Desperate and Sleep Deprived

Updated on September 05, 2014
A.L. asks from Downers Grove, IL
15 answers

Hi moms,
I'm starting to lose my mind. My 14 month old otherwise angelic little girl, has the worst gas at night and wakes up screaming multiple times. Most of the times she goes back to sleep after I pick her up and rub her belly/back but early morning she just can't get comfortable and is up for 2+ hours. She has always had tummy issues. When she was a newborn she had a really hard time nursing-arching her back, crying when feeding, etc. She was diagnosed with reflux and put on prevacid which seemed to help for a little but then made things worse. She burped all the time so once she tunred one we changed her from regular to lactose free milk. That helped with the burping but not the gassiness. She was tested for allergies and all came back negative. She had an endoscopy and everything came out fine. But she is still in pain and up all night. She is really consitpated and was put on some laxatives but those make her even more gassy. Like I said, I'm losing my mind. Does anyone have any experience or advice you can share. I do not want to hear that she's getting up out of habit and I need to let her cry it out. FIrst of all, I do not belive in crying it out and second of all, I can tell my baby is in pain because once she can get the gas out she actually reaches for her crib.
Any advince on what to do about the constipation. Prescription meds and miralax make the gassiness worse. Is there anything natural I can give her? I've also tried mylicon, gripe water, colic calm, maalox, and any other natural remedy i could find.
Thanks for any feedback/advice.

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So What Happened?

She was tested for celiac when they did the endoscopy...negative.
She's already on probiotics and eats yogurt every day

Featured Answers



answers from Hartford on

I would try an elimination diet with dairy first then gluten. At this point you have really nothing to loose as she has been this way for awhile now. It maybe difficult at first but you may find that it works.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Denver on

Does she drink juice, eat applesauce or have ANYTHING that is sugar-free or diet? Try a simple elimination plan: remove all apple products (applesauce, apple juice, apples), red or purple grapes, cherries, and pears (many baby foods are sweetened with apple or pear juice or products). Don't use any foods that are sugar-free or diet or sweetened with sugar substitutes.

My daughter had very similar symptoms as yours, and had biopsies, tests, etc., and still was suffering greatly. It was horrible. Finally a GI specialist said she had a problem that is not uncommon in babies and toddlers: a severe intolerance to sorbitol, a sugar-alcohol that is naturally present in the fruits I mentioned. It's not a true allergy, but an intolerance. We removed them from her diet (and you have to read labels - the first ingredient in kiwi-strawberry juice or in peach-mango baby food or sauce is often apples or pears). Sorbitol is used in sugar-free, diet products, along with mannitol, erythritol, anything ending in "itol".

After three days she was a different child. It's a very simple elimination to do. Oh, and white grapes are chemically different from red or purple, so 100% unsweetened white grape juice is fine to drink.

You might give it a try, since it's easy and harmless to eliminate those things for a couple of days.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

She could easily have a food intolerance which is NOT the same as an allergy (she would come up as negative on an allergy test, but still her digestive system doesn't process that food). I suggest an elimination diet starting with dairy.

My babies were intolerant to cow's milk protein. They acted just like your baby if they had anything made with cow's milk. Please note that lactose-free milk doesn't have lactose (milk sugar), but it absolutely still has cow's milk proteins, so don't rule out a milk protein intolerance just because you tried lactaid (or something similar). Eliminate all dairy (milk, cheese, butter, margarine, yogurt, and food with milk/casein/whey listed in the ingredients) for at least 2 weeks to test this.

If you try a full-out dairy elimination diet for at least 2 weeks and it doesn't help, then move on to eliminating eggs for 2 weeks, then nuts. Those are the 3 most common intolerances in little ones, according to my ped.

I do hope you can figure it out.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Our daughter could not tolerate dairy for a long time, even through the breast.

Try eliminating it from her food and your intake. No dairy cheeses, no ice creams, no yogurt.

Ask her pediatrician for options.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

If you don't work you might just try to get her to sleep as much as possible during the day and you lay down with her every time she's down.

Then at night you can do with less sleep. I know that's not a great answer but other than having a family member come stay for a while and have them stay awake all night with her so you can sleep there's not much else to do. Sleeping issues destroy us!

Have they given her Reglan yet? Our little guy had reflux and we gave him .9mg of liquid Reglan about 10 minutes before a bottle or food. It works by relaxing the lower opening in the stomach. Thus allowing the food/milk to go through faster and not leaving so much in the stomach.

This leaves less in the stomach to cause issues PLUS it relaxes the she doesn't feel so much pain or pressure. Talk to the doc about it. It's orange flavored and she should take it well.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My heart goes out to you. Talk with Dr. Barbara Griffin. she is in Orland Park, not that far of a drive.

My experience, she is eating something that is not working well in her body.

My experience that was Gluten for my son. There are sensitivity's, intolerance and Cieliac. My experience is that sometimes this is very very hard to diagnose at times. My son defiantly is effected by gluten. My neighbors daughter went through several tests and all of them said NO.. gluten is not the problem.. Until the last one, some special 2K test finally confirmed that it was not only gluten but a few other foods as well. It took her 4 years to finally feel good again.

But there are other things that can cause it also. The testing that Dr. Griffin does is NON evasive. My kids both went through it.

My cousins son has an issue with Yeast. There are so many foods out there that can cause issues. Allergy testing is not perfect.

You can try eliminating gluten for a week or two and see if things get better. What do you think is causing it? Sorry, but the test for Cielic is only effective if they have it and have the is not perfect.

My daughter also had reflux she was on Zantac which also constipates her. Push the water, that helps with constipation. Popcorn and watermelon mess with her bad.

What is a typical diet for the day for her? What are the things she is eating? it could be dairy, it could be gluten, it could be something else.

Good luck. if you want more details feel free to PM me.

*** if she has a dairy intolerance/allergy, the yogurt daily could be the trigger.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on


It sounds like you're really struggling here. I'm sorry this is happening and cannot imagine feeling so helpless.

I would head back to the pediatrician and talk about the possibility of a CT or MRI to determine if she has some sort of anatomical anomaly in her gastrointestinal system. If this has been happening since she was born, you've ruled out allergies and celiac, it might be that some little kink in her GI system needs surgical intervention so that foods are moving the right way without pain.

God bless.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

It sounds like you're doing everything you can for her.
You need to do something for you and your sleep deprivation so you can better cope.
'Losing your mind' is not a great place to be.
Hire a sitter to watch her during the day every so often so you can catch up on your sleep.
You'll still be up with her at night but at least you won't be a total zombie.
Has anyone suggested any probiotics and/or prune juice?
You can mix Benefiber into just about any liquid she drinks.
Do the gas drops help at all? (they were great for our son when he was little).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

For constipation, try stage 1 pureed prunes. You may need to offer her a treat/yummy snack with every few bites of prunes if she doesn't like the taste of it, but it really works!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would remove all dairy from her diet for 2 weeks and see if that solves it. My guess is an allergy issue, and 2 weeks without it won't hurt her. Dairy takes a few weeks to work out of the body so that is why you need to give it two full weeks. So no cheese, milk, yogurt, ice cream, etc.
If that doesn't work the ask to have her intestines xrayed to check for a blockage, most kids with constipation end up with a blockage that needs to be surgically removed but she is young so not thinking it's that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hi A.L.

Goodness, we had the same problem with our son the first year he was born. I feel for you! I kept switching milk brands and we would get desparate and have to give our little man those baby laxitives, it broke our hearts. After consulting with several doctors, I started mixing clear karo syrup into his milk and later some of his foods. The condition slowly started to improve. Have you tried Almond milk? I will definitely be praying for you both. Hang in there!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

First if all, I have no personal experience with what you're describing.
My first thought was I wonder if you have tried a week of no dairy?



answers from Peoria on

Hi! Sorry to hear you are going through this. I commend you for pursuing it. A mom knows when things are not right with her child. There is a reason that they call it "mother's intuition."

Anyhow, I have a few suggestions for you.
1) This one is all natural! Buy a bottle of fennel seeds (available in the spices of most grocery stores). Take about 1 tspn and boil it in about a cup of water, then drain the seeds. Add a little sugar or honey and when it is cool enough (or add ice cubes) let her drink it. We had a doctor that was very much into natural remedies and she said that the fennel tea helps with gas and bloating. I was skeptical but it really does help. It is NOT a cure but it does help to relieve the gas.
2) Because your daughter is so young, please ask your doctor first, but I give my 7 y/o son Florajen, which is a probiotic. I don't know that it helps with gas specifically but it does help with overall gastro-health. This may take 2-3 weeks before you see a difference. This too, I was skeptical if it was really working, until I forgot to give it to him one day. He came home from school crying because his stomach was so crampy.I don't know what kind you are using but we noticed a difference when we switched to this brand.
3) Simethicone. I have the generic one from CVS. They have one made for infants but I'll tell you, there have been times when I'm PMS'ing (sorry, I know this is TMI but trying to illustrate a point here), I took it and I was surprised at how well it worked.

Also you mentioned she eats yogurt every day. That bothers my stomach. If she has problems with lactose, that could be bothering her.

Hopefully one of these things will help you. Please let us know how she is. :) Good luck!

M. P

PS - My son is lactose intolerant. He doesn't have dairy but he still has a very sensitive tummy! And there are breath tests that they can give her to test for lactose intolerance...very simple to do instead of cutting out milk for three weeks!



answers from Chicago on

Did they take biopsies during the endoscopy? Look into EOE. Dr. Barry Wershil at luries is a good resource.



answers from Atlanta on

My niece was very similar and went through many of the same steps you have. Her pain/discomfort was always worst at night. Dr's prescribed antacids, trying lactose free diets ect. In the end it turned out she has celiacs disease. She eats a gluten free diet and all symptoms have gone away. There is testing that the dr. can do to confirm celiacs. Might be something to look into.

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