Constant crying..and Acid Reflux

Updated on January 15, 2013
J.E. asks from Chillicothe, OH
12 answers

My g/f and i just had a beautiful baby girl..she is 3 weeks today..Doctor told us she has acid reflux and put her on zantac..she still spits up and sometimes its alot. we do the 20 min up right thing too.. but tonight she started to cry and was inconsolable unless she had a bottle in her mouth and as soon as she was finished or once she woke up it started again...she doesnt poo but once every couple of days and nothing we do seems to help her.. shes ok right now laying on mommies chest but im worried that it going to continue when she wakes up? any ideas.. :( we cannot afford to buy several different formulas and i hate to see my baby girl like this

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answers from Norfolk on

If the doctor said Zantac is ok, then stick with it.
Some babies just spit up a lot their whole first year but it usually seems to stop around the first birthday.
Have you tried gas drops?
She's only 3 weeks old.
Many babies cry up a storm their first 6 to 8 weeks.
If it continues beyond that, maybe she's colicky.
My Mom says I screamed my head of almost continuously for my first 6 months and then it stopped like magic.

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answers from Boise on

Gerd (and stomach ulcers) are caused by high histamine levels. Histamine is a chemical hormone transmitter. White blood cells produce it during inflammatory reactions. A large percentage of histamine cells are in the stomach lining, where acids are produced. High cortisol levels are the cause of inflammation/tissue bleeding in the gut, and sometimes can be diagnosed as Chrones or Colitis.

I have to say that I am very distressed to see SO MANY infants being put on Zantac. This has become an epidemic as far as I am concerned. I have been doing medical research for 12 years. As long as I have been doing that, I have seen this spike of what I call GERD babies. Six years ago the increase in GERD diagnosis was up 700%! I can't imagine what it is now. What is really depressing is that most of these babies have never even had a partial workup, not to mention a full workup, as should be the case. The doctors just announce GERD! and send the family away. The suffering that occurs in the entire family is mind boggling and even maddening.
Few GERD drugs are approved by the FDA. 'Off label' is the term they use when prescribing them when there has been no research done on children. Zantac is an H-2 (histamine) receptor blocker. It depletes calcium, folic acid, Iron, B12, D, and zinc.Many of these are important for enhanced immunity, mucosal generation, and decreasing epithelical permiability. Premie babies are particularly vunerable to a GERD diagnosis because gastric acid empying is slower, microbes can be introduced on feeding tubes, there can be an immature GI tract, and a lack of internal nutrition. Gastric acid serves as a barrier to micro organisms. (hence many infants on anti gastric prescriptions get pneumonia).

GERD prescriptions can and do cause later development delays, severe vit deficiency, failure to grow, absorption deficiency and hormone deregulation. SInce every single function of the body works on hormone messages, any hormone deregulation will indeed cause pain and illness; (a few health issues here and there in the younger years), progressing quite a bit with more bold symptoms at puberty, followed by various but specific morbid diseases with age.

Two things I would do if it were me. I would ask for a celiac panel. Those with chrones don't nescessarily have celiac but are sensitive to many similar high sulpher/high histamine foods. A CBC should also be performed. Check for high WBC count and other markers. Lastly, a blood cortisol test should definitely be performed.(Cortisol is the hormone that controls inflammation/immune response).

GERD drugs are not the answer. this is a poor band aid that tries to stop the body from sending you signals that something is amiss and it needs help. But as the disease state progresses, more drug will be prescribed, other symptoms will appear, and disease states progress. So get off that Zantac as soon as possible.

If you are breast feeding, try to stop all wheat, soy, eggs, tomatoe products, cheese and sugar. Replace any sugar for you and baby with real maple syrup or honey which doesn't affect histamine the same way. Red meats, rice, corn, and green veggies are wonderful. Eat protien at every meal. 4 g a day of vit C can decrease histamine for an adult.

If indeed there is a chrones situation involved, LDN is said to be very helpful.


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

One of my twin girls had horrible reflux, so I've tried everything to make it stop. Here's what worked for us:

1. Keep her upright for a full hour after every meal. That's right, a full hour. Hold her, carry her in a sling upright, or lie her down on a slanted surface.

2. Never ever ever put her flat on her back. Ever.

3. Prop the head of her crib up so that she's always sleeping at an angle. If you can afford it, you can buy a reflux wedge with the best angle and a thing that secures the baby so they don't fall down the wedge.

4. Don't bother with Zantac. It works for the very weakest reflux cases, but it's not healthy for children anyway so why bother?

5. Talk to your pediatrician about switching formulas. I breastfed and had to cut out all dairy and tomatoes for my daughter's reflux to go away. Then when we supplemented with formula, the only one she could tolerate was Nutramigen. Tons and tons of babies with reflux really have a diary sensitivity (and frequently soy too). Baby formula is made from dairy... or soy. Not a good combination. So see if you qualify for Nutramigen through your health insurance, or via WIC.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I know you said you can't afford to try several different formulas, but you probably need to switch. My reflux baby also had milk intolerance and if she's not having bms regularly, she might be too. We used Nutramigen.

The meds help reflux a little - for us, it took the edge off for the baby, but he was still very fussy until he outgrew the reflux entirely. Zantac didn't help at all, we had to use prevacid to get any relief (and, BTW, no side effects at all, child is now 3 and without any delays and isn't on any meds at all).

Keep in mind the wanting to eat all the time is a symptom of reflux. Milk is a natural antacid, so it makes her feel better. Common advice for reflux babies is to feed half as much twice as often. I don't know how much your 3 week old eats but, for example, instead of 3 ounces every 3 hours, try feeding 1.5 ounces every 1.5 hours. What you want is for her tummy to not get too full, because the more that's in her tummy, the easier it is for it all to come up and cause pain for her. So a half-full belly all the time is better.

Also look into a moby wrap/sleepy wrap if you don't have one. It's a way of 'wearing' the baby on your chest. There are youtube videos showing how to use it. It was the only way my reflux baby would nap sometimes. It holds the baby completely upright against your chest (and yes, dads can and should wear the baby, not just the mom) and helps a LOT with the crying. I would put the baby on, do whatever I needed to around the house or go for a walk. And if I got tired, I would doze on a recliner while the baby was cuddled in the wrap on my chest. I highly recommend it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Has she been tested for allergies? My granddaughter was allergic to milk protein, not lactose intolerant, and she had to have a dairy free formula.

I suggest that it may take awhile for the Zantac to help. If this continues for another week or two go back to the doctor and ask for more help. You can call and talk with the advice nurse first. It does take awhile to figure out what is happening and how to fix it.

My granddaughter slept best in her car seat. This kept her in a more upright position all the time. You might try that. We just put the seat in her crib but you can keep it anywhere near you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

She needs to have a pacifier. You may have to hold it in her mouth but she needs to suck.

When we chew something it signals our stomach to empty, that food is on it's way. So if she's trying to suck all the time her tummy is probably hurting and her brain is telling her to suck (chew) so her stomach will empty and feel better.

A pacifier will allow her to suck and her stomach to empty better.

Other things you can do are put her to sleep reclining. We had my grandson sleep in his bouncy chair. It has straps to hold him in, we put it in the baby bed. Then if he was out and about he was in his car seat. This keeps the opening of the tummy on top and allows the burps to come out.

When her bottle is made they need to use good water so there aren't any regular chemicals that the city adds. I used Nursery water because it is extra filtered. It has a tiny bit of fluoride added.

Then if she is still having issues they can put a few drops of Mylanta Gas Drops in the water in the bottle before they add the powder. When they mix it up they need to swirl it gently, not shake it. That adds a ton of bubbles in the formula. Swirling it cuts down on a lot of those.

Then giving her a few sips and burping her or at least getting her up on the shoulder helps the formula go down to the bottom better. Excessive crying during feedings makes a lot more air in the tummy too. She could suck on the pacifier at this time so she's not adding formula to the milk and sucked in air pressure.

We used Reglan in a syringe. It relaxes the lower tummy opening so it will empty easier. This allows more of the formula to go into the intestines so it will be used better instead of coming up and out.

It does get better.....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Your baby will keep eating because they're confusing the gas pain As hunger from the acid reflux. My daughter is 7 months old she's had acid reflux Since birth. She has the hardest time with food and cannot handle textures she will projectile vomit for a whole day. She cannot graduate to anything but finely puréed food. Needless to say she's been on previcid it works great. They've increased her dose a few times. I'm thinking your baby needs an increase in her med. The doctor also gave her Nutramigen for formula it works great. It's soy based. She also has an allergy to dairy this usually goes hand in hand with the acid reflux I was told. So your baby may as well be allergic.



answers from Detroit on

my daughter did this.. cried a lot lot lot.. spit up a lot.. she was breastfed so we did not switch formulas.. we did zantac which helped a little but not much.

basically they have to outgrow it.

oh.. and it is totally normal for some babies to cry a lot.. the peak of crying is 6 weeks.. it gradually diminishes till 12 weeks when they are much happier and dont cry so much.. so crying will probably get worse before it gets better.


answers from Los Angeles on

Hey J.... Have they ever scanned or checked your baby's stomach? I know it is rare, but this happened to my sister's baby when he was a few months old- excessive spit up, crying, etc. They tried all sorts of formulas and nothing worked. They finally found a mass on the baby's kidney, and thank god her doctor finally did because it was the size of a grapefruit.

Don't want to scare you, but better safe than sorry! Hopefully your baby feels better!



answers from Columbus on

Colic Calm saved my life at that age. It was the only thing that helped my daughter. It's a bit messy so be prepared with bibs and burp rags, but usually within 5-10 minutes of taking it, my daughter would (finally) stop screaming and fall asleep from pure exhaustion. (And I would follow suit!)



answers from Portland on

I went through this with 2 babies and it is a one of the big contributers to why I don't really want a 3rd. It is exhausting and worries down the whole family but, I do have A LOT of great experience to help. First off, this is a great support group for you to use. There is alos one on Facebook called the fussy baby site and it is a special place for moms and dads who have extra trying babies for whatever reason and GERD is one of them. So, sage advice is:

1. Get a binky...mine would only use the latex gerber ones, the ones that look like the old fashioned ones. They are at Walmart and Target.

2. Switch is more than likely a milk PROTIEN intolerance, it is NOT lactose. These are very different and you need special formula. I used Similac Alimentum, and severl other moms used Nutramingen. They are basically the same thing, but WIC paid for the Alimentum with a prescription from the doctor. This will also help with the constipation, it actually didn't go away with my daughter until we put her on this formula when she was 5 took a long time to get to this point, my son went right on it with in a week of being born because I knew this time.

( I couldn't breastfeed because I didn't make enough milk so we had to supplement, but they were sensitive to what I ate that the milk made them scream. When I was pregnant I couldn't eat anything that the kids were allergic or sensitive to including: dairy, fresh veggies, salads, water, toast, chocolate, meat, juice, gatorade, wouldn't believe what I couldn't eat when I was pregnant!!)

3. Bottles: use a Playtex dropin nurser because you can get all the air out. Reflux and gas and air seem to go together really badly. Again, my kids only liked the latex nipples, I think they are softer and more like mom. The other bottles that are supposed to stop air don't stop running out and that can overwhelm the baby.

4. Buy and Sweet Peace Soother from Graco. This will do more than any reflux nap nanny in my opinion. It comes with a seat that goes on it, but it also takes the Snugride carseat and the snugride 32 so that when the baby sleeps in the car you can keep the motion going at home. Motion seems to be key here for sleeping, also the angle is ideal for babies with reflux. (I personally would give one of these to EVERY new mom and dad who has a fussy baby.) My kids slept in it every night until they reached the 25 pound weight limit.

5. Sleep needs to be done at 30 degrees mininmum! This is why she needs to sleep on a person, it keeps the acid down that hurts.

6. Hyland's Colic pills....just buy a big lot from online, its cheaper and you'll use them. Target and Fred Meyers are the other places to get them. I never used Gripe Water because these worked so well.

7. Sometimes being worn is too squishy and painful. Neither one of my kids wanted to be worn, but they did want to be held and bounced. I watched the entire Gilmore Girls Series with the first one....I got to pick out some other shows for myself with the second. I just want you to understand how much time you may need to spend holding, rocking and comforting you may be in store for.

8. Remember, this will be grown out of. The Zantac by itself wasn't enough, so we added Prevacid and that helped more. We finally were able to stop the meds about 10 months, and now only needs them occasionally. My daughter was never diagnosed with GERD so she didn't get any meds and it is SO much easier with them.

9. Be aware and look for some other things like torticollis....this can make the stomach more acidic for some reason. DD had a little bit, but DS had it severely and is almost done with physical therapy for it he will be 2 in April.

10. MOST importantly: This too shall pass!! It is not forever and she should outgrow it eventually.

Good luck and if you need more help or support please let us or me know. You are not alone!!!

Edited: One very major thing I forgot to mention is that you should feed less more often. We fed 2-4 oz every 45-90 minutes. The more over fed the tummy gets the more the baby spits up and hurts... Less more often is the best way to go. We also watered down the formula making it weaker than the recipe on the can. The frequent freedings is one of the reasons it takes so much parental time with a fussy newborn like this.



answers from Dayton on

My son would throw up after eating like the exorcist. My pediatrician said to put a couple of teaspoons of cereal in the formula. She could be constipated as well. Talk to ur doctor about something to help with that as her stomach could be hurting.

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