I'm not saying that your son's reflux problems may be worse, but here are some things we've experienced with our son, who has GERD from his hiatal hernia (from being premature):
- 'cry it out' doesn't work when crying causes vomiting
- smaller meals/more often meant feedings in the middle of the night, at least once. The peeds insisted I stop, but he was incapable of tanking up during the day, never able to drink more than 5oz at a time.
- just as his reflux started improving at 11mos, he got a stomach flu; a week after the flu was gone, it was like we were at day #1 with his reflux, projectiling 5x/day; I kept insisting to the Peed that it was worse, they said he was fine, I went to a different Peed, they doubled his Axid, that didn't work, so they referred me to Children's Hospital and switched him to Prevacid.
- the pharmacy sticker on the Prevacid said to give before a meal, and that's exactly what we did. However, at our appt with CHoP 2mos later, we find out that it must be given on an empty stomach. We started giving it to him as soon as he woke up for the day, and waited 30mins before feeding him. HUGE difference with the next 10 days.
- also, we learned from CHoP, that he has a super sensitive stomach (and probably will until kindergarten); that he had abrasions and ulcers from the flu, and they'd take 3-4mos with Prevacid to heal; that he'll have several reflux setbacks until he's at least 2yr
- that Prevacid should never be taken more than 3mos, total (they let him take it for 4mos, since it wasn't properly given the first 7wks)
Once his tummy had healed up again, there were major improvements, his appetite returned, we were down to 1 dose of Axid every other night (as opposed to 3x/day). I've also learned from watching his symptoms, that he has worse reflux and burping acid when he eats meat. So, he rarely gets meat, and when he does, I give him an extra dose of Axid to help.
He's 16mos and just now sleeping for 3-4hrs (as opposed to 30-40mins), the projectile has decreased greatly, the raspy voice, painful hiccups/burps and other pain symptoms have decreased greatly.
But it was only from us insisting on more help. If I had just taken the first Peed's info that he was 'fine', who knows what kind of boat we'd be in.
Also, my son's developmentalist went to a Good Night Sleep Tight seminar recently - the speaker/author said that the most important thing of all, was that the baby wake where they fell asleep. So, falling asleep with you won't work if you're moving her.
She also talked about cases, like ours, with reflux and pretty much said that you do whatever you have to do, to get your child to sleep during their illness - then you can incorporate other tactics later.
I wanted to hear some wonderful answer so badly and was disappointed not to hear it :) But at least I'd heard from two other professionals that I was doing everything I could and that's what mattered. We'll work on the rest later.