Treatment of reflux in infants is intended to lessen symptoms, not to relieve the underlying problem, as this will often correct itself over time. Lifestyle changes are often recommended, such as smaller and more frequent feedings, burping more throughout the feeding, avoiding tight diapers and waistbands, and keeping the baby upright after feeding.
You can also help older children make certain lifestyle changes. Pay attention to what they eat, avoiding chocolate, carbonated drinks, caffeine, tomato products, peppermint, and other acidic foods like citrus juices. Fried foods and spicy foods can aggravate GERD symptoms. Have your child eat smaller, more frequent meals instead of large amounts of food at one sitting. Avoid eating right before they go to bed or lie down; let two or three hours pass.
Taking a walk or a warm bath after eating can help your child, as well as losing excess weight or dressing in loose-fitting clothing. You can also try raising the head of your child’s bed about 30 degrees.
Most medications prescribed to treat GERD break down or lessen intestinal gas, decrease or neutralize stomach acid, or improve intestinal coordination. A trial of medications including H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors may be advised by your child’s primary care physician, but it’s rare for children with GERD to require surgical intervention.