Reflux

RheannaRheanna Posts: 2,614Registered Users
Hey, I know a couple people have mentioned their babies having reflux, so I'm looking for info and what helped. Ava was diagnosed today, although I was almost certain that's what was wrong once I put things together a couple days ago.

Honestly, I can't believe it took me till a couple days ago to put things together. I had always thought she spit up a lot more than babies I had been around, but when I mentioned it to family members, they acted as though I was being silly. I kept hearing, "well all babies spit up." I also hadn't even realized that her fussiness was after eating, or just how much she was spitting up until I wrote it down each time. And I didn't put together the fact that she screamed like she was in agony when flat on her back. I had reflux while pregnant and I had to be elevated in order to sleep at night. Elevated and with a tummy full of Rolaids, lol. And I didn't really connect the fact that she would arch her back and scream out like in pain, often right after eating or even while she was eating sometimes. And all the times she would get strangled, even though she had the slowest flow nipple on her bottle. Really, I just thought she was gassy or colicky and not too interested in sleeping, since she'd been waking up and crying constantly (day and night) from her naps, even while I was holding her.

I didn't really put any of it together until the other night when she was in her bassinet asleep, and I noticed that she kept making this sound like she was gargling and then she got strangled. Of course I jumped up and grabbed her and got her upright and she projectile vomited all. over. me. I had heard her make the noise before and just thought she was doing it on purpose or something, but she hadn't strangled like that before. After that I was unable to rest, worrying she would choke. The only way I slept since was to put her in the bed with me, which I wasn't comfortable with, but I wanted her close enough that I would wake up if she made noises like that again. I barely dozed all night with her there.

So, long story short, once I wrote down what she was doing and when, I realized and put together all of those things and thought maybe she was dealing with reflux. She spits up about 15-18 times a day and projectile vomits most days one time. She also acted like she was hungry no matter how much she would eat, so I would feed her and then she'd spit up even worse. Now I've realized she probably just wanted to suck to comfort herself since she was hurting. :( She's doing better with the paci, thank goodness. She actually keeps it in her mouth for more than 10 seconds.

Her well baby check up was today anyway, so I didn't make a special appointment, just made a list of things to talk to her ped about. Lucky (?) for me, I didn't even have to really tell her because Ava showed her just as she walked in the room. I was holding her, she was smiling and looking around and then suddenly she arched her back all the way back, screamed this shrill scream and spit up a TON all over the both of us. This all happened as the doctor walked in the room and she immediately asked, "how often is she doing that?" so I told her everything she was doing and when.

She wrote her an RX for Zantac. I hate that, and told her as much. I don't want her on medication every day. But... I don't want her in pain either, and I certainly don't want her choking on her spit up. And I can't stay up and wait on her to choke every night and function. By last night, I was seeing things that weren't there I was so sleep deprived. Also, she won't sleep. She wakes up constantly and then she spends a lot of time fussy and crying because she's tired I believe. It's this whiny little intermittent cry and sometimes she'll stay awake doing that for 4-5 hours even if she's being held. And her eyes look all puffy and reddish, so I know she's exhausted, but she will not sleep. So, I have to do something.

Her pediatrician understood my hesitation to medicate her and said that she only recommended medication for babies that were either not gaining weight or in pain, especially when it affected eating and sleeping. She said babies that spit up a lot and were gaining well, sleeping okay, and not seeming to be hurting were generally referred to as "happy spitters" and she didn't prescribe meds for them.

So besides the Zantac (.5 ml 2x per day), she also told me to keep her at a 45 degree angle for half an hour minimum after she ate and to elevate the head of her bed to an angle also. We had already elevated her bassinet because we thought she "just hated" being flat after noticing she didn't cry and scream anywhere but in there. Now we know why.

I'm hoping this all helps because it breaks my heart seeing her in pain and exhausted. And of course I'm also rather tired of changing clothes multiple times a day and cleaning TONS of spit up off of everything. And I would love to get some rest too and to not hear crying the majority of the day and night.

Any other tips or thoughts from those of you that have been there? How quickly did you see improvement?

Sorry this is long.
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Comments

  • deezee02deezee02 Posts: 1,509Registered Users
    Steven had terrible reflux from his feeding and oxygen tubes. We did medicate him with Zantac and also reglan as he had a hard enough time gaining on his own. He never looked like he was in pain, but even now he has a super high pain tollerance.

    He did outgrow it and was off meds by the time he was 6 months old. the Zantac tastes gross (I tried all DS's meds to know the order I give them to him), and so when you do give it to her, get a tiny syringe (1 mL) and put it in the back of her cheek as far as you ca get it. Follow up with some formula if you can to help wash the taste out. I also found singing a fun song (5 little ducks) and quacking while I gave it helped Steven (man I sound loony lol)

    We would also put him in his swing or bouncy seat after eating which was our way of keeping him upright at 3 in the morning when we were beyond tired. He would nap there and we could catch some sleep on the couch to keep our sanity.
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  • deezee02deezee02 Posts: 1,509Registered Users
    Also, have you tried changing formula's? The one she is on may be to much for her belly.
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  • CGNYCCGNYC Posts: 4,938Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    My daughter had reflux and I know just what you mean about the projectile vomiting. Do yourself a favor and always leave the house with extra clothes for you as well.

    My daughter hated Zantac and we just couldn't get it in her. She did better on Prevacid, but it's tricky getting the dosage right. We eventually gave up on putting her down to sleep because no matter how much we elevated, she still threw up. We took turns sitting up with her in a recliner (no kidding, we actually moved in with my parents for the first five months and even my DAD took shifts) till she was about five months old.

    If the meds don't work, don't just assume it's not reflux. It's tricky getting the dose right and the timing. Ask for a referral to a ped gastro if you need more help.
  • deezee02deezee02 Posts: 1,509Registered Users
    a side note, I much prefer the projectile vommiting Steven had, atleast i KNEW when he spit up. Callie is notorious for spitting up silently and I will not realize it until I am at the store with grossness on my shirt since she is all quiet about it.

    My friends son had really really bad reflux and so if they were getting ready to go somewhere, she would wear an apron around until they were in the car to protect her clothes
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  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I had a reflux baby. My first. He projectile vomitted all.day.long for the first year of his life, although it got significantly better at 6 months. He was born in 1986, and they didn't have all the belly meds that they do today. The ped Rx'd a sedative (phenobarbital), but all that did was make him unconscious. They changed his formula like 6 times. Nothing really helped. He was gaining weight and not too terribly unhappy, so I consulted a GI specialist who said just leave him be and he would resolve on his own, especially as he got old enough to sit up and stand up. He was right. It was completely gone by the time he was walking.

    It was hell for me for that year though. No one wanted to hold him because he puked on everyone so I had no respite. Baby puke was my perfume that year. The SPLAT sound of puke hitting the floor over my shoulder was my music.

    How is Ava's weight? Is she gaining?
  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Posts: 2,671Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Alexander was a happy spitter. Like RCW, I smelled like puke constantly for the first year. We didn't have to medicate him because it didn't bother him. You described Sebastian up above except he doesn't actually spit up. He was on some N-word medicine and is now on Prevacid. It took about 5 days for the Prevacid to kick in.

    He is a lot happier now but that might just be age and tummy getting more mature. He does still sleep upright. Usually in his bouncy or the swing.

    Our ped also recommended rice cereal in the bottle to weigh the formula down. I did it once and didn't again. I would have gone back to it if I thought he needed it but he seems to have done fine without it and I am so hesitant to give anything other than breastmilk at this point. If hers doesn't improve, maybe that is something to consider.
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  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Posts: 2,954Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Don't be too hard on yourself. When you are sleep derived it takes longer to sometimes diagnosis what is going on with your little one. I know I have had those lightbulb moments.

    Chas had reflux but he didn't ever spit up. I almost think if he spit up maybe he would have felt better. He grew out of it around 9 months. He was on prevacid. I would test him every couple of months to see if he was better. I would know almost immediately because his screaming would resume almost a day off the meds.

    Even though he grew out of needing the medicine, when Chas started eating foods we kept it really bland. I noticed he had a lot of fussiness if we fed him spagetti sauce, hotdogs or anything with just a little spice. If he did eat it I was sure to give him a dosage of mylicon before bed or nap. It took me awhile to find the right formula when I quit breastfeeding.

    FYI, I found an elevated pillow that was the full width of a crib mattress. It fit nicely under the sheet. I'm pretty sure I got it from BabiesRUs.
  • CGNYCCGNYC Posts: 4,938Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Our ped also recommended rice cereal in the bottle to weigh the formula down.

    Our ped says that for some babies it works really well, but when it doesn't work it actually makes things worse so if you decide to try it and it doesn't work, just don't do it again.

    Now is the time to start calling friends and family and ASKING them to come over for an hour or two to hold the baby so you can shower or sleep or whatever. People always say, "Call me if you need anything" - take them up on it.
  • deezee02deezee02 Posts: 1,509Registered Users
    inheritedcurls - Steven cannot have spagetti sauce to this day, although instead of reflux he gets a really bad rash around his mouth with any food that is not bland. So, when he does eat them we have to wash his face right away and apply aquafor (or something like that) around his mouth.
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  • legendslegends Posts: 3,073Registered Users
    Our ped also recommended rice cereal in the bottle to weigh the formula down.
    [/quote]
    My friend did this with her son and it worked pretty well. It didn't prevent the vomiting completely but it did help reduce the frequency and volume. She would make the cereal/formula mixture so thick that she'd have to spoon-feed him.
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  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Posts: 2,954Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    deezee02 wrote: »
    inheritedcurls - Steven cannot have spagetti sauce to this day, although instead of reflux he gets a really bad rash around his mouth with any food that is not bland. So, when he does eat them we have to wash his face right away and apply aquafor (or something like that) around his mouth.

    interesting...we still get a case of the red bottom when we eat strawberries. He can finally eat spagetti sauce and hotdogs without needing mylicon. He still doesn't like stuff too spicy...but i figure some day that will change.
  • MagooMagoo Posts: 2,173Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    My son had reflux but because he was gaining weight (a ton of it!), the ped decided not to put him on any meds. Gosh, I remember those days of constantly being covered in baby puke. Like RCW, I clearly remember that SPLAT sound of puke hitting the floor behind my shoulder. It eased up a bit once he started eating solids around 6 months but didn't stop completely until he was almost a year old.
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  • RheannaRheanna Posts: 2,614Registered Users
    Well, from reading things online about reflux and from what you guys have said here, I think I got lucky. Ava is already a different baby. I was a moron and gave her .05 ml the first dose instead of .5 ml. I'll blame sleep deprivation. It didn't seem to do much so I was skeptical as Zantac claims to work within a few minutes. Then yesterday morning I realized my error, gave her the full dose, and then a bottle (she hates the taste too deezee; the face she made was priceless!) and she was fine all day. No screaming, no back arching, and no massive spit ups. She maybe spit up 3x, and it was just a little bit dribbling down her chin. I didn't have to change her clothes (or mine!) We had to leave and go run errands yesterday afternoon/evening and I expected to be back in time to give her the second dose so I didn't take it with us. About 12 1/2 hours after her first dose, the screaming started again and it didn't stop til about 40 minutes after the second dose. She slept great last night, although that could have been from exhaustion after all the screaming late in the evening.

    This morning I was sure to set an alarm so she would have it at 12 hours and so far today, she's been great. I'm still skeptical of it working so well, so fast, and wondering if she's just having a couple days where the reflux doesn't bother her as much, but it's hard to not think that its the meds working. I'll be thrilled if this continues.

    We also switched her formula to the Enfamil A.R. (with the rice starch) at the pediatrician's recommendation. She had already tried Similac first, then the Enfamil Premium Lipil and Gentlease and back to the Premium because the Gentlease didn't help at all and she seemed to not like the taste. Hopefully we can stick with this stuff. Formula's expensive enough without switching mid-can. :)

    Deezee, the swing and bouncy seat is where we've been putting her if we can't hold her for the right amount of time after eating too (especially at night). A friend of mine is going to give me a "reflux wedge" she had received as a gift but never needed, so I will be putting that in her bed ASAP.

    CGNYC, that sounds like fun... taking shifts staying up in a recliner. I bet you were so exhausted. I can remember you saying once that you'd let her sleep on the lawn if she would sleep and I can totally see why. I actually have a bag in my car with extra clothes for me and extra extra clothes and diapers and wipes for her in case she goes through what is in her diaper bag, lol. I figured that out the first trip out with her when she spit up on herself and me and then once I changed her clothes, she spit up on them again and I only had one change of clothes. Seems like I learn something new to do to make my life easier every time I take her somewhere.

    RCW, that sounds terrible! I guess it's easy for others to say, "Don't worry, it will be gone in a year" but I'm sure that was one hell of a long year for you, lol. She is gaining weight well. She was 6 lb 12 oz at birth, 7 lb 3.5 oz at 12 days old and is now at 8 lb 13 oz.


    From what I can tell just by reading people's experiences online, I'm lucky her doctor took the issue seriously since she's gaining. Apparently some doctors won't unless the baby is not thriving, even if they're in pain, not sleeping, etc. Some babies refuse to eat because it hurts, but then others do the opposite and want to eat nonstop to soothe their throats. She was doing the latter and I was overfeeding her for a few days until I realized if I fed her until she no longer acted hungry, she would just puke tons up. I would start with 3 oz, she would act hungry (eating her fist, rooting, squirming, and eventually crying) so I would give her another. We did this over and over where I was constantly feeding her it felt like. Sometimes she would eat 6 or 7 oz in an hour and I knew that was too much for her age and weight, but she seemed hungry and they told me to feed her when she was hungry. And then the puke fest began. So, I found a paci she will take (YAY!) and started giving her that after she eats if she still acts hungry and that seems to satisfy her. When she's actually hungry, she sucks it really hard for a minute and then spits it out and roots around, so I can tell the difference. So far it's been working. I was starting to wonder how much the kid would eat if I would let her.

    DarkAngel, I'm glad Sebastian is feeling better now too. The pediatrician did say I could try the rice cereal, that she "gave me her blessing" to do that even though before she had told me not to give her that until 4 months. She recommended using just 1T of cereal to 4 oz of formula. She said I could skip that though and do the A.R. formula with the rice starch in it instead, so I decided to go that route. I don't know if there's really a difference though between adding the cereal to regular formula or using the special formula. I'm hoping rice starch maybe means the water rice is cooked in, rather than the actual cereal. Does anyone know?

    inheritedcurls, that wedge sounds nice. I haven't actually seen the one my friend's going to give me but after she moves into her crib, I will probably get one like that to help. I'll check out Babies R Us, thanks!
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  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    I'm glad the meds are making a difference, Rhe.
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  • ester80ester80 Posts: 78Registered Users
    My son had horrible reflex, but his wouldn't come up all the way so it will burn his esophagus twice! My poor baby was in so much pain. I took him to the dr but she will say it was ok since he was gaining weight, I took him to another dr and he prescribed Zantac but I didn't want to give him meds so I did some research online and I found that dairy can cause reflex on breastfeeding baby so I gave up dairy (sooooooo hard) and my son is doing great! he is sleeping better, no back arching painful cries...I'm soo glad that I was able to figure this out. Before I decided to give up dairy I ask the dr for his opinion he said that he didn't think it will work, but sure enough it did.
  • PixieCurlPixieCurl Posts: 5,656Registered Users
    ester80 wrote: »
    My son had horrible reflex, but his wouldn't come up all the way so it will burn his esophagus twice! My poor baby was in so much pain. I took him to the dr but she will say it was ok since he was gaining weight, I took him to another dr and he prescribed Zantac but I didn't want to give him meds so I did some research online and I found that dairy can cause reflex on breastfeeding baby so I gave up dairy (sooooooo hard) and my son is doing great! he is sleeping better, no back arching painful cries...I'm soo glad that I was able to figure this out. Before I decided to give up dairy I ask the dr for his opinion he said that he didn't think it will work, but sure enough it did.

    How long did it take before you saw an improvement? My doctor suggested giving up dairy for 2 weeks to see if it helps. I've been dairy-free since Monday (so 5 days) and have seen no improvement at all. I'm willing to give it the full 2 weeks if needed, but I'm discouraged at seeing no improvement.
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