Do you ever peek at the calendar and count how many months until the reflux will go away? If you have a baby with reflux, you are probably hoping it will go away any day now. You may have heard that “most” babies outgrow their reflux. However, there may be some variability in the predictions on when it will go away.
Depending on whom you talk to, you may have heard that the reflux will go away: in six months to a year, in one to two years, or when the baby starts sitting up, eating solids or starts walking. While there may be some truth to each of the predictions, it isn’t always clear when the reflux will go away. Some babies do show remarkable improvement by four to six months of age, often corresponding with when they begin to sit up and eat solids. Other babies with reflux take a bit longer and may need a year or more to overcome their digestive issues.
So there you are at the calendar, planning and hoping. Perhaps you have looked at the calendar and talked yourself into dealing with reflux for two more months. Perhaps you set a deadline to return to work, get a full night's rest and go on a long-awaited (and much-deserved) trip. You might count down the months, start planning the celebration and the remarkable recovery of your little baby when things go terribly wrong. Your little refluxer just blew out the candle on her first birthday cake, but she is still refluxing every day.
I used to get a bit depressed when my daughter hit a milestone...6 months, 12 months, 18 months. The months were flying by, and she was as cute as a button, but her digestive system just did not seem to be improving according to “the schedule.” It was so heartbreaking and disappointing. At some point, I decided that bravery and endurance were not going to get the job done. I had to develop a network of support to get through the reflux years.
A few babies with reflux continue to have digestive issues through childhood. While there is much hope that your child will outgrow reflux very, very soon, it is probably best to pace yourself in case you are on the extended plan.