by Mei Lele

September 20, 2022

sleep training reflux baby

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Chances are your baby has reflux, and you have to cope with this problem every day. Because it is so difficult, many parents give up on sleep training reflux baby. But if you want to get your child to sleep better, I recommend ‌you keep reading this article.

What Is Reflux?

sleep training reflux baby

Reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux (GER), is the backflow of acidic stomach contents into the esophagus. This can cause irritation and inflammation in the esophagus and surrounding tissues, causing symptoms such as heartburn, sore throat, and chest pain.

Reflux is common in babies and toddlers, especially those with a history of unexplained heartburn. It's also more common in babies who are breastfed. As the baby grows older, they will swallow more air while feeding, which may contribute to reflux.

Reflux episodes are usually short-lived and go away on their own within a few hours. However, if your baby has frequent episodes of reflux, it may be time to ask your doctor about other potential causes of reflux in your baby, like acid reflux.

Can You Sleep Training Reflux Baby?

sleep training reflux baby
Sleep is vital to your child's well-being. Managing sleep for your baby is one of the most important things you'll do as a parent. You are ready to sleep train your child, but the only problem with that is that your baby has been throwing up since she was born.

Reflux is a common issue in babies. If your baby has reflux, you may have heard of the term "sleeping through the night." While it sounds like a great way to describe how well your baby sleeps, it's not something that every child can do.

Many children with reflux will continue to have problems with sleep throughout childhood. The good news is that there are ways to help your baby sleep better and help get rid of those nighttime gas episodes!

Sleep training is a process that involves helping your baby learn how to fall asleep on his own. It's important to understand that this isn't just about getting your baby to sleep through the night — it's about helping him develop healthy sleep habits.

Sleep training reflux baby isn't for everyone:

  • If your baby has an abnormal reflux condition, you may need to work with your pediatrician. Different babies have different reflux levels, so it's essential to determine yours before starting any sleep training.
  • If your baby is under 4 months old, make sure that you work closely with your doctor and do nothing that would be dangerous for the baby or could increase the risk of her developing acid reflux later on in life.

How Can I Help My Reflux Baby Sleep At Night?

It's a process that takes time, patience, and consistency. But the benefits are worth it! Here are some things you can do to help your baby sleep through the night:

sleep training reflux baby
  • Encourage regular naps and ensure your baby gets enough rest during the day. Try alternating naps and bedtimes between the hours of 8 p.m. and 7 a.m., or even later if that works for you and your baby's schedule.
  • If your child has diarrhea, put them on an empty stomach just before bedtime (you can give them a pacifier in their mouth if they're having trouble falling asleep).
  • Keep your baby away from triggers such as food, drinks, and toys. Try not to let him play with anything that might make him gassy.
  • If breastfeeding, consider feeding on demand (instead of every two hours). This will help keep your milk supply up and reduce gas production in your baby's tummy (which is often caused by reflux).
  • Try to keep your baby's bedtime earlier.
  • Give them a pacifier at bedtime. A pacifier helps keep airway openings open and reduces the risk of choking.
  • Turn off the lights. Your baby's eyes are very sensitive, so try turning off all light sources before you go to bed so they can adjust to the dark environment.
  • It's also important that you don't over-stimulate your child when they're sleeping. 
  • Try not to put anything next to their face while they're sleeping, and also try to limit any noise so that if they wake up during the night, there isn't anything else that might distract them from falling back to sleep.

Safe Sleep Training Methods With A Baby That Has Acid Reflux

Sleeping through the night can be a challenge for many babies, even if your baby is not colicky and has no reflux. If your baby has been diagnosed with reflux and you are struggling to get her to sleep through the night, try these safe methods of sleep training with reflux that are gentle on her tummy:

sleep training reflux baby

Use a wearable monitor

This will help you track how much time she spends sleeping and waking up in bed each hour of the night. It also gives you an idea of how much she spends awake during her naps.

Create a schedule

Plan a sleep schedule and set up a routine for daytime naps and bedtime, so there’s less erratic behavior or periods of wakefulness between scheduled times when she should sleep soundly!

Create a soothing environment

The lights should be dimmed or turned off entirely during sleeping hours to create a soothing atmosphere.

Use a pacifier.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that pacifiers help babies stay asleep longer because they help soothe them when they wake up at night. You should not use a pacifier as an alternative to breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.

Avoid these:

  • Lying down with your baby right after feeding can cause gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Instead, place him or her on his back in his crib with nothing but a pacifier and blanket to cover her until morning.
  • Giving your baby too much formula if he or she has GERD symptoms could cause more reflux problems

How To Manage Reflux In Babies

Reflux is the involuntary flow of stomach contents into the stomach into the esophagus. This can cause a burning sensation and heartburn. If your baby has reflux and you're worried about him spitting up formula or breast milk, try one or more of these strategies:

sleep training reflux baby
  • Feed your baby upright, away from his head. This helps prevent reflux because it helps keep the baby's stomach empty during feeding. 
  • Start solids later than usual (around 4 months). Starting solid foods too early can lead to feeding problems, such as acid reflux disease or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Try adding probiotics to formula or breast milk. Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your gut health and may help treat acid reflux disease.
  • If these techniques don't work after a few days, talk with your doctor about medication options like antihistamines or acid reducers that are less likely to cause side effects.

How Should I Position My Reflux Baby To Sleep?

The best sleeping position for the sleep training reflux baby is the position that allows him or her to breathe easily:

sleep training reflux baby
  • Put your baby on his or her back in a cradle, infant seat, or carrycot. 
  • If you don't have one, you can put a blanket over the top of their head and tuck it around their neck.
  • Make sure that there are no pillows near where you're sleeping so that your baby doesn't suffocate! 
  • If possible, try not to sleep with your reflux baby next to you at all unless he or she is older than 4 months old.


Sleep training your newborn isn't easy, but it doesn't have to be complicated. It can be ‌simple. Here are some of the most common questions I get about sleep training:

Is it safe for a baby with reflux to sleep on its back?

If your baby has reflux, he must sleep on his tummy.

The best way to prevent reflux is to ensure that your little one sleeps on his back. This will help to keep the contents of his stomach from rising into his airways. It also helps to keep him calm. If he's well-rested and relaxed, he'll sleep better throughout the night.

Will sleep training help my baby’s reflux?

Sleep training is a common method to help infants and toddlers learn how to fall asleep on their own, without being rocked or helped by parents.

But, does sleep training help with reflux?

Yes! Studies have shown that babies who have trouble falling asleep (as well as those who have a lot of trouble staying asleep) are more likely to develop symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

So if your baby has sleep issues and you want to help her get a better night’s rest, try some gentle ways to encourage her to fall asleep and see if they work.

Can reflux babies sleep through the night?

Can reflux babies sleep through the night? It's common for babies with reflux to have trouble sleeping through the night. The noise and discomfort of reflux can keep them awake. Maybe the reflux is causing their sleep-wake cycle to be delayed.

Some babies are born with reflux and some develop it later in life. If they have diagnosed your child with reflux, they may have trouble sleeping because they're trying so hard to fall asleep at night.

You will need to see a pediatric gastroenterologist or specialist who can help you determine this or another cause of your child's condition. The extra effort spent while falling asleep increases the chances of having a setback during the night.

However, some babies ‌sleep through the night with no treatment. These babies usually fall into one of two categories:

  • Babies who are soothed by a pacifier or nursing.
  • Babies who become drowsy after eating and then fall asleep.

Is acid reflux worse at night for babies?

The answer is yes, but it depends on how your baby sleeps. If your little one is sleeping through the night, with no bouts of waking up in the middle of the night or crying out in pain, then no—nighttime reflux won't be an issue.

But if your baby is still waking up at night or having bouts of gas pain, you may need to look into ways to help calm nighttime reflux.

sleep training reflux baby


Sleep training reflux baby can be a daunting task, but with a little extra patience and the right approach, you can help your child overcome this difficult stage and get back to peaceful nights.

We can achieve helping your baby sleep better, and it makes a tremendous difference when they sleep better. I hope that sharing my experience will encourage others to start sleep training sooner rather than later. 

Now that you have ultimately decided on when, you can start the process by doing something each day, preferably ‌when she's in a good mood and not overly tired.

About the author 

Mai Pham

Mai Pham discovered her passion for writing a few years ago and she never stop thinking about it ever since. She finally took the leap and created Live a Worthy Life to brag about her smart ass (mainly just for fun). Enjoyed the fun writing brings, now with her new interest in everything-baby-related, she created Mommy Instinct, to tell mamas that it's ok that they mess up, that they don't know what the hell they are doing, and that it's okay to sit back and relax for a while.

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