Reflux mummies.....

.... I need some help!

S is now 5+3 and my poor little man is suffering terribly with colic and reflux. We've got him on infacol, gripe water and gaviscon, and we're feeding him ready made Aptamil (as it's thicker than the powdered stuff as I'm sure you lot know). Every feed is a nightmare - I keep him upright during feeding but he's still in pain, and it takes forever to get his bottle down. I then keep him on my shoulder for at least half an hour to stop him being sick - which is inevitable if he lies down. But then I can't do anything while I'm holding him, let alone sleep or shower. I spend most of my time in my pj's as I can rarely get dressed. By the time his milk has safely gone down its usually time for his next feed. I'm exhausted. I've tried putting him in a baby carrier so that I can do a few things between feeds but he can't stay in there all day. Plus if he's sick in there we both need a full change of clothes. 

I love him so much but some days I am just so frustrated that I have to put him down and walk out of the room while he cries. And then I feel bad cos all he wants is comfort.

What can I do to help him?

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  • How longs he been on gaviscon? It's not working so you need to go back to the gp and push for medication. There's no reason a little baby should be left in pain when there's drugs available. Be his voice. Good luck xxx

  • Hugs to you, it is sooooo tough. You're doing everything right and don't beat yourself up for leaving the room when he cries occasionally, I had to do it or I'd have gone insane. I would go back to the gp and ask to try something else. Ranitidine worked for us, combined with gaviscon. X

  • Oh lovey, huge internet hug from me too as we went through the ringer with O.

    We had to stop the gaviscon as it made him really constipated but were prescribed ranitidine which made a difference, I think it was actually helping keep the acid down rather than just stopping the sickness.

    O still throws up with every feed since we changed to nutramigen as it's so thin but we've got the pain stopped at least. I've got his sickness to a 'routine' now though, I know he'll bring a load up on his 2nd last winding and then I keep him up for a bit after he finishes then I just bite the bullet and put a muslin under his head and a clean bib on and change him during which he'll probably be sick 2 or 3 times but at least when he's lying down it doesn't go everywhere, just on the mat. Once he's changed and if he's not sick in the next 10mins were ok and I'll put him in his sling. Before the ranitidine O would NOT lie on his back and now after he's changed he will even lie on his play gym mat and just kick his legs about and watch the toys!!

    It's awful but definitely speak to your HV or GP and tell them you need something else. We had things drag out for weeks and weeks but finally are in a better place now.

    I've walked out the room with O crying before, it's the best thing at the time so you did the right thing!! I love O beyond measure but dealing with that day after day, week after week really pushes you and I found myself getting short tempered and to the point I could just scream in a corner.  I felt like we never left the house and it was getting really hard xx

  • I found it helped to use the car seat indoors with Molly for short periods of time, it kept her upright enough not to be sick and gave me a rest, I just to take it into the bathroom wtih me whilst I showered and just covered underneath her with a muslin - could this work?  Also her cot was tilted (initially on those huge cans of sweetcorn you can get - honestly Laugh and then on wooden blocks) so she could lie down at an angle, this always helped her.  We progress onto Ranatidine and Domperidone from Gaviscon after two weeks as the Gaviscon cause terrible consipation too.  Was BF so I cannot help with the best formula but you sound like you are doing the best thing.  Molly also found comfort from being swaddled at nap times - have you tried this?  the stiller they are kept after feeding the better it is for them (I am sure you know this!) xxx

  • He's only been on the gaviscon for a few days so I know I need to give it time. He does seem to be getting constipated om it though, and very upset with it.  I might ask the GP about ranitidine.

    S won't lie on his back for anything. Even if he's asleep and I put him down, he's screaming within 5 mins.

    Sorry this is quick, am trying to get out to the clinic for his weekly weighing but we're not having a good day. He just won't calm down. Bless him :-(  

  • honestly Penny completely understand, M was the same and we ended up in hospital after what seemed like a week long screaming fit.  The best thing I did was peservere with the lying but tilted, she settled just as soon as she realised it wasn't going to hurt her.  honestly it is one of the most exhausting things to go through with them but you will overcome this and things will settle - massive inadequate virtual hugs Hug

  • Penny, big hugs. Having a baby with reflux is really hard and test the patience of a saint as my mum says!

    Gaviscon always seems to be the first response from a doctor but for us it did nothing but make A really constipated and even more unhappy. As others have said, push your doctor and HV if you feel it's not working - there are further steps they can take. It may take a few weeks and a lot of pushing but don't be afraid to be a pain! I was there pretty much every week - as MissusS says, you are your babies voice.

    A was (and still is a bit) the same in that she wouldn't be put down and hated lying flat. My only saving grace at the moment is that she's big enough now for the jumperoo! Have you got one of those sit me up cosy things - you could sort of prop him u in there iykwim?! We had a cot mobile on the crib which was propped up at an angle (the crib not the mobile!) which she would tolerate for a few minutes as it wasn't flat flat - enough to nip to the loo or make a coffee at least! Have you a friend or family member who could come and hold him while you take a shower? Have you tried sleeping him on his side, propped up with some rolled up towels? Or on a poddlepod?

    I would definitely say don't sweat the small stuff - I've learnt just to accept it if I dot make it out of my pjs or if the washing up doesn't get done and I can't tell you how many times my H has had to run to the chippy for our tea as I haven't had chance to prepare anything! Just getting through the day with a refluxy baby is a challenge enough so just be proud of yourself for doing that! And we have all had moments where we've had to just leave the room as it got too much - sometimes with A clawing at me and pulling my hair it's the only thing that will calm her down a little. Keep posting if you need too - There seems to be getting quite a collection of us now!

  • Oh god Mama D, Molly loved her jumperoo, it was my absoloute life saver!

  • I have absolutely no advice on reflux but I just wanted to offer a hug! Xxx

  • Ranitidine saved us too, if you can maybe see how the weekend goes and then go back on Monday if you're still struggling? I know it is a complete nightmare, the propping up thing is so time consuming and I could never understand how anyone ever managed to get ready and go anywhere. All I can say is it does get better as they get older, Alex wants to sit up all the time now which really helps, he goes in his bumbo or jumperoo or sits on the sofa. It's not helpful now but you will come out of the other side.

  • Ninabeanie, he does like it in his car seat marginally better than anywhere else so I might give that a go, thanks. I've also just tried to sort-of swaddle him at his last bottle and he did seem calmer, so I'll try that again.

    My MIL lives nearby, so she can come and hold him if I need her, but I hate relying on other people. I'm his mum, I should be able to look after him.

    I've just looked at poddlepods online. Are they really effective? I'm willing to try anything.

    Speaking of which, did anyone try cranial osteopathy?

  • Please please let your mil come and help. You won't do yourself any favours by trying to do it all yourself, I speak from experience! I was adamant that only I could look after S but I eventually gave in and my ILs started taking him for walks in his pram which was a godsend. It was hard at first but you do need to have half an hour to yourself if you can, it will make everything so much easier to deal with I promise.

    I tried cranial osteopathy with S which helped him with his wind a bit but not really the reflux I'm afraid. MDD tried it too I think.

  • What Popcorn says - you are being a great Mum by allowing yourself a break to do normal things like shower!!

    I was dubious about swaddling but the lovely nurse at the hospital promised me that holding molly very still and upright plus swaddling would help - that first night we stayed in she slept for 9 hours solid - at 5 weeks, she and I were that tired (not that I slept, just sat watching her!) a couple of people on here donated me swaddle blankets which we used until 6 months.  In theory the stiller they stay the less acid is splashed causing discomfort - I had a natural swaying motion when I used to get M to sleep but it was acutally hurting her, felt very bad about that one!

  • We've got a poddlepod lovey and I honestly think I would struggle to get Owen go sleep in his crib without it. We now have the side off the crib and pushed up right against the bed (as he still gets disturbed and restless during the night and it's a million times easier that having to sit up and lean in) , it propped up at one end with books under the feet and then O sleeps in his pod inside his crib so his head is then sort of of elevated again due to the shape of the pod.

    We've also been for cranial osteopathy, we've had two sessions and am going back on Monday for a 3rd (and probably final). Despite having a section, she said O was presenting as if he had been a back to back delivery but I think this might have been due to him being breech as he was very squashed with my bicornate uterus and his hands and legs and feet were black and purple when he was born from bruising so makes sense that his head had also been squashed! Our first appointment, I fed O there to try and settle him and despite this he was still screaming. She put her hands on the back of his head and he stopped screaming, opened his eyes and made an 'O' sort of shape with his mouth! I was amazed!! That night was the first night O went 5 hours between his feed overnight and he's kept it up since. On our second visit she said there was still a big work to do and you could see he was aware there was something uncomfortable going on with his wee head but he was kind of working with her, turning his head slightly until she got the bit she needed. I'll see how Monday goes but I've definitely noticed a difference. In the (unlikely now!) event that I have another baby I will take them to a CO in the first few weeks regardless just to have his plates all checked!!x

  • Sorry for the mass of typos, I'm on my phone with one hand as O is sleeping over my shoulder (I was trying to get wind but a sleep will do!)

  • Penny, I was exactly the same - in fact I didn't leave E with anyone but her dad (and that was rarely) until I went to hospital to have A and I cried all the way there! I promise you it is not admiting defeat by excepting help and no one will think any less of you. Reflux babies are hard work! It doesn't mean you can't look after him - you're doing an amazing job!

    Some other things I thought of since my las post are have you thought about trying anti-reflux milk instead of the gaviscon to see if that is any better? It might not make him as constipated. Also, what bottles are you using? I've recently heard that the mam anticolic bottles are supposed to be brilliant for helping with wind and sickness - I tried to get some today but apparently I live in a backwards town that doesn't sell them! There was something else but I can't remember now (bad night with A = no working brain cells!) keep you're chin up hun - you're doing great! x

  • We give S aptamil comfort which is thicker and also has the lactose broken down, which can help with stomach discomfort. He has gaviscon in it as well so the milk is like maple syrup in thickness! We also use the mam anti colic bottles, much better than the avent ones we were using. Try rubbing instead of patting his back to wind him. Similar to what NB says about keeping them still, it isn't shaking the contents of their tummies around as much after a feed. Swaddling worked well for S when he was really distressed. When you change his nappy, try not to throw his legs too high up when you get the nappy underneath him - their legs work like a pump and it sometimes brings more milk up x

  • Gaviscon only thickens the milk to try and stop it coming up, if he's still suffering from pain then it could be because of the acid which only something like ranitidine or omeprazole can help. If gaviscon doesn't work then go back to the GP.

    N is on ranitidine and has been since about four months old. Gaviscon made him horribly constipated so it didn't help our situation as he was either screaming from reflux or constipation.

  • Ooo, I've remembered! White noise! When A was having her 3 hour screaming sessions one of the very few things that quitened her was standing in the kitchen with the tap running! To save our water bill, I started using a white noise app and still do for her sleeps. Might be worth a try?

  • Another thought (they're all coming now!) I find A tends to be more sick of her milk is warm so we cool it right down to room temperature

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