Causes of reflux in babies

It's normal for some babies to have reflux. It usually justoccurs because a baby's food pipe (oesophagus) is still developing.

Itnormally stopsby the time a baby is a year old, when the ring of muscle at the bottom of their oesophagus fully develops andstops stomach contents leaking out.

In a small number of cases, reflux can be a sign of a more serious problem, such as:

  • gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) a long-term form of refluxwhere stomach contents are ableto rise up and irritate the oesophagus
  • a cows' milk allergy this can also causea rash, vomiting and diarrhoea;many babies will eventually grow out of it and can be treated byremoving cows' milk fromtheirdiet
  • a blockage rarely, reflux may occur because the oesophagus is blocked or narrowed, or there's a blockage in thestomach and small intestine
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018