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Miserable 6 week old-desperate (long-sorry)

(18 Posts)
Inapickle123 Fri 28-Feb-14 16:55:24


I was hoping someone on mumsnet could help. I had my DS 6 weeks ago and I'm close to the edge. I'm sick of people telling me he's just a "fussy" baby-I know there's more to it. Feeding and sleeping seem to be our biggest issues.

Since DS was born, sleep has been elusive; no surprises there but I have serious concerns about his tummy and how unhappy he seems ALL the time.

We use Aptamil 1 and, initially, he had horrific trapped wind. We changed to DR Brown bottles from avent and he is definitely taking less air in (but is also spitting up much more and eating less, even though we're using teat 2) and is much easier to wind. He still gets very uncomfortable but there's been a big improvement here. I'm concerned about the fact that he's not increasing feeds (been at 3-4oz every 3-4 hours for the last two weeks) but he'll take more when he's ready.

He seems so uncomfortable ALL the time, especially when lying down. We have elevated the mattress of his Moses basket(which he refuses to sleep in during the day-hyper alert since day 1) and he has now been awake since 4am-he wants to sleep, but can't. He's actually I'm his basket just now, dummy in, and writhing and straining in light sleep. Spoke too soon-full scale wailing now.

The main issue is the last feed (4-5am) and first feed of the day (8-9). When he takes the feed he writhes, spits up, coughs, wheezes, chokes, and sounds incredibly congested (think a pug breathing) and has horrific hiccups (8 bouts today and counting) He will either go to sleep and write and scream in his sleep, waking up 30m-1h later, or will refuse point blank to go back to his basket.

He is winded properly (this can take up to 20-30 min) and is definitely sleepy as his eyes are heavy, but screams as he lays flat.

I went to the GP who shrugged and said "he's just a baby" but I am convinced he has reflux. We were given baby gaviscon which didn't agree with him (bottle refusal, constipation and screaming all day only after 4 sachets) and have been using infacol before every feed but I can't keep being up from 4am-10pm every day without a hint of sleep. My DH has a very demanding job so feeds are all my responsibility. I know I'm home all day but I can't do anything as the only way he's comfy is if he is upright. I'm beyond shattered, my house is a total bomb site and only managing right now because my mum is helping out.

I'm considering changing to aptamil anti-reflux and using the DR Brown level 3/Y teats because I know the formula is thicker. Does anyone have any experience of this combination? Given how badly DS reacted to the gaviscon, I'm very hesitant to keep chopping and changing but I can''t continue to see him so unhappy and not at least try to fix it.

I don't know what to do; he's clearly got a delicate tummy and I don't want to upset it further but I have to do something, especially as I keep being dismissed by the health visitor and GP as an uptight first time mum.

Please help

Inapickle123 Fri 28-Feb-14 17:02:10

Just to add-when he does sleep, his breathing is very congested and snorty

LurkingNineToFive Fri 28-Feb-14 17:35:29

No advice other than I'm a firm believer that mums know best. You need to keep badgering the doctor or take the baby to a drop in. Baby's are not normally that unsettled IME.

pudseypie Fri 28-Feb-14 20:15:34

Could it be colic? My ds suffered terribly with it and he just screamed from 3pm till 11pm every day and most of the rest of the time. We did dr brown bottles, cow and gate comfort formula, colief & gripe water. I found keeping him upright against me after a feed as long as possible helped and if I lay him on his tummy on the baby gym for ten seconds or however long was ok for him he would let out a massive burp. He liked to go to sleep being carried in the sling as he was upright then.
Cherry teat dummies also helped. Tommee Tippee do them.
Have you spoken to the health visitor if you have a good one?

Millie2013 Fri 28-Feb-14 20:21:35

Echo, speak to your health visitor or another GP, this sounds miserable for both of you. It sounds much like my little one, who had reflux and there are other medications you could try, that work via a different mechanism to gaviscon.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Fri 28-Feb-14 21:54:47

Possibly reflux or milk intolerance. Trouble is you have to find a GP who will prescribe something other than gavsicon and won't tell you that he'll just 'grow out of it'.

DS had gaviscon at 8 weeks but it made him constipated. Eventually got ranitidine from a GP who knew something about babies which he is still on aged 2.

You're doing the right thing tilting the mattress. Wind regularly, hold upright for 20 mins after a feed and find a GP who knows what they're talking about.

Bramble01 Fri 28-Feb-14 23:19:37

My baby was exactly the same and it was horrendous. From what you describe, it sounds like it could be reflux, a cows milk intolerance or both (my baby has both). The congestion and snuffiness you describe is a symptom typical of cows milk intolerance. Have a look at for more information about the symptoms (neocate is a prescription baby formula for cows milk intolerant babies). Unfortunately, there are no tests for this type of thing so it is just a matter of trial and error. Change one thing at a time and leave time between each time so you can gauge the the reaction.

Apart from tilting the Moses basket (worth a try but didn't help us), there are two things to try - mediation and milk. Speak to your GP about the various options (omeprozole and Neocate work for us but it took a while to get there). Try different GPs until you find one you trust and who is an expert in this area. If you don't feel you are getting anywhere, ask for a referral to a paediatric gastroenterologist. We had a very good GP but even she was not comfortable in prescribing the high dosage of omeprozole my baby needed but the consultant had no concerns.

And in the meantime, do whatever you need to do to survive and get as much help as you can. It is a really really tough time but it will get better. My baby is now an absolute joy and a fantastic sleeper. Good luck and come back with any further questions.

Oh, just as an aside, has your baby been checked for tongue tie? Tends to be more of an issue for breast fed babies but some of the reflux symptoms can also be indicative of tongue tie (chocking, hiccups, spitting up). My baby had it too!

GingerMaman Fri 28-Feb-14 23:31:52

From what you describe it does sound like possible cows milk allergy which may be causing silent reflux too.

First port of call would be to ask GP to prescribe you hydrolysed formula like aptamil pepti 1 or neocate. Insist you want it. Don't ask them, demand it. Try it for a week or two and see if it makes a difference.

GingerMaman Fri 28-Feb-14 23:33:41

Btw your baby sounds like mine. She hiccuped 50 + times a day and everyone insisted it was normal. She was also very upset. She was given medication for silent reflux, which made her much more happy. After 6 months, she was diagnosed with cows milk allergy too.

GingerMaman Fri 28-Feb-14 23:36:24

And gosh I can so relate to the way GPs, HVs and even consultants treat 1st time mums! It's horrid the way I was ignored and told to suck it up and just come to terms with the 'unlucky' baby I had. Go with your instinct, you know something is wrong, and don't take no for an answer. All the best, it will get easier x

ShoeWhore Fri 28-Feb-14 23:40:57

Sounds very much like reflux to me (don't know about the allergy side of things so can't comment on that). Ds2 had it.

Can I suggest you stop using the infacol? My HV said that can make reflux worse.

Hope you can get some help from your GP or HV, OP. Gaviscon really worked for us but perhaps you need them to prescribe something else? This stuff is really tough going, glad to hear you've got your mum to help and do try and look after yourself a bit while you have her there. It's the weekend now - can your dh do at least one of the nights (ideally both)?

Bramble01 Fri 28-Feb-14 23:41:56

One of the GPs I saw told me that I was causing her reflux as I happened to hold her round her middle when I stood up to leave the appointment.....It really isn't that uncommon a problem so keep persevering and talking to different people and you will find something that works for your baby.

Inapickle123 Sat 01-Mar-14 09:41:05

Thanks for the replies-I KNOW something isn't right and I'll be pushing hard at the GPs next week to get something done.

DH wasn't working today so I got him to do the 4-5 am feeding slot (which he happily did). DS allowed himself to be put down to sleep (was shattered) at 540 and, by 640 was writhing and groaning in pain and was in full scale screaming in his sleep mode by 7 (which I videoed to show GP). Spent the last hour and a half asleep on his tummy on DH chest. DH was horrified.

He's just had his 830 bottle and allowed himself to be put down but has already started the high pitched sleep screaming. This is not normal and I'll be digging my heels in at the drs-I'm going to write down all his symptoms, when he suffers most and show them the video; there's no way they can say he's just "fussy"-he's bloody miserable.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 01-Mar-14 10:21:29

Videoing it is a good idea.

Don't let the GP fob you off with 'he'll grow out of it' and 'he's putting on weight he's fine'. Two favorite lines. My DS always put on weight despite projectile vomiting every feed and screaming.

See a different GP but make sure it's not a locum. The locum I saw told me that ranitidine is only for adults (as a children nurse I know this is bollocks) and that she couldn't prescribe it even if I'd wanted it. Ask if there's anyone who has an interest in babies.

Gaviscon only thickens milk so it stops it coming up but if he's got acid reflux gaviscon won't do anything so you need a drug like ranitidine which neutralises that acid. If that doesn't work the next step is omeprazole.

If medication doesn't work then I would look into a cows milk protein intolerance (not the same as a lactose intolerance). In which case you have to try a hydrolysed formula like Nutramigen or Aptamil Pepti, where the milk proteins are broken down. Some babies like my DS don't tolerate that either so he ended up on Neocate which is amino acid based and completely dairy free. You get in on prescription.

You have to be firm with the GP I'm afraid. Some don't take reflux seriously, I've no idea why. A baby should not be in pain, it's not acceptable. If they fob you off I would ask why they think it is acceptable to leave him like that!

Oh, and get referred to a paediatrician or allergy team if it's a milk intolerance. Our allergy consultant is brilliant, we see a dietician who went through dairy free weaning with us too.

Superworm Sat 01-Mar-14 10:52:59

DS has reflux and allergies to cows milk proteins and soy. The congestion and chestiness were both signs along with being unsettled.

Go back to a different GP and ask to try neocate. Your HV may help too if you have a good one.

GingerMaman Sat 01-Mar-14 14:49:41

OP, videoing and going with a list will help. I typed everything up and took it with me, it was only then I was referred and taken seriously.

weebleswillwobble Sat 01-Mar-14 14:58:14

I haven't tried this, but intend to get one for DC3 when he arrives, based on the reviews Cocoonababy. Quite expensive, but might help the pain when lying flat issue. That's not to say don't go to your GP. Trust your instinct and don't let them fob you off.

Madcat22 Sat 01-Mar-14 21:48:52

Sounds very much like my DS who had severe reflux but it took several visits to GPs - all of whom fobbed me off - and a final desperate trip to A&E to get diagnosed. Ranitidine and Domperidone prescribed by specialist at the children's hospital made it better but it was an issue I'm afraid until 15 months, albeit without the discomfort. Elevating everything helped too.

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