How to use Trunk Rolls for Reflux and Colic

What are trunk rolls and why do we use them? I’ll give you a hint. They have to do with reflux and colic.

Unfortunately, having a baby with reflux or colic is becoming a common parental experience. But just because it’s common does not mean it’s normal!

Colic (severe, fluctuating abdominal pain that causes crying and screaming in an infant) and reflux (leakage of stomach contents into the esophagus through an open sphincter causing pain and spit-up in infants) are challenges for parents and caregivers, not to mention the babies! But these conditions don’t have to be tolerated!

They are symptoms, signals from the body that something is wrong! And when that root cause is addressed, the symptoms of reflux and colic will go away! Addressing the root cause of colic or reflux takes at least a few days, and in some cases (like prematurity) it may need to be managed for a little longer.

While you are waiting for the root cause to be corrected, trunk rolls can be a helpful tool to keep your baby comfortable and hopefully reduce the frequency of these symptoms. Simply put, trunk rolls are blanket splints placed on either side of the baby before they are swaddled. They keep the abdomen from getting “squished,” which reduces the likelihood of reflux (a cause of colic crying).

Watch the video demonstration to see how to use these correctly for your baby. Because of all the extra blankets, it’s important to keep the blankets away from the baby’s face, and monitor their blanket position frequently. This technique is most helpful when holding, picking up and moving the baby around, and may not be as needed during longer sleeping periods (like at night). Also, the trunk roll should never be used inside the buckles in a carseat, as this would prevent the carseat from doing its job in keeping the baby safe and secure.

The trunk roll is a helpful tool, but it is not going to fix the root cause. If your baby is struggling with reflux or colic, please contact me so we can eliminate the underlying problem that is causing your baby pain!  

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