When should I start worrying about my child's speech?
Should I read to my child and why?
What effect can untreated, chronic ear infections have on my child's performance at school?
How can I prevent middle ear infections?
What is the earliest that a child can be referred for Speech Therapy?
If my child is not using sentences by 3 years old, should I be worried?
What can a speech therapist do for a child who is not speaking yet e.g. premature babies?
Why do people stutter?
If my child stutters and is only three years old, should I be worried?
Is it okay for a 3 year old child to lisp?
How can I help my baby with reflux?
“Heartburn” and “reflux” are often confused. Reflux refers to the regurgitation of gastric acid due to a number of conditions, whereas heartburn refers to the burning feeling just behind the breastbone. In adults reflux is often associated with hiatus hernias and upper- or lower oesophageal sphincter dysfunctions which is normally manged through surgery. Similarly, this may also occur in babies as they have premature digestive systems and may often have oesphogaeal sphycnter dysfunctions because of this, resulting in reflux. There are some similarities between the management of reflux in both populations. In babies these are:
- Feeding the baby in a more elevated position
- Keeping the baby elevated for 15-20 minutes following a feed. Remember that because babies only have liquids for a very long time before moving onto solids, they are even more prone to reflux as liquid will be regurgitated more easily than solids, because it is light and thin in consistency.
- Not shaking the baby up and down when winding or soothing, but rather a firm upward stroke of the back.
- Allowing the baby to sleep in a slightly elevated position using a wedge under his/her mattress.
- Using an anti-reflux milk or thickening expressed breast milk and/or formula is a possible option as the weight of the milk will assist in reflux happening to a lesser degree.
- Reflux can also be managed by medication which will have to be described by your paediatrician or general practitioner.
- Changing nappy changing routine to before feeds instead of after feeds and when needed after feeds to wait, where possible, so as to not promote reflux happening.