Trouble with One Month Old-advice on If It Is Colic or Acid Reflux

Updated on December 24, 2009
A.D. asks from Burleson, TX
20 answers

I have one month old twin girls, one is is very fussy and screams while I am feeding her a bottle. Her tummy gets really tight and it takes her a very long time to burp. She can only eat about 1/2 ounce before she screams and needs to be burped again. My pedi for put her on soy and she vomited it every time I fed it to her so I switched her back to Good Start Gentle and am using Dr Brown bottles. I have gone back to her doctor and now she seems to think it is acid reflux and has switched her to formula with rice starch and started her on Zantac. I have read that babies with this spit up all the time and she almost never spits up and I am not sure I want to give her medicine for something I am not sure she has. Has anyone had experience with this? If it is colic, any advice on how to help her? It is just very hard because she takes a very long time to eat and when you are trying to feed both at the same time it can be very challenging! It just seems like she is always fussy and has very short times of being a happy baby! I just want to help her out! Thanks for any advice!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter had the exact same thing. Thank goodness I had a really old-fashioned doctor. He told me her problem was the hole in the nipple was too big and she was getting too much air/formula faster than she should. I got 'unpunched' nipples and took a sewing needle #2 and put a hole in the nipple. He also said to put her in her infant seat and give her the bottle 'sitting up' .... in the 2 o'clock position - almost upright. He said this would keep her 'straightened out'. When I tried to 'hold' her 'sitting up', she was all bunched up. He said her diaphram was 'crunched' ... I started immediately and we never had that problem again.

I missed holding her, but got to do a lot of that anyway!

I understand about being hesitant to give her drugs at that age! I think doctors are too willing to give drugs!

Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.P.

answers from Dallas on

NOt all babies spit up with AR. Also, instead of forumula withrice in it ask the pedi about simply thick, it's a gel and works SO much better than rice cereal. I had 2 AR babies so if feel free to ask me questions

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.H.

answers from Dallas on

Hi A.,

I just wanted to let you know that when my daughter was born, I nursed her for 4 weeks. During that time all started off really well, but quickly declined. She started SCREAMING in AGONY - we're talking head thrown back, back arched, hands curled into fists, before during and after feedings. We tried different formulas and cereals, and finally my pedi put her on a full dose of Prevacid (after trying smaller doses). We learned that not only was she lactose intolerant, but had SEVERE acid reflux. We were on Similac (gentle) along with cereal and a full dose of Prevacid. When we finally got to this combination, the difference was almost instantaneous. She never again cried like that and was on it for 9 months. She had no side effects and grew like a weed. She out grew both the lactose intolerance and the reflux and for that we are VERY thankful as there was nothing worse than seeing her in such agony.

Also, I understand not wanting to give you child medicine if they don't really need it, and I was convinced she didn't have either of these things because of when she was crying, no vomiting at all, etc. If I hadn't kept taking her in, and had my doctor not recommend we try the medicine, I shudder what to think our little girl would have gone through.

Good luck and enjoy those little girls of yours. I hope you guys find the solution quickly so that things "calm" down for you - well, as much as a they can with twins and a 4 year old! =)
H.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.S.

answers from Dallas on

Does she have trouble going #2 as well? My daughter would scream for hours because she couldn't go to the bathroom. I finally took her to Cook Childrens, and they figured out that she was allergic to the milk in her formula. They put her on Nutrimigen. It is really expensive, but within an hour she was much, much better.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.D.

answers from Dallas on

It truly sounds like reflux. Try the Zantac and see if it helps. We couldn't figure out if my son had reflux or was just a fussy one and once the Dr. said we should try the Zantac and we switched him to sensitive formula he was a totally different baby. If we forget the Zantac you know about it, usually in the middle of the night. LOL

C.M.

answers from Dallas on

Oh the dreaded reflux. I have a soon to be 5 year old, who was born 16 weeks early, and we still deal with reflux.

Yes, it sounds like reflux to me. Chiropractor suggestion was great, it really does help, but you need to go on a regular basis. I am all for Chiro care.

Simply Thick is a great low-calorie alternative to rice cereal. Easier to mix and eat too. If you get a script for it, you can get it covered by insurance through a home health company.

Zantac is a VERY mild medication, I suggest Prevacid if you dont see a difference in about 3 weeks.

I know nothing about milk allergies, but I have heard that a lot of reflux cases do have to do with that.

GL!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from Dallas on

You have gotten a lot of good advice on the reflux. I have been following this subject for a few years now. My 4yr old was born at 31 wks & 3 lbs. 2/3 wks after she came home from the hospital she started crying more and more. It was horrible! She had to feed every couple of hours because she was so small (in the hospital they did it every 3 hours). I kept taking her to pedi and they kept telling me colic. I read about colic and to me it sounds like something someone made up. The same person from pedi office but dd on reflux meds after I continued to take her back, insisting that something was wrong. It still continued, and this time I saw someone different (same office) and they sent us to Childrens for a swallow study. Turns out dd throat muscle wear very weak, probably from being born early and having tube run down to stomach for feedings. They said it was very common. The could tell how weak it was and told us how much to thinken formaula. The food thikner made dd sick, so dr suggest AR formula. When she got a little older we put a little rice cereal in it to.
It helps a lot to make sure she is sitting up during and after feeding. And at and angle while sleeping (in my sitiuation and w/relux).
Use your motherly instinct and insist that there is still something wrong. You may even did to try a second dr opinion.
Good luck! and remeber to rest when ever you can...

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.C.

answers from Dallas on

It could be silent reflux...which is even worse. It is when the acid goes up and back down, so it burns twice. My little girl had it. Not fun... We did thickner in her bottle and prevacid to help get it under control. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi Ashley,
you've gotten some good responses. I've been going through exactally the same thing withy mow 4 mo son since he was 3 weeks old. We determined it was reflux b/c he fussed/ screamed at EVERY feeding, whether it was a bottle or nursing. I tried every position imaginable and it didn't make a difference. My dr finally prescribed prevacid and we saw a difference. He wad still fussier than usual so I cut dairy put of my diet about 2 months ago. That's when we saw the real change. I believe it was a combo of the prevacid and my no dairy diet. Also, I was also worried about giving meds if he really didn't need them. My dr said they won't hurt him if he doesn't have reflux. If you really want to make sure it's reflux, they can do an upper gi. We had this done and it was the worst experience of my life. I don't recommend it. I would recommend sticking with the Zantac since it can't hurt and then you may want to consider the dairy. He doesn't sream when he eats anymore ;). It really is great. Good luck!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.R.

answers from Dallas on

Also look into cranio-sacral massage therapy. You'll hold your baby while the massage therapist works gently on her head and down her spine. My 3rd baby had cranio-sacral massage at 4 days old just in case, after my oldest had phenomenal results with cranio at age 5. I wish she had gotten it sooner. It's so gentle, but it's amazing how much it can help. www.kenpiercy.com I highly recommend him.
Chiropractic adjustments can really help too. Melissa Shelton at Preston and Hedgecoxe is great with tiny babies. She's a mom of twins herself.
Trust your instincts, and if you don't feel the doctors have gotten to the root of the problem, then keep looking for other solutions. There are rarely magic bullets for anything, so you may be looking for 3 or 4 things you can do to help your daughter feel better. The pedi isn't the one who has to try to comfort that baby all day and night, and the pedi may not know a lot of options other than the meds. Try the meds, but if they don't work right away, they might not be the right answer. Adults who have reflux and take the meds describe the pain and the instant relief those meds provide.

Good luck,
S.
SAHM of 3

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.B.

answers from Dallas on

A chiropracter who works with infants and children may be of help. My brother's daughter had a similar sounding issue, and hated to be in the car seat as she got a little older, but it all went away after a couple of small adjustments.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.R.

answers from Dallas on

She could have silent reflux (what my DD had), which is reflux where they swallow back down the milk rather than spitting it up. A couple of clues to watch for... does she do best (not fussy) when held upright for 20-30 minutes after each feed? Does she sleep better/longer on her tummy? Does she do better on the Zantac than off?

Yes's to these questions are signs that it is a reflux issue.

However, in my experience, tummy tightening is not a part of the package, unless she is gulping a lot of air while she eats.

I am prone to wonder if she is having a food allergy/intolerance.

If you decide to proceed as if it is reflux, be sure to keep her upright after meals (baby slings are priceless here), do smaller more frequent meals, and make sure to burp her frequently throughout feedings. As she grows, her sphincter (sp?) will mature and the problem will dissipate... especially when baby can start sitting up on her own.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from Dallas on

I used digestive enzymes with my daughter. My midwife suggested I start using them when I quit nursing and started bottle feeding her. She would get fussy at every feeding. I started making her bottles and would add a quarter capsule to her bottle and no more fussiness or bloating. I still use them with myself and my daughter. Digestive enzymes are used to replace the enzymes that are missing in the foods we eat. If you have any questions you can contact me anytime at [email protected]____.com.
J. Smith
Health Coach

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hi A.,

Crying while feeding sounds like reflux. Reflux simply means that her formula comes back up her throat. She might not spit up necessarily. She could be swallowing it back down as some babies do. Reflux hurts because the formula that comes back up has mixed with stomach acid and it burns her esophagus.

I was afraid to give my little girl the prescription antacids and I waited. It was a mistake and I now wish I had tried them when the Dr. first prescribed. My daughter took Prevacid for almost a year without any negative effects. Give the meds a try and see if they work. If they don't, I second the Happiest Baby on the Block techniques.

Best of luck!
M.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hello, My daughter is now 3 but when she was a tiny baby she was like this. I nursed though, so she would pull off the breasts, fuss and cry and nothing helped. I took her to the Dr and he did an ultrasound to see if sugar water they gave her came up into her throat at all. It did, she had mild reflux and we were put on Zantac as well. I believe 1/4 tsp twice a day. It helped immensely. Jurnee, my daughter never threw up/spit up either-so that baffled me but she had the other indicators and the ultrasound was proof enough for me. You may want to ask about that. Or, here's an idea. While we waited for her Pedi to read the ultrasound he said we could give her 1/4 tsp of mylanta, it helped some but not nearly as well as the zantac did. I have a friend with a 5 mth old now, she was in the same boat as you, wasnt sure about giving the meds. but once she did, she saw a difference after a week or so. You can always give it a test run for 2 or 3 weeks and see if theres imporovement. We nursed and then used the Dr Browns as well, but we used the Similac isomil Advance formula for babies with reflux etc. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.A.

answers from Dallas on

Hey A.,
my now 8yo had terrible colic. I was breast feeding, though (I totally would've bottle fed if I had twins!!), so I cannot offer formula advice. I had to change my diet a TON...but what did help were the little colic tablets created by "highlands." And, yes, I think you would see more spit up if it were reflux...
I was told, at the time, that it probably was colic b/c of the way that she did scream at feedings (also all day long)...but, she needed comforted/pacified...so, she would want to eat, but the milk would hit her spasming GI tract and the poor little thing was in so much pain. It took about six months before the colic passed...but, I've heard sooner for some babies. I had a chiropractor tell me to write the words "I love you" using my three middle fingers across my daughter's middle b/c it would release pressure...that seemed to help, along with lying her tummy down across my legs and bouncing slightly. So sorry you are going through this...it's rough!
ps I might try going to whole foods or central market and asking for advice on formula for your babya long with colic solutions...they seem to really know their stuff.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.R.

answers from Dallas on

hi my name is E. and i got a 2 1/2 mth old baby girl that suffered alot from colic and gas she was changed several times from formula to formula and i tried like every cheap to expensive bottles
soy milk from enfamil just made her worse and got her constipated at 1 mth old then switched to gentleease enfamil and that didnt work either until she was put on the similac alimentum (hypoallergenic formula) for food allergies & colic and it has been the best she has no colic she has gas once in awhile but she sleeps better ever since and the best bottle than i can recommend are the playtex aventair try them they work and i saw a huge difference with her colic and gas

hope my info will be of help

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.G.

answers from Dallas on

It looks like you've gotten a lot of responses, and I've only read through the top 5 or so... so sorry if I'm repeating what some others have already said! My son was screaming at the top of his lungs at 3 mos. (so much so that the pedi heard him over the phone and sent us to the emergency room for a scope of his tummy... which they didn't do.. but said "colic" and sent me home... ugh!) Anyway, took him to a gastroenteroligist that diagnosed reflux and put him on Zantac, he said if it helped.. great.. if not, the med wouldn't hurt him. It helped, he was like a new baby!!! He did not have any of the spitting up.. and the med didn't cause any either. Grew out of it around 1 yr of age. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.P.

answers from Dallas on

Hi A., I know what you are going thru as our youngest grandson has the same problem and he is nearly 4 months hold and our daughter gives him infacol to help bring up the wind before she breastfeeds him and she has also taken him to a chiropractor and this has helped as well. Another thing that may help and we have used it in the past is catmint or peppermint herbal tea and put some tea leaves in a container and put boiling water in it and let it set for a while and strain out the leaves and put about 1/2 oz in a bottle and put about 1/2 oz boiled water in and some honey to sweeten it and give this to you baby and it will help settle her tummy and help bring up the wind as well as we used this on our oldest daughter when she was little. We have 3 grown up children and 7 foster children as well. I hope that this help you. Regards Ed

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.C.

answers from Houston on

I never had a colic baby, but it's colic if it's at least three hours straight three times a week at the end of the day. Crying during feedings is not normal and I would think its reflux than colic from what Ive read in my baby books. Reflux is apparently more common than we think. A book I have for colic recommends frequent swaddling even if if they don't like it. We had to do this and she finally settled and was easier to handle.
(Happiest baby on the block)The five S's: swaddle, side lying or tummy, swinging, sucking (paci), singing. The book is great and not too expensive w/ tips or just read it in an hour or two at your Barnes and noble. Swinging for us was an erratic jig that could last a bit. Our baby never slept and was fussy but I don't know if I'd call it colicky. She settled into great nights at about two months.

You might be over feeding her if its been too erratic. Write down the ounces she's taking and when. Make sure she's napping good too!!!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions