Does Anyone Have a Baby with Acid Reflux?

Updated on September 28, 2010
T.P. asks from Salinas, CA
27 answers

I've been on this site several times searching for answers to my baby's fussiness and gas and recently my baby was diagnosed with acid reflux. It is horrible. My baby girl who is 3 months now has steadily gotten worse and worse and is still gettint worse. I started giving her the Zantac her MD prescribed and it seemed to help a little but she was still spitting up a lot. He now has her on Prilosec and her symptoms have gotten worse. I took her to see a Pediatric GI doctor and he increased her dose and started having me give her a little pear juice with each feeding to help her go #2 more regularly....she does and the gas has gotten a little better. My main concern is the reflux. She is in obvious pain and has these crying episodes after spitting up every night, sometimes twice. She has a ton of the symptoms typical of Acid reflux babies but regardless of the meds, she's getting worse instead of better. Her spit up is now real slimy and gooey and starting 3 days ago, she has a very hoarse throat. It sounds terrible. If anyone out there has had this experience, please let me know what you did to resolve your little ones AR. I am desperate. It just is breaking my heart and I want to find relief for her.

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C.L.

answers from San Francisco on

I went through the same thing with my daughter and the only thing that we found to be extremely helpful was Prevacid. It is a strawberry flavored pill that dissolved in their mouth and she loved it. It worked seriously within days and relieved her of all her pain. She would still occasionally throw up but the horrible pain dissipated within days. best of luck!

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A.L.

answers from Lancaster on

I understand what you are going through. Is she gaining weight? My daughter had it terribly she was on different meds. The two meds that helped her was the Zantac and Reglan. I also put her on Nutramigen formula which made the biggest difference. I kept her upright all the time in her bouncer. I would get a second opinion maybe from a GI pediatric doctor. Good luck and I hope she gets well soon!!

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K.H.

answers from Sacramento on

my daughter who is now 4 years old had acid reflux and I know how hard it can be. We had to prop her up as much as possible for nursing. As upright as you can get. Also, never lay her flat on her back while she has this. Prop her up slightly with a wedge or lift the legs at the front of the crib or bassinet slightly. I basically never slept except when she did and that was hardly ever the first 18 months. I would sleep holding her in my arms so she was propped up. (I don't recommend this!) They do outgrow it. Good luck. I know it's so hard when our little ones are hurting :-(

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E.B.

answers from Sacramento on

My daughter had severe reflux and is seeing Dr. Yinka Davies with Sutter in Sacramento. The latest medical treatment is using Prevacid. It can be prescribed as a power that you mix with a little water and syringe it in the baby's mouth. That is what we did. Also, after feeding, hold your baby up on your shoulder for 15 minutes and gently burp to get the extra air out. Keep in mind that it takes until about 18 months for the muscles to develop that close at the stomach. If your baby is not getting any relief from the medication, I would ask for a second opinion. You can also check out www.momswearingpuke.com for additional ideas and support. You are not alone in this! Hugs!

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J.H.

answers from San Francisco on

my daughter went through this and we used to give her the gripe water that is over the counter worked well for her

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T.F.

answers from Sacramento on

Both of my boys had acid reflux as infants. I didn't know my first son had it until he had already suffered for 4 months. I kept taking him to the doctor, but they kept saying his symptoms weren't consistent enough to diagnose reflux. Then a friend, who had a son the same age, had a Zantac prescription for her son that they didn't need. We tried it and my son had relief from the acid, but still spit up a lot. I told the pedi about his response to the Zantac and it was prescribed for my son. Thankfully, he ate enough so the spitting up didn't affect his growth, although he was always slender. The reflux only lasted until he was 9 months, but he didn't suffer from the acid burn once he was medicated. I was told that the flap that helps control the flow of fluid up the esophagus doesn't completely form until age 9 months or so in many infants and is usually to blame for reflux. When my second son was born, I noticed many of the same symptoms early on and told the pediatrician I thought he had reflux. I lied and said the symptoms were consistent so he would get the prescription. Since it was three years later, we were prescribed Prevacid. That drug worked fine, although I don't think it worked as well as Zantac did for my first son (the effervescent tab that dissolves in water, not the minty liquid). Thankfully my second son didn't continue to spit up after being medicated so he didn't have to always wear a bib! I went through several bibs daily with my first son, and I had to change clothes often as well! My first son had to nap upright in his car seat and took shorter naps because of it, but he slept fine in his crib at night. My second son slept fine after being medicated. Have you tried Prevacid yet? You said the Zantac worked for the acid but your child still spit up a lot. Is your child's growth being affected by spitting up too much? I wouldn't worry about the spitting up as long as your child is still growing and the acidic part of it is controlled so your child isn't suffering or doing damage to her esophagus. Hopefully my story will give you some insight. I wish you and your child the best!

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L.G.

answers from San Francisco on

One of my girls had it. We had her on Zantac which helped. She was mostly formula-fed, due to my low milk supply, and I had to try a number of formulas to find one that finally suited her (email me if you'd like the list).

One thing that really helps: be sure she is sleeping at naps and at night at an incline. My daughter slept in her car seat for the first 9 months of her life. The incline helps keep the acid from coming up. I learned this trick from our night nurse and it was probably the most useful piece of advice on the subject.

Good luck. As she grows, she will grow out of it.

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P.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Wow, I'm so sorry to hear of the problems you are having! We've had good luck with Zantac, so I can't really speak to your medication issues. Do you have her propped up on a wedge to sleep? We found that keeping our son as upright as possible during and after eating also helped him lessen the spitting up. He also seems to like lying tummy-to-tummy on me as I recline slightly. I ended up having to stop breastfeeding for a variety of reasons, which you didn't mention (I guess I'm assuming you're BF) but if you are using formula, maybe a different brand would be better for your daughter. Keep talking to the Dr. about what else you can do if the meds aren't working- and switch to someone else if he won't brainstorm with you. I wish you luck and hope your baby feels better soon!

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C.C.

answers from San Francisco on

You may want to have your child tested for Celiac's or a gluten intolerance. Pills like Zantac do not help. Ask your doctor or check out the Health Now Medical Clinic.

C.

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W.A.

answers from Salinas on

Yes! We got a Nap Nanny (napnanny.com). It helps support baby in a more upright position while he or she sleeps. At $130 it may seem pricey, but once your baby sleeps better, it's totally worth it.

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D.S.

answers from Fresno on

First of all, HUGE HUGS to you! I'm so sorry you and your little one are going through this. It's very hard to see your baby in pain like that.

You have some good advice here. If Zantac and Prilosec aren't helping, I would switch to something else though. Zantac is an acid suppresser, Prilosec is an acid blocker. Your little one might need something like Reglan (a mom I know had good success with this one), which is a motility medicine (helps keep the food moving). Are you breastfeeding? It may be something you're eating. Anything acidy, spicy or fatty that you eat will trigger her reflux. Has her PedGI done a barium swallow x-ray to make sure it's reflux and not an allergy? (Although the crying certainly does point to reflux.) And the hoarse throat could very well be from the stomach acids irritating the lining of her esophagus.

Here's my story: My son was diagnosed with GERD at 3 days. Why only 3 days? Because most of my husband's family were diagnosed with GERD later in life (as babies, everyone said they were just colicky, ha!) and I developed it in my seventh month of pregnancy. So, when my son came out, we knew what symptoms to look for. At 3 weeks, we did the barium swallow and, just as expected, he spit everything up. We started with Prevacid first because that's the medication that works for my husband and his family. It took 2-4 weeks to kick in, but it helped with his pain and crying immensely! However, he was still spitting up and wasn't gaining weight well on my breastmilk. I tried limiting what I ate with an allergy elimination diet; no dice. Finally, both his Ped and the PedGI ruled it wasn't working and we had to switch to Similac Alimentum. It was an almost instant success. He kept food down except for 3-4 spitups per day and started gaining weight. We kept him on Prevacid until he was about 18 months old. At that point, he hadn't had an episode for a month and his PedGI said it was safe to take him off the medicine. At two, he's still smaller than his peers, but some of that is genetics. But he's healthy, happy and seems to have grown out of his reflux altogether.

Some things that we did that helped:

Feed upright. While breastfeeding, it was the football hold, but modified so he was sitting straight up. Burp often. After feeding, we would keep him upright for 20-30 minutes. Keep a book nearby for those 4 a.m. feedings!

Sleep at an angle. At first, we just put him in the car seat in his Pack n' Play to keep him from lying flat. Then we bought the wedge for his crib and that did the same thing. On really bad nights/naptimes where he just would not go down, I slept with him while sitting up. Not fun, but if you get someone to help you arrange pillows carefully, it isn't so painful for you.

Avoid anything that presses on their tummy. Loose clothing and pajamas. Tummy time is harder, but I found if I took a rolled towel and put it under his chest, he was less likely to spit up. And, if he did spit up, it's just a towel.

Buy about 3 dozen burp cloths and keep them in strategic places around the house. That way, you'll never be without one. We also used to put them underneath his head when he was sleeping so if he spit up in the night, we wouldn't have to change his sheets. And if you keep a bib on her, you won't have to change her clothes as often. My family made fun of us for doing these things, but we would only have to change his clothes 2-3 times a day at most.

Keep some moms around you who know what you're going through. There will be times where you are crying in pain right along with her. There are forums at the PAGER site (www.reflux.org) or you can e-mail me at [email protected]____.com, above all, keep your humor about you. There will be times when, despite all the bibs and burp cloths, she will spit up right down the front of your last clean shirt. In public. :o)

Good luck,
D.

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P.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Some natural remedies that i know of are sucking on elderberry lozenges and also if you drink lots of carrot juice. Lozenges are available at Whole Foods....not sure how you give them to a baby but there must be a way.
P..

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S.S.

answers from New York on

Are you breastfeeding? If you are it might be something that you are eating in your diet. Babies can be allergic or sensative to milk protein. If you are going to cut this out of your diet you need to be very strict and read labels (no whey and several others). Look up hidden dairy online. Or if she is on formula you can place her on a very expensive formula and see if that helps. I think it is called nurtamine?? It has no milk protiens in it. Also, many babies that are allergic to milk are also allergic to soy. so you also may need to cut soy out of your diet if you are BF'ing. If you are BF'ing I would also recommend the yahoo pumpmoms group- lots of good information. Good luck and hope she feels better soon!

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S.M.

answers from San Francisco on

My son suffered terribly from GERD. Check out www.infantreflux.org it is a gold mine of information and helps you make educated decisions about choosing doctors as well as your baby's care.

Also, Dr. Abel Abi-Hana is an amazing pediatric GI. He is in an office right by Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Gatos. He helped us enormously.

Good Luck!
S.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

I briefly read through the responses, but I wanted to add my two cents. I have a 5 year old and twin boys who are now 14 months. When the twins were 2 or 3 months old, one became very constipated (Nicholas), but the other was not. In addition, Nicholas also spit up a lot. I discussed it with his doctor. He was not diagnosed with acid reflux, but he clearly had problems keeping food down and processing it. But the other twin did not have the same problems. Since I could clearly see that Nicholas was in pain and discomfort, I took him to a chiropractor for adjustments. I also added a probiotic to his diet. I would recommend Genestra Brands HMF poweder. It doesn't have any dairy or soy. The adjustments coupled with the probiotic worked for him. We did not need to medicate him.

Some responses mentioned changing formulas. I had to supplement with formula for my twins. I read the ingredients and about had a heart attack. Since then, I have actually learned that you can make your own baby formula. Here is a link to help you:http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/1...

I hope this helps and good luck!

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V.B.

answers from Sacramento on

You have all my sympathy! Since my little girl was born, she's been spitting up LOTS. Going through outfits like you won't believe, but it didn't seem to cause her any pain - although we had to hold her upright and burp her constantly. We put her to sleep on one of those little wedges you get at Target til she was about 6 weeks and got too big for it, it did seem to help a bit.
Around 2 months tho she started crying (read SCREAMing) everytime she burped. It gradually got worse and worse (she's 3 months now) to the point where she is crying through the day & night, feeding every hour an a half, spitting up non-stop and just being plain miserable. Nothing we do can console her, it breaks my heart.
My husband kept saying she's just a normal baby, but I eventually couldn't take it anymore (no sleep, feeling helpless and frustrated, sore nipples!) and decided to trust my instinct and take her to the pediatrician - Sutter Davis, awesome doctors there! Doc put her on the Zantac syrup 1ml twice daily.
For the first two days on Zantac it was total bliss! Slept for 4 hrs in the night, no crying, almost no spitting. Then it just got worse again. The Doc doubled her dosage and same story again.
Now she's been on Prevacid solutabs 15mg daily for 4 days. She's still spitting up, but it does seem to be causing her less pain, although she's still a way from being pain-free. I'm also giving her Mylanta 2.5ml twice a day inbetween Prevacid (shouldn't give more than 2 hrs within each other).
Keep in mind:
- PPI's like Prevacid and Prilosec takes up to 2 weeks to work, so don't quit too soon
- It HAS to be given at least 30 minutes before meals, or an hour afer meals as it needs an empty stomach and an acidic environment to work.
- If you're breastfeeding, cut out dairy and caffeine from your diet for a few weeks and see if that helps. Dairy didn't make a difference for me, but caffeine did
- More tips on http://www.pollywogbaby.com/
- Try giving Maalox or Mylanta inbetween the Prilosec to relieve the burning until the PPI's have a chance to work (but check with your PedGI first)
- Trust your instincts and don't give up! If nothing works, at least she'll outgrow it.
Lastly, like I said, all my sympathy, just this morning she was crying for 73 minutes... If you need to talk more, send me a message, I know how rough this is!

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E.W.

answers from Sacramento on

I'm so sorry for your situation.
My son had terrible reflux for the first 6 months of his life. It was agonizing. Just thinking about it now makes me so upset. I couldn't breastfeed because I take medication for epilepsy and the medication would get into my milk. So, we had to do formula. We tried about half a dozen formulas. We also tried medications. Nothing ever really worked. He grew out of it when he was around 6 months old and started eating solids and when I got him off of formula (dairy-based). If you are breastfeeding, please eliminate all dairy in your diet for at least a month and see how she does. If you are formula feeding, try an organic soy formula. If that doesn't work, try one that contains no dairy and no soy. There is one you can get from your doctor called Neocate. We never did try it, though I suppose we should have. Also, put your daughter on a baby probiotic. Go to Whole Foods. They can suggest one. Ask if there is one that is dairy-free. Read about the dangers of dairy in the diet. You will be surprised.

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S.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Strongly urge you to read "Your Body's Many Cries for Water" by Dr.Batmanghelidj. And google the side effects of those drugs. Side effect means another disease.

I am not a health-care practitioner but instead teach about well care. Do you give your baby reverse osmosis (RO) water or bottled water? If so, the water may have none of the calcium that the body uses to neutralize stomach acid after digestion.

Years ago when a friend' child had symptoms similar to what you describe, she took him to a homeopathic practitioner and found a gentle, safe solution. Homeopathy is much more popular in Europe than in the US at this time and is used by Britain's Royal Family for health care.

All the best in your challenge.

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S.W.

answers from Boise on

We have been dealing with Reflux for 8 months now and I totally understand what you are going through. My son is on Zantac and Previcid and just recently they gave him a medicine to coat his throat and stomach because it was so inflamed and sore. We are heading back to the Peds GI doc today to discuss sugery. The slimey gooey spit up goes away, at least it did with my son. Try the added rice starch if she is on formula, that seemed to help a little.
After the spitting up episodes I will give him just a little room temp water in his bottle to wash out his mouth and throat- not too much or it will upset their stomach more.

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H.P.

answers from Sacramento on

My daughter had it - fortunately the Zantac Efferdose tabs treated her.

We also tried the following:

I was breastfeeding, and I seriously limited my diet. For a little bit I was only eating turkey, lamb, pears, rice, squash, and millet. We saw an immediate SIGNIFICANT decrease in her pain level when she was lying flat on her back. It turned out that while dairy was probably a complicating factor, I think onions were the really really really bad one for my LO. I also continued to let her nurse whenever she wanted to. This meant she nursed about every 45 minutes during the day and never went more than three hours at night. It meant for a fat fat fat baby (despite the constant spitting up!) and a slightly tired Mummy, but she was much happier with frequent small meals.

Also, when I realised that she slept way better in her car seat (she couldn't nap for more than 45 minutes b/c the pain was too much when she was lying down, and one memorable night she woke up about three times within ten minutes of being put down - in desperation I put her in her car seat - and she stayed out for longer than usual. I purchased a Tucker Sling (see http://www.tuckersling.com/ )
so that she could sleep on a bit of an incline.

She slept in the sling from about 4.5 months until 6 months, and was on the Zantac from 4.5 months until about 9 months. Now she's fine.

Good luck. Keep working with your pedi to find a solution to get your LO comfortable!

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J.L.

answers from San Francisco on

I've been struggling to treat my 3-mo-old son's "silent" reflux. I'm gradually increasing his dose of Zantac (based on his weight) but it hasn't been helping. He's been waking every hour or more often through the night and wants to sleep being held upright against my chest (as I do for him for naps in the day).

I'm now eliminating cow's milk and other acidic foods from my diet to see if it'll help. I'm also considering buying some Colic Calm at Whole Foods to see if that will work instead of meds.

I bought the Nap Nanny cushion out of desperation a month ago but my son won't sleep in it, as he doesn't like to be on his back, even at an incline. So the $130 I spent was a waste. You may consider getting it if your daughter can sleep in that position.

I'm so sorry your daughter is in pain. I hope you can help her feel better soon...

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T.Y.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi T.:
You are not alone in this situation. Not only does my little guy have reflux, he has failure to thrive because he does not want to eat a lot and has a syndrome called VATER. I can forward you a lot of material I found through a really great website and group of parents called PAGER.com - these are families dealing totally with GERD and problems with children and feeding. There are a lot of great articles about foods, sleeping, growing, etc.
If you want to go directly to the website the address is www.reflux.org. You can also email me directly and I will forward you material I have downloaded and some information I have as well. My email is [email protected]____.com in there.

T.

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J.S.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi T.,

My little boy had horrible reflux, too. He'd spit up 20-30 times a day and cried for what felt like 3 months straight. He was on Prevacid which did help with his pain a little, but it did not decrease the spit up. His doctor said that was due to the underdeveloped little flap in his stomach (I'm sure she had a more "medical" way of putting it). The spitting up may not improve until 9-12 months, but I would be concerned about the pain she is in. The only thing I did that made a difference was to completely cut ALL dairy from my diet. It definitely helped, though it didn't alleviate the problem. I did find a lot of good information on this site: infantreflux.org I know how tough this is, and I hope she's better soon!

-J

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S.M.

answers from Raleigh on

My neice had it. The doctor at first thought she was eating too much. Then thought she was lctos intolerant. They switched her formula to soy. That helped very little. In the end they discovered it was acid reflux. It didn't get any better until she was older and off of formula all together. She was around 2 before it was under control.

Updated

My neice had it. The doctor at first thought she was eating too much. Then thought she was lctos intolerant. They switched her formula to soy. That helped very little. In the end they discovered it was acid reflux. It didn't get any better until she was older and off of formula all together. She was around 2 before it was under control.

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M.K.

answers from San Francisco on

My baby had it so bad that she stopped breathing at 3 weeks of age, which is how we found out in the first place. The spitup blocked her airway. Very scary. They immediately put her on Prevacid and I can't tell you well it worked. She was on it until a few weeks after she could really sit up on her own unassisted and starting to crawl, about 6 - 7 months. I suggest you talk to your GI or ped about Prevacid. Our Ped GI was Christine Nguen at CPMC. Really helped.

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R.C.

answers from Sacramento on

I would try a baby probiotic (you can get one from a health food store). You can ask them for a high quality one (there are cheaper ones that aren't as effective) and one thats made for a baby. They are a powder and you can mix it in a drink for them or even just put it in their mouth. My kids like it and always want more than I give them. Also, you may want to do an online search for "Leaky Gut Syndrome"; its VERY commom for kids (and adults too) and is easy to turn around.
You may find the meds actually make the problem worse.
My son had really bad allergies and I went to so many doctors, specialists, alternative doctors, chiropractors, etc. and noone could identify what was causing the reaction in him. Finally a Naturaopathic doctor told me about "leaky gut" and I followed the advice and it worked. His allergies have been gone for over a year now. If you have a Naturopathic doctor in your area, I have found they are really knowlegable about colon health and stomach flora. I highly recommend seeing an ND for anything related to this. MD's seem to just want to medicate but for acid reflux I have found with babies on up to my elderly father, meds only mask the problem and it continues to get worse. Best of luck. I hope you get things resolved!!

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K.D.

answers from San Francisco on

Is your baby breast fed or on formula? If breast fed...it could very likely be something that you are eating.
Also if on formula, try to find a formula that is rice based. Not soy, not dairy. That could help a great deal. Be very weary of medicines as they can change the make-up of your child's digestive processes for the rest of her life, causing leaky gut syndrome. Also, consider giving her Ultra Bifidus DF in powder form and just put about an 1/8 of a teaspoon in her mouth with a small spoon or add it to her breast milk or formula. It could help by leaps and bounds...if nothing else...greatly assist with immunity. Also consider 1/2 capsule of Broad Spectrum Colostrum by Prosymbiotics. This will greatly assist with immunity.
Hope this helps....(gave these things to my son and help him immensely with acid reflux and colds.
Kim

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