Before I begin I want to say I am not a doctor and before you try any of my tips you should consult your pediatrician. Nonetheless, I want to share my experience with a baby suffering from reflux so I can help out fellow moms.
Reflux is when a baby’s stomach contents flow backwards into the esophagus. It’s like adult reflux but worse because a baby can’t tell you what’s wrong or drive to the drugstore to get some heart burn medication.
First you have to identify the problem. Most babies with reflux will arch their heads back when eating to try and keep the milk from coming up. They can also make wheezing sounds and puke up stuff that looks like curdled milk.
When Princess A was born she always arched her head and back when eating and sounded like a gremlin when she was sleeping. We talked to the doctor and they said it was no big deal. Then she started to vomit after every meal and they said she had reflux and we could give her medication or wait for her to grow out of it. We didn’t want to over medicate her so we decided to wait it out.
Then one lovely night she puked on the changing table. So I put her in her bouncy chair and then she puked in that. Not learning my lesson I put her in her swing and she puked AGAIN. I had had enough so I just took her to the bathroom and put her in the bathtub where she puked again. It was a really gross night especially because Freckles thought it was his job to clean up the mess… which is all I will say about that.
I decided her reflux was getting worse not better and called The Husband. We decided to go see the doctor the next day. Since we had tried everything else the doctor gave us a prescription for Zantac. I didn’t want to give it to her but we did and it cleared up her reflux and puking for a while.
Then she turned 4 months old and her reflux got worse which is very common. She was unable to nap for longer than 10 minutes and cried after every feeding. We called the doctor and she suggested to add rice cereal to her formula. This helped tremendously. Once Princess A turned 6 months old and learned to sit up on her own the reflux went away and we gradually stopped giving her Zantac and putting rice cereal in her formula. Now she is happy and healthy and you wouldn’t even know she had reflux but those first few months were tough. Here is my advice for dealing with reflux.
1- Listen to your gut. Doctors are great but they are not with your child 24/7. If you think something is up and the doctor says everything is fine give more details or get a second opinion.
2- Don’t be afraid to give your child medicine or rice cereal for the reflux. Honestly, I wish we had done it sooner with Princess A.
3- Always have tons of clean clothes for you and your child and your favorite perfume handy. A newborn eats 8-10 times a day so if your baby has reflux there is the potential that you will be puked on 10 times a day. Nothing smells worse than baby reflux puke so be prepared to change your clothes and hide the smell because you will not have time for a shower.
4- Doctors suggest that you should hold a reflux baby for 30 minutes after eating this is helpful but can be exhausting. I tried the average bouncy chair and Princess A was so small it crunched her stomach causing her to you guessed it… puke. Fisher Price sells the above rocker which has an incline that is designed just for reflux babies. I love this rocker. It folds up so you can put it in a closet, rocks back and forth, and is higher than the average bouncy chair which allows your baby a better view of the world.
5- Try to put and wedge under the crib mattress but if that doesn’t work just move on. We tried various different wedges and Princess A always slide down the mattress and got her head wedged in the crib. I wished we had stopped trying earlier.
6- The majority of babies grow out of reflux once they learn to sit up or turn 6 months old so try and stay positive.
7- Get help. Most grandparents don’t mind being puked on by their cute new grandchild. If you have family that offers to babysit take them up on the offer.
I hope my advice helps if you are going through this or know someone who is!