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Is this silent reflux, or just a wriggly, whingey baby?

(11 Posts)
Nunners Wed 17-Aug-11 12:14:43

DS is just over 5 weeks and a lovely baby. Expressing and FF top up, and gaining weight well. However, I am noticing the following, and am concerned about silent reflux. Am I right, or is this all normal?

Symptoms are:

Lots of hiccups
Tongue sticking out a lot. Sometimes white.
Wriggling and writhing during feeds. Often ends up standing completely rigid off my knee and clearly not comfortable.
Seems only to be comfotable when upright, and even then only in certain (inconsistent) positions.
Screams in a sound of real pain when in the wrong position.
Gulping and choking on his food.
Rigid spasmodic movements of arms and legs. Flailing, sometimes hands in fists.
Grunting and straining in his sleep (not poo). Lots of noise in his sleep in fact, and wakes up quite suddenly and cries - I still find it hard to tell whether it's just hunger that's woken him, but there seems to be nothing gradual or gentle about how he wakes up - it's sudden and crying almost instantly after straining, writhing and calling out while still asleep.
Hates being put down, and wakes himself up with spasms sometimes. Doesn't like a sling, and is picky about being in the front-held papoose (sometimes sleeps in it, sometimes yells).
Dry retching, normally in his sleep

We have:
taken to winding him for much longer - still not comfortable for him, lots of wriggling and kicking.
he's on infant gaviscon as of a doc visit yesterday - not convinced of effect yet, but it helps with reducing intake of air in bottle.
propped up his mattress a little for sleeping.

Sorry for short sentences - typing one-handed! Would really value some support/advice as I am really worrying that I've got a long haul of misery ahead! Other than these things he is bright, alert and eating well. It's my first and I'm trying not to freak out...

Nunners Wed 17-Aug-11 18:55:56


posypom Thu 18-Aug-11 02:42:40

Hi Nunners,
I'm afraid I don't have any answers for you but your list of symptoms sound similar to my 5 week old too so hopefully someone will be along in a minute with some suggestions.

booberella Thu 18-Aug-11 04:55:00

Is he often sick or spitting up? Sounds a bit like what my DD does (she is 7 weeks)- the flailing flappy grunt stuff sounds like normal baby I think. She also constantly has hiccups and if I lie her flat after a feed often spits up everywhere. Have you tried changing the formula to see if that helps?

Bubandbump Thu 18-Aug-11 08:48:52


When did you first start noticing this happening. Has he always been like this or a recent development? With my DD's reflux, I can hear a kind of clicking followed by her swallowing - sometimes it comes out and she is sick and sometimes it just goes back down. I watched her like a hawk one night to work out why she was waking up but the symptoms do sound very similar.

Incidentally, it looks like my DD actually has a dairy and soy intolerance which is causing the reflux. How are your DS's poos? Does he strain and what consistency are there. Also have a read through the reflux support thread and see if it sounds familiar.


Mollcat Thu 18-Aug-11 09:11:17

Nunners did you have a straightforward birth? If not, might be worth seeing an osteopath in case there are residual tensions/compressions - if you believe in that sort of thing and can't find anything else that helps or answers here. Need to find a good one who knows what they're doing with babies though.

Do you mind me asking why you're expressing and FFing (no "why aren't you BFing?" from me, I've been doing the same for 3 months).

Nunners Thu 18-Aug-11 12:08:46

Thanks all;

I've noticed the symptoms more strongly in the last week or so - last night was particularly bad with the straining and crying out in his sleep. I will listen out for the clicking - he is rarely sick; it is the going completely rigid and inability to settle that I notice the most. The IG appears to be soothing him but he is still not entirely comfortable during and after feeds. He poos once every few days and until this morning they were nice and soft (and bright orange) - today's were more solid; I suspect from the effect of the IG. I'm now a little concerned that it will simply bung him up - any advice happily received for relieving constipation!

Interesting that you should mention the effects of birth - I had an incredibly fast delivery (induced) which went from 4cm to DS arriving in 1hr 50 mins, so it was quite traumatic all round. DS had some mucus in his tummy as a result and I would not be surprised at all if he had some compressions or residual issues. By chance, we are booked in with an osteopath, whose children both had reflux, at 4pm today so perhaps that will alleviate some of the discomfort.

DS had quite a lot of trouble latching on at first and lost a lot of weight in his first couple of weeks - I was in bits and he was simply raveningly hungry, so I took the decision to express and top up with formula. I was starting to dread him waking up because it was all so upsetting when he tried to feed - him screaming, me crying and husband utterly helpless. We felt that the most important thing was to try and enjoy our lovely new boy rather than have such an upsetting episode at every feed. I do sometimes BF him with nipple shields but he is a dreadfully inefficient feeder and I am now used to the bottles - I can see how much he is eating and it allows DH to help out a lot which is keeping us both sane.

I really appreciate the responses - it is such a hard time in these first few weeks...!

Leilababyno1 Thu 18-Aug-11 14:22:39

Hi there, I really sympathise with you..

I was having very similar problems with my DD, who is 13 weeks old and exclusively breastfed. I put up with terrible feeds, stop start, wretching, coughing etc- it was making me very upset.. until I finally gave in and went to my gps. She prescribed her meds for the suspected silent reflux and since she has been on them is like a different baby! I would advise making an appointment with your doctor and chatting things through. They might want to try your baby on some meds (renitidine and domperidone) and see if she improves, if it has no effect you know it's not refux!

Please don't suffer in silence- baby and mum, get to your docs! Best wishes, xx

vimtolover Thu 18-Aug-11 14:58:37

Hi I have almost exactly the same problem, my ds is only 3 weeks old and is a real wriggler. He wakes up upset and squirms a lot. I thought it might be colic after the crying got worse and I was up some nights all night trying to calm him after feeding. I tried Infacol, but he started being sick so I stopped it.
We went to the doctors 2 days ago and she prescribed Colief, you have to put 4 drops in his food before feeding, I am hand expressing onto a spoon to mix breast milk before feeding, which is a bit messy and stressful if baby crying to be fed. It seems to help. He is still going purple and looking like he is trying to poo but he is less upset.

I think you can buy Colief from the chemist it's 11.99 but worth it.

freybean Thu 18-Aug-11 22:10:44

sounds the same as my dd at that age

it does sound like reflux. i would get back down the dr's as gaviscon is crap

Laurale31 Thu 18-Aug-11 22:33:35

I would say it does sound like silent reflux, my ds was the same he used to go stiff as a board and turn his head , choking etc, started around 5 wks old, my son wasn't gaining weight also so we were referred to paediatrician,then dietician, on carobel thickener which made huge difference and ranitidine, try to see doc asap, I also took him for cranial osteopath which helped. X
Iv heard people recommending sma staydown, x

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