K.P. asks from River Falls, WI on September 11, 2007
Severe Acid Reflux in Infant
Our 4 1/2 month old daughter is having severe difficulties with eating due to reflux and we are looking for folks who may have ideas to help her to eat. She typically has to be very sleepy or completely asleep to even take a bottle and when she does eat, she is only eating 1.5 - 2.5 ounces at a time. Her overall intake has steadily decreased in the last two months (ironically, since I went back to work full-time) and up until this past week she has been gaining weight very slowly. We have been weighing her weekly, and this past week she actually lost a half an ounce. She is on reflux medication, sleeps inclined, we keep her upright as much as possible, thicken her bottles with rice cereal, burp her regularly during feedings.... and are looking for any other tips anyone might have. The poor girl just doesn't like to eat (and who can blame her when it hurts!), but we don't want her to continue to lose weight or struggle developmentally because of this.
Any thoughts or ideas?! We need help! :)
T.S. answers from Minneapolis on September 12, 2007
Hi. It looks like you've tried a lot of things. Have you taken her to the dr yet? If you've tried just about everything at home, it might be time to take her in and get a prescription. I know it's difficult to consider medication on a child so young, but if it's the only thing that will help....
A friend of mine had a little girl that had bad reflux, and the finally had to get a prescription. It really helped.
S.I. answers from Minneapolis on September 12, 2007
I have a couple friends who had the same or similar problem. Let's see - there was something about having like a sling in the bed so the child wasn't flat. They switched formulas. And she was dipping the pacifier in Mylanta. And I think they were feeding him like all the time but little bits. Sounds like you are already trying most of that though.
R.C. answers from Minneapolis on September 11, 2007
If you are nursing, stop eating/drinking dairy and anything that is acidic like OJ, tomato sauce, etc. When I really watched what I was eating and excluded any of the above aggravators from my diet she was like a new baby. If she is not getting breast milk, I would check with her ped about switching to a formula that is easier on her little body, like Enfamil Gentlease or Nurtagamin (s/p?). This will all go away once she develops more. Good luck!
S.F. answers from Minneapolis on September 12, 2007
When our youngest daughter was 6 weeks, I had to call 911 because she was having difficuly breathing. Very scary! Spent 4 days at Childrens and it turned out to be reflux, stage 3 I think, which is the worst kind. Anyway, we went through some tough times as well trying to get it under control. We met for 2 hours with the sleep apnea nurses at the hospital who gave us SO many good ideas. Do you have anything for her when she sleeps? We received a "sling" (something the apnea people gave us) that we put her in when she slept so we could really get her crib upright, but she wouldn't fall down in. We could NEVER lay her flat, sleeping or not. We didn't use our swing anymore because it crunched her up too much, the bouncy seat was the only thing we used and we still had to put a blanket underneath her to keep her as upright as possible. After feeding she shoudl be upright for at least a half an hour (not fun in the middle of the night!). Those were the main things. Good luck and I hope it improves soon!
S.S. answers from Minneapolis on September 13, 2007
Oh K., I feel for your little one! Having gone through this with both my boys, I know how awful it is. You seem to be doing all the "tricks" that I know of. A saw another poster mention Nutramigen, and I found that it helped to be on this for a month or two. The downside is that it's VERY expensive. Another suggestion is to talk to your ped. about the kind of medicine she's on. Some people do better with a neutralizer (like Zantac) that neutralizes the acid as it comes up (kind of like Maalox for us). Others do better with a proton pump inhibitor, like Prevacid or Prilosec. Mine did better with the latter, but the weird thing is for a while my second son didn't respond to Prevacid as well as my first did. So we put him on Prilosec, which helped. But then as he got older (3+ months) he perfected spitting it out because it tasted so hideous, so we switched back to Prevacid. That's what we're on now, and NOW it seems to be working. (My doc said that perhaps since my son is more developed now--5mo--the previously less effective medicine is now fine.) In other words, there's a lot of problem solving involved, but it will get better in time. In the meantime, good luck on making your daughter more comfortable!
M.B. answers from Minneapolis on September 12, 2007
Both my girls had acid reflux horribly. We had them on meds which took awhile to tweak perfectly for dose. My first tried zantac then prevacid and then back to zantac at a different dose. My second ended up on zantac and prevacid both and then I had to quit eating dairy because she couldn't digest the milk protein. It is a large protein and often babies can't break it down. Talk to your dr about eliminating dairy from your diet---it helped wonders. Also, we went to a chiropractor. It helped also but---and he told us this---she went back to having the problem the next day. He fixed it so her stomach was not coming up through her esophageal (sp?) spchinter but it can go back to that way because that muscle is weak in babies. Anyhow, he showed us how to fix it but I couldn't re-do it so we used medicine until she outgrew the problem---at about 9 months for the reflux, still on soy for the milk allergy though. Anyhow, I can totally understand where you are with the frustration--both my girls were small so we were worried about weight too. Also, this hurts them so it is very hard to watch. My oldest loved her swing but my youngest liked the bouncer. I can go on and on but a lot is different per child. I would totally try to not eat dairy and see how this helps--also stay away from chocolate and caffeine as though can cause problems too. I just re-read your post too so maybe you aren't nursing??? I just assumed--bad me. Anyhow, if you aren't nursing try a soy formula...
Feel free to email me if you want to ask me anything ____@____.com.
M.M. answers from Minneapolis on September 12, 2007
My son's acid reflux was caused by an allergy to dairy products. His reflux medicine only made things worse. You might want to ask your doctor about an allergy test, or trying a different formula, either a soy (which has its own allergy problems, but works for many babies) or a hydrolyzed formula.
K.D. answers from Minneapolis on September 13, 2007
I have a 4 month old little girl who also has acid reflux. We have her on Enfamil Gentlease for formula. It is the only formula that she seems to be able to handle. We tried the AR with the added rice cereal and that just made her tummy hurt. We are now feeding her several small bottles (4 oz) per day instead of lfewer 6 oz bottles. This seems to help alot. She is also on Zantac. I would recommend trying different formulas if you can- This seemed to make a huge difference for us.
Good luck, I know it's really hard to see your baby struggle with this.
D.A. answers from Minneapolis on September 12, 2007
Hi. Our daughter was born at 30 weeks & spent 10 weeks in the NICU & had the same problem. She actually had to have the surgery to correct the problem (called a Nissen, I believe) and that has helped tremendously. It is a hard, hard decision to make, but if your baby is not thriving, your doctor may suggest it. Our baby is doing fine, she had no problems with the surgery & is a chunky-monkey now. I just wanted to let you know that if it gets to that point, the surgery does work. She will have a little scar on her chest, but the difference in how she eats is a complete turnaround.
Best of luck with everything! (our little one is 4 months corrected today, so they are very close in age!).
T.B. answers from Minneapolis on September 12, 2007
my daughter had this for a while and we masked it with certain formulas, foods, medicine, etc. Then we decided to treat it--we went to the chiropractor and had her adjusted at 4 months old--GONE! Give it a try--we take our children for regular adjustments and for ear infections--we do not use antibiotics.