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Question about our daughter with suspected reflux.... all advice v. gratefully received...

(29 Posts)
orangina Thu 04-Aug-05 21:32:44

Our 4 month old dd has got reflux (we think).... not the terrible all day screaming and vomiting, but pretty horrid for her anyway. She is so difficult to feed (we are bottle feeding her, having just finished feeding her a mixture of formula and expressed breast milk by bottle), with her refusing to feed when she is clearly hungry, bringing up acid, inconsolable when the pain hits her tummy/oesophagus, etc. We think it was triggered by a change in formula while we were on holiday, but we are back on the original one which she has always been fine with (Aptimil), and today we went to the GP who prescribed us some baby gaviscon which we have, as per instructions, been giving her in her bottle. We have finally settled her for the evening now after a lot of screaming and pain which kicked in about 45 mins after her feed and gaviscon.... can we give her more gaviscon between feeds? Does anyone have any advice as to how best to deal with this? IT breaks my heart to see/hear her so upset when she is generally such a sweet and happy baby most of the time. I really hope most of it clears up now that we are back to the Aptimil, but who knows.....

ALL advice most most gratefully received, thanks so much in advance and sorry this is so long and rambling!

orangina Fri 05-Aug-05 09:59:30

bumping this in the hope that someone might have some advice.....

Hattie05 Fri 05-Aug-05 10:15:00

Hi, sorry to hear about your poor dd. I'm afraid i don't have any real advice but thought i'd let you know you're not being ignored!

Regard to giving extra gaviscon, can you ring and ask your GP? Most have an hourslot where you can ring and ask them a question.

Kidstrack2 Fri 05-Aug-05 10:16:28

My dd had a small reflux very tiny but she didn't stop being sick till she was 9months old. Doctor gave me something to give her before each feed to give her stomach a lining but didn't help. She was breastfed for a month a then we used aptimil.

Bethron Fri 05-Aug-05 10:24:31

Message withdrawn

saadia Fri 05-Aug-05 11:27:55

orangina, there was a Baby Whisperer episode featuring a baby with terrible reflux.

It was advised that the baby's mattress be placed at an angle so that her head was higher than her body, it was also said that the baby shouldn't be jiggled to calm her and that when she had an episode of reflux to hold her firmly, put her over your shoulder and stroke her back upwards. Basically it was advised that whenever possible don't make her lie flat, even when changing her nappy.

I hope some of this helps, it must be awful seeing your dd suffering so much.

west3 Fri 05-Aug-05 11:36:45

dd had reflux from about 2mths to 8/9mths. We were on gaviscon all that time. The thing that really helped for us in addition to the gaviscon (which took about a week to kick in properly) was keeping her at an angle of greater than 30 degrees - rocker chair, pillow under changing mat, head of cot/crib propped up and bath support. The other tip that our HV passed on was to wind her upright over a shoulder and to rub not pat when winding and def no bouncing to settle her. Worked for us and she is now a very lively 4 year old.

orangina Fri 05-Aug-05 12:29:46

Thank you all for your messages and advice! We are putting her at an angle in her cot, but unfortunately as she is such an active baby, she does tend to end up crammed down at the bottom of her cot within a few hours, which I think wakes her up at night earlier than she would do otherwise, iyswim. It's so odd; between her episodes, she is the sweetest little happy girl, but then she suddenly flips to being in pain and it all goes pear shaped. We had already worked out that when she gets very excited, it can trigger the reflux, and also the jiggling thing too, but interesting to hear that I should be stroking the burps out of her and not patting. Will definitely try that. Meanwhile, I think the gaviscon is helping, but the evenings are still pretty dreadful (though the nights are fine, wierdly but joyfully enough!)
Thanks again for your all your advice!

PrincessPeaHead Fri 05-Aug-05 15:13:43

bump again for anyone who can give any more good advice to my sister orangina please!

matnanplus Fri 05-Aug-05 15:40:15

An old fashioned thing i know but could she sleep in her cot in her carseat or bouncy chair, so no slipping down and so more sleep for everyone?

When relaxing with her [tv time] lie her on your bent upraised thighs, on her back or tummy.Her head is at your knees and her bottom/legs on your tummy, a pillow under your knees stops them drifting down and aching.

Certainly revisit the GP/HV there are other medications she can try

chonky Fri 05-Aug-05 16:07:00

Orangina, my dd has svere reflux too. She's now on omeprazole and feed thickeners (carobel) as well as Gaviscon. There's several different feed thickeners you could try, so if one doesn't work ask your GP to try another.

joelsmama Fri 05-Aug-05 16:43:58

orangina, my ds had severe reflux from 5weeks to 8months old. Gaviscon takes a week to kick in but didn't work for us, eventualy he was admitted to hospital and they found a balance of ranitadine, gaviscon and painkillers to settle him, it's something that is so different in every case there are no set rules if you feel the gaviscon isnt enough, and your dd is not gaining weight (my ds lost 3lb in 2wks!) But now he is a normal 18mth old with the biggest appetite i have ever seen.Its so hard to see them in pain but reflux does get better with age and development. My ds has had no probs for over 6mths now
hope your dd is better soon!

PrincessPeaHead Fri 05-Aug-05 20:18:42

bump again

charleypops Fri 05-Aug-05 20:33:51

Orangina, we have been having exactly the same trouble with our 6 week old ds for about two or three weeks. Like yours he is strangely fine in the night. He's not been diagnosed with reflux - it's just what I told the doctor I suspect it is, so we've been using infant Gaviscon for 2 days, but not for the night feeds (dr said not to bother as he didn't seem to suffer during the night). Poor thing cries and cries, especially in the evenings until he goes to bed at about 8.

I also stopped mixed bfing/formula at about 3 and a half weeks. I am feeding him 100% Aptimil. I was wondering today if it could possibly have anything to do with stopping giving him breastmilk?

Anyway, watching this thread with interest

orangina Sat 06-Aug-05 22:43:28

Thanks everyone (and pph for bumping!)... dd is so much better having used gaviscon for all her feeds and slept her at an angle for the last 4 nights, not 100% yet, but nearly back to her very happy little self. Charleypops, so sorry to hear your ds is suffering too.... my gp wasn't convinced it was reflux, and gave me the prescription for infant gaviscon slightly under duress adding "don't use it for a few days, and just see how it develops...".... why would I want to see how our dd's misery develops?!?!?! We used it in ALL her feeds, as well as keeping her more upright, tilting her cot etc and basically learning how to coax the teat into her mouth while she sits more or less upright before she really gets struggling.... (popping it into her mouth just after she wakes from a nap before she really realises what is going on works well...!). I really hope you can sort it out and that the aptimil agrees with her (it does seem to be the formula that most reflux/colic babies can cope with best...). Oh, and also, if she gets very gassy and burpy/hiccupy, gripe water works
quite well.... Good luck and keep us updated!

charleypops Mon 08-Aug-05 13:08:20

Hi, Hope your dd is continuing to do well. I've started using Gaviscon for all ds's feeds now. He's been using it for nearly 4 days now and compared to before, he does seem a lot better. We're still having a nightmare with his 7 o'clock (ish) feed - he screams and screams, arches his back and takes very very little or nothing, exhausts himself and falls asleep (that's when I put him down) hungry, which of course makes him wake more during the night. I can hear his poor tummy gurgling during this feed and sometimes he passes wind which seems to cause another scream.

Like you, I've been trying to feed him before he kicks off, which seems to result in a calmer feed (apart from the evening one where nothing seems to help). He won't take Gripe water (screams) - can't balme him really, it's such a strong taste.

Anyway, still early days I suppose and it does appear to be getting better slowly...

How are you doing?

donnacb Mon 08-Aug-05 18:23:55

Hi my ds has really bad reflux visited a hospital consultant who gave domperidone. I had a new baby after that. Its like a wonder drug. It can only be prescribed by a consultant and is not registered for use in infants but works. they have to have a 24 hour ph probe which is a tube inserted throughthe nose to above the stomach to gauge the degree of reflux and treatment. plus all other stuff the others said good luck

charleypops Mon 08-Aug-05 20:06:31

Well looks like I spoke too soon - he was yelling from about 5 this evening until a few minutes ago He's now in bed and I've nervously got my ear pressed to the baby monitor!

I have an appt with the doctor on Friday so if I can last until then, I'll mention Domperidone to her - sounds great.

uwila Mon 08-Aug-05 20:51:01

You can buy motilium (domperidone) at Boots. No prescription needed.... but I don't know if that's an advisable route for a baby.

foxinsocks Mon 08-Aug-05 20:59:23

orangina, my first child (dd) had awful reflux and then I had the joy of my second child (ds) suffering from it as well. What I learnt from my nearly 3 years of lovely vomit covered shoulders, cots and carpets!

1. Be very careful not to overfeed - I know you're bottle feeding so you can tell how much you are giving her but if it looks like she's had enough then stop. There's nothing worse for reflux than an over full tummy.

2. Don't put her down till at least an hour after she's eaten. Typically reflux is at it's worst just after they eat (but obviously still hurts as it starts to regurgitate). I know that's hard when they are babies but it really does make a difference if they are upright for as long as their tummies are at their fullest.

3. We found the gaviscon irritated dd and ds. I think they found the thickness really horrible. For some babies it works a treat, for others it seems not to help so don't be frightened to go back to the GP if you see no improvement.

It seems strange that a change in milk could trigger it - maybe there was something in the other milk that didn't agree with her. Hopefully the aptimil will sort her out!

ellasmum1 Mon 08-Aug-05 21:03:55

Hi my daughter had this problem from about a week old till about 12 wks.She use to scream most of the day and feeding was a nightmare.We used SMA staydown formula,used to buy it at boots.That seemed to really help.We also used gaviscon but i dont think it helped much.We also took her for cranial osteopathy,as apparently reflux can be related to their skull bones being mis aligned.Sound weird but the effects were dramatic for our little girl!

charleypops Mon 08-Aug-05 21:41:19

Really uwila - i thought Domperidone was dead hard to get hold of - i wanted some to help with my breastmilk production and thought I'd have to get it from Canada or somewhere. Too late now I'm sure it would have helped in those horrible early days.

I think we're going to try cranial osteopathy soon

SamN Mon 08-Aug-05 21:56:42

orangina and charleypops, my advice is to pester your GP for a referral to a paediatrician. Our ds2 still has reflux (at 1yo) but it is largely kept under control by measures such as those foxinsocks suggested, and by medication. Really pester them - ime, the doctors just don't understand how draining it can be, but once you get someone who actually recognises the condition and knows something should be done about it, it really helps.

I've posted some links in previous messages about reflux, one site I've found very helpful recently is . It also has ads for 'wedges' you can use to help with positioning in bed. I haven't bought one myself but they look pretty useful and I know many parents say they are a godsend. Basically they keep the baby at the suggested 30degree angle, with a sling bit you pop the baby in to keep them in the right position!

Another good site is and she has a document with lots of explanations and recommendations here

It seems that babies with severe reflux are often sensitive to diet so I'm not surprised that the change in formula made your dd worse.

Cranial osteopathy helps some people but didn't help us, even though we went to a highly recommended osteopath.

Really sorry to hear of your lo's difficulties . I would have posted earlier but we've been away for the weekend. Do check the archives for some older posts of mine as I may have said something useful in them too.

best of luck with everything

SamN Mon 08-Aug-05 21:59:51

forgot to say, ranitidine is not licensed in the UK for use on infants, which is why our GPs refused to prescribe anything but Gaviscon and we had to be referred to a paediatrician. All the Gaviscon did was make ds2 constipated. I know it helps some children. But if it doesn't appear to be helping you, I would strongly advise that your press for some stronger medication.

orangina Tue 09-Aug-05 11:28:16

Thank you all for all those messages and advice.... dd is much better at the moment (fingers crossed), and we are on and off the gaviscon as, although it seems to work quite well, it does make her constipated...

Charleypops, sorry to hear you are having such a hard time with your lo... the other thing you could try (and I might still do, depending on whether dd continues to improve or whether she gets bad again) is homeopathy...

The evening feed definitely is/was the worst, and I think it was made worse still when she was over tired (am now being a bit of a fascist re: trying to get her to nap enough during the day, hoping she will be less overtired in the evenings....). I found that almost the only way I could get anything in her when she really lost it, was by having her in my arms, rocking and talking to her in a v soothing way until (eventually!) she was calmer, then slipping the bottle in, while continuing the soothing motivation talk (!).... Really feel for you, and will keep my fingers crossed that it starts to get better soon...

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