One of the most awful feelings in the world as a parent is knowing that your baby is in pain, but not knowing how to help them. You feel just as helpless as they do, no matter the cause of their discomfort. For many babies, silent reflux is the unfortunate reason behind their seemingly invisible pain. Although it's tricky to diagnose, there are several ways your baby may be trying to tell you they have silent reflux that you shouldn't ignore.
According to Today's Parent, though the pain is similar to regular reflux, silent reflux is oftentimes harder to diagnose because most babies won't spit up often — the telltale sign of normal reflux. Furthermore, despite its misleading name, silent reflux isn't silent. Your baby will probably be fussy and overly irritable, giving you one of your first clues that something is wrong.
Babies are especially prone to developing reflux for several reasons. Their digestive systems aren't as fully developed as adults', meaning that their stomach can't hold as much food, and their esophagus, sphincter, and stomach aren't as toned yet. That, combined with the amount of time they spend on their back, is a prime equation for reflux, according to the same Today's Parent article.
As horrible as it is to watch your baby in pain, once you identify the cause, you and your pediatrician can begin to take steps to relieve your babe of some of the discomfort.