M.M. asks from San Diego, CA on February 01, 2008
Reflux, Cereal, Constipation, Sleep and Twins...warning: a Little Long!
My 4 1/2 mo old twins were just diagnosed with reflux. The Dr recommended we start them on rice cereal 2/day to help (among other things). It has seemed to help Micah, but it just makes Noah constipated (he is normally 1-2/day regular and has gone 4 days, then 5 and SCREAMS every times he passes gas...including in the middle of the night) We have switched to Oatmeal and tried mixing prunes with the cereal...still same problems. I feel like I have traded one problem for the other....Any suggestions?
Next....at 2 1/2 mo my boys were sleeping for a 6-7 hr stretch through the night. Recently however, they won't sleep for more than 1-3 hrs at a time and RARELY together. They go down between 6-7, feed at 12 and 4, wake up a bunch a times between all that and are up for the day between 6-7 again. Needless to say, I am a bit sleep deprived and GRUMPY! I have read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr Weissbluth. I believe what he has to say about it being important to teach your kids healthy sleep habits so they can learn/be happy etc. ie...I am willing to let them Cry it Out. However, the problem is the reflux. I don't want them crying it out if they are in pain. The Dr thinks reflux is why they are waking. I think it is a combo of that and their pacifiers. Most of time when I go in they go right back to sleep with a pacifier. They are sleeping on an incline and taking prilosec for the reflux. Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions/opinions, I would greatly appreciate it. I am in DESPERATE need of sleep. Thanks!
L.S. answers from Los Angeles on February 02, 2008
I feel for you!
My baby was born with Reflux and Its quite painful . How abut Reglan Metoclopramide 5mg i wonder if this is the same thing. Also dont put the babies down as soon as you finish feeding them, try to keep them upright for an extra 45 min. Hang in there my friend! It does get better!!! I finally got my child of the meds. She is doing fine pain free and she is able to keep the food down. But the sleeping patterns stay my child wakes up every day at 2:00am for feeding, but at least she is no longer in pain.
Good luck to you!
G.H. answers from Los Angeles on February 02, 2008
Ok, well it seems that you have received a lot of info already. I just wanted to ditto the comment from Jackie K. Trying a different reflux med from a peds GI like prevacid or Reglan may help. Also many parents that I work with tell me Miralax is a miracle for constipation. The peds GI in Long Beach Dr. Mathis swears by it. Feel free to email me for more info. G.
C.B. answers from San Diego on February 02, 2008
My 3 month old twins also have terrible reflux. We also have them sleep on an incline, put 1 tsp rice cereal per ounce of formula in their bottles, put them on prevacid (which worked wonders). As far as the constipation, my daughter had that really bad. We also started playing around with different cereals.If you are in San Diego Email me and we can ____@____.com
K.M. answers from Los Angeles on February 01, 2008
I'm so sorry you and the boys are going through this. My second daughter had reflux from birth to 9 months. She is 10 months now and I am STILL catching up on laundry. She also got very constipated on the rice cereal so we switched to oatmeal. Prune juice can cause stomach cramps so I wouldn't use it anymore. Try oatmeal without the prune juice. It helped a little, but unfortunately nothing worked or seemed to alleviate my daughter's discomfort. Medication did not work either. We ended up going to a specialist who explained that there are two kinds of reflux in babies. Physiological (which is what my daughter had) where the baby is uncomfortable and throws up, however is otherwise happy and meeting their milestones, etc. Medication does not help with physiological reflux and it's more of a laundry problem and discomfort with no longterm health issues or acid damage. Babies with physiological reflux usually outgrow it by 9 months (although some can have it until 18months). The other is Pathological reflux where the baby is constantly in pain and is never happy, never smiles or laughs, and is not meeting their milestones. Medication does help in this case, however the bad news is that it is not always outgrown and can be a problem for many years and some require surgery.
My daughter slept through the night starting at 8 weeks. Then around 4 months she started waking at night and sometimes needing a bottle. They go through growth spurts so the trick is to feed them more during the day (add an extra feeding somewhere) or talk to their doctor about starting them on food - it really helped with us because solids were easier for her to keep down than liquid. I think it also felt good on her throat because the food was more soothing and cold. We started with oatmeal then baby food. Just be sure it's nothing that would contribute to acid. To this day, we still put the oatmeal in her bottle because that's what she's used to.
Also, I do believe the reflux contributed to the restless nights. She did start sleeping through the night again and goes to sleep all on her own for naps and nighttime. It's wonderful. It's just a phase they go through. It's good that the pacifier helps them go back to sleep. I don't believe in letting them cry for more than 5 minutes. If they're not going back to sleep, then it is because they need something or are uncomfortable. Your instinct will tell you. Hang in there. I know what it's like being sleep deprived. My first daughter didn't sleep through the night until she was 2 years old!
My guess is that your boys also have physiological reflux so it's just a matter of time. They will get better. They grow so fast. Sorry this reply got so long. I'm just trying to share everything I learned because it was such an upsetting experience for us --- especially not understanding it. So I'm hoping to provide you some insight and hope. Please let me know if you want to talk more. One tip- stock up on aprons and wear them so you won't have to change your clothes as much. I was changing her and me several upon several times a day. I'm assuming the boys throw up all day like my daughter did.
I just wanted to follow up with another piece of advice and another piece of info. We would also many times put my daughter to sleep in her infant carrier (car seat) in her bedroom (or even in the crib). That way she was really propped up and more comfortable and she slept so much better. At the same time she was in her room/crib so it was familiar. Once she was able to roll over, she ALWAYS (and to this day) sleeps on her stomach. An adult friend of ours with reflux said it's VERY uncomfortable flat on your back. So until you are ok with them sleeping on their stomachs, I would use the car seats for sleeping. More info: When I asked the GI specialist about allergies, she did not think that was the case. For one, it didn't matter what type of formula we tried (soy, enfamil, gentlease, nutramigin, etc.) The specialist explained that the muscles that usually close the valve between the stomach and throat were underdeveloped and that is why the food is coming back up. She said the reason babies outgrow it at around 9 months is because that's when the muscles usually mature. Again, this is in the case of physiological reflux. I'll send positive thoughts your way. It will get better. K.
1 mom found this helpful
E.C. answers from Los Angeles on February 02, 2008
hi, I'm the mother of twin girls who are 10 months old now. They had reflux and were placed on prevacid and Zantac. The gastroenterilogist we saw never asked what bottle they were using. I wasn't happy about the mess, especially since it only made a small difference. I decided to stop using the dr browns bottles and try the playtex disposables (drop-INS). I'm not exagerating when I say that they improved almost 100%. They continued to spit up,however, they no longer screamed in pain during burps. Please try this!!! Good luck.
L.L. answers from Los Angeles on February 02, 2008
Ask your Doctor about a laxative for the kids. It's safe adnd my daughter has taken it for years. Go out and buy the book "Baby Wise".
M.C. answers from Los Angeles on February 02, 2008
Hello, My son had really bad reflux (I mean REALLY bad) and I learned that reflux deals with 2 issues: one is the food (you have mentioned some switches you've made) and the other is the irritation it causes. The acid fluids in the stomach make their way up and cause a heart-burning sensation that might be complicating the situation. Ask your doctor if he/she can give you something to calm that nasty feeling, extremely uncomfortable for a child (and an adult!!!). Also, you might want to check these very useful websites:
N.M. answers from San Diego on February 02, 2008
I really encourage you to seek chiropractic care for the reflux. I have found that especially babies react well to this and can even get off medication. Also, trust your baby and your instincts as far as feeding.
R.S. answers from Los Angeles on February 02, 2008
Our son had the same problems (he used to vomit 6-8 times a day too) so we gave him Enfamil AR. It helped but he still screamed after meals. In the end we went to a wonderful pediatric gastro and he put our son on Prevacid. We aren't big fans of medicating children but it's made a HUGE difference. After 2 weeks on the medicine, he stopped vomiting, didn't scream after meals and sleep in longer stretches. The dr told us reflux babies don't sleep well because their digestive tract is always churning. Hope that helps.
K.H. answers from San Diego on February 03, 2008
I feel for you. The hardest thing in the world is watching your children suffer. Acid reflux can be cured quite quickly with Apple cider vinegar ( Bragg's brand). When there is not enough acid in the system to help break down food, reflux happens. If you are giving your children antiacids, you are making the problem way worse. Dilute apple cider vinegar and water, squirt directly to the back of the throat, your baby will hate it and probably gag. Feed them once they recover from the vinegar shock. They shouldn't have any reflux, because you gave them the necessary acid to digest the food. An acid surge happens, when there is VERY LITTLE acid in the system. You will need to figure out your childs vinegar dosage. Try a quarter teaspoon mixed with water to start. The vinegar must be unfiltered and unpasturized for proper enzymes. This usually works like a charm. If it doesn't , then that's a good indication of a different problem. Best of luck.
N.L. answers from San Francisco on February 05, 2008
my 5 mo. old has reflux as well. we tried zantac, which didn't work and switched to prevacid. Prevacid works well for her. She also loves the strawberry flavor. She practically begs for more after we give it to her. She also sleeps on an incline to this day. The only way we were ever able to have her take naps was on us before we put her on prevacid. Now she takes naps beautifully and sleeps 10 hours since she was 3 mos old. we never used rice cereal because of that reason. we use "wellements" gripe water from whole foods. It takes away her hiccups almost immediately. We give it to her if she has a curdled spit up awhile after a feeding, it seems to help with the sour taste. We used to give it to her after a feeding and right before bed it also seemed to help with her spit ups not hurting.She now seems to not need it as much. It has sodium bicarb in it which neutralizes the acid in the reflux. Gripe water also helps with gas, which seemed to bother her.
some tips are
-to have her upright 30 min. after a feeding.
- make sure diapers aren't too snug.
-try not to put in carseat until 30 min. after a feeding, the position of the carseat makes them reflux more.
If you google infants and reflux there is a whole website on natural ways to reduce reflux. Our pediatrician also recomended maalox to soothe the pain from the acid, but she didn't like the gritty texture plus the only kind that is safe for infants per a pharmacist I spoke to is the original and I have only been able to find it in mint flavor which she also didn't care for. Hope this helps. Ofcourse talk to your pediatrician, but the wellements gripe water saved us.