It is 2 a.m., and you, as well as your six-week-old baby, are wide awake. And not in a pleasant way. You already know why you are awake. The spicy nachos with extra jalapenos you ate about 9 o’clock seemed like a good idea.
Being the resourceful adult you are, you know how to put an end to the burning hole in your stomach. The bottle of Mylanta you keep will do the job. But why is the baby having such a rough night? He certainly didn’t help you devour the nacho platter. And he or she certainly doesn’t want to be fed. What could be wrong with the little one?
It could very well be exactly what is wrong with you. No, the baby hasn’t ingested a whole platter of nachos like mom or dad. But they too could be suffering from acid reflux just as you are.
Before you begin to scour the Mylanta bottle for ‘infant dosing information,’ it would seem you need what any good parent needs. Proper guidance and proper information.
Go ahead and treat yourself with the Mylanta. No sense of being miserable while you learn. While you learn the answer to today’s question…can I give my baby Mylanta?
Could My Baby Have Acid Reflux?
In a word, yes. Infants, in particular premature infants, can suffer from a variety of intestinal conditions. These conditions are brought to light from the fact they were born before their stomach and intestines could properly develop.
One of the more common conditions is GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease. When an infant is diagnosed as having GERD, the doctor will immediately begin to treat with medications and diet changes. Much like a doctor would for an adult who has acid reflux.
Most premature babies are very prone to ‘spit up’ a bit more than a non-premature child. Again it’s all due to stomach development. But should your baby show any of the following sign or symptoms a medical consult is strongly recommended:
- Refusal to eat because of the pain
- Doesn’t seem to be on track for proper growth
- Exhibits any difficulty in breathing
These are just a few symptoms the baby could be suffering from GERD. The baby’s doctor can make the proper diagnosis.
Medication and Treatments for GERD
When your baby has been diagnosed as having GERD, there could be several medications or treatments prescribed. It may take several visits to get the right combination for your baby. Think of it as trying different items in the tackle box before you catch the fish.
The doctor may advise you to go ahead and try some of the more common treatments for adults. Yes, they may even tell you to try your trusty bottle of Mylanta. Or they may suggest even more robust at-home treatments.
The suggestions may run the entire spectrum of over the counter remedies—everything from Tums, and Tagamet, to Prevacid and Yes, Mylanta. When your doctor advises you to try these at-home treatments, they will also instruct you on proper dosages for baby.
If the child shows no signs of improvement, their GERD may be a more severe case involving more in-depth treatment.
Severe Cases of GERD
If your baby has any indications of severe GERD, the doctor may insist it requires surgery to correct. There is a simple surgical procedure whereby the opening into the stomach is reinforced, causing contents to ‘stay-put’ rather than being expelled through the esophagus and the mouth.
Most, if not all, doctors would rather wait until the age of one year before performing the procedure. They will wait just to make certain the GERD corrects itself with age and, therefore, not requiring surgery. Most cases of GERD do correctly with age. And using home remedies such as Mylanta may be the ticket to getting them through it until it goes away.
Giving the Baby Mylanta
Now you are probably no doubt an awesome parent. So it goes without saying but is worth mentioning. Never start any over the counter medication on your baby unless advised to do so by the child’s doctor.
The label on the Mylanta bottle states, ‘Not to given to children under 12 unless under doctors orders.’ Your doctor will give you specific amounts and specific intervals for the Mylanta to be effective. Follow these instructions VERY CLOSELY!
Too little of the medication will not give your baby the intended results. Too much could cause further damage. Please follow the doctors’ orders. They will prescribe these same medicines you take for similar conditions but in a baby-friendly amount and frequency.
Look at it like so. If you had a serious disease, and your doctor said, “if you eat 1 ounce of chocolate daily at noon, then your disease will go away.” What will you be doing at noon every day? And how much chocolate will you be eating at noon?
Comical? Yes. Theoretically identical? Yes again. Just be sure you give the baby the Mylanta and not your chocolate.
Your Doctor May Suggest Other Medications
Your baby’s doctor might recommend certain other medications if you have problems getting the Mylanta to go, or stay down.
Most of the acid reflux medications can be administered in their food or beverage. Your doctor will know which ones to use in these cases. Or he may go an entirely different route.
Most pharmacies can compound drugs. That means they can make drugs into more palatable, easy to administer than just their normal form. Your doctor may, for instance, prescribe liquid omeprazole, a very common acid reflux drug.
The liquid form of the drug can be ‘compounded’ with a variety of flavors to make the child’s dosing more palatable and easier on you.
Yes, your baby, even as young as one-month, can safely be given Mylanta. Babies can get acid reflux disease, just like adults. Therefore the treatments and the medications are essentially the same.
Just remember, no matter what they are suffering from, give them lots of love and affection. By the way, how’s your stomach doing now? Might want to cut down on the ‘late night nachos.’ Just saying.