chiropratic. Definitely worth the shot.

      • Madeline May 5 at 10:51 am

        HI Cathrin. Do you give the slippery elm in one shot or little doses? Also, do you put in the bottle or give it before/after feedings? Thank you so much.

  29. griswold flavia January 6 at 9:34 pm

    My baby has reflux she used to spit up right after a bottle more than 5 times a day so I heard about Nat Phos I tried it now she spits up once a day it was found by Joe de Livera, it’s helping my daughter a lot.

  30. Erin December 8 at 1:53 pm

    My fourth had acid reflex as well. I took her in when she was a week old because she was having trouble breathing. The acid was coming up through her nasal passages. I eliminated all common allergy triggers, and after four months found out is was milk products, broccoli, and tomatoes. She slept with here head elevated in her crib until about 2-3am when we would sit in a rocking chair until about 6. She was never colicky, so the only clue we had was her trouble breathing. I reintroduced milk products at about 9 months, and she was fine, but even at two she still has troubles with broccoli and tomatoes. Giving up nursing was never an option for me, so I am glad I had a pediatrician and support group that helped me work this out.

    • Lindsay Gray January 19 at 7:45 am


      I’m so glad this all worked out for you! It’s so wonderful you had a pediatrician that was as dedicated as you were to finding a solution that worked for you and your baby.

    • k August 13 at 7:18 pm

      So question? you never used the medicine? And what about the night waking from 2-6, my baby is doing the same thing. It is exhaustig, I am worried about his esophagus.

    • Hannah April 24 at 10:45 am

      Leo was exactly the same! He has silent reflux and we didn’t know anything until he nearly choked after he’d eaten and had fallen asleep flat on his back. It was terrifying! He’s on Zantac 3 times a day now, after trying eliminating everything and nothing was working. We’re seeing the consultant again next week to talk about a possible lactose intolerance. Poor guy is managing with the zantac but it’s only just helping. I’m LI too so really hoping he’s not…

  31. Kristy October 14 at 11:04 pm

    All four of kiddos had reflux. We limped by with Zantac for the first two. The third a chiropractor finally suggested I cut out dairy. That solved ally problems and was relatively easy. Worked with -#4 as well. I suggest it to all mommas with fussy kiddos. Formula has milk protein also so if they are on formula you might have to switch…

    • Lindsay Gray October 15 at 7:00 am

      I’m so glad your solution was a simple one, Kristy! But I know for me it was so frustrating not to have all the helpful info right away from our doc. It’s great your chiro was so knowledgeable!

  32. Julia October 14 at 10:26 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing these tips. My little one is 3.5 months old, has bad gas and possibly silent reflux since the first few weeks…Zantac did nothing for him and neither did my elimination diet… :( He doesnt have any outward symptoms, no spitting, arching etc other than very poor sleep/naps and fussy nursing…. I would like to try the doTERRA DigestZen oil but could you explain in a bit more detail exactly how to dilute, where and how often to apply etc? Thanks again!

    • Lindsay Gray October 15 at 6:59 am

      Julia, I am so sorry you are going through this. There are no words to express how awful I know it is. DigestZen was a life saver for us. I dilute with fractionated coconut oil (I buy Dr. Adorable from Amazon, its highly rated and is $9.99 for a pretty large bottle). I do a 1:1 ratio, meaning that I have the same amount of DigestZen in there as I do fractionated coconut oil. You just use one drop of that mixture and you can rub it either on baby’s tummy or baby’s feet. If you do the tummy, it may help to rub in a clockwise motion. We did it before every feeding at first, and then when things got better we could taper off a bit. To order DigestZen, here’s my website:, just go to “Shop for products” and its an “Oil Blend”. If you ANY questions or concerns at all, please feel free to email me at Good luck mama!

      • Angela July 5 at 5:09 am

        Hi. Just bought digestZen but says to dilute one drop per 4 fl oz. 1:1 seems a lot stronger. Also, can I use grape seed oil as a carrier? Thanks!

      • Telina September 11 at 1:13 pm

        I’m still a little confused how to apply this….do you put a tiny amount of coconut oil on your finger, then drop a drop of the EO on your finger, then rub on baby’s belly? And what about the commenters that said the bottle says to do 1 drop per 4 oz?
        I don’t want to do anything that can be potentially harmful, so I want to be sure on the instructions. I know EO’s aren’t something to just mess around with, and need to be carefully researched and applied. I’d love to buy the digestZen if it would help my baby’s acid reflux though!

        • Chantelle Geladaris September 23 at 4:54 pm

          Also confused on how to apply as i put 2 drops of digestzin with 2 tbs of coconut oil and didnt even use a 10th of the mixture to rub on her as it made loads

  33. Liz Sheridan October 14 at 10:17 pm

    Having suffered extreme digestive problems myself (and the excruciating pain that goes with it!) (until I was in my 30s and began to work out what was causing it) I was determined that my children (I have 5) would not go through the same pains I did. I used all my mums remedies (she had 8 children) and for most of them, all was well. Crib raising, being very diligent when burping (which often comes down to timing for some babies – about 1/2 to an hour after feeds, even tho they obligingly burp some straight after as a rule too) .. and giving 100 /200 mls warm boiled water works for some – and don’t forget that babies get thirsty too (milk is a food, not a drink) But my 3rd child was a nightmare! .. Poor little kid … Her digestive system was a mess, but we didn’t have the resources or the knowledge to check out chiropractors and naturopaths back then (40 yrs ago) Her poos would fierce, like a projectile vomit but the other end, very acidy and come out like aerosol foam. By the time she was 3, I’d figured out that milk was one of her problems (as it was mine too) and certain foods. Now, my 8 of my little grandchildren have all been raised with pure (inner leaf only, no additives like carageenan etc) Aloe Vera Juice, which works a charm! .. I discovered it first for myself, then began using it on the children. Great for wind pain, acid reflux and alkalizing and assisting digestion .. a few mls from a dropper just before and just after a meal, its brilliant!

    • Lindsay Gray October 15 at 6:53 am

      That’s wonderful Liz! I have never heard of Aloe Vera Juice, I will have to check it out! So glad you could use your experience to help not only your children, but your grandchildren as well. :)

    • Julia February 10 at 3:37 pm

      Ho, Liz. My 6 weeks baby girl has very bad case of Acid Reflux. She barely sleeps. I’m reluctant to put her on meds and wsnt to try natural remedies first, like aloe vera. Could you please tell me more about: dosage, usage, where to buy, any side affects

      • Cathrin February 10 at 9:20 pm

        I bought aloe vera juice on (I tried George’s brand). Another reflux website stated “no more than 1/2 tsp should be needed to provide nice healing relief.” (so it’s used as needed. Not sure max dose per day?) I never observed any side effects. I preferred aloe vera juice over something like gripe water, because gripe water makes my son terrrribly gassy and uncomfortable. Another option I’d suggest is slippery elm powder. I give my son slippery elm powder in regular doses every day. Slippery elm powder is also available on Amazon. Dosing for this one: “A baby who weighs 25 lb. would take one-sixth of the adult dose of slippery elm, or 1 tsp., three times daily. Similarly, a 13-lb. baby could take 1/2 tsp. three times per day, and a 6-lb. baby could take 1/4 tsp. three times per day. Always dissolve slippery elm powder thoroughly in warm liquid; heat the water, milk or juice to enable more effective blending.” With such a young baby, you’d have to figure a way to dissolve it and administer it — maybe via a syringe, dripping slowly into mouth? Or a couple drops at a time by spoon? I didn’t find this remedy until my son was starting solids, so I just mix it into his food. You may also want to try giving your baby a probiotic — particularly one like Nature’s Way Primadophilus Reuteri (also on Amazon) — it’s a powder that can also be dissolved and given in a spoon of milk or by syringe. Or there’s drops made by Gerber with the same probiotic strand — but it’s pretty pricey by comparison. Reuteri is the key strand of probiotic though. Hang in there! I hope this information is useful to you. Here’s another useful website:

      • Genevieve February 11 at 9:51 am

        Have you tried Nat Phos 6X? It helped Paloma HUGE! You can give her 4 tablets a day total mixed in breast milk. I gave Paloma 1/2 tab after each feeding. Now that she’s 3 months, I could give her 6 tablets but she doesn’t really need anymore. Be sure to give it a try. It’s a gentle option!

        • Ami February 14 at 2:59 pm

          My 4-week old daughter has been suffering from reflux and we started her on Nat Phos this week. It helped immediately! I’ve been nervous giving it to her, though, because I just haven’t felt like I have enough information about it. Does anyone have any resources that might instill more confidence in this decision?

        • anna July 11 at 11:00 am

          My 8 week boy seems to suffer from ar I m at my wits end need help.can’t do anything around house.sitting eith him on my laps.but he is gaining too much weight. Ped is not of much help.prescribed Zantac. My husband at work.and is with him all night bouncing him on his boy is ao heavy.i can barely bounce hom.constantly screaming or sleeping on my laps.can’teven wash his bottles. Switched 4 formulas. Please help somebody. I live in Brooklyn. I felt so eak and was dizgnosed with depression when my husband called 911 I m afraid social services will take my son away. My husband is staying at home when im too bad and still we have no time even to cook. Our son is always on his though he weights alrady 13 ponds.Please help.may be somebody can come and help (i know its sktupid thought) but im desperate.i have no relatives in spep mom leaving country tomorrow. Sory for typos. How do u give a tablet to a child. He is constantly screaming and spitting out if i give hin even water

          • Genevieve July 12 at 8:25 pm

            Anna, I am so sorry for your struggles. Is there a community resource that can help you? Can you find a local hospital or clinic where you could talk to someone? Sounds like you need some good support! And I don’t think I can do it well over the internet.

            The important thing is to BREATHE. Everything is going to be OK. If you stay calm, this will help your baby. Next, find the least allergenic food for your baby. Could be donor breast milk as formulas can cause more acid issue. Next, you could try the Hyland’s Nat Phos 6X with your doctor’s permission. You take 1/2 tab and dilute in a little of his food. Use a syringe or small spoon to put in his mouth. It’s OK if he throws it up as some will be making its way through. This may help reduce his acid reflux significantly. Will be praying for you! XOXO

  34. Audra October 14 at 10:07 pm

    My son had really bad reflux & we gave him Prevacid. It helped, but I spent endless data dealing w/ a screaming baby. He never slept! Only at night would he finally crash out from pure exhaustion & pain. I never even considered a natural route w/ my son. I now have a 3 month old baby girl & she began showing signs of reflux like my son. I immediately went on the Paleo diet, elevate her when she sleeps, & after she nurses. Her doc prescribed Reglan but I’m not going down that slippery slope again w/meds. I notice a huge huge increase in symptoms if I cave & have something outside of my Paleo diet.

    • Lindsay Gray October 15 at 6:52 am

      Audra, I am so glad natural remedies are working for your little girl! I essentially went on the paleo diet, too, and it not only helped Lilah, but I felt so much better! Even though I can eat everything now without bothering her, I try to avoid processed foods, especially gluten and dairy. I hope the semi-smooth sailing continues!

  35. Monica October 14 at 6:25 pm

    doTERRA DigestZen is amazing! Works instantly for us!

    • Lindsay Gray October 15 at 6:49 am

      Yay! I love doTerra’s oils! We use them all the time in our house, but it all started with DigestZen!

    • Angela July 5 at 12:34 pm

      Just bought some! Blog says 1:1 dilution but bottle says one drop in 4 fl oz. That’s a big difference so not sure how to use it. How did you mix/apply the oil?

  36. Oana79 October 14 at 5:26 pm

    We had a very bad case of infant reflux with my little one! We used a special mattress for sleeping at night(highly elevated, baby held up with a special band passed under her arms), we used special milk( as I had stopped breastfeeding thinking that my milk was causing her to suffer) and were on medication for a few months. The roughest three months of my life, I could add…

    • Lindsay Gray October 15 at 6:49 am

      I’m so sorry you had to deal with infant reflux! They were the roughest months of my life, too. My friend who had two GERD babies told me that she can always tell when a mom has a reflux baby by the wild, desperate look in her eye. I am SURE I had that look… :)

  37. Laticia Taylor July 30 at 5:39 pm

    Hello Lindsay, I absolutely love your article about baby reflux. Wish I had this kind of advice when my son was a baby. I really struggled as a new mother and not wanting to try a different prescription once a week from doctors for his reflux as well as his colic. In April one of my best friends had a little girl and she was suffering from colic. She called me crying that she didn’t know what to do and what the baby’s doctor was telling her to do wasn’t working. Everyone knows me to be the all natural person so she asked my advice. I recommended her to one of my favorite websites ( ) that carry nothing but all natural products for everything, including for babies and kids. They not only have all natural remedies but books on creating your own.

    Marie called me about a week later so happy stating that her daughter’s colic is much better (less crying) and that this site was a GOD send. She even bought an all natural amber teething ring or necklace and organic onesees (LOL). I told her that she should be more like me with my 10 year old and research a healthy alternative for him and myself before I am so quick to get a prescription of something that I can’t even pronounce.

    I think I changed my mind about normal meds after my son was I think 2 and there was a recall for all the baby dimetap because a couple kids had died. This is what my son’s doctor prescribed him for everything. After that, I decided to research not only what the ingredients were in the meds but if there were a better more natural alternative.

    Just a word of advice to all mothers….. there is no better remedy for our children than nature. Do your research because everyday a recall is being published for medicine that is being put out. Don’t take the chance. God Bless!

    • Lindsay Gray July 31 at 10:27 am

      Thanks Laticia! I will definitely check out the site! We are fairly new at using natural remedies, and I drinking in all the knowledge I can get! It’s hard being a mama who just wants to help her baby feel better but then is scared of the collateral consequences of medication. It’s so good to know there are natural remedies out there, become more and more well known everyday!

  38. Mommato3 July 29 at 11:00 am

    Our son had silent reflux and not knowing any better, we just went along with the meds :( they didn’t really help but thankfully he eventually outgrew it by about 9 months of age. However, a few years later our friend’s son was on baby zantac for his reflux until her mother sent her a hazelwood necklace to try. Within a few weeks of him wearing it, she was able to wean him off his medication and he never needed it afterward. The way it works supposedly is that the wood is alkaline and seeks to become ph neutral by absorbing acidity. In this case, it absorbs acidity via the skin of the wearer. Sounds crazy, I know but it seems to work for many people. My husband’s heartburn and stomach ulcers have stopped bothering as long as he keeps a fresh hazelwood necklace on. It can also help with teething pain and some types of eczema. You can find them on
    Plus they’re really cute :)

    • Lindsay Gray July 29 at 4:26 pm

      Thank you so much for the tip! We bought Lilah an amber necklace for her teething, but I’ve never heard of a hazelwood necklace. That’s so good to know!

  39. Rebecca July 26 at 8:01 am

    My second son, now four months old, was a great at breastfeeding from the start, but he did have some gas or mild reflux or something similar (we never took him to the doctor for it). He arched and fussed at some feedings, and cried quite a bit in later in the day especially, his first month. He also would have periods of time where he would cry hard and pull his legs into his tummy, like he had bad gas. He has also been a champion spit-upper, sometimes very large quantities at a time. Messy baby!

    The things that seemed to help were:

    –Controlling my fast letdown. I discovered he was swallowing a LOT of air at feedings, and couldn’t handle it because he was so small. I have read that many times women think they have to go on this strict diet, etc… but the only issue is an overactive letdown and possibly oversupply. Now that he is older, he loves my fast letdown 😉

    –Child probiotics. For a couple of months, he got eyedroppers and then a bottle of expressed milk with powdered infant probiotics mixed in every evening. It did seem to help.

    –Avoiding a few trigger foods: spicy foods, cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cabbage, and making sure I ate lots of probiotics myself.

    –Frequent burping during feedings and tummy massage afterward, if he seemed gassy. Also, we let him sleep on his tummy when he got a little older, which helped push out some of the gas.

    He still spits up easily, but seems very happy and comfortable now, rarely suffering with gas. He is above the 95th percentile in both height and weight for his age, so his growth and development are great! Just thought I’d share my tips as well, in case they helped anyone. Thanks for a great post!

    • Rebecca July 26 at 8:05 am

      Just read some interesting comments above about some babies having a strong need to suck. I had one of those also. In fact as a newborn, he actually had issues being able to have a bowel movement if he wasn’t sucking! Weird, I know. But we tried a paci out of desperation with him right from the beginning, and if we held it in his mouth after a full feeding, while sucking on it, he would be able to poop. He never took to the paci, however, so we used it sporadically for a month or 6 weeks and then got rid of it. He seemed to outgrow that issue around 6 weeks old. He much preferred breastfeeding instead, so his frequent feedings and strong suck built up a good milk supply for me!

      • Lindsay Gray July 26 at 8:37 am

        Sounds like you’ve had quite the time, Rebecca! So glad you found some things that worked for you. I need to be better about giving Lilah her probiotics. I also didn’t know that the sucking could help. Lilah is a boob-addicted baby, and I guess that could be a good thing for her tummy!

  40. Linda July 25 at 3:16 pm

    When our first baby was born she had a lot of gas all the time. Some friends from Canada who had a baby shortly before we did sent us some Gripe Water and it helped immediately. When our second baby was born I found Gripe Water here in the US, but it didn’t work at all so we had friends buy some for us when they went to Canada. It worked like a charm!

    • Lindsay Gray July 26 at 8:35 am

      We love gripe water for gas here too, Linda! We use Wellements. What is the name of the gripe water from Canada? Maybe they sell it on Amazon or something :)

  41. Jen July 25 at 1:25 pm

    Tongue and lies ties are a common cause of reflux, and moire often than not they get missed. Most doctors are not skilled at diagnosing them. My daughter was misdiagnosed with severe reflux and projectile vomiting. After seeing 5 different professionals, if was determined she had a severe tongue and lip tie. Got the issue addresses ASAP (when she was 9 weeks old), and she’s never had reflux or vomiting since. More information can be found here:

    • Jen July 25 at 1:26 pm

      I mean LIP ties (not lie ties)

    • Lindsay Gray July 25 at 1:53 pm

      Thanks Jen! Lilah just had a frenectomy this week actually. She had a lip and tongue tie, so we had the doctor do both. I was super scared to have it done, but I read that article you talked about before we decided to do it. Thanks so much for sharing! And I’m so glad it was the magic cure for you!

      • Angie October 14 at 5:33 pm

        Wow after reading this about lip tie… It makes a lot of sense why I had such a hard time nursing my baby that is now (10 months old) when she was 6 days old I took to a lactation consultant (because I had huge sores and was in so much pain when I nursed) and she told me that my baby was slightly tongue tied but not too bad…. We decided against getting her tongue clipped and now that she is getting teeth I have noticed her top lip comes between her front teeth.. (the part that attaches the lip to the gums) my baby also has been on acid re-flux medicine since she was 6 weeks old… I didn’t know what else to do and as soon as she got on the medicine she started sleeping through the night not crying anymore…. Thank you for the article I know hope I will be more successful with my next baby!

  42. Dr. Erika July 25 at 12:10 pm

    Dr. Erika here (I’m a naturopath specializing in pediatrics),

    My little one also had reflux – though hers was silent reflux, so we didn’t know that her “colic” was actually reflux for 3.5 months. (Horrible time in my life.) We did a trial of Ranitidine (Zantec) which was like a light switch – she went from miserable baby to happy baby over night. I weaned her off of Ranitidine by doing a lot of what you mentioned above (elevating the crib was extremely helpful), but I also used gut soothing herbs. I used slippery elm powder and marshmallow root powder mixed with cold water (I kept it in the fridge), a few ml’s four times per day. It helped a ton.

    For some reason (and I see this happening in some patients) the probiotics made her much worse.

    Also, things like peppermint or fennel (which is frequently in baby colic formulas) can actually make reflux worse by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter.

    Hope that helps your readers!

    -Dr. Erika

    • Lindsay Gray July 25 at 12:21 pm

      Dr. Erika, thank you so much for the info! I’m sure the herbs could help a lot of people who aren’t finding the right thing for them. I’ve never heard of peppermint, fennel, or probiotics making reflux worse, but it makes sense. It seems to me like anything that helps with gas can exacerbate reflux, and visa versa. Which is awful because we had to deal with both for a while!

      • Cathrin December 13 at 6:59 pm

        My son is on Prevacid solutabs and Zantac. I tried to wean him off a couple weeks ago, and any time that he would seem extra fussy — maybe because the reflux was aggitating him, I’d give him some Mommy’s Bliss gripe water. Problem was he would then be terribly uncomfortable with gas pains for the next several hours, or even a few days if I gave him regular doses. At least with the medicines, he’s a good sleeper. But with gripe water, all naps were a fight because the gas was so bothersome. I used gripe water with my daughter no problem, but it is no good for my son. I wonder about trying the essential oils and getting to the chiropractor more often. Thanks for the advice.

    • Barbara February 16 at 12:56 pm

      I recently had my son in December after trying to breastfeed it wasn’t enough so we switched to formula (something I didn’t want to do, but as a first time mother I felt helpless). I experienced acid reflux only when i was pregnant with him. I knew it was not “colic” after seeing his facial expressions at about 1.5 months that’s what i would do. I have tried elevating him, sitting him up after feed, and above methods. I finally gave in and took him to the doctor for her to prescribe the Ranitidine (zantac). Its peppermint and he hates it. I started with the prescribed amount which was 2 – x- at .07 ml. He had horrible diarrhea and looked like he was in pain so i stopped giving him it. He was perfect for the two days that followed, then it was back again. I am going to try to give it to him again but maybe try once a day to see if it helps. I am at a loss on what to do as I do not want to rely on “medication” and knowing that its not good to be on the medicine for longer than 30 days. I just don’t want to see him suffer =(

      • Angela June 28 at 1:58 am

        I haven’t started using my Zantac yet but was prescribed 3x 0.45ml so perhaps split the dose if no natural alternatives work? I’m not keen on starting him on it but won’t rule it out if nothing else helps.

        • Genevieve June 28 at 1:05 pm

          I would try Nat Phos 6X. I gave Paloma 1/2 tab after each meal. MIRACLE WORKER!

    • Helen October 28 at 10:34 pm

      Hello Dr. Erika!

      Could you give a little more info on how exactly you used slippery elm and how much? If you mixed powder with water how would you give it to an infant? And should I give it to my LO with the powder or let it stand and give her just the water? I am confused about the dosage. Also, could you tell more about your experience with the silent reflux? Did your LO outgrow it? Would appreciate your reply!

    • Sue December 11 at 9:38 pm

      Dr. Erika,
      Thanks for taking the time to post.
      I was wondering if you used a 1:1:1 ratio slippery elm, marshmallow, water?
      I live far away from the nearest Naturopath. I plan to buy the herbs online.
      Thank you

  43. Kate July 21 at 9:41 pm

    Oh man, I’m so glad you posted this. I’ve had acid reflux since I was 15 and it’s gotten worse during my pregnancy so I’m pretty worried when my little boy gets here in a month he’s going to suffer with it. I was planning on following an acid reflux diet to help, but I’m interested in trying the coconut oil method.

    For what it’s worth, the worst foods for me have always been anything containing tomatoes, anything fried, and chocolate.

    • Lindsay Gray July 25 at 12:19 pm

      Kate, I’m so sorry you’ve been dealing with reflux yourself for so long! That doesn’t sound too fun. Hopefully you’re little boy will be just fine. I have heard, like you said, that chocolate and heavy foods can make reflux worse too, but I’ve never heard tomato! That’s an interesting one. Just any FYI, there are a lot of additional comments on Facebook from readers if you want additional info and/or tips in case your lil man needs some help. Thanks for sharing!

  44. Carrie July 20 at 2:20 pm

    I’ve had two babies who experienced colic. For one, it was my prenatal vitamins (they contain iron that irritate some babies). My naturopath told me to stop taking them, and I did, and within two days my baby was better. For the other baby, it was a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. I learned to keep him on ONE breast for several feedings. He was getting too much and when my supply slowed, he didn’t have the discomfort.

    • Lindsay Gray July 21 at 7:11 pm

      I’ve never heard of iron affecting babies, that’s really good to know. I have definitely heard about the foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, and lately I have been trying to work on that. I feel like for me, Lilah was getting too much foremilk because she would only eat little meals (due to the reflux), so now I am trying to feed her more on each side and drain each breast. Her fussiness has definitely decreased!

  45. Rita July 19 at 4:54 pm

    I’ve had three babies with reflux and colic. We treated the other two with the standard remidies… gripe water, propping upright for feeding, sleep and play. I elimiated pretty much everything out of my diet that could trigger a reaction, all with varied success or failure. But it wasn’t until the third baby that I finally found some wonderful solutions. #1 we got a Rock and Play sleeper ( ) So very nice for napping and keeping baby upright. #2 a pacifier. For our little girl. If I gave her a pacifier right after she finished feeding, it really seemed to help. Part of her reflux we figured out was caused because she had high sucking needs. I thought she was a frequent nurser, but she just needed to suck. Once we gave her a pacifier she never puked again.

    • Lindsay Gray July 19 at 7:35 pm

      I have heard that the Rock & Play is amazing! We never made the investment, but I sure thought about it. I bet the paci helped a lot. Lilah doesn’t take a paci (or a bottle), but she certainly loves to nurse. It’s interesting that you say your little one had high sucking needs. I bet that’s true for Lilah, too, because nursing is by far her favorite thing to do. Thanks for the input!

    • Joanie July 31 at 1:30 pm

      My newborn twin grandsons sleep in the rock sleeper. What a wonderful thing it is!

      • Lindsay Gray July 31 at 2:10 pm

        So glad it works for them Joanie! I can imagine having twins is tough, so anything that helps them sleep better is a huge blessing!

  46. Sara July 19 at 12:59 pm

    This may sound “out there” to some people but I’ve heard cranio-sacral therapy really helps babies with this issue as well.

    • Genevieve July 19 at 1:59 pm

      I don’t think many of us crunchies would think this is “out there” :)

    • Lindsay Gray July 19 at 2:53 pm

      From my understanding, cranio-sacral therapy is another term for the type of chiropractic adjustment that Lilah gets! So its not out there at all! And, like Genevieve says, definitely not out there for us crunchies :) I’ve also heard that cranio-sacral therapy helps with colic and even found a study to back it up!

      • Megan December 2 at 9:34 am

        I am a massage therapist and have taken a few classes on cranio sacral therapy. If I remember right, it works with the fact that the cerebrospinal fluid around your brain and spine has it’s own pulse, separate from the circulatory system. From different every day things, such as medications taken or falling can cause disruptions and blockages in the flow of the fluid and therefore create dysfunction in the bodies natural processes. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if an unhealthy diet could have an affect on the CSF as well. Cranio sacral therapy is
        wonderful for many things! God has made a wonderful body!

  47. Amanda July 19 at 12:37 pm

    We had problems with reflux. Luckily not as bad as you by the sounds! Our daughter got better simply with elevating one end of her crib mattress, which we have done since about 1 month old, she never rolled onto her tummy even though we have nothing in place. :)
    Our pediatrician basically told us she needed to live life propped up until it got better. So we did, we always sat her in her boppy, which kept her propped up and comfy (and still do because she loves it!)
    She spent time in a bouncer seat, and we always fed her on an angle just naturally so that was that.
    It helped a lot, oddly enough natural gripe water also helped her reflux for whatever odd reason.

    She does spit up a lot now at 5 months, but she appears to have no pain from it and the pediatrician expects that to resolve its self within a month or two.

    Thanks for the great post!

    • Lindsay Gray July 19 at 2:52 pm

      I am so glad that just propping worked for you, Amanda! Lilah is in the same boat with the spitup. She does it quite a bit, but it doesn’t seem to bother her at all! We give Lilah gripe water to help with gas, but maybe it helps with the reflux too!

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