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What to do with reflux baby that hates everything!

(56 Posts)
milkyjo Fri 21-Jun-13 13:06:57

13 week old dd is breastfed, had a posterior tongue tie snip a week ago, is having gaviscon however the reflux remains. She screams a lot like she's in pain from either the reflux or wind. She hates lying down but will also eventually cry when being held upright so she ends up crying herself to sleep as she is exhausted but wake after half an hour. She won't go in a sling, I've tried 3 different ones, she hates the car seat and car, she cries in the pram. She hates lying on her tummy. We have a wedge for playtime, she tolerates a swing for 5 minutes. She will puke about 5 times and then the crying begins. We are waiting for an appointment with paediatrician but it's not until july. I am at my wits end as I can't stand to see her in pain and also it's really affecting ds 2.5 as he gets quite upset when dd cries. She is fine weight wise. Is there anything else I could possibly try or will I just have to wait it out? We are all so miserable, if it wasn't for the fact that ds needs to go to groups I don't think we'd leave the house!

MBRaz Fri 21-Jun-13 13:25:39

Poor you, I totally understand. We got sick of waiting for the appointment so sucked up a pretty expensive private consultation. But it was the best £200 I have spent - we got meds for dd (omeprazole - ranitidine which we were given first didn't work) and I must admit that was the only thing that properly made a difference.

I assume that you have raised her cot/moses basket? We used books but a rolled up towel also works. And keeping her upright for at least half an hour after each feed. And feeding little and often...

Also avoiding acidic foods yourself (no idea if this helps but I did it!) like tomatoes and citrus etc.

However, like I said, none of this made as much difference as getting dd onto the correct meds. I felt like I had a different baby and finally started enjoying being a mother!

Jeezimacasalinga Fri 21-Jun-13 13:45:31

Poor you - my third baby had reflux and it's tough to cope. Has your GP prescribed Ranitidine? This neutralises the acid, so won't stop the reflux or puking, but will stop it hurting. It was the only thing that worked for DD. She changed from a fussy, whingeing child into a happy camper within hours of starting the treatment! Good luck

MBRaz Fri 21-Jun-13 13:48:44

meant to say, as with Jeezima above - ranitidine does work obviously for lots of babies, just not for mine! I think it's about the correct meds for your baby etc

lotsofcheese Fri 21-Jun-13 13:53:38

We used omeprazole & it took a week or so to make a difference, but it did work. Your GP can prescribe this until the hospital appointment.

If you're really struggling, perhaps phone the Paediatrician's secretary & explain, asking for a cancellation, if you can attend at short notice.

youcancallmeEl Fri 21-Jun-13 14:27:43

A common cause of reflux is cow's milk protein allergy. Cow's milk protein that you ingest goes into your breast milk. You can try going off dairy products -you should notice some improvement within a few days and full effect after about 10 days if that is a factor. There is no good evidence to show that Gaviscon is effective. Omeprazole reduces the production of acid in the stomach so is very effective but it has it's own set of problems -changes the pH of the entire gastrointestinal tract and can cause headaches.

Wylye Fri 21-Jun-13 14:28:01

^^ I'd get back to the Docs ASAP to get hers meds revised. Gaviscon clearly isn't cutting the mustard.

DS had ranitidine for silent reflux, which helped but didn't stop the screaming, he just stopped direct-reflux-related crying but was still a screamer! He still is at 2.

Get the doctor to explain what each medication does so you can tell whether it's doing as expected - some neutralise acid, some speed digestion, others thicken stomach contents, others coat the throat, blah blah blah.

I feel for you - DS had to be upright for the first six months, he was permanently attached to my shoulder. Should've named him Parrot.

Does your buggy have an adjustable back? We used to leave our lad in his buggy to nap (he'd be in the same room or just in the hallway), and click the back up one setting so it wasn't quite flat.

I found that Gaviscon gave my boy awful constipation (picture me holding a 2 month old baby over the loo while he literally screamed a poo out). After that, I stopped giving it. I'd rather be covered in sick than see my baby screaming every time he farts.

What baby carriers have you tried/what position is she when in them?

Our boy also hated his car-seat so we quickly moved from his 'infant' seat to one that goes from 0-4 years, which had a much 'flatter' back, and could be moved from lying to sitting easily.

Are you breast or bottle feeding (or both?)

MrsFrisbyMouse Fri 21-Jun-13 14:49:14

Does she have a rash/eczema anywhere? That could suggest an allergy of some type? cow's milk protein has already been suggested. Other common allergens are wheat and soy. And yes, they can get it from your breast milk. Basically babies gut linings are really permeable to allow all the breast milk bits to be absorbed properly. About 6 months, their gut linings thicken to allow for weaning and thus they then stop 'bigger' molecules passing into the blood stream. Hence why they sometimes grow out of early allergies.

I know it's tedious to change your diet, I've been through it. But if it works you can see a difference really quickly and so you will know.

milkyjo Fri 21-Jun-13 14:54:22

Ds ended up on omeprazole. The gp won't prescribe ranitidine or omeprazole as they are not allowed to in primary care here. Frustrating as I know what the problem is and I know she needs omeprazole but also know that it will cost more money to get a paediatrician appointment to prescribe meds and or investigations. It has taken 3 gps to refer her as the first two were locum (not having a go at locums BTW), one of them even prescribed infacol! I'm quite annoyed at myself that I didn't push more and got seen sooner. The gp who referred her saw her in her throws of screaming and dd proceeded to vomit most of her stomach contents over her desk, good timing! Sometimes I think I must look like someone who may make things up as I get fobbed off a lot by doctors. Working in the NHS too, you'd think I wouldn't!

AugustRose Fri 21-Jun-13 14:55:56

I really feel for you having had two babies with reflux. With DD2 I didn't know what I was dealing with at first, thankfully the gaviscon worked for her but it did take a couple of months to settle down.

With DS2 I was really prepared and at the first signs contacted the GP. He had gaviscon which helped and ranitidine which didn't. I held him upright for at least 30 mins after each feed and over my shoulder as much as possible. His cot was raised quite high as I read that any crunching of the stomach will irritate them so car seats and baby chairs are not a good idea for baby to sleep in. Also if they are lying forward as flat as possible (like over your shoulder or short periods on their front in a raised cot) it helps the stomach flap stay closed and stops the acid coming up.

How are you giving the gaviscon, I started to express enough to mix it with for the evening feed and it helped straight away as I knew he was getting the full amount. Also when feeding, try small (although that usually means more often) feeds to stop the stomach being too full.

As for you, if she is pulling it is going to hurt so get some Lasinoh! I couldn't have continued without it as I was in agony before I started using it.

milkyjo Fri 21-Jun-13 15:06:35

I've tried cutting out dairy and caffeine but not for any length of time, a week or so. Ds has eczema and nut allergy but he had eczema from a tiny baby. Dd has lovely skin apart from sore face from drooling so much and stomach acid. Ds had his first tooth at 4 months and wondering if dd may be teething as well. As mentioned in the original post we had her tongue tie snipped as we thought this was THE problem, turns out she has multiple problems! I've just managed to bring her appointment forward by a couple of weeks so now it's only 3 weeks away. 3 weeks of hell!

noramum Fri 21-Jun-13 16:38:43

I cut out all dairy, all acid fruit, all caffein, all spices and all fizzy drinks.

Quite boring but it worked. I also drunk lots of herbal tea, actually a nursing tea but it contains fennel so it seemed that helped. Also Chamomille granulate in boiled water, 1/4 shot glass for DD twice a day.

We raised the crib with 2x 400 pages books for 5 months.

We avoided medication but that may be just our luck.

Ragusa Fri 21-Jun-13 16:38:45

Poor you. While you wait for the paed appt to come though, i would really thoroughly have another bash at the dairy exclusion. Soy is a good one to exclude as well. Likely the paed will want to exclude allergies and if you've already had a bash at this, then you can hopefully move along the line more quickly if you need to. If your DS has/ had allergies, CMP is more likely than it would be in the general population, especially if you or your DH also have allergies.

YOu need to cut out all mammalian dairy products (goats', cows', etc etc etc - including whey powder, caesin, etc, in pre-prepared foods. Its worth doing soy as well for a short trial because it can be a cross-allergen.If you're going to do this long-term then you need a referral to a dietician though, for both yourself and your baby.

noramum Fri 21-Jun-13 16:40:01

Oh, after 5 months it was suddenly over and DD has no food issues at all. She is 6 now.

PanicMode Fri 21-Jun-13 16:47:47

I cut dairy out of my diet every time I had a child (I have four, all of whom had severe reflux) and it really, really worked. You have to be really rigorous about it - but it made a HUGE difference.

milkyjo Fri 21-Jun-13 16:51:59

I am drinking new mama fennel tea, not really noticed any difference. I may try the dairy free trial again. Not really sure what I can eat. I'm currently having rice milk to replace cows milk but still eating other dairy. Does anybody have any links to a dairy free diet recipe website? Thanks for all the suggestions.

ubik Fri 21-Jun-13 16:58:37

DD3 had this and it was awful. She screamed her head off for what felt like the first 6 months of her life. she also had tongue tie.

Personally I think it's just a waiting game, eventually they mature and it stops being an issue. Am not a medic though.

monicalewinski Fri 21-Jun-13 17:26:24

Reflux is just awful, both my boys had it and it is soul destroying.

My eldest took a while for it to be recognised (but that was 11 years ago), so had liquid gavascon (given in a syringe) to relieve the "burn", but I still had to deal with the constant sick; my youngest (8 years ago) got ranitidine and powder gaviscon (in his bottles, to make it heavier) which was amazing - he was like a different child within a couple of days.

Both boys started weaning very early (3.5 months, fully off day bottles by 6 months) on the advice of the health visitor, this was because they were extremely hungry babies whos stomachs couldn't cope with the sheer volume of milk they were taking in.

They were both upright pretty much all the time (in the baby walker, propped up sitting against things etc) because they couldn't lie down without screaming - I think this is why they were early crawler/walkers.

They both seemed to suddenly grow out of it at about 6 months and have never had anything similar since.

My heart goes out to any parents who have reflux children, but it does end so keep going!!

monicalewinski Fri 21-Jun-13 17:30:14

Also (forgot to say!) I was told it was an immature valve in the throat that caused reflux (allowing stomach acid to come back up) nothing to do with allergies, this is why the reflux tends to just suddenly stop at around 5 months or so.

Dynababy Fri 21-Jun-13 17:58:53

GERD can be due to the valve being immature and not keeping stomach contents down but absolutely can be caused by allergies. I have a CMPI DS who suffered a lot with reflux. Feed little and often, keep them upright afterwards, raise the cot or get a wedge, ompeprazol was a wonder and of course work out if he has a problem with cows milk. 3 weeks elimination for you, if the vomiting pain and skin clears up you have your diagnosis. Elimination is the gold standard diagnosis, nothing else is more accurate. Hope this ELCS I know how tough it can be when the cry all the time, can't settle and are generally miserable. A dairy free diet and Ompreazol made my son a different person smile

Dynababy Fri 21-Jun-13 17:59:48

Helps not ELCS!!

apatchylass Fri 21-Jun-13 18:00:42

OP, sympathy here too. DS2 had it and it was horrendous. Nothing worked miracles, but a combination of gaviscon, ranitidine, infacol, keeping him upright at all times, even letting him nap in the pram in an upright position all helped a little. Also, wind DC sitting upright on your lap, not over shoulder as the pressure on the stomach if it's tender from vomiting can cause another vomit. We found feeding little and often rather than three hourly feeds helped, as did getting him onto solids, but he had FTT as a result, and it sounds as though your DC is at least thriving weight-wise.

Wylye - still screaming at two, you say. We discovered, when he went for a routine check up that DS2 still had reflux aged 8! Bit of a shock. But he'd grown so much now that it didn't get far enough up his body to cause vomiting. He often has a bloated stomach or stomach ache. Could you give him some Zantac if he's screaming? We give DS2 antacids tablets as soon as he feels uncomfortable even now (he's 11) and it does help a bit.

MyNameIsSuz Fri 21-Jun-13 18:11:03

Some sensible advice here about diet and propping her up.

It may be a stupid question, but have you tried a dummy? I usually don't like them but was willing to try anything for my refluxy boy, apparently they are very good for settling the tum because it makes them swallow lots of saliva (or something, I don't know, science!). As it turns out he wouldn't take one, but if you can manage it that might be worth a try.

MiauMau Fri 21-Jun-13 18:41:42

Cranio-sacral Osteopathy really helped us. We found that gaviscon just made our DS constipated, so we found an osteopath who specialises in babies

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