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Sleep and Eating - Tucson,AZ

Where do I begin? First, we found out our son has acid reflux so we tried Previcid and he had an allergic reaction to it. So, we are now on Tagament. It is not as effecitve as Previcid but slowly I think it is helping. It was also suggested to try a hypoallergenic formula, we went with Gentlease. I was still breastfeeding while introducing the formula. It has been a couple of weeks now and things are improving but he is still spitting up quite a bit. Is this spitting up normal? Also, to make things worse as far as worry is concerned, we believe our son is a tummy sleeper. He sleeps the longest on his tummy. We watch closely during naps and are afraid to do this at night. Most of the time he was sleeping on me or beside me to avoid the tummy sleeping. We were/are hoping to transition to the crib (he is about to be three months old) but feel the tummy is the only way he will sleep. Help!!!! Any advice?
Thank you.

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I wouldn't worry about the tummy sleeping...for many reasons I won't get into here, but suffice to say that people have slept on their tummies for generations, and we aren't all dead amazingly enough. both my kids slept/sleep better on their tummies, I've never had any worries. If that's the way he sleeps best, then have a monitor at night or keep him close to you. To me, sleep for both is more important then fighting with a child who cannot sleep in another position. I've heard though that kids with acid reflux sleep better with their torsos elevated, perhaps that's something that you could try.

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Hi D.!
I am sorry that you are having such a rough start! My baby was a TOTAL tummy sleeper (and still is) so we decided to just let everyone in the house get some rest and let her sleep on her tummy! I started doing it at around 10.5 weeks, just made sure there was NOTHING in her crib and the sheet was tucked tight. Worked like a charm and we started getting nice long stretches of sleep out of her (much needed for ALL of us!) I would be willing to bet it feels better on his reflux to sleep on his belly- not as much acid return as when lying flat. Good luck!!

Our son who is now 16 months old slept on his tummy from day one. He also had reflux. He was on special hypoallergenic formula which helped. He could not tolerate any other kind of formula. We did try zantac but I felt unsure about giving him meds at such a young age. So we took him off of it and started giving him probiotics in his bottle. Within a few weeks he stopped spitting up. He is still a tummy sleeper. At one year we tried him on whole milk and he seemed a bit unsettled so we tried lactose free milk with added probiotics and he does great. Hope this helps. Good luck

My middle child had reflux really bad, too. The doctor had given us medication for him, but he was already on 3 other meds for his heart. So, the doctor gave us a recipe for his formula. Add 1 Tablespoon (yes Tablespoon) of rice cereal for every 1 ounce of formula. So for an 8 oz bottle, you would add 8 Tbsp of rice cereal. They even showed us how to cut the nipple to allow the formula to flow better. However, Avent bottles now have a thickened formula nipple that works awesome, and they have the 11 oz bottles which gives plenty of room for the concoction! My youngest child was a belly sleeper, too. When I put him on his belly for tummy time he would pass out for hours. We borrowed our friends Angel board that detects motion, or lack there of that signals a very loud alarm. The only time the alarm would go off would be when he would move into the corners of the crib! He's been a belly sleeper ever since. Two things on this: 1.) we were all put to sleep on our bellies as babies because they were afraid if we threw up we would choke on it, and we're fine; and 2.) the death rate of SIDS has only come down 1% since the back to sleep campaign! which actually is a really low number to begin with. You can get the angel boards at Babies R Us (I think). I've seen them advertised in all the baby magazines! Hope this helps!

If he is sleeping well on his tummy I wouldn't stress about it. 15 years ago they were telling us to put our kids on their tummies to sleep... then it changed... then to the side... now back.... I have 4 kids... the youngest is 8 mos. old all tummy sleepers. I just couldn't get any rest other wise. So ask yourself, do you have the risk factors for sids? Is the baby premature? Do you smoke or anyone else smoke in the house? Are there a lot of soft blankets or toys in the crib? Can the baby hold his head up/move it around? Feel confident that the doctors don't always have the answers and that you can trust your motherly instincts. Do what you need to to make sure your baby is getting the sleep he needs to be healthy- and that you and your husband are getting the sleep you need to stay sane.


I was told that spitting was normal and fine until your baby starts walking. The reason for this is that his diaphram is contracted and it pushes on his stomach and it causes spit up. I got this info from my lactation consultant who is a former OB nurse so I believe her. My son is 11 1/2 months, not walking yet and still tends to spit up though it has decreased tremendously in the last few months. He is exclusively breast fed so I know it's not due to not being able to digest my milk.

As for the sleeping, if your son is rolling over on his own I would not worry about tummy sleeping. At 4 1/2 months my kids were rolling so we stopped swaddling them and both are tummy sleepers. I was worried too but if they can roll you have nothing to worry about. good luck.


I am a SAHM to boy/girl twins born April 25, 2008 and married to a wonderful man.

Hi D., my son also has acid reflux. He takes prevacid which I know your son can't take. The spitting up is normal depending on how long he's been on the meds. Some meds take up to a month to take full effect...it took my son somewhere around 3-4 weeks before the prevacid started working well. If he is spitting up and is obviously uncomfortable you might ask your Dr if you can also give him an OTC antacid like Maalox. That's what we do with our son. Our son doesn't really spit up anymore, but he still has reflux that is definitely uncomfortable for him. If your son is spitting up but is gaining weight and doesn't seem to be uncomfortable when he spits up then you probably don't need to worry. For the tummy sleeping, try putting him on his side or back on the boppy. That's how we transitioned our son. Also, if your son is rolling over it should be okay to put him on his stomach, but I understand the uneasiness! Our son liked to be on his stomach because he slept on us in that position...so the boppy worked well because it hugged him enough that he still felt like he was being held. Good luck, if the reflux doesn't improve I would get him back into the Dr. If you're not already seeing a GI Dr you might need to go that route.

First I would like to congradulate you on your new bundle of joy, they truly are a blessing. I don't have any advice on the eating habbits, but I do as far as the tummy sleeping. My son slept on his stomach from about the time we got home from the hospital (because he would only slepp on me) until presant day sometimes and he will be 9 months on the 24th. I know if you read all the books and talk to the Pediatricians they highly frown upon it, but my thoughts are this: if your son has good control of his head and neck movement such as turning it side to side while sleeping with out getting it stuck halfway when laying face down then I don't believe there to be a problem. That was my main concern, however my son was able to do this from all the sleep and play/tummy time we did while he was laying on me the first few weeks. I have to admit the first night I put him in his crib was around 7 weeks (on his tummy) and he slept the entire night and I jumped up @ like 3 am to see if he was still breathing.... And to my surprise he was the most peaceful beautiful thing I ever saw just snoozing away. I realized that him sleeping on me or next to me in bed was making us both have restless nights of sleep. It is a hard transition to get used to when you are so used to the closeness and warth of his little body, but in the long run it is so worth it. Furthermore, eventually he started sleeping on his back during naps and then it eventually transitioned to night time sleeping. Now he just flips and flops all night from back to stomach to side to side and the head of the bed to the foot of the bed its kind of funny to see what position I will find him in each time I check on him. Anyways, good luck with everything, follow your gut/motherly instinct and just make sure he has good head/neck control and pray about and it will be easier than you think.

God Bless you and yours,

My son had acid reflux bad. It was my first child so I was completely out of my mind dealing with it. I was so scared. But we got through it and now he is 4 1/2!

My son was on prevacid for the first six months. I NEVER laid him flat; he was always angled with head up. Even in his crib I bought a foam wedge and put it under his sheets. I checked on him a couple times a night to make sure his head was pointed in the right direction (never had an issues, it worked well). Or you can elevate the crib with glass jars or something but I liked the foam wedge better, that way the crib wasn't a hazard of falling off the jars and it didn't look tacky in the room.

Spitting up some is normal but not all of the meal and everytime a child eats.

The first 6 months was hard but we got through it. Once I knew what it was and I got in routine, our son was fine.

I nursed the first 6 months so not only was my son on medicine I was on a strict diet. And I mean strict. No beef, no milk, no soy. Everything has soy in it so I could eat like 2 things. But on the flip side I lost a ton of weight and my son was happier!!! LOL!

After I stopped nursing my son was on nutramigen formula until a year.

I wish you the best. I know how it feels to worry about your precious little one.

Have you tried baby Mylanta? Be sure when he is drinking he is not laying flat. Be sure you read all side effects on acid reflux meds.

My kids were all tummy sleepers, but that's what was recommended at the time. It seems to change every 10 years or so, but none of our kids ever had any issues sleeping on their tummies.
I did see a special pillow that was designed to kind of prop the baby up on it's side to sleep. Don't remember where, but I'm sure it can't be too hard to find.

My son was never diagnosed with acid reflux but did spit up a lot so when I transitioned him from breastfeeding, we used the enfamil gentlease also. He also was a tummy sleeper. Our pediatrician told us that as long as he could move his head from side to side while on his tummy (to prevent smothering) it was okay to sleep on his tummy. I still would wake up at night and check on him, but he's now almost 10 months and thriving! Consider also that most of us were raised as tummy sleepers and turned out okay! I also believe it's important to help the baby "learn" to sleep without mommy next to him. Do what you feel comfortable doing and don't worry about what other people say! Good luck!!!

D., this reminds me of my son. He was diagnosed with acid reflux and was put on zantac. We also tried Gentlease and he still spit up. We tried Nutramigen next. It's expensive so ask your doc for some samoles or go to enfamil's website for coupons. This worked the best. Hang in there. It gets a lot better when they start to sit up on their own. As for the tummy sleeping, my son did the same. It gives them relief. My doc had suggested putting him to sleep in the car seat or swing. I hope this helps. Good luck!

Hi D.,

Sounds familiar. My son had to stay a couple of nights in the NICU right at birth (born 3 weeks and 1 day early) and was supplemented with regular Enfamil which he spit up every time, so I asked that they try Lactofree Enfamil vs. Soy and it seemed to help. We kept him on the Lactofree because it seemed to be the only thing that he would have minimal spit up with. We tried to transition him to Gentlease a couple of times but the spit up got worse. Our pediatrician suspected that he had reflux but called him a happy spitter because he's always been a happy little boy and never seemed to be in any discomfort. He referred us for a chest x-ray which we never did in hopes that he would just grow out of it. Sure enough at about 10 1/2 months of age, he stopped spitting up. He just turned a year old and I am still in the process of transitioning him to whole lactofree milk and he has spit up a few times since, but not like before. As far as the tummy sleeping...my son would only sleep on or with me until we discovered at 9 weeks that he was a tummy sleeper. We were sitting on the couch and I had to get up so I put him next to my husband. He rolled onto his tummy and slept for four straight hours. So for the next couple of weeks I let him sleep in the bassinet next to me (on his tummy) then transitioned him to his crib where he has been ever since. Yes, I would go in every few hours during the night to check on him but he has never once woken us up in the middle of the night.... knock on wood! If your son can pick his head up and move it from side to side in the tummy position, or even better yet, roll in both directions, he "should" be out of the woods.

I don't know anything about the spitting up, although I do believe that some is ok. If your son is gaining weight like he should, I don't think the Dr's will worry.

As far as the tummy sleeping, my son is, and has been from the day he was born a tummy sleeper. I know it's not the preferred way for babies to sleep, however, he was sleeping through the night at 3 months but only for 20 minutes if we put him on his back. There is a monitor that you can get to put under the crib, I know it's Angel something. It's supposed to tell you if they quit breathing. Also, can he lift his head? They say that is a sign that they can sleep on their tummmy, cuz they are not immobile. Anyway, just my 2 cents - I'm not a nurse, but I had the same fears and worries, but then I thought about it - we all survived before they even realized about SIDS, and I was a tummy sleeper as well, so is it really all that bad?

My son was definitely a tummy sleeper as a baby and it was either "do what we are 'supposed to' and get lousy sleep" or "let him sleep happy and WE get to sleep too" As long as he could raise his head and turn it from side to side and the room wasn't too warm, there were no fluffy blankets/etc in his crib, we didn't smoke, no pets, etc etc (read up on possible SIDS causes and remove all you can) then dont worry! Also the risk for SIDS decreases after 2 months I think (my boy is 6 1/2 years old now)
I actually think that allowing him to sleep on his tummy once he is able to lift and turn his head does him a service. If he doesnt have any issues while napping, then I think you can let him sleep during the night on his tummy.

WHY are you afraid to let him sleep on his tummy? Because of how he is, or because "they" say you're supposed to put baby on his back to sleep? If this is the only reason, phooey, you/he are fine. If you truly see things to be concerned about while he is napping on his tummy, then follow your gut feeling until you see he can handle it.

My baby didnt have acid reflux but still spit up (burp cloths are standard baby gear). I dont know how much is normal and how much indicates a problem though. I'd probably not feed him right before bed and then lay him down (My husband is one of those who can't eat before bedtime or he gets acid reflux. Me, I dont like to go to bed on an empty tummy. Oh well.) Let your son's meal have time to settle down in his tummy before laying down, sleeping, etc.

Enjoy!! Don't worry overly much about every warning and such. ENJOY these moments and celebrate that you son will sleep well on his tummy. And get some sleep yourself!

Hi D.,
Ahhh! Poor little guy! I did not breast feed my daughter, looking back, now I would have. Her formula did not agree with her and we kept diluting it with water until she could keep it down and then of course, she was hungry twice as often!
If it's at all possible to not introduce drugs at such a young age, that would be my first thought. Drugs can mask symptoms, but what is causing the problem?
My daughter is 35 years old now with two boys and two brand new twin daughters born March 2, 2009!
35 years ago they taught us to have baby sleep on their belly, so that's what we did and had no problem. If that helps put your mind at ease. If he's going to turn over, he's going to turn over!
I can't recommend enough Dr. William Sears, pediatrician and author of many books and he has an awesome website,
AskDrSears.com where you can ask him these questions. His son Dr. Jim Sears is on the show "The Doctors".
They are both in my business and lecture all over the united states on how to have whole food nutrtion be your number one health strategy!
good luck to you!
Let me know what Dr. Sears says!
S. Fritz
Health Educator

my son had acid reflux since birth. He was fine when he breastfeed, but I did have to do some supplementing and that how we found out. They put him on previcid and that helped, but he also has the protein intolerance from cows milk. So we ended up putting him on the hypoallergenic similac formula, then after a few months, putting him on the similac soy. He's been fine ever since. I asked his pedi about the rice cereal, and he said not to do it, that their digrestive system isn't able to handle it and then your going to make him constipated and then start issues with his bowls. At first I was like whatever everyone I know puts cereal in their kids bottels. Well then a friends daughter started getting all backed up and ended up havig to be put on meds, and doctors apointments. He was like a domino effect. So I didn't do it.

Spitting up it normal. It when they spit up everything they are eatting. As long as they are gaining weight, they are fine. Parents want the pitting up to stop cause they don't like it, and don't like having to clean it up.

My son started taking naps on his tummy when he learned how to roll over. I tried to keep him off his tummy at night till he was 6 months old. I finially stopped, cause I kept waking him up in the middle of the night. I just propped his bed up at one end. And check on him on and off through the night.

Good luck..

Hi D.,

I'm sorry to hear your son is having such difficultly. I'm sure this is very frustrating and scary being a new mom.

Acid reflux and digestive issues are a result of diet. If he had the problems while you were breastfeeding, then it was something you were consuming. Now that he is on formula, if it is continuing, then there is something in the formula that is aggravating his system. Store-brand formulas contain a lot of fillers, which may aggravate him. Plus, most formulas contain milk derivatives, which often cause digestive issues.

I recommend finding a pediatrician who specializes in food allergies.

Best wishes to you and baby! :)

Warm Regards,
G. Van Luven, H.C.
Healthy Habits Wellness Center, LLC

I wouldn't worry about the tummy sleeping...for many reasons I won't get into here, but suffice to say that people have slept on their tummies for generations, and we aren't all dead amazingly enough. both my kids slept/sleep better on their tummies, I've never had any worries. If that's the way he sleeps best, then have a monitor at night or keep him close to you. To me, sleep for both is more important then fighting with a child who cannot sleep in another position. I've heard though that kids with acid reflux sleep better with their torsos elevated, perhaps that's something that you could try.

My daughter had acid reflux and a protein sensitivity. She was born jan. 22 2007. She too was on previcid. We used Alimentum with her. She also was a stomach sleeper and 2 years later still is. I had to put her on her stomach due to the fact that the acid reflux was so bad she would spit up in her sleep and if she was on her back you would hear her struggling to breath chocking on the spit up. I went and purchased the Angel care monitor. It has a sensor that alerts you if your baby quits breathing for any reason. It only went off legitimately one time. This allowed me to feel comfortable letting her sleep on her tummy in her crib at night. She is now a healthy happy 2 year old and has out grown all the problems she had as a baby. Good luck.

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