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7 week old with reflux.. is there any hope? Will it ever get better??

(40 Posts)
user1481139951 Sat 04-Mar-17 12:30:17

My 7 week old has bad reflux.. constant throwing up after every burp followed by screaming, arching back, thrashing around.. he doesn't sleep well at all.. have yet to see him sleep through the night, so far it's still waking every 1 or 2 hours. He can't always take a full bottle so sometimes will have only 2 ounces and then fall asleep only to wake up 20 minutes later for more. When he does sleep he makes all kinds of noises, rasping, grunting, gagging, crying ect so I can never switch off or get any rest. He is so unhappy all of the time. Not seen a smile at all yet and hardly any eye contact. I'm exhausted and really hating every minute of what's meant to be such a happy time of life right now. As for what I'm trying to manage the reflux- gaviscon made no difference. Couldn't get him onto prescribed cows milk protein free milk as it was so thin he just threw it all up instantly and screamed bloody murder. Been prescribed ranitidine and have to pick it up next week but I'm concerned about the alcohol in it. I prop the cot up, burp him every 10 ml and sit him upright after feeds for 20 mins. I feel like I'm trying everything and getting nowhere and I'm losing hope that things will ever improve.
It's so depressing seeing your baby in constant pain and the fact that he's never smiled yet fills me with so much worry.
I'm afraid to go out anywhere because he cries constantly when he's awake and as he's always sick Im afraid to feed him in public so I feel trapped in my house all the time. I don't really have anyone to talk to and am feeling so lonely.
I guess I just want a bit of reassurance that there is an end to it all and that he will turn out a happy healthy baby after it all.
Sorry for the essay, just need to get it out really.

Elland Sat 04-Mar-17 12:42:16

Have you tried Cow&Gate carobel? It's a thickener but you can add more/less scoops to get it to whatever thickness you like (within the guidelines on the box). We're using it at the moment and it hasn't caused any constipation and whilst DS isn't 100% better it has really helped him but he doesn't have reflux as bad as your little one sounds.

Might not work but you can buy it over the counter so it might be worth a try! I had to ring round a few chemists to find one that had it in stock.

LapinR0se Sat 04-Mar-17 16:14:17

Definitely give the ranitidine. Poor baby needs something to ease the pain. Try the thickener too

LieInRequired Sat 04-Mar-17 23:18:23

It definitely does get better. The amount of alcohol in ranitidine is very low. Both my DDs had it with no side-effects. The correct dose of ranitidine is dependent on yor DCs weight. So you will need to increase the dose as he grows otherwise it will stop working.

A paediatrician told me that about 80% of babies grow out of reflux by 6 months, 90% by 1 year and 99% by 2 years. Unfortunately my DDs are in the remaining 1%, due to an inherited disorder, and will probably never be completely free of it but we manage ok. I had to learn that it is ok to give your DCs medicines regularly because the acid coming up with reflux can do damage to the throat and teeth. I think this is a greater risk than the possible side effects of the medicine.

The thickener mentioned by a pp is worth trying. I would also suggest persisting with the cows milk protein free milk since many children with reflux are dairy and soya intolerant.

I hope your baby is more comfortable soon and you both get some sleep.

ScarletSienna Sat 04-Mar-17 23:27:12

What worked for us:
-Omeprazole (ranitidine didn't)
-keeping him upright after feeds for an hour
-carrying him in a sling (again being upright)
-me going dairy free and continuing breastfeeding
-ditching the Gaviscon (because of constipation)
-age. Symptoms went not long after he turned one

It is tough flowers

Sparklingbrook Sat 04-Mar-17 23:29:37

Is he gaining weight ok? Sounds really miserable for both of you.

ItsReginaPhalange Sat 04-Mar-17 23:32:52

You have my sympathy, it does get better. I had my baby on comfort formula with carobel and gavison, then ranitidine. I raised the cot way higher than I previously had which worked brilliantly. I bought a sleepyhead and it worked a treat and put that also on a special wedge you can buy. He looked like Dracula he was that raised up, but I swear it helped so much, the sleepyhead kept him in position.

user1481139951 Sun 05-Mar-17 06:52:46

Thank you everyone for your replies, some really helpful advice. I'm going to look into the carobel, but the trouble I've had with thickened milk (I've tried aptamil comfort previously) is that it wouldn't come through the teets! Even on a level 3 teet. I will definitely try the ranitidine when the pharmacy get it in and hopefully that'll provide some sort of relief for him. Will look at propping his cot up higher too. It is so tough but I guess no one ever said being a parent would be easy! Just got to stick it out and wait for him to grow out of it I guess!

Rockandrollwithit Sun 05-Mar-17 06:59:29

When my DS was that age, I could have written your post. I remember clearly how miserable it was and how it felt like it would never end. I remember taking him to a baby group once and the other mums moving their DCs away when he started being sick yet again sad.

Nothing really worked for us apart from co-sleeping. But by the time he was 9 months old, it had practically gone and completely vanished by a year. From 9 months he slept through the night all night in his cot and is such as brilliant sleeper now. He'll be 3 in June and I honestly can't remember the last time I had to get up in the night.

Hang in there, this will pass.

SaorAlbaGuBrath Sun 05-Mar-17 07:02:48

All 3 of mine had horrific reflux, it's heartbreaking. But yes, it does get better. Baby gaviscon sorted it for DS1 and DD, and for DS2 a combo of baby gaviscon and ranitidine helped. Best of luck OP.

CluelessMummy Sun 05-Mar-17 07:16:01

Omeprazole really helped with our DD who started it at 8 weeks after everything else failed (and the GP agreed she was "miserable", which broke my heart). In fact, her medication was changed last week and she was back to the "old her". I'd forgotten how bad it was, day to day, so I really feel for you OP. It hasn't solved the problem completely and there are still tricky days but going through the last week has reminded me what a positive change there's been. Hang in there mama xx

Babydreaming Mon 06-Mar-17 12:54:11

Hey..I'm in a very similar situation! It started to get really bad for us around 4 weeks and has worsened since. He is now 3 months old and really struggling. He's still not a great sleeper and feeding is traumatic for both of us. He went from drinking loads and screaming and vomiting to now refusing to feed. He will only take about 60ml in one go and that takes forever with a lot of fussing. He's dropped from 35th centile to under the 9th. It's so distressing that the pain has put him off
Feeding now. We've tried:

Gaviscon - seemed to make him take more milk with less screaming but he vomited loads more
Ranitidine - didn't make a lot of difference for us
Omeprazole- just started it, no difference yet.
Hypoallergenic formula - he hated it and refused it

Because of the weight drop we've now been referred to paediatricians. I'm going to follow this thread as also want some reassurance that things will improve!! Our baby also didn't smile til 8 weeks and wouldn't make eye contact with me, it's really upsetting!

user1481139951 Mon 06-Mar-17 14:12:49

My goodness, you poor thing! sad That sounds absolutely awful. I'm so sorry your LO is sstruggling so much and losing weight. It's horrible when nothing works and your hopes of things improving are constantly dashed. sad With any luck the paediatricians might have more ideas than your GP.
Fingers crossed we both find something that works for us and our LOs.

MrEBear Mon 06-Mar-17 14:21:35

It will get better. Keeping them upright certainly helps. I'd get a sling, I'm loving the close caboo bought mine on gum tree. Wish I'd had one for my first baby.

Go easy, try to get out the house it's depressing being stuck in with a baby.

CottonSock Mon 06-Mar-17 14:24:53

7 weeks is about peak crying. It will get easier. Two reflux babies here.

humourless Mon 06-Mar-17 14:26:29

Mechanical swing, if you cannot afford a new one buy from eBay.... or sell on after. It really soothed and gave me hands free time. Two of mine had it for 9 months - 1 year.

Skisunsnow Mon 06-Mar-17 14:31:45

Ranitidine was what worked for our DD 2 years ago. We finally managed to get it prescribed at 10 weeks, and was she off it once she started weaning. She was also on a minimal dose of domperidone but that has since been banned I believe :/
Have you tried the tommmee tippee varioflow teats? We used them with the cow and Gate reflux milk and they were fine. The cow and gate reflux milk doesn't taste any different to the standard formula. Good luck, it's hard but gets easier.

Skisunsnow Mon 06-Mar-17 14:33:30

Not something that is recommended but as soon as my Dd could roll Over, she slept on her front, with her knees up, and still does! I'm sure it was because she felt more comfortable from the reflux!

MistySkies Mon 06-Mar-17 14:35:26

First of all - yes there is lots of hope! Lots of things to try. My first baby (now just turned 2) had it. I didn't seek help for a long time as was told reflux does not need to be medicated unless they are losing weight. He was very unhappy and a poor sleeper, and consequently more unhappy due to disturbed sleep. At 4 or 5 months we started gaviscon which possibly helped a bit. At ten months he suddenly started sleeping well (we hadn't changed anything) and has been a brilliant sleeper ever since. I was really worried throughout my second pregnancy that the same thing would happen and was gutted when she was diagnosed with it at a week old. The symptoms seemed worse - louder grunting, gagging, bringing up bile and this time I decided to throw everything at it. She had gaviscon till 4 weeks, then ranitidine. I swaddled her (miracle swaddle) and she slept beside me in a sleepyhead (much easier to settle whilst lying down yourself). She sadly wouldn't bf after 7 weeks so i changed to actimel reflux formula. I bought a swing (graco simple sway) for the daytime. She is now 6 months and has been such a happy comfortable baby since 4 or 5 weeks old. It makes me feel guilty that my son had the time he had - though who knows if those things would have helped! I don't know which thing (if any) did the trick or if it was the combination, though I suspect it was the ranitidine once the dosage was optimised, and probably the thickened formula (though I would have preferred to breastfeed). That is just my experience, hope something from it helps. It's not an easy time but you have so many amazing times to come with your baby and even though it is lovely to be able to enjoy the newborn period it certainly isn't usual or expected - anyone who gets to really enjoy that bit is very lucky but for a lot of people that isn't the case, but it will pass and when he becomes more comfortable you will start to experience more of the amazing parts of having a child

newmumwithquestions Mon 06-Mar-17 14:40:55

Both mine had reflux.
For us weaning was the answer - weaned 1 at 4.5 months and the other at 5.5 months (would have started earlier but we were struggling with constipated Gaviscon poo so didn't want to introduce anything else until it was partially under control). It wasn't a magic cure but gradually as milk to food ratio decreased so did the amount brought up - both mine struggled with weight gain until food was introduced. Obviously 7 weeks is way too early for food but it's not that long until you'll be introducing it.
Try to get out. For your sanity more than your babies. Have a big stash of supersoft muslins wherever you go.

ProseccoMadeMeDoIt Mon 06-Mar-17 14:44:20

I second carobel, my son was a different child after we introduced it.

Jenjen18 Mon 06-Mar-17 14:46:59

First of all I am sorry u r going through this. My dd has reflux as well and she was on gaviscon which causes constipation - stopped it and then she was given ranitidine which was brilliant and on top of that carobel to thicken her milk. She has cow's milk intolerance too. She was diagnosed at 6 weeks and been giving her ranitidine since and recently stopped as she seems to be coping well without it. It does get better OP. My dd is 7 months old now. I know this is not recommended but my dd sleeps on her tummy since week 10 as she has good neck control and she seems to settle better. Good luck and persevere. It's never easy looking after a reflux baby but believe me it does get better. Hang in there.

user1481139951 Fri 10-Mar-17 14:47:41

Just thought I would update - ranitidine hasn't seemed to work for us, LO has now started only taking 1 ounce every 2 hours and vomiting it all up. HV been and weighed him and he's started losing weight. Sent to GP by HV but felt I got completely fobbed off by the nurse I saw who told me these recent feeding problems were caused by a blocked nose and that he should sort himself out in a week.. He doesn't seem to have a blocked nose at all to me but we were sent away nonetheless. Don't think I'm going to find a solution to this other than just braving it and waiting it out until he outgrows it.

LapinR0se Fri 10-Mar-17 19:43:37

I would go to A&E with a baby who is vomiting up all feeds and losing weight

Dinnerout1 Fri 10-Mar-17 19:48:36

Could it be the Milton you use to sterilise his bottles? I found out when I stopped using it and switched to steaming the bottles in microwave or boiling them in pan that baby's pain stopped and slept well.

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